Guy Simonds

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Lieutenant-General Guy Simonds inspects his troops in Meppen , Germany on May 31, 1945

Guy Granville Simonds CC , CB , CBE , DSO , CD , (born April 23, 1903 in Bury St. Edmunds , England , † May 15, 1974 in Toronto , Canada ) was a Canadian officer and general during and after World War II .

Simonds was born in Bury St. Edmunds and later immigrated to Canada with his family.

During the Second World War he commanded the 2nd Canadian Corps . He later commanded the 1st Canadian Army , with which he also fought in the 1944 Battle of the Scheldt Estuary. In 1945 he was involved in the conquest of the Lower Rhine (including Operation Blockbuster in the Uedemer Hochwald ).

On the western front

Guy Simonds about 1943

In January 1944 - he was 41 years old - he was appointed General Officer Commanding of the Second Canadian Corps. He was then considered the youngest of the British Empire . His corps took part in the Normandy landing in June 1944 and then fought its way through France. Simonds made numerous personnel changes: Chief Engineer, Chief Medical Officer and Commander Corps Royal Artillery (CCRA) were dismissed, and FF Worthington , commander of the 4th Canadian (Armored) Division , was relieved. He brought talented officers like George Kitching, Bruce Matthews and Geoffrey Walsh from Italy to the II Corps.

After the 2nd Corps was activated, Simonds carried out four major attacks in five weeks as part of the great Battle of Caen :

Totalize (starting August 7th), which included a night raid, required numerous navigational aids and heavy bomber support. Simonds had learned from Operation Spring and developed the armored vehicle "Kangaroo", an early armored troop transport from repurposed 'M7 Priest'.

Tractable (August 14th) used a smoke shield to try to protect the tanks from German anti-tank weapons.

In September 1944 Simonds temporarily took over command of the 'First Canadian Army' from General Henry Crerar , who had to recover from a 'bout of dysentery' (diarrhea attack?), And led the difficult battle of the Scheldt estuary . After this battle was won, the Allies were able to use the port of Antwerp as a supply port for the Allied offensive.

Military career after the war

Simonds was "undoubtedly deeply hurt" when he was passed over at the end of the war and Charles Foulkes was appointed Chief of the General Staff in his place in August 1945 .

From 1946 to 1949 he was Chief Instructor at the Royal College of Defense Studies in London, a very renowned institution. In 1949 he returned to Canada to take over the post of Commandant of the Royal Military College of Canada.

In 1951 he was named Chief of General Staff of Canada .


After retiring, he worked for the Halifax Insurance Company and Don Valley Brick Works. He was active in the Royal Life Saving Society of Canada, the Gurkha Appeal, the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires and was Chairman of the National Ballet of Canada.

He criticized the government for seeking closer ties with the United States and recommended strong conventional troops instead of relying on nuclear bombs or basing his defense strategy on them. He foresaw the increasing importance of missiles:

On October 29, 1971, he was named Companion des Order of Canada .

He died of lung cancer on May 15, 1974 in Toronto.

A street in Antwerp is named after him, the "Generaal Simondslaan".


  • Dominick Graham: The Price of Command: A Biography of General Guy Simonds. Stoddart, May 1994, ISBN 0-7737-2692-6 .
  • Mark Zuehlke: Breakout from Juno: First Canadian Army and the Normandy Campaign, July 4 - August 21, 1944. 2011/2012 , p. 117.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b c d e Lieutenant-General Guy G. Simonds . In: Juno Beach Center . Retrieved February 13, 2005.
  2. a b Granatstein, 2005, p. 163.
  3. Dancocks, S. 221st
  4. John Keegan: Six Armies in Normandy. The Viking Press, New York 1982, ISBN 0-670-64736-5 , p. 253.
  5. CP Stacey as quoted in Dancocks, S. 207th
  6. Stephen Harris: The Canadian Encyclopedia. McClelland & Stewart, Toronto 2000, ISBN 0-7710-2099-6 , p. 2167.
  7. Graham, pp. 275-276.
  8. ^ Harris, 2000, p. 216.
  9. Archive link ( Memento of the original from October 15, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Integration and Unification of the Canadian Forces. CFB Esquimalt Naval & Military Museum. Retrieved October 31, 2011.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /