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Operation 2: Veritable

Updated: Jul 11, 2019

Operation Veritable (also known as the Battle of the Reichswald) was the northern part of an Allied pincer movement that took place between 8 February and 11 March 1945 during the final stages of the Second World War. The operation was conducted by Field MarshalBernard Montgomery's Anglo-Canadian 21st Army Group, primarily consisting of the First Canadian Army under Lieutenant-General Harry Crerar and the British XXX Corps under Lieutenant-General Brian Horrocks.

Veritable was a Northern pincer movement and started with XXX Corps advancing through the forest while the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, in amphibious vehicles, cleared German positions in the flooded Rhine plain. The Allied advance proceeded more slowly than expected and at greater cost. This delayed the US offensive Operation Grenade, the southern pincer and at the same time allowed German forces under local German commander, Alfred Schlemm to be concentrated against the Commonwealth advance.

The fighting was hard, but the Allied advance continued. On 22 February, once clear of the Reichswald (German: Imperial Forest), and with the towns of Kleve and Goch in their control, the offensive was renewed as Operation Blockbuster and linked up with the U.S. Ninth Army near Geldern on 4 March after the execution of Operation Grenade. Fighting continued as the Germans sought to retain a bridgehead on the west bank of the Rhine at Wesel and evacuate as many men and as much equipment as possible. Finally, on 10 March, the German withdrawal ended and the last bridges were destroyed.

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