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Operation Blockbuster was the completion of the larger Operation Veritable by the First Canadian Army, reinforced by the XXX Corps from the British Second Army from late February to early March, 1945. Veritable had been slower and more costly than expected and the Canadian commander, General Harry Crerar, had decided on a fresh start for the operation. Three British and Canadian divisions advanced north-westwards, capturing unprepared German positions in the Hochwald forested ridge, before advancing on Xanten. They linked up with the Ninth US Army at Berendonk, near Geldern on 3 March. The Rhineland battles would become Canada's most costly campaign, over 40,000 were killed in action in the Rhineland.
In popular culture
The Battle of the Hochwald Gap was the topic of an episode of the documentary series Greatest Tank Battles. Veterans of Canadian armoured units gave testimonies on the violence of the campaign, notably the tenacity of German soldiers in the Rhineland. Former German soldiers gave testimonies on their experiences with Canadians.
- Ellis, Major L. F. & with Warhurst, Lieutenant-Colonel A. E. (2004) [1st. pub. HMSO 1968]. Butler, J. R. M. (ed.). Victory in the West: The Defeat of Germany. History of the Second World War United Kingdom Military Series. II. Naval & Military Press. ISBN 978-1-84574-059-7.
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- "The Hochwald Gap" at Canadianheroes.org
- Official history of the Canadian Army (Chapter XIX): The Battle of the Rhineland. Part II: Operation "BLOCKBUSTER"
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