Talk:Battle for Caen

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Neutrality concerns continue[edit]

Certain editors who have a vested interest in ensuring that the neutrality issues in this article are not resolved, have taken to scattering random comments throughout the thread so as to make it incoherent to external admins. I therefore repeat my summary of the neutrality issues, and the corrective action that is required, as follows:

  1. The planning section needs to include an extra sentence to mention that the British Army was originally intended to advance from Falaise to the Argentan-Alencon line on D+20, about 100km inland from Caen, as well as advance east until its left rested approximately on the Touques River – about 50km from Caen. This is described in Ellis, Eisenhower, Churchill, Axelrod and Harrison, among others.
The planning section quotes the plan which at army group level was deliberately vague.Keith-264 (talk) 14:12, 22 August 2017 (UTC)
  1. The Goodwood section should mention that, whatever orders Montgomery gave to his subordinates at the time, he lead Eisenhower and SHAEF and the air commanders to expect a breakout, and that this "misunderstanding" almost got Montgomery fired. This is attested by multiple reliable sources as well.
The obfuscation is noted in the text, the politics of it are irrelevant, which you acknowledge with the adverb "nearly".
  1. The analysis section needs to be cleaned up for redundancy and non-neutrality, as was confirmed by an objective admin (Parsecboy). Keith-264 needs to stop edit-warring, and allow the significant views of all reliable sources to be included. This needs to include the fact that when Monty couldn't execute the ORIGINAL plan, he changed the plan, and then claimed that Plan B was actually the original plan. This controversy is attested by multiple reliable sources as well, including Montgomery himself.

To sum up: I have presented a number of reliable sources to support my edits, but Keith-264 has reverted them with no regard for the requirements of WP:NPOV, which states that all the significant views of the reliable sources must be included, regardless of editorial consensus. He is also repeatedly reverting my Neutrality tag, in an attempt to avoid attracting objective admins to the article. Wdford (talk) 13:03, 22 August 2017 (UTC)

Ads hominem NUKeith-264 (talk) 14:12, 22 August 2017 (UTC)
If we are going to throw accusations about - of those of us engaged with this article, one of us looks like a WP:SPA. Moving on, I think the answer is not a wall of text about whether NPOV is being properly followed or not but some constructive (sandbox?) text that we can work with to refine into content that matches both sides concerns. GraemeLeggett (talk) 13:58, 22 August 2017 (UTC)
Quite agree.Keith-264 (talk) 14:12, 22 August 2017 (UTC)
And a certain editor immediately sets about inserting comments all over the thread, reducing coherence.
Come off it you're spamming the page.Keith-264 (talk) 18:27, 23 August 2017 (UTC)
The plan was NOT deliberately vague, that is another specious statement. The original plan was clear and unambiguous, as multiple reliable sources show.
The campaign plan has been quoted.Keith-264 (talk) 18:27, 23 August 2017 (UTC)
The fact that Montgomery mislead his commanders to expect great things from Goodwood is NOT already noted in the text already, that is another specious statement. This "misleading" of his commanders is attested by multiple reliable sources as well.
The change of plan wasn't communicated to all of the 2nd Army commanders, not controversial.Keith-264 (talk) 18:27, 23 August 2017 (UTC)
And re my observation that a certain editor is edit-warring to remove a neutrality tag in defiance of WP:NPOV, all he can say is "NU". Wdford (talk) 16:59, 22 August 2017 (UTC)
NU (not useful, a la Bruce Lee) Keith-264 (talk) 18:27, 23 August 2017 (UTC)
@ GraemeLeggett : I have no problem with using a sandbox, although proposed text has been suggested several times on the talk page already. Wdford (talk) 16:59, 22 August 2017 (UTC)

It was not any overselling of Goodwood that Tedder objected to, it was his belief that Montgomery had stopped the advance, not the Germans.Aber~enwiki (talk) 17:55, 22 August 2017 (UTC)

Tedder, like many others in SHAEF and elsewhere, was upset because Montgomery had failed to break out at Goodwood – for whatever reason. See also Hixon, citing Lamb: pg 161: [Montgomery] only hinted at the breakout possibility to convince SHAEF's airmen to lend the support of their heavy bombers. Goodwood's failure and the subsequent postponement of Operation Cobra nearly brought about Monty's downfall. Only Eisenhower's caution and political savvy saved Montgomery; Ike realised that the furor caused by his dismissal would be difficult to justify at this critical juncture. [1] Wdford (talk) 17:55, 23 August 2017 (UTC)

I assume this is Lamb: Montgomery in Europe 1943-45 (1983). The aftereffects of Goodwood are discussed in Lamb on pages 138-142. The conclusion is Hixon's - Lamb puts it "Eisenhower wanted Montgomery to go, but refused to take the initiative. His political intuition warned him of Montgomery's intense popularity both with the troops and the British public, and of the devotion to him of Brooke..". However Lamb relied on the published version of Butcher's diary, which skips from 10am on the 20th to the 22nd, and excludes Eisenhower's reaction to his meeting with Montgomery on the 20th. However the unpublished version of the diary cited in Hamilton includes reference to Eisenhower being far more relaxed on his return from meeting Montgomery and asking Butcher to phone Bedell Smith to 'caution him against even hinting at the subject we have been discussing' - he was backtracking then on removing Montgomery, and it was Tedder who was active in pushing for it afterwards.Aber~enwiki (talk) 19:43, 23 August 2017 (UTC)

Tedder didn't understand British army operational technique or pretended not to to make political capital. This is irrelevant to an article on Caen. The German response to the invasion does matter, when are you going to get on with it? Keith-264 (talk) 18:27, 23 August 2017 (UTC)
interesting commentary on the relationships between the air commanders and Monty here (Baxter Montgomery, 1887-1976: A Selected Bibliography p82-83) GraemeLeggett (talk) 18:48, 23 August 2017 (UTC)
The Carrington book looks interesting; it's gone on the list. Thanks Keith-264 (talk) 20:18, 23 August 2017 (UTC)
this identifies Leigh-Mallory as being supportive of putting air power into the battlefield and critical of Tender/Coningham briefing against Monty. GraemeLeggett (talk) 20:40, 23 August 2017 (UTC)
Some very interesting information there from Baxter – thank you Graeme. And if you read a little bit higher up in Baxter, on pg 81, he cites Carlo D'Este as follows: – "D'Este argues convincingly that between Monty's actual plans and later boasting, "a great gulf lay". … Only after the failure to take Caen, in D'Este's view, did Monty emphasise 2nd Army's defensive role in acting as a magnet for German armour. Failure to take Caen soon after D-Day, in D'Este's view, was not just a "local setback", but a major failure. … D'Este is a strong advocate of the view that Monty changed his plans to meet the new circumstances." [2]
As requested, I have created a sandbox to provide proposed text – with reliable sources – for the planning section. See User:Wdford/sandbox/Caen Planning Wdford (talk) 16:42, 27 August 2017 (UTC)

Now you are choosing to cite part of someone else's summary of d'Este. rather than d'Este himself, because it gives you better quotes?

On the D+20 line which is a key part of the planning section you are so concerned about, the briefing was fairly vague: Phase 1 is shown in Green. In this phase the 1st US Army and the 2nd British Army secure the whole area included within the Green line. This gives us a good base for subsequent operations. I estimate we may have this area by D+20, and we will fight continuously until we get it. There may the have to be a pause to see how we stand administratively; if not, so much the better. Aber~enwiki (talk) 08:02, 28 August 2017 (UTC)

NUKeith-264 (talk) 18:11, 27 August 2017 (UTC)
@Aber~enwiki: Baxter was being cited as a reliable source for summarizing the comments of other authors. I therefore drew attention to one of the other authors that Baxter had summarized, in the same section. If Baxter is reliable for some, then he is reliable for others too.

Why use Baxter to summarise d'Este's Decision in Normandy, when d'Este revisits exactly the same issues in his later biography of Eisenhower.Aber~enwiki (talk) 18:45, 28 August 2017 (UTC)

@Aber~enwiki: The Green Line was not vague - it was very specific, and the importance of attaining it was emphasized. The time-line of D+20 was an "estimate", but the estimate was not "plus or minus 50 days". In reality the British Second Army only finally reached Falaise in mid-August, when the US Forces were already at Argentan waiting for them, and the Germans were fleeing the Pocket.

The plan for getting to the Green line was vague, as was the estimated timing for reaching it, as shown by the quote I provided above. As predicted earlier you are now getting hung up on the phase line issue.Aber~enwiki (talk) 18:34, 28 August 2017 (UTC)

@GraemeLeggett: I have created a sandbox to highlight all the "other" reliable sources for the planning issue, as per your suggestion. As you can see there are at least seven reliable sources that support this particular fact. In terms of WP:NPOV, it therefore needs to be included in the body of the article. Are you happy with the wording I have used?
Wdford (talk) 11:08, 28 August 2017 (UTC)
your sandbox runs current text, dig at other editors, suggested text. Not getting an AGF/collegiate editing vibe off it.GraemeLeggett (talk) 12:00, 28 August 2017 (UTC)
@GraemeLeggett: I provided both the current state and the proposed end state, so that all editors can see the proposed difference. That seemed like an obvious approach to take. I also provided an explanation of why this addition is being thrashed out at such extreme length, when WP:NPOV would suggest that a fact supported by seven reliable sources should be added automatically, especially since that fact already stands unchallenged in several related articles. You are well aware of the history here, of the edit-warring and the blank refusal to comply with WP:NPOV. However additional uninvolved editors coming to assist might be left wondering. Nonetheless, in the interests of furthering the discussion, I have deleted the non-collegiate sentence.
That said, do you agree that a fact supported by seven reliable sources should be added to the article, especially since that fact already stands unchallenged in several related articles? Wdford (talk) 17:48, 28 August 2017 (UTC)

Which fact are you referring to? If you cannot make it clear here what point you are trying to make, then it is difficult to see how your changes will improve the article.Aber~enwiki (talk) 18:39, 28 August 2017 (UTC)

Graham suggested an oblique way to have your say (again) in a neutral part of Wiki and you went back to your old tricks. Having posted disingenuous apologetics about it, you try to lure him into endorsing your hobby-horse. Can't you see that you're being given an opportunity not to hoist yourself on your own petard? Keith-264 (talk) 17:54, 28 August 2017 (UTC)

The order of the sentences in the suggested version of the sandbox will be confusing for the user, as it conflates Phase I of the plan (up to the Green line) with proposed developments after that.Aber~enwiki (talk) 18:30, 28 August 2017 (UTC)

@Aber~enwiki: I already explained why I referenced Baxter. You can read it for yourself in the paragraph directly above your own comment. Why are you complaining about this?
@Aber~enwiki: I am not getting hung up on the phase line issue. The phase lines were already mentioned in that paragraph by somebody else. I mentioned the actual geographic objectives as mentioned by the reliable sources.
@Aber~enwiki: The extra "fact" – as you well know – is the fact that after capturing Caen and the Caen-Falaise Plain, the British Army was supposed to pivot on its left at Falaise, pushing its right flank south to Argentan-Alencon and its left flank east to rest approximately on the Touques River. That is perfectly self-evident from my proposed wording.
@Aber~enwiki: The order of the sentences is not conflating anything - the second sentence starts with the word "thereafter".
The fact which you include in the second sentence is a description of Phase 2, after the Green line is reached. You describe the Green line in your third sentence; by describing things out of sequence you have conflated them for a reader who does not know the full story.Aber~enwiki (talk) 06:09, 29 August 2017 (UTC)
It doesn't look confusing at all, but in the spirit of collegiate editing, I have tweaked it even further. See [[3]] - what do you think? Wdford (talk) 08:18, 29 August 2017 (UTC)

I think if you want to delve into the issue of phase lines a definitive map of what they actually were is needed.Aber~enwiki (talk) 11:47, 29 August 2017 (UTC)

It wouldn't hurt to have a map of that sort. Picture tells a story of thousand words and all that. GraemeLeggett (talk) 12:55, 29 August 2017 (UTC)
@ Aber~enwiki: I don't intend to "delve into" the phase lines any further. I intend to use geographic names like "Argentan" and "Touques River", so that readers can all understand what the original plan actually was. If you want to delete mention of "phase lines" then by all means do so. However if you want to expand on the concept and add a map, that is fine with me also. Wdford (talk) 11:12, 30 August 2017 (UTC)


@Keith-264: My "hobby-horse", as you once again choose to call it, is that we should be editing in compliance with WP:NPOV. If that is now an incorrect approach, please could somebody stand up and say so?
Wdford (talk) 20:19, 28 August 2017 (UTC)
Garbage, you're trying to turn the article into an anti-Monty diatribe and making disingenuous claims (again). Can't you see that Graham's suggestion was constructive but that if you abused it, it would mean you were giving yourself enough rope? Each time someone tried to help by pointing out a wiki criterion you've violated, you blame them for it. I think you should be barred from editing this article for time wasting.Keith-264 (talk) 20:37, 28 August 2017 (UTC)
Try to stay on topic, Keith-264. I am trying to add a fact which is supported by seven reliable sources, and which already stands unchallenged in several related articles. In terms of WP:NPOV this should be a simple decision. In fact EnigmaMcmxc long ago described it as a non-issue. Yet you have fought for months to exclude this obvious and uncontroversial fact from this article, usually using "reasons" other than sources. When all else fails you repeat your specious accusation about a diatribe. When are you going to accept WP:NPOV, and edit according to policy? Wdford (talk) 20:58, 28 August 2017 (UTC)
I don't believe you, it's another Trojan Horse; you need a bridle.Keith-264 (talk) 21:24, 28 August 2017 (UTC)
Steady on, Keith-264 - I am not getting an AGF/collegiate editing vibe from your comments. Do you have ANY evidence whatsoever to back up your accusations? Wdford (talk) 08:18, 29 August 2017 (UTC)
Notice how a perfectly reasonable comment from Graham is turned into a weapon; I wonder is WD is a NLP cultist? You have provided so much evidence of bad faith that it must be measured in acres but as you ought to know, you can't be judge and jury in your own cause.Keith-264 (talk) 10:08, 29 August 2017 (UTC)
@ Keith-264: I have nothing to do with NLP, nor is it relevant here – it's just one of your increasingly frantic attempts at diverting the discussion away from the reliable sources. Another blatant demonstration of bad faith on your part. Wdford (talk) 11:12, 30 August 2017 (UTC)


Concerning phase lines: there are references floating around on a talkpage (here?) that comment that the phase lines were mere logistical guidelines, and essentially pointless in discussing where the allied ground forces should be by certain days etc. If we are going to talk about them, shouldn't this also be mentioned?
As for the "non-issue" comment a while back, it was based off the below:
"The initial Overlord plan called for the British Second Army to secure the city and then form a front line from Caumont-l'Éventé to the south-east of Caen, to acquire space for airfields and to protect the left flank of the United States First Army while it moved on Cherbourg.[16] Possession of Caen and its environs would give the Second Army a suitable staging area for a push south to capture Falaise, which could then be used as the pivot for a swing left to advance on Argentan and then towards the Touques River.[17] The terrain between Caen and Vimont was especially attractive to Allied planners, being open, dry and conducive to swift offensive operations. Since the Allies greatly outnumbered the Germans in tanks and mobile units, creating the conditions for a fluid, fast moving battle was to their advantage.[18]"
-This copy and paste job is from Operation Charnwood, but the same thing is mentioned in numerous other articles.
The key points from the above: take Caen, acquire space for airfields, get as far south as possible to maximize advantages. The current article essentially states this: "The Anglo-Canadians to were advance south and south-east, to capture ground for airfields and guard the eastern flank of the First Army as it attacked Cherbourg."EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 04:48, 30 August 2017 (UTC)
@ EnigmaMcmxc: Exactly, thank you. So all that is needed is to add the perfectly non-controversial extra sentence to clarify that "advance south and south-east" meant "east as far as the Touques River – about 50km", and "south as far as Argentan – about 60km". This is supported by multiple reliable sources. It is astounding how much effort has gone into trying to hide this simple fact from the readers. In fact Eisenhower actual stated south as far as Argentan-Alencon, quoting Montgomery himself, and Alencon is about 110km inland from Caen. If we just left it as "advance south and south-east", a reader who does not know the full story may incorrectly assume that a few miles of progress inland was all that the original plan had intended. Wdford (talk) 11:12, 30 August 2017 (UTC)
Here we go again. Yet again you are conflating different phases of Normandy. Advance south and south-east comes from the original task of British 2nd Army "To assault to the west of the R Orne and to develop operations to the south and south-east, in order to secure airfield sites and to protect the eastern flank of 1st US Army while the latter is capturing Cherbourg". This is all within Phase I/Green line/ D+20 phase line.
Only under Phase 2 "2nd British Army will push its left out towards the general line of the R Toucques" - and that river is roughly the D+60 phase line (by when US forces should be over the Loire).
All of this is not really new; your claim that the extra sentence is non-controversial is nonsense.Aber~enwiki (talk) 17:59, 30 August 2017 (UTC)

Phaselines are a subgroup of the Normandy controversies, generally used to castigate Montgomery for being slow and cautious. I agree that if they are to be included then the background about why they were used also needs to be included, together with clarity about where exactly each line was. From the Charnwood article: The terrain between Caen and Vimont was especially attractive to Allied planners, being open, dry and conducive to swift offensive operations. Since the Allies greatly outnumbered the Germans in tanks and mobile units, creating the conditions for a fluid, fast moving battle was to their advantage.[18] - this part is sourced from what looks like a coffee-table type book, and I'd like to see more detail about where the information came from as it sounds more like the original COSSAC plan than the final plan.Aber~enwiki (talk) 07:58, 30 August 2017 (UTC)

@ Aber~enwiki: The important facts from the Charnwood article come from Ellis. The rest of it is probably also correct, but is non-critical here. Wdford (talk) 11:12, 30 August 2017 (UTC)
The part that I have highlighted IS critical as it gives a misleading impression of a core part of the plan being a mobile battle in the suggested location, and as far as I can tell comes fronm a source without footnotes to show where the information came from.Aber~enwiki (talk) 18:04, 30 August 2017 (UTC)
I suggest that everyone trying to gain consensus by discussion beware of a Trojan Horse tactic, in which a concession is used as a wedge. Please bear in mind the risk of knee-jerk mirroring of legitimate objections too. As for recent comments about me, NU. Regards Keith-264 (talk) 12:56, 30 August 2017 (UTC)
In regards to the Dan van der Vat source, I cannot really comment as I do not own her work. However, I do believe that Buckley (British Armour in Normandy) essentially makes the same point. I would have to dig through his work, but I do recall him concluding that the British armor were deployed in a situation that they were not conceived for (mobile warfare on open terrain compared to being used as battering rams against prepared German positions).EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 15:34, 30 August 2017 (UTC)
Only three of the eight tank brigades were equipped with I tanks, which were supposed to batter their way through defences, the rest had Shermans, which were Cruiser equivalents or Cromwells which were proper Cruisers. The German decision to dig in on 9 June meant that Cruisers were used as I tanks, much to the dismay of many. The German decision to admit the defeat of their counter-offensive and wait to try again when the II SS Pz K arrived, caused the Allies considerable delay and higher losses but only slowed the process of their destruction. As usual, old and parti pris sources tend to leave the Germans out of their analysis.Keith-264 (talk) 16:22, 30 August 2017 (UTC)
Difficult to believe that 7th Armoured were not conceived for mobile warfare on open terrain.Aber~enwiki (talk) 18:06, 30 August 2017 (UTC)
The 7th AD was nearly all Cromwell (it had 17-pounder Shermans) and was explicitly intended for manoeuvre. I can see that "or Cromwells" meant "the rest of the British armoured force, not just the brigades" to me but it could be read as the rest of the tank/armoured brigades, apols. Keith-264 (talk) 18:28, 30 August 2017 (UTC)
Here are two extracts from Buckley, on this point:
  • From Buckley: Monty's Men: The British Army and the Liberation of Europe, (2013), pg 143: "Poor battlefield performance in the case of 7th Armoured Division was founded upon inappropriate tactics being transplanted too unquestioningly from the desert into Northwest Europe and the severe reverse at Villers-Bocage in June …" [4]
  • From Buckley: British Armour in the Normandy Campaign (2004): "Most importantly, [the Goodwood plan] demonstrated an inadequate appreciation of the role and capabilities of armoured divisions. They were not constructed to act as battering rams to lead a penetration and their force structure was accordingly ill-suited to an operation such as Goodwood, where the armour was to lead the attack. [5]
Wdford (talk) 20:58, 30 August 2017 (UTC)
Buckley and several other authorites also point out that the 7th AD revised its organisation and tactics before V-B. No-one who planned Goodwood misunderstood the capabilities of armoured divisions, they were used consciously in lieu of infantry and only one of the divisions was fully engaged. What does he say about the state of the Germans by the time of Goodwood? Keith-264 (talk) 21:19, 30 August 2017 (UTC)
Well Keith-264, once again you blatantly contradict the reliable sources. Buckley clearly used the phrase "demonstrated an inadequate appreciation of the role and capabilities of armoured divisions". That is not really supporting what you are claiming, now is it? As recently as 2013, Buckley was writing that 7th AD was using "inappropriate tactics". Strictly speaking we should add this to the Analysis section, seeing as how you have seen fit to give Buckley his very own dedicated section, in place of that huge ream of apologetic that Parsecboy identified as being non-neutral. Once again, when a reliable source disagrees with you, you ignore them. Wdford (talk) 07:35, 31 August 2017 (UTC)
Buckley wrote several things, including the fact that the 2nd Army was in a dilemma before Goodwood, needing to attack again because of the slow progress of the 1st Army and needing to conserve infantry, hence the resort to the armoured divisions. Buckley also described the way that the 7th AD integrated its tank and infantry before V-B. Yet again you discredit yourself with cherry picking. If you want I can continue the history of... section with French, Place et al. What does he say about the state of the Germans by the time of Goodwood? Keith-264 (talk) 10:25, 31 August 2017 (UTC)
Please could you provide citations where Buckley contradicts his own clear and unambiguous assertion that the planners of Goodwood "demonstrated an inadequate appreciation of the role and capabilities of armoured divisions"? If you merely continue to add cherry-picked comments to the Analysis section, the existing neutrality problem will get worse not better. Wdford (talk) 11:57, 31 August 2017 (UTC)
Yet another loaded question. NU What does he say about the state of the Germans by the time of Goodwood?Keith-264 (talk) 12:31, 31 August 2017 (UTC)
For the umpteenth time, when the discussion turns to actual sources, you duck and dive. I am not getting sucked into your evasive maneuvers, I am asking a straight question about the sources. Please could you provide citations where Buckley contradicts his own clear and unambiguous assertion that the planners of Goodwood "demonstrated an inadequate appreciation of the role and capabilities of armoured divisions"? Wdford (talk) 13:35, 31 August 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I see according to Buckley that Goodwood employed "little used since the invasion" armoured divisions to avoid losses of infantry (equipment could be replaced). And that "Dempsey persuaded a reluctant Montgomery...." "[Dempsey] over-reaching on 18 July", that on the 19th the Guards Armoured Divisions with more support made good "progress against prepared and determined German defence". A suggestion that a slower pace would have provoked a counter-attack which would have been costly to the Germans and "Germans losses over the period of the operation were still considerable". GraemeLeggett (talk) 15:36, 31 August 2017 (UTC)
Agreed, but none of this contradicts or refutes Buckley's statements about poor planning and inappropriate tactics. Wdford (talk)

From Decision in Normandy – Carlo D'Este (2017) : At pg 108 D'Este quotes Monty's own words from the notes he used at the briefing of 7th April 1944 (Thunderclap): "Second British Army will push its left out towards the general line of the River Touques. At the same time the Army will pivot on Falaise and will swing with its right toward Argentan-Alencon." This is the same wording as used by Eisenhower in Crusade in Europe, at pg 266. There is no doubt at all that this was the original plan. If anybody has an actual reason to continue to exclude this information, please say so clearly. BTW: D'Este includes a good phase-lines map at pg 102. He also makes it clear that Montgomery took the phase lines seriously, and he demolishes Belchem's subsequent attempt to pretend that Montgomery did not believe in phase lines. Food for thought, if you wish to delve into phase lines. Wdford (talk) 15:19, 31 August 2017 (UTC)

You're back to where you started; this is why you ran up against 3RR and managed to accumulate for or five editors who reverted you, for the reasons rehearsed here ad nauseam. The original plan was laid out so

On 15 May, Montgomery gave a final presentation of the Overlord plan to the Allied commanders and from his notes, gave the intention of the operation, to assault simultaneously,

(a) Immediately north of the Carentan estuary. (b) Between the Carentan estuary and the R. Orne with the object of securing, as a base for further operations, a lodgement area which will include airfield sites and the port of Cherbourg....— Montgomery, 15 May 1944[14]Keith-264 (talk) 15:41, 31 August 2017 (UTC)

That is a good description of Phase 1 of the plan. I have presented multiple reliable sources stating that the plan was thereafter to include the British Second Army driving way south to Argentan, and east to the Touques River. This was presented at the briefing of 7th April. D'Este notes that there are very few records of the briefing of May, but he states at pg 97 that based on the records of Leigh-Mallory "The development of operations up to D+90 was also the same exposition given on 7 April". So the May briefing was not a contradiction of the April briefing. Wdford (talk) 16:23, 31 August 2017 (UTC)

OK you seem to finally accept that there was a Phase 1 of the plan. Again going back to the April briefing from Montgomery: I estimate we may have this area by D+20, and we will have to fight continuously to get it. There may then have to be a pause to see how we stand administratively; if not so much the better. Phase 2 will the begin.

I'm not sure why subsequent operations are so important to you in an article about the Battle for Caen.

On d'Este quotes and page numbers - can you make it clear that you are referring to a Kindle version, where the page numbers will differ from those in the original publication, and use the original edition publication date to avoid confusion.Aber~enwiki (talk) 17:49, 31 August 2017 (UTC)

The issue (obviously) is to properly describe the objectives of the assault, explaining how taking Caen fitted into the big picture. The big picture objective – very clearly, and in Monty's own notes at the April briefing – was for the British Army to break out east and south while the US Army broke out west and south, and then wheeled east to join the British Army. There are multiple reliable sources that attest to this fact, as I have repeatedly mentioned.
If we were to merely mention the planning for the Battle for Caen alone, then the entire planning section could be covered in a single sentence – Capture Caen on D-Day, and drive inland with armour to secure the beachhead. However instead you have chosen to really give the fullest picture - British geopolitical strategy is discussed in the background section, as are Enigma machines, COSSAC and the psychological impact of World War 1. The planning sections mention the broader Allied objectives as far afield from Caen as Carentan, Vire, Avranches, Cherbourg, the Loire River and the Brittany ports – which were part of the US objectives of phase 2. However you baulk at mentioning the British Army's original intended role in phase 2, which was directly dependent on the foundation to be laid at Caen in phase 1. Why is that, exactly?
Wdford (talk) 17:19, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
we have the plan mid-April, what was it by 4th June? GraemeLeggett (talk) 17:43, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
Re-reading the whole of the planning section the only reference to the second phase of the plan is: "The US forces in the west were to capture the port of Cherbourg and then in a second phase, the lodgement was to be expanded in the west to the Loire river and the Brittany ports" - the highlighted part should be deleted. How much of what the US forces planned to do/actually achieved in the first phase is a separate discussion, but I think the balance is about right at the moment.
The big picture objective – very clearly, and in Monty's own notes at the April briefing – was for the British Army to break out east and south while the US Army broke out west and south - yet again you are summarising in a misleading way. Firstly "break out" is not used anywhere in the planning documents as far as I am aware, and in relation to the campaign used only in reference to Goodwood/Cobra for breaking through the German crust and leading to mobile warfare - it should be used with care. Secondly the "big picture" you refer to is the whole Normandy plan ie up the Black/D+90 phase line - it's interesting, but not totally relevant to an article about the Battle of Caen which is all contained within Phase 1 of the invasion, up to the Green/D+20 phase line. Thirdly the movement "south and south-east" referenced for British 2nd Army in the planning for Phase 1 is effectively just a reference to crossing the R Orne, as they land west of it.
As to: Capture Caen on D-Day, and drive inland with armour to secure the beachhead. - this misses out for example, the importance of the bridgehead east of the Orne, destroying the bridges over the Dives, Carpiquet, anti-tank defences by the Canadians west of Caen, Bayeux ("Rommel's obsession"), the key Caen-Bayeux road, Port-en-Bessin, joining up the British beaches, and linking up with US forces.
The main change to the plan after April was the dropzones of the US airborne divisions; there might have been changes to the rate/order of planned build-up of divisions but I haven't checked this.Aber~enwiki (talk) 18:47, 1 September 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Enigma and I encountered the problem of "breakout" a few years ago when we re-wrote lots of Normandy articles. There seems to be no absolute definition of the word and little consistency in its use by and between authors. For some it means what happened during Cobra and for others an advance across a road. Since the term is amorphous, it's no surprise that it's causing trouble here.Keith-264 (talk) 19:00, 1 September 2017 (UTC)

There is no evidence anywhere that the objectives changed between April and June. There is plenty of evidence that the plan changed in mid-June, when Monty realised that the original plan couldn’t work, and he "evolved" it.
Are you seriously considering deleting the whole of phase 2, to maintain the fiction that Monty achieved his objectives at Caen, when so many other sources have stated that this was a specious claim? If yes, then we need to remove anything that isn’t directly related to Caen – which is about half of the current material. That is, if we want to maintain NPOV.
Mobile warfare was clearly what Monty had in mind originally – as has been stated in multiple reliable sources. Churchill in particular was very afraid of a repeat of WW1. Then Monty got bogged down in front of Caen, and had to change the plan.
The movement "south and south-east" in the planning for Phase 1 is effectively a reference to capturing the land for airfields. However Monty specifically mentioned Argentan etc - which was to be reached from the east of the lodgement, and which objective was not originally intended to have to wait for the US forces to get there first.
Carpiquet, the joining of beaches etc is part of Overlord, but not strictly part of Caen. If you want to describe the big picture, then we need to do it properly. At present you are cherry picking – including every detail EXCEPT the fact that the original plan called for the British to break out in the east as well. We can use other words for "breakout", but they need to make plain sense – not hide behind semantics. Argentan is a long way inland from Caen - it's not just across the river.
Wdford (talk) 20:36, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
NUKeith-264 (talk) 21:11, 1 September 2017 (UTC)

There are a couple of choices for the end point of the article - Operation Spring on 25 July when Operation Cobra took place and the start of the breakout, with Bluecoat and Totalise/Tractable mentioned as subsequent operations, or roughly mid-August when the Green phase line had been reached (we will fight continuously until we get it). Argentan was NOT within the Green phase line, it was part of the second phase and so is irrelevant.

There is plenty of evidence that the plan changed in mid-June, when Monty realised that the original plan couldn’t work, and he "evolved" it. No there is not eg David S Eisenhower (1986) "Critics would accuse him of covering up a failure to break out at Caen ... the evidence supports Montgomery's version of his intentions"; and you keep ignoring a key point discussed earlier - d'Este (2002) "The furor over Montgomery's alleged failure to carry out his intended strategy in Normandy has obscured a basic truth that warfare is not an exact science, and battles and campaigns rarely evolve as they are projected on paper" or more succinctly "But the Germans...".

IIRC the area identified as suitable for airfields was east of Caen. However to state the obvious, this area could not have been used until well into Phase 2 as otherwise they would have been far too close to the front lines. Aber~enwiki (talk) 07:45, 2 September 2017 (UTC)

Thank you for stating the obvious – namely that Phase 2 and Phase 1 were part of the same operation. However if you are intending to include mentions of phase 2 objectives in the US sector but exclude phase 2 objectives from the British sector, that would be non-neutral. We realise that neutrality is not your biggest concern, but don't you think you should at least pretend to try?

Oh dear. In my post at 18.47 1 September 2017 above I specifically said that the reference to Phase 2 objectives for US forces should be deleted. You are either not reading other posts properly, or trying to misrepresent my position.Aber~enwiki (talk) 06:24, 3 September 2017 (UTC)

You are again blatantly cherry-picking by using David S Eisenhower as your single authoritative source. As you know full well, many reliable sources have stated the opposite, including Powers, Axelrod, D'Este, Carafano, Weigley, Blumenson, Hastings and Hart, as well as the British Air Chief Marshall Tedder (Deputy Supreme Commander), General Walter Bedell Smith (Eisenhower's Chief of Staff), Sir James Grigg (British Secretary of State for War) and Brigadier Bill Williams, Montgomery’s own chief of intelligence. Dwight D. Eisenhower himself made it clear that he was initially expecting a British breakout, and that Monty changed the plan after the initial assault became bogged down. Monty himself admitted as much, and then he tried to defend himself by claiming Eisenhower failed to understand the original plan – despite Monty having himself announced those very objectives at his pre-invasion briefings. WP:NPOV requires that you present the significant views of ALL the reliable sources – not that you care about WP:NPOV.

Oh dear. I did not present David Eisenhower as a single authoritative source. I used him as an example (hence the eg in my post) of a relatively recent source, who has not been previously quoted in this thread, who is unlikely to be biased towards Montgomery, who explicitly rules out a plan for a British breakout to the East. There are other sources who say the same. The sources you list do not all say there was a plan for a British breakout within Phase 1, or even a change of plan. As to Eisenhower failing to understand the plan see his telegram to Marshall on 3 August describing the actions around Caen as defensive, while we have an article full of British offensive operations.Aber~enwiki (talk) 06:24, 3 September 2017 (UTC)

I am not at all ignoring D'Este's point that battles and campaigns rarely evolve as they are projected on paper – that is not what the controversy is about. The controversy – as you well know – is about the fact that when this particular battle failed to evolve as projected, Monty dishonestly claimed that the battle had indeed evolved as projected, but that everyone more senior than him had somehow misunderstood the plan. D'Este in Decision in Normandy, at Chapter 28 – The Normandy Myth (eBook 2017 - pg 642) writes "Why was Montgomery so insistent that the campaign had 'gone according to plan' when the evidence clearly suggests otherwise?" On pages 644-645 he quotes Hamilton (the author most supportive of Montgomery) mentioning Monty's "noxious insistence that his battles and campaigns were fought exactly according to plan – claims so obviously untrue that some historians and critical contemporaries were bound to see him as a boastful and profoundly suspect figure …". WP:NPOV requires that you take into account ALL the significant views, not just cherry-pick those that support your POV. If only WP:NPOV was a core policy …
Wdford (talk) 09:00, 2 September 2017 (UTC)
Yes you are. Keith-264 (talk) 09:26, 2 September 2017 (UTC)

Yet again we are being diverted away from the article, and in particular the German side which is almost non-existent. Would a good starting point be a German order of battle/ unit arrival dates?Aber~enwiki (talk) 06:24, 3 September 2017 (UTC)

it would be good to get a feel for the flow of Germany forces into/out of the area. And any effect on neighbouring areas. GraemeLeggett (talk) 07:25, 3 September 2017 (UTC)
Quite agreeKeith-264 (talk) 10:59, 3 September 2017 (UTC)
The [6] and [7] might help.Keith-264 (talk) 11:02, 3 September 2017 (UTC)
This one needs Dj vu to see.Keith-264 (talk) 12:03, 3 September 2017 (UTC)
@ Aber~enwiki: Yes you did "suggest" that the reference to Phase 2 objectives for US forces should be deleted, but you didn’t actually do anything about it, so the article is still non-neutral. Eisenhower originally understood the plan to include a British breakout in the east as well, because that is what Monty stated the objective to be at the April conference, and the May conference did not change that objective. When Monty realised he couldn't deliver in practice, he "evolved" the plan to make the breakout in the west instead, and the east ONLY THEN became purely a holding and distracting operation. I have listed many reliable sources which have variously stated that the original plan was for the British to break out in the east as well (all the way to Argentan-Alencon100km further inland), or that Monty changed the plan after D-Day when he realised he couldn't deliver, and some even stating openly that Monty subsequently lied about his original intentions. You know all of this already, of course, and your continued side-tracking is merely an on-going attempt at diversion. I stated from the beginning of this discussion all those months ago, that the article should mention that some historians support Monty's claims and that other historians contradict him. That is what WP:NPOV requires us to do. However you and your friends continue to defy WP:NPOV. Wdford (talk) 16:15, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
My view is quite clear; this article is about the Battle for Caen and all of it took place within the limits for Phase 1/Green line. Phase 2 was not assumed to start immediately afterwards, given the discussion of a pause for administrative purposes, and so it is not relevant for this article. One of the main reasons that there was confusion about 'a British breakout to the east' is that this was a core part of the COSSAC plan - eg see Hamilton (1983) p 493.Aber~enwiki (talk) 17:57, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
When we have finished developing the article, we can clean out the overlaps and duplications. For as long as the 2nd phase is included for some aspects of the operation, it must be included for all aspects equally. The main reason for the confusion about 'a British breakout to the east' was that Montgomery stated as much at the April Thunderclap planning conference, and again at the May final planning conference. Blaming the COSSAC plan was a subsequent misdirection. See all my sources as added to the article. Wdford (talk) 18:27, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
Re Hamilton, the author most supportive of Montgomery, see D'Este in Decision in Normandy, at Chapter 28 – The Normandy Myth (eBook 2017) at pages 644-645 - D'Este quotes Hamilton mentioning Monty's "noxious insistence that his battles and campaigns were fought exactly according to plan – claims so obviously untrue that some historians and critical contemporaries were bound to see him as a boastful and profoundly suspect figure …". Wdford (talk) 18:36, 4 September 2017 (UTC)

The Germans[edit]

General overview of Germans opposing the British/Canadians

6 June

711 Infantry, 716 Infantry, 352 Infantry (part), 21 Pz

30 June - map in Normandy to the Baltic

711 Infantry, 346 Infantry (crossed Seine on D-Day) (716 Infantry implied destroyed), 2 Pz (in combat D+6), 21 Pz, Pz Lehr (in combat D+2), 1 SS Pz (in combat D+22), 2 SS Pz (in combat D+22), 9 SS PZ (in combat D+23), 10 SS Pz (in combat D+23), 12 SS Pz (in combat D+1)

Dates from The Struggle for Europe, Normandy to the Baltic

[Only "armour" in the US sector 17 SS PzG]

25 July - map in The Struggle for Europe

7 Infantry divisions - additional arrivals include 16 GAF (D+27), 272(?), 276 (D+28), 277 (by D+40) ; 2 Pz, 21 Pz, 116 Pz (on July 20 moving from Amiens), 1 SS Pz, 9 SS Pz, 10 SS Pz, 12 SS Pz, 4 Tiger battalions

[Armour in US sector 17PzG, Pz Lehr, 2 SS Pz]

Later: 89 Infantry (D+61), 326 (by D+50), 344 (D+66)

I'll add more information to the list as I track it downAber~enwiki (talk) 08:42, 3 September 2017 (UTC)

German counterattack plans - all from The Struggle for Europe

D-Day - 21 Pz

D+1 - 21 Pz & 12 SS Pz (pg 296)

D+2 - 21 Pz, 12 SS Pz, Pz Lehr (pg 299)

D+3 - hold on defensive until Panzer Group West organises attack (pg 300)

D+4 - Panzer Group West HQ destroyed (pg 303)

D+6 - Adopt defensive posture and reform reserves for attack on US sector (pg 311)

D+14 - Major counteroffensive to be planned with 1 & 2 SS Pz Corps (pg 334); map (pg 321) shows 5 Pz divisions attacking NE from between Caumont and St Lo, on axis Balleroy - Bayeux

D+23 - Multi-division counterattack against Operation Epsom (pg 345)

D+24 - Counterattack suspended (pg 345)

Apart from D-day, all the counterattacks were pre-empted by British attacks, forcing the Germans to react rather than carry out their own plans.Aber~enwiki (talk) 10:49, 3 September 2017 (UTC)

[8] Library of congress situation maps. Keith-264 (talk) 11:22, 3 September 2017 (UTC)


I. Buckley, BAitNC (2006 ed) On Hargest, "Moreover, his criticism of 7th Armoured's lack of infantry–armour co-operation ignored the fact that they employed a mixed group as early as 11 June, having quickly identified the need for close-country infantry–armour co-operation in the Norman countryside. p. 71 [I bet you complain about what I haven't written....]Keith-264 (talk) 16:39, 31 August 2017 (UTC)

As usual, you completely avoid the point, and attempt to create a diversion instead. The point is about planning and tactics for Goodwood, as you well know. Still waiting.Wdford (talk) 16:59, 31 August 2017 (UTC)

Hook, line, sinker and copy of Angling Times. You did see the I. didn't you? Keith-264 (talk) 17:14, 31 August 2017 (UTC)

Not getting an AGF/collegiate editing vibe here either. Are you able to provide the evidence, or not? Wdford (talk) 17:27, 31 August 2017 (UTC)
RTFQ - The point being that much of the criticism of British tank-infantry co-operation comes from Brig Hargest, but his interpretations are now being challenged. It leads to the strange situation of the British being criticised for poor co-operation, while authors ignore the even worse Eastern Front tactics being used by the Germans. IIRC Hastings is a prime example of this.Aber~enwiki (talk) 17:55, 31 August 2017 (UTC)
This point was originally about how Buckley pointed out that the planners had erred on Goodwood, before the inevitable side-tracking began. Buckley again at pg 98: "Nonetheless, heavy criticism has been levelled at the poor nature of infantry-armour co-operation demonstrated by the British and Canadians in Normandy. It is not in doubt that errors were made, and some were particularly serious, such as the decision to charge armoured regiments with little infantry support at the Bourguebus Ridge on 18 July." There were lots of other criticisms about Goodwood in Buckley as well. Buckley does say that the views of Hargest were based on the early portion of the battle only, because Hargest was killed in July and so he missed the "later improvement", but Buckley does not say that the views of Hargest were inaccurate.
BTW authors do not ignore the flawed German tactics either. Buckley pg 212: "Senior German commanders, however, proved less willing to accept that a modification in tactics was required than their British counterparts and frontline German units began to disintegrate as a consequence." See? There is no conspiracy after all.
Wdford (talk) 17:15, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
Who wrote "As recently as 2013, Buckley was writing that 7th AD was using "inappropriate tactics"."? Keith-264 (talk) 18:23, 1 September 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I wrote this,

  • I. Buckley, BAitNC (2006 ed) On Hargest, "Moreover, his criticism of 7th Armoured's lack of infantry–armour co-operation ignored the fact that they employed a mixed group as early as 11 June, having quickly identified the need for close-country infantry–armour co-operation in the Norman countryside. p. 71 [I bet you complain about what I haven't written....] in response to

once again you blatantly contradict the reliable sources. Buckley clearly used the phrase "demonstrated an inadequate appreciation of the role and capabilities of armoured divisions". That is not really supporting what you are claiming, now is it? As recently as 2013, Buckley was writing that 7th AD was using "inappropriate tactics". Strictly speaking we should add this to the Analysis section, seeing as how you have seen fit to give Buckley his very own dedicated section, in place of that huge ream of apologetic that Parsecboy identified as being non-neutral. Once again, when a reliable source disagrees with you, you ignore them.

which provoked the usual. Here is

II. Buckley MM (2014 ed) "As Second Army enjoyed a superiority in Armour over the Germans of four to one, and with concern over infantry losses mounting, an armour-heavy operation appeared the most likely and strategically-appropriate use of resources." (p. 93)

as anyone can see, Buckley wrote a lot and changed his mind quite a bit. Curious that you overlooked this, I'm not getting an AGF/collegiate editing vibe here either. Are you able to accept the evidence, or not? Keith-264 (talk) 18:38, 1 September 2017 (UTC)

At pg 93 Buckley is describing how the situation appeared to Montgomery and Dempsey at the time, he is not stating that this was objectively a good idea. At pg 143 of the same book he is writing in his own voice that the 7th AD used inappropriate tactics. It is quite clear. I doubt Buckley changed his mind in the space of 50 pages, and forgot to revise his original perceptions (of which he wrote at length). Wdford (talk) 20:43, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
Cherry-picking, NUKeith-264 (talk) 21:13, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
No Keith-264, I am simply stating the facts as per the source. You tried to twist Buckley's comments to suit your POV yet again, but the wording in the text is clear. The only cherry-picking here, as usual, is from you. That approach is very NU, not to mention a clear breach of WP:NPOV. Wdford (talk) 08:03, 2 September 2017 (UTC)
No WD you are picking facts and quasi-facts from the air and scattering them all over the talk page. You have learned nothing and contributed nothing to the development of the article since you began editing it. NU, nnpov, coat, cherry, synth, or etc blah. Keith-264 (talk) 08:43, 2 September 2017 (UTC)
And as usual, when confronted by policies and reliable sources and obvious hard facts, Keith-264 ducks behind a smokescreen of distortion and evasion and insults. I did not pick facts from the air, I picked them from Buckley - whom Keith-264 treats as a reliable source when he cherry-picks some of Buckley's statements and twists them to suit his POV. It is abundantly clear from Buckley's books that Buckley believes that the planners of Operation Goodwood messed up. Wdford (talk) 09:05, 2 September 2017 (UTC)
NUKeith-264 (talk) 09:25, 2 September 2017 (UTC)

Request: wikibreak from the talkpage for all editors...[edit]

So, as we are all aware, there has been extensive discussion here on what should be and what should not be in the article. All of which appears to have distracted from article development. I propose that we all take a break from the talkpage for a short period, maybe until the end of the month, to allow concentration be applied to the article; then we can resume the debate?EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 15:35, 4 September 2017 (UTC)

I would personally be delighted to concentrate on article development. However that development would obviously have to be done in accordance with WP:NPOV. If that development would include correcting the current neutrality issues, as well as adding the significant views of all the reliable sources, then perfect. I presume that is what you have in mind? Wdford (talk) 16:19, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
I'll take that as a "no" then.Keith-264 (talk) 16:55, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
Why would you take that as a "no"? WP:AGF says you should assume EnigmaMcmxc is intending to develop the article in accordance with WP:NPOV. Just because you ignore WP:NPOV doesn't mean that all other editors are similarly inclined? Wdford (talk) 16:58, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
Now chaps. Lets see were development takes us. The battle section needs completing, as already indicated by others. In addition, there are numerous areas that everyone has highlighted needs room for improvement. Lets see where development takes us, then we can discuss from a new position.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 17:01, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
Tally ho!Keith-264 (talk) 17:04, 4 September 2017 (UTC)

As has been highlighted a major deficiency in the article has been the treatment of German plans - I've added some information about their order of battle and plans for specific attacks. Suggestions on how to integrate this into the article? Aber~enwiki (talk) 17:26, 4 September 2017 (UTC)

It would probably be most helpful to readers if you inserted each component as the German unit in question arrived at the battle-field. That would mean spreading the info through the various battle component sections. This would be particularly important for those many units that were not at the battlefield from the start, but which only arrived progressively. Wdford (talk) 18:58, 4 September 2017 (UTC)

It's not quite that simple. On reflection the key points on the German reaction that need to be included:

- Up to D+6 counterattack planned in British sector but the 3 Pz divisions available pulled into holding the line

- counterattack to be made against Carentan (need to check details), but 2 Pz used against Perch

- D+14 major counterattack planned with I and II SS Pz Corps when they arrive, but pre-empted by Epsom

These do not fit easily into the paragraphs about each Allied operation and need to be inserted as separate paragraphsAber~enwiki (talk) 06:11, 5 September 2017 (UTC)

If we are going to make extensive edits and change the format of the article such as notes->citations, then we need to discuss it first.Damwiki1 (talk) 20:37, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
My edits thus far are mainly copy-edits to improve the coherence of the existing material. Note that this section is a background overview of Overlord, not a description of the Battle for Caen itself, and it needs to be concise but still coherent. Under the circumstances, combining the notes with the citations is more coherent and more readable. However it is a work in progress, and I am open to suggestions to make it even better (but not worse). Wdford (talk) 21:33, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
Combining the notes with citations makes the article almost unreadable.Damwiki1 (talk) 21:52, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
Rubbish. It makes no difference to the appearance of the article compared to having separate notes, and it links the notes directly with the citations so making the information more coherently accessible. This gives the reader all the info at their fingertips, without overloading the article text with detail. Separating the citations from the notes would give twice as many links, for no appreciable improvement in readability. Please stop edit-warring. Wdford (talk) 22:04, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
I converted the citations to notes, as per your demands. As predicted, it makes absolutely no difference to the appearance of the article. Please edit constructively going forward - we have agreed to concentrate on building the article rather than bickering. Wdford (talk) 22:42, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
You have spammed the article with NNPOV, COAT, OR, UNDUE and everything else and this is vandalism. You have commented here outside WP:CIVIL and demonstrated that attempts to reach consensus with you are futile. This is such a sad state of affairs.Keith-264 (talk) 22:59, 4 September 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── well the idea was good but we seem to have gone about it the wrong way. If a edit is so large or unacceptable to another editor that they feel it necessary to revert wholesale, then please check you are not throwing put any babies with the bath water and see if you can retain any part of the edit that was useful. GraemeLeggett (talk) 05:50, 5 September 2017 (UTC)

I did, WD tried to return the narrative to the unacceptable version rejected by every other interested editor. This time he tried to do it by WP:UNDUE and once a tiny thread was removed, the rest unravelled. What a shame.Keith-264 (talk) 10:53, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
It was not meant as a reproach against anyone in particular. So it didn't start out well, we can still press on with the improvements to non-contentious things. Eg infobox suggestion below. GraemeLeggett (talk) 11:26, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
The so-called "unacceptable version" merely included a single sentence, supported by half a dozen reliable sources, which show that the original Overlord plan was to include a British breakout in the east. This fact is well attested, but it is a threat to Keith-264's POV, so it ignited a serious reaction. Once again the excuse used was to accuse me of vandalism. This is a serious accusation, and it contravenes WP:ASPERSIONS as well as WP:NPOV and all the other policies which apparently do not apply to Keith-264. Once again I ask Keith-264 to substantiate all his accusations. Maybe this time he will actually produce evidence? Wdford (talk) 11:37, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
NU WP:CIVILKeith-264 (talk) 15:08, 5 September 2017 (UTC)

Operational level of war[edit]

* Up to D+6 counter-offensive planned in British sector but the 3 Pz divisions available pulled into holding the line on 9 June

  • Counter-offensive to be made against Carentan (need to check details), but 2 Pz used against Perch
  • D+14 counter-offensive planned with I and II SS Pz Corps when they arrive, forestalled by Epsom (Perch II)

These do not fit easily into the paragraphs about each Allied operation and need to be inserted as separate paragraphs

Yes, yes, thrice yes. I'm still mulling it over but this approach links events to plans (with due reference to Ultra for making it viable) far better than the description of each battle, which I parachuted in ages ago for lack of anything better. Writing the Battle section more like this will make the campaign plan visible from the start and can show how operational and local plans made to reflect tactical realities were still part of the strategic concept. This is why the plan as laid down by Monty was in general terms and plans by lower levels of command were specific within the plan and included provision for failure (Smock, Wild Oats) as well as success. This will prevent the article being a remake of existing articles but it will make the campaign plan, operational and tactical plans explicit each time; this can only be based sources containing the information, which tend to be recent. It will make the history of the history section less important and more valuable at the same time by explaining why there's been so much argument over trivialities. Keith-264 (talk) 11:11, 5 September 2017 (UTC)

Most of the information was pulled from Wilmot, as he has both good maps (including a key map on the I & II Pz Corps attack) and a detailed index. Most of the more recent books have less detail and I've found v little on German plans - perhaps a Rommel biography would have more?Aber~enwiki (talk) 13:25, 5 September 2017 (UTC) Ellis might have some and Brooke can keep us up to date with Monty records. Have you found the map websites any use? The narod one is brilliant but you need DiJvu for it.Keith-264 (talk) 15:07, 5 September 2017 (UTC)

Infobox strength[edit]

While the infobox gives the strength in terms of divisions and brigades etc, thinking about it from a "average reader" viewpoint it's not really clear what that means. Prompts questions such as "is a panzer division the equivalent to an armoured division" (and I'm leaving aside the issue of understrength or depleted units here), "is a tank brigade better than an armoured brigade?" and so forth.

Can we - should we - add a rough number of troops and tanks (and artillery pieces) within the infobox to each side to give reader a better measure of how the two sides stacked up?

And on a related note, should (an element of) the Second TAF be included in the infobox. GraemeLeggett (talk) 11:24, 5 September 2017 (UTC)

Numbers vary so we either give the establishment figures for units which will be misleading after their first engagement or (if the data are available) a long list of numbers from 6 June reflecting losses and replacements, which isn't what the infobox is for. I think this is better catered for in the text, if the data we have is representative. Possibly there will be enough information for a note when a unit is first mentioned e.g. Panzer Lehr (efn had an establishment of x pz IV, x Panthers, x StuG III, x half-tracks) but we need Zetterling to track the effect of losses on operational states. it might be better to be general rather than specific and describe battalions, brigades/regiments and divisions; corps and armies for orders of magnitude. 2TAF yes but only if US and Luftwaffe are as well. Are these in other articles? Regards Keith-264 (talk) 12:26, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
Perhaps a separate section down near analysis could outline how much men and materiel were committed around Caen on both sides. We have casualties but difficult to put them in context without knowing the size of the army they came from.
If the strength of the 2TAF, and other close support aircraft committed was relevant to the battle, I'd say put it in - the 2TAF was there for that purpose while the use of "heavies" diverted from bombing the Reich or transportation further afield is more intermittent and specified directly in the text.

Note L - Citation Overkill[edit]

Note L current reads as "Controversy lingers over Montgomery’s intentions for the city of Caen.[144][10][145][146][147][148][149][150][151][152][153]" I don't think we need 11 cites to claim that. It's not disputed that there is controversey and if examples need listing - which is what I presume is intended - shouldn't they be bundled to appear as one cite like "38.^ see for example "Doherty 2004, pp. 103–108, 118–123 Stacey 1960, p. 142. " though I suspect not using the SFN template. GraemeLeggett (talk) 11:38, 5 September 2017 (UTC)

It's interesting that you say "It's not disputed that there is controversy". Ideally Note L should be a proper sentence visible to all readers, not a footnote drowned out in a sea of non-neutrality. Are you prepared to support WP:NPOV by making that fact visible to all readers? Wdford (talk) 11:42, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
I did note L to avoid giving undue weight to the contents but WD has used it as another Trojan Horse ever since. I'll have a go with a collective sfn citation.Keith-264 (talk) 12:03, 5 September 2017 (UTC)

 DoneKeith-264 (talk) 12:17, 5 September 2017 (UTC)

I can't quite see how one sentence in a sea of 5300 words of aftermath could be considered as UNDUE WEIGHT, so it looks a lot like more of the same POV pushing. I note another accusation of vandalism. You really don't care at all about wikipolicy, do you? Wdford (talk) 12:08, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
NUKeith-264 (talk) 12:17, 5 September 2017 (UTC)

Article is about a name or combat?[edit]

The article currently begins with "The Battle for Caen is the name for the fighting between...". Most WP articles are about subjects, only a few are actually about a phrase, term, or name. For example, we shouldn't start Blitzkrieg with "Blitzkrieg is the name given to armoured warfare in WW2...", because the great majority of the article is about blitzkrieg warfare, not how it got named.

Here, this article it's even less about a name, because we're using "Battle for Caen" as if were a proper noun, but it's not really. As Keith-264 pointed out: "it isn't the name of a battle, it's a portmanteau term for the article and the battles therein." So it's a name WP has created for a subject, which means there is nothing to say about the naming (there's no source).

Since the article is about a series of combat/battles, the 1st sentence should say that, not something else. (And perhaps we should not capitalize "Battle"?) Perhaps "This article covers the fighting between..." or similar?

Comments? --A D Monroe III (talk) 02:09, 6 September 2017 (UTC)

I tend to agree but I'll need to check the RS to see if there is a term to use, rather than treat this one as a coining. Regards Keith-264 (talk) 09:30, 6 September 2017 (UTC)


What on earth is all this about? By D+90, Eisenhower's armies were holding positions they had not been predicted to take until D+365. Any suggestion that the Battle of Normandy went badly for the Allies is ridiculous. The battle was just fought in a smaller area than expected, due to (miscalculated) German strategy, and the payoff was much bigger and more sudden than expected. The rest is unimportant. The article goes on longer than the average roll of wallpaper, in bizarre detail, about the opinions of minor historians who just don't matter. Khamba Tendal (talk) 19:08, 15 September 2017 (UTC)

I tend to agree with the above. The German Generals, who should know, knew that they were badly beaten and said so. The article should focus on painting the broad strokes of an annihilating Nazi defeat, that was only delayed by Hitler's suicidal no retreat policy, and leave the minutia to separate articles where in can be described in detail.Damwiki1 (talk) 23:13, 15 September 2017 (UTC)

Lineup mid-July[edit]

Second Army vs. Panzergruppe West
mid-July 1944
Second Army
II Cdn
49th ID 15th ID 2nd Cdn ID 3rd ID Gds
Armd D
50th ID 43rd ID 3rd
Cdn ID
Abn D
Armd D
59th ID 53rd ID 2nd Cdn
Armd Bde
51st ID 11th
Armd D
Armd Bde
Armd Bde
Armd Bde
Armd Bde
Tk Bde
Tk Bde
SAS bde
Pz Kp
Pz Kp
Pz Kp
276 ID 271 ID 272 ID 711 ID
Flak Kps
2 Pz D 10 SS
Pz D
Pz D
346th ID 7th, 8th
9th (part)
Werfer Bds
326 ID
277 ID 101 SS
Tiger Bn
16 LW FD 654th Bn
102 SS
Tiger Bn
12 SS
Pz D
21 Pz D
9 SS
Pz D
Tiger Bn

Keith-264 (talk) 09:12, 17 September 2017 (UTC)

The Canadian Official History has a nice map of the German position 24/25 July to illustrate this. [9] Aber~enwiki (talk) 17:27, 17 September 2017 (UTC)