Operation Tractable was the final Canadian–Polish offensive to take
place during the Battle of Normandy. Its aim was to capture the
strategically important town of Falaise and subsequently the towns of
Trun and Chambois. The operation was undertaken by the First Canadian
Army against Germany's Army Group B, and was part of the largest
encirclement on the Western Front during World War II. Despite a slow
start to the offensive that was marked by limited gains north of
Falaise, innovative tactics by Stanisław Maczek's Polish 1st Armoured
Division during the drive for Chambois allowed for the Falaise gap to
be partially closed by August 19, 1944, trapping around 150,000 German
soldiers in the Falaise Pocket. Although the Falaise Gap had been
narrowed to a distance of several hundred yards, a protracted series of
fierce engagements between two battlegroups of the Polish 1st Armoured
Division and the 2nd SS Panzer Corps on Mont Ormel prevented the gap
from being completely closed, allowing thousands of German troops to
escape out of Normandy. During two days of nearly continuous fighting,
Polish forces utilized artillery barrages and close-quarter fighting
managed to hold off counterattacks by elements of seven German
divisions. On August 21, 1944, elements of the First Canadian Army
relieved Polish survivors of the battle, and were able to finally close
the Falaise Pocket, leading to the capture of the remaining elements of
the German Seventh Army.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Justinian the Great deposed Eutychius, Patriarch of Constantinople,
after he refused the Byzantine Emperor's order to adopt the tenets of
the Aphthartodocetae, a sect of Monophysites.
Anglo-Zulu War: In the greatest British military defeat at the hands of
native forces in history, Zulu forces of King Cetshwayo fought to a
decisive victory at the Battle of Isandlwana.
The Ukrainian People's Republic and the West Ukrainian National
Republic signed the Act Zluky in Kiev, an agreement aimed at creating a
unified Ukrainian state, although both governments retained their own
separate armies, administrations and government structure.
Iran Crisis: The Republic of Mahabad declared its independence, seeking
autonomy for the Kurds within Iran.
The U.S. Supreme Court delivered its decision in the landmark case Roe
v. Wade, striking down laws restricting abortion during the first six
to seven months of pregnancy.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
Lacking sense or meaning (often implying, "to the point of boredom or
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Honor is, or should be, the place of virtue and as in nature, things
move violently to their place, and calmly in their place, so virtue in
ambition is violent, in authority settled and calm. All rising to great
place is by a winding stair; and if there be factions, it is good to
side a man's self, whilst he is in the rising, and to balance himself
when he is placed.
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