Operation Tractable 14–15 August 1944


Map Code: Ax00536

Following on from Operation Totalize, Operation Tractable was another Canadian-led offensive aimed at taking Falaise and further tightening the Allied encirclement of the German army. The bombing raid that preceded the attack landed partially on Canadian/Polish lines, resulting in numerous casualties. On 14 August Allied armoured divisions launched their first attack from behind the cover of a smoke screen, however the Germans put up strong resistance. The previous night a Canadian officer accidentally crossed into German territory and was killed. The Germans found details of the planned offensive on him and so were able to move troops into the area in preparation for the attack. More importantly they relocated armour and 88mm guns, which were especially effective at holding back the Allied tanks. After originally expecting to have taken Falaise on 14 August, a couple of days of fighting ensued before the Germans began to be driven out of the town.

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