The Advance into Germany B they end of 1944 the strong German attack commanded by Von Rundstedt in the Ardennes had been halted. While the salient which it formed was being reduced and German pockets in the neighbourhood of Roermond and at Kapelscheveer near Breda were being destroyed planning went on steadily for the invasion of Germany. By the end of January the Ardennes salient was moreno than a bulge and in Holland there were no German troops left west and south of the Maas. The triangle between the river Maas and the Roer north of Duren had also been cleared. The object of the Batde of the Rhineland was to master the region between the Maas and the Rhine from Diisseldorf to Nijmegen and then to establish a bridgehead north of the Ruhr. The Ninth United States Army was to be under Field Marshal Mont gomerys command and was to operate on the right of his front given success it would presendy form aline on the Rhine between Diisseldorf and Wesel. The First Canadian Army on the left of the front was to strike south-eastwards from the neighbourhood of Nijmegen as far as the general line Geldern-Xanten. The British Second Army was to hold a firm front on the Maas between the other two armies, and to assist the Canadian advance at every opportunity its staff also had to prepare plans and orders for the crossing of the Rhine. The First Canadian Army under General H. G.D. Crerar comprised ten divisions, of which six were United Kingdom formations. Its total strength was close on half a million men. The first phase of the attack was to be carried through by the 30th CorpSj under Lieutenant-General B. G. Horrocks who had under him for the purpose seven divisions plus three armoured brigades special assault units and additional artillery. The 2nd and 3rd Canadian Divisions were incorporated in this force. The task of the 30th Corps was to clear the Reichswald Forest through which ran the northern part of the main defences of the Siegfried Line and make good aline from Gennep south of the Forest to Cleve. After this first phase the Canadian 2nd Corps under General G. G. Simonds was to income on die north end of the battle and operations on a two-corps front were to continue up to aline running through Weeze, Udem and Calcar up to the Rhine opposite Emmerich. The third phase of the scheme called upon the two corps to overcome the strong German defensive inline the iii
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