Following the failure of the German counterattack during Operation Lüttich, the German army in northern France found itself in a perilous position. Its entire fighting force had been worn down by two months of fighting and the Americans were rapidly advancing along the southern flank. The Allies opted to enclose the Germans near Argentan and Falaise so as not to over-exert themselves in a push further east. Whilst the British closed in from the west, the Canadians/Polish were planning an upcoming attack against Falaise in Operation Tractable. This meant that the 5th US Armoured Division under General Patton, which was progressing north, had the opportunity to close the gap towards their Allies and complete a full encirclement of the Germans in the Falaise Pocket. Patton’s orders to complete the encirclement were overruled by General Bradley who feared the possibility of friendly fire when converging with the Canadians and overextension of the American flank.
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