Operation Spring was an offensive operation conducted by II Canadian Corps during the Normandy campaign. The plan was intended to create pressure on the German forces operating on the British and Canadian front simultaneously to American offensive operations in their sector known as Operation Cobra, an attempt to break out from the Normandy lodgement. Specifically, Operation Spring was intended to capture Verrières Ridge and the towns on the south slope of the ridge. However, strong German defenses on the ridge, as well as strict adherence to a defensive doctrine of counter-attacks, stalled the offensive on the first day, inflicting heavy casualties on the attacking forces, while preventing a breakout in the Anglo-Canadian sector.
Caen was captured on July 19, 1944 during Operation Goodwood, after six weeks of positional warfare throughout Normandy. About 8 kilometers south of Caen, Verrières Ridge blocked a direct advance by Allied forces to Falaise. Initial efforts to take the ridge during Goodwood were thwarted by the I SS Panzer Corps, under General Sepp Dietrich. On July 20, 1944, the II Canadian Corps under General Guy Simonds, attempted a similar offensive, codenamed Operation Atlantic. Although initially successful, strong counter-attacks by Dietrich's Panzer Divisions caused the offensive to stall, inflicting 1,349 casualties on Canadian forces.
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