Bloody Verrieres: The I. SS-Panzerkorps' Defence of the Verrières-Bourguebus Ridges

1: Operation Goodwood and Atlantic, July 18-22, 1944

Arthur W. Gullachsen

This book follows the I. SS Panzerkorps as they meet with the Anglo-Canadian forces in the area of the Verrières and Bourguebus ridges.
Publication date:
February 2022
Publisher :
Casemate Publishers
Contributor(s) :
Russell Hart
Illustration :
maps and photographs
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781636240022

Dimensions : 228 X 152 mm
Not Yet Published. Available for PreOrder.


• The successful German defence of the Verrieres ridges have until now been overshadowed by the other tumultuous events of late July 1944
• This new account offers insights into these successful defensive operations by Waffen SS and Heer units
• Examines whether Sepp Dietrich was actually an able corps commander, or simply a political appointment
• Photo section includes 30-40 unpublished photographs of the events

South of the Norman city of Caen, the twin features of the Verrières and Bourguebus ridges were key stepping stones for the British Second Army in late July 1944 - taking them was crucial if it was to be successful in its attempt to break out of the Normandy bridgehead. To capture this vital ground, Allied forces would have to defeat arguably the strongest German armoured formation in Normandy: the I. SS-Panzerkorps "Leibstandarte." The resulting battles of late July and early August 1944 saw powerful German defensive counterattacks south of Caen inflict tremendous casualties, regain lost ground and at times defeat Anglo-Canadian operations in detail.

Viewed by the German leadership as militarily critical, the majority of its armored assets were deployed to dominate this excellent tank country east of the Orne river. These defeats and the experience of meeting an enemy with near-equal resources exposed a flawed Anglo-Canadian offensive tactical doctrine that was overly dependent on the supremacy of its artillery forces. Furthermore, weaknesses in Allied tank technology inhibited their armored forces from fighting a decisive armored battle, forcing Anglo-Canadian infantry and artillery forces to further rely on First World War "Bite and Hold" tactics, massively supported by artillery. Confronted with the full force of the Panzerwaffe, Anglo-Canadian doctrine at times floundered. In response, the Royal Artillery and Royal Canadian Artillery units pummelled the German tankers and grenadiers, but despite their best efforts, ground could not be captured by concentrated artillery fire alone.

This is a detailed account of the success of I. SS-Panzerkorps' defensive operations, aimed at holding the Vèrrieres-Bourgebus ridges in late July 1944.