Planning and Preparation

′... one more great campaign, aggressively conducted on a broad front, that will give the death blow to Hitler’s Germany’

General Eisenhower

THOUGH OFTEN DISMISSED by the likes of Patton, as ‘... more of a politician than a general’, Eisenhower maintained a focus on his aim; the elimination of the Ruhr as ‘the heart of continued German war fighting’. As originally intended, he planned that the main Anglo American effort was to be in the north under the command of the master of the deliberate attack; Montgomery. With what he was confident would be an assured crossing north of the Ruhr, Eisenhower justifiably believed that further south, the other US Armies would be able to ‘bounce the Rhine’. The Supreme Commander was in effect playing to the strengths and qualities of his Army Group and Army commanders and the soldiers under their command.

With the Allies having reached the Rhine, there was to be no single thrust across the great river but a series of attempts to cross the Rhine, on a broad front, before launching the final offensive from the resulting bridgeheads into the heart of Germany.

Planning for the crossing and final campaign began well before the New Year but during January and into February, the winter weather applied a significant brake on Allied preparation and the conduct of preliminary operations to clear the Germans west of the Rhine.

In Operation PLUNDER, with the Ninth US Army still under command of Montgomery’s 21st Army Group, a force of British, American and Canadians would carry out a deliberate assault crossing of the Rhine north of the Ruhr. Completing the envelopment of the Ruhr from the south would be First US Army who had already captured the bridge at Remagen and established a bridgehead.

While General Crerar’s First Canadian Army was fighting the Battle of the Rhineland, Montgomery tasked General Dempsey’s uncommitted Second Army HQ to prepare a deliberate crossing of the river with overwhelming numbers and overwhelming resources. By early February a planning study of the tasks involved in an assault crossing of the Rhine had been produced by the Army staff. This study was subdivided into the four major parts: ‘The assumptions on which the subsequent corps study was to be based on, intelligence, problems relating to the crossing, engineer tasks and maintenance (logistic) problems’. With this ground work established, the task of conducting a corps study and developing the assault method was allocated to XII Corps who had been relieved of operational tasks and moved to an approximately similar piece of terrain on the River Maas south of Maastricht.


General Harry Crerar talking to officers of the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada.

When XII Corps started work ‘no decision had then been taken as to whether the assault should be on a one or two corps front, but it was appreciated that if a second corps was required for the assault it could draw on XII Corps’ experiences and so formulate its plans more quickly’.


An essential prerequisite of any military planning process is to look at the topography. Considerable data was made available from a wide variety of sources, regarding the Rhine’s flood plain, the flood dykes, the approaches to the river banks, the average water level and sundry other detail necessary to prepare a plan. A short summary of this information is taken from the Second Army post operational report.

The Emmerich-Wesel area lies east of the Rhine Plain, which is a five to ten miles wide, flat and rather featureless area. Water meadows extend on both sides of the river and the land closely resembles the Dutch Polder areas. To prevent flooding, there are two types of dykes:

1. Summer dykes, which are low dykes constructed close to the river banks to retain any normal rise in water level.

2. Winter dykes, which are considerably larger and built at a greater distance from the river bank. Their purpose is to retain the abnormal flooding which sometimes occurs in the Lower Rhine plains during the winter and early spring.

During the winter 1944 – 1945 the water level of the river rose to abnormal heights. All the low-lying polders within the area enclosed by the winter dykes were flooded. In addition, large areas of low-lying ground outside the winter dykes were waterlogged owing to the exceptionally heavy rainfall.

There are numerous branches of the Alter Rhine [old courses of the river] in the area and there is a double water obstacle between Emmerich and Rees. The one commanding feature in the area lies to the north west of Wesel and is on the west side of the Emmerich – Wesel railway. Here the ground rises to a height of about 150 ft, is rather heavily wooded, and the area is known as the Diersfordterwald.

The river in this sector was on average 200 yards wide, with certain sectors being up to 300 yards. The current flowed at an average speed of three knots opposite Wesel. At its narrowest this stretch of the Rhine was twice the width of the point where Patton had successfully sneaked across on the night of 22/23 March 1945 and an altogether more challenging obstacle. While British and American engineers were able to examine the home bank and select entry points into the river, there was a degree of uncertainty about the state of the bank on the far side and its suitability for amphibious armour.

The Germans’ view across the Rhine in the area of Rees. Their view was obscured by a dyke on the opposite bank, preventing them observing activity.



An air reconnaissance photograph of the Rhine west of Rees, where one of the RE ferry sites was to be established once the infantry had secured the bridgehead.


As 21st Army Group was Eisenhower’s main effort, allocation of logistic resources, in contrast to the MARKET GARDEN campaign, was generous enough not only to be able to get across a heavily defended strategic barrier of the Rhine but to take the battle into the heart of Germany. Eisenhower, during the planning phase, envisaged that 21st Army Group would strike east ‘from the Lower Rhine north of the Ruhr and into the North German Plain’ because this route offered the most suitable terrain for mobile operations ... [and] ... the quickest means of denying the Germans the vital Ruhr industries’.

Material and stores of all natures flowed into the newly opened Number 10 Army Road Head, which was sited in the wrecked country of the former Operation VERITABLE battle area. Second Army’s report explained:

From the administrative point of view, the build up of the colossal tonnages of ammunition and engineer stores presented an even greater difficulty. The only access to the area between the rivers [Maas and Rhine] lay through First Canadian Army area and over the extremely poor road system about the Reichswald Forest. This system was already cracking under the strain of the constant stream of fighting and administrative units passing over it as First Canadian Army extended its operations south east.

In addition, Goch was a road centre vital to Second Army. Around it a large part of the administrative layout revolved, it was about this very point that the Germans had decided to hold.

A plan had been made to govern the priority of road development up to and forward of the R Maas ... based on the construction of [five] bridges from north to south as the Canadian advance progressed. This bridging task was given to Second Army.

The reality of living in the battle-wrecked country was explained by Brigadier Essame: ‘at the end of the second week of March the weather suddenly changed to spring.’

Leaving the 3rd and 52nd Lowland Divisions to hold the line of the Rhine the rest of the assault troops of 21st Army Group pulled back to the ground over which they fought in the mud and sleet of winter. There were mines and wire everywhere ... Not a single house had escaped utter ruin... dirty straw, broken ammunition boxes, empty tins, the garbage of two armies fouled the ground.

Into this area troops poured, not only to establish the logistic infrastructure but for training as well. Massive traffic circuits and dumps were laid out. The scale of the preparations is hard to grasp; 30,000 tons of engineer material was piled for miles along the road north from Goch, with an additional tonnage pre-loaded on 940 vehicles. 60,000 tons of ammunition, were stacked along ten miles of the north south road just east of the Maas and 28,000 tons of combat supplies were dumped around the ruined town of Kevlaer, its rubble being used to create areas of hard standing. All of this work required huge manpower resources. All available Pioneer Corps companies were involved in establishing the supply dumps, while twelve battalions of US Engineers were loaned to 21st Army Group to build bridges and maintain the crumbling country roads, whose builders had not intended them for sustained heavy military traffic. Including those training for the assault crossing, there were about 60,000 engineers involved in PLUNDER in a wide variety of capacities. To these should be added Dutch and Belgian civilians working to repair the infrastructure in their own countries.

The build up and preparation presented very real problems of camouflage and concealment that were considered by HQ Second Army to be ‘somewhat similar to those met in the UK before Operation Neptune’, except that German patrols were crossing the river looking for evidence of the dumping of bridging stores and other preparations on the home bank. Second Army reported that ‘The planners accepted that it was impossible to conceal from the enemy the fact that 21st Army Group intended to assault the Rhine north of the Ruhr, but great care was taken to ensure that the date and place of assault were not prejudiced’. This statement is at odds with the efforts made by the logistic planners and Royal Engineers’ camouflage companies to disguise the growing stacks of stores. Typically, they would be piled in linear dumps along roadsides not only for easy access but also so that to a recce aircraft, they would resemble hedgerows. Similarly dumps would be established in and around villages where they could be camouflaged as buildings. The historian of 94th Field Regiment RA recorded how ‘recce parties went forward individually towards the banks of the river to select their gun positions without attracting attention’ and how when they finally occupied these gun positions on 22 March:

Most strict orders had been issued that the guns, tractors, ammunition and everything must be completely invisible when daylight came, and daylight did reveal a masterpiece of camouflage.


Pioneers laying a log road in one of the forests that was to hide the thousands of men and vehicles that were to take part in Operation PLUNDER.

LVT crews ‘camming-up’ in a wood prior to PLUNDER.


This view was confirmed by an RAF recce sortie that was launched on D-1 to check for evidence that would lead German aircraft and photo interpreters to identify the location of the coming assault.

21st Army Group Plan

For Operation PLUNDER, 21st Army Group comprised three armies; Ninth US Army, Second British Army and First Canadian Army. The assaults by Second and Ninth Armies would be launched simultaneously.

The task of Ninth United States Army was, to mount an assault crossing of the Rhine in the area of Rheinberg and to secure a bridgehead from the junction of the Ruhr and Rhine rivers to Bottrop and Dorsten. Thereafter, General Simpson was to be prepared to advance to a general line inclusive of Hamm and Munster. Ninth US Army’s tasks also included the protection of the right flank of Second British Army and the vital bridging sites at Wesel.

Second British Army was to assault the Rhine in the area of Xanten and Rees and to establish a bridgehead between Rees and Wesel and subsequently advance on a three corps front north east towards the town of Rheine.

Initially the task of First Canadian Army was to assist in broadening the frontage of Second Army’s assault by carrying out feint attacks along the Rhine on their left flank, while holding securely the line of the rivers Rhine and Maas from Emmerich westwards to the sea. The Canadians were, however, represented in the assault phase by 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade. Made up of Canadian highland battalions, such as the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders were attached to 51st Highland Division, as its fourth brigade. Later First Canadian Army was to be prepared to advance into eastern Holland and to protect the left flank of Second Army. The story of the Ninth US Army and 17th US Airborne Division is contained in the Battleground title US Rhine Crossing by Andrew Rawson.


The Army Commander’s pennant from General Crerar’s Jeep.


Air Operations

With some difficulty the bomber barons were prevailed upon to coordinate their activities with those of the Army. The air forces would have rather continued to concentrate on the ‘Thunderclap Plan’, which was designed to deliver a sudden and catastrophic blow by bombing Berlin, Dresden, Chemnitz and Leipzig, with a view to bringing about Germany’s surrender. The support needed by the ground forces required the bomber commanders to carry out a comprehensive programme of interdiction sorties in support of PLUNDER; the ‘Ruhr Plan’. Ninth Tactical Air Force planned to isolate the area north of the Ruhr and prevent the movement of German reserves to the battlefield. As the three railway lines in the area had already been heavily bombed, it would, therefore, concentrate on sixteen significant bridges giving access to the battle area. However, as a part of their attempt to bomb Germany into submission, the air forces tripled the tonnage of bombs the Armies requested, with the result that the final advance across northern Germany was often slowed by the results of earlier bomber sorties.

Second British Army’s Plan

After much study the plan that was eventually arrived at, called for an assault on a frontage of two corps (XII and XXX Corps), with a planned D Day being the night of 23 / 24 March 1945. In outline, the plan made by General Dempsey, commander Second Army, was to assault with two corps:

RIGHT XII Corps, LEFT XXX Corps, each with one division up. VIII Corps was to hold securely the West bank of the R RHINE during the concentration period until the assault corps were ready to assume control of divisions holding the river line immediately before the assault.

XVIII US Airborne Corps was to be dropped east of the R RHINE after the river assaults had taken place. The principles for its employment were that it should drop within range of artillery sited on the West bank of the R RHINE and that the link up with the ground forces should take place on D Day.

To release Headquarters XVIII US Airborne Corps as soon as possible, Headquarters 8 Corps was to take over from that corps within seven days.

Second Army would then be correctly positioned to continue the advance into the North German plains with 8 Corps RIGHT, 12 Corps CENTRE and 30 Corps LEFT.

II Canadian Corps was to be passed through the LEFT of Second Army bridgehead and handed back to First Canadian Army when it was in a position to exercise command.

In the first phase of Second Army’s plan, the two assault divisions were to capture the low-lying ground east of the river up to approximately the line of the Wesel – Emmrich railway. XXX Corps would begin the attack on the left flank, astride Rees, at 2100 hours on 23 March, with 1 Commando Brigade crossing the Rhine to seize Wesel an hour later, while XII Corps would be led by 15th Scottish Division’s assault from the area of Xanten at 0200 hours. At the same time, XVI US Corps would launch their attack south of Wesel.

The second phase was to be the capture of the Issel bridges, with or without the assistance of XVIII US Airborne Corps (Operation VARSITY – scheduled for 1000 hours on 24 March), as they could easily be prevented from dropping by poor weather. By the time they launched the assault, Second Army were confident that they could, indeed capture the bridges unaided if necessary, albeit in slower time and with greater casualties.

In contrast with MARKET GARDEN where three airborne divisions had been dropped over several days up to sixty miles from the front line, XVII US Corps’s drop and landing zones were concentrated between just three and six miles from the Rhine, well within the range of Second Army’s medium guns. In addition, the airborne divisions, in Operation VARSITY, were not to be committed until a viable bridgehead across the Rhine had been formed by the US and British infantry Divisions (operations TURNSCREW, TORCHLIGHT and FLASHLIGHT). In short, the inadequacies and over ambitious planning assumptions of MARKET GARDEN were not to be repeated.

Landing in daylight, in a single wave, in over just three hours, the two divisions were to seize vital villages, the wooded Diersfordter feature and capture the crossings of the River Issel, necessary for a swift breakout from the Rhine Bridgehead.

The breakout on to the North German Plain would be Phase Three of the operation.

With the fighting on the west bank of the Rhine only having finally ended on 11 March there were less than two weeks to complete the planning, deployment and implementation of the largest and most complex amphibious and airborne operation since the Normandy landings. This was a tall order but after nine months of campaigning the British and Canadian formation staffs were up to the challenge.


Shoulder flash of XVIII US Airborne Corps.


G Wing of 79 Armoured Division developing assault techniques on the Maas River.


Having taken part in the first half of Operation VERITABLE, 15th Scottish Division was selected to lead the assault across the Rhine and on the 26th February they were withdrawn and placed under XII Corps on the River Maas for the purposes of developing techniques and for training. Grouped with the Corps was G Wing of 79th Armoured Division (‘Hobart’s Funnies’), who had in the meantime, been working on developing or adapting amphibious equipment and tactical doctrine for river crossings. With the following additions, General Hobart’s command became, at 21,430 men, easily the largest division in the British Army. In January, 33 Armoured Brigade joined leaving behind their Sherman tanks and retraining on the amphibious Buffalo or as it was officially known, the Landing Vehicle Tracked (LVT). The Staffordshire Yeomanry and 44 Royal Tank Regiment under HQ 4th Armoured Brigade joined the division to train with DD tanks. Lieutenant Colonel Hopkinson, Commanding Officer 44 RTR wrote:

Yes it was all too true, we the 44th Royal Tank Regiment had joined the Wavy Navy and were to sail our way across the Rhine in the same type of DD tanks with inflatable skirts as were used for the amphibious landings on D-Day. Then ensued a furious period of training – 10 days – from morning to night. Nautical terms were freely used!

A carpet-laying amphibious Buffalo or Landing Vehicle Tracked (LVT) practising for its role of improving the exits across the river mud.



The amphibious LVT climbing a river bank to land its cargo of troops ‘dry-shod’ some distance inland.

This training and preparation along with other innovations, including radio beacons and shaded lights for navigation on the river in darkness or smoke, carpet laying versions of the Buffalo to create exits over soft mud and RE heavy rafts, all helped ensure success.

When it became apparent that XXX Corps was also going to be carrying out an assault crossing 51st Highland Division were extracted from the battle and went through a similar package of training exercises based on the doctrine developed by XII Corps and 15th and 79th Divisions. Lieutenant Campbell of 5 Black Watch commented of one preparatory exercise:

We hadn’t seen the Buffaloes before and we hadn’t had much practice in the dark. In the fog, we got turned around and landed downstream on the same side we started from.

It is worth noting that thirty-six of the Royal Navy’s Landing Craft Vehicle (Personnel) (LCV(P)) and a similar number of Mark 3 Landing Craft Mechanised (LCM) were brought to the Rhine. Lieutenant Peter White of 4 KOSB recalled watching the build-up of forces: ‘...we were astonished to see even Royal Navy involved. Enormous transporters lumbered by, with sailors and marines and assorted craft aboard, some as big as 45 feet long and 14 feet broad which had been hauled overland through Holland and Belgium.’

Royal Navy landing craft on its way inland to the Rhine.


Known as Force U, under command of Captain James RN, the landing craft had been intended to carry troops and equipment across the Rhine early in the assault. So successful had XII Corps and 79th Division been in their work that, in the event, the craft were relegated to more mundane but none the less important tasks on the river, principally in support of the Royal Engineers.

Also training on the Maas was 1 Commando Brigade, still under former Guardsman, Brigadier Derek Mills-Roberts, who had taken over command when Lord Lovat had been wounded in Normandy. The Brigade commander believed in thorough training and would have his units repeat exercises until they were perfect, all the while with the incentive of time off for those who got it right more quickly. He was also determined to minimise casualties and took measures to ensure that his men would not suffer for the want of resources and that casualties would be promptly evacuated. Problems identified during training were resolved and mitigating measures built into his emerging plan.


Lieutenant Douglas Goddard of 112 Field Regiment RA, having fought throughout VERITABLE, recorded details of that other necessary pre-operational requirement; rest.

The nine days rest period since the end of Veritable, spent at Bergen, was occupied with catching up on baths, sorting out personal kit and battery equipment, absorbing and inducting reinforcements and of course training. It was also the opportunity to take in an ENSA concert or see a film or two.

While many of the combat troops were resting, training or briefing, the services were working to gather all possible resources to support the assault, which was to be the last great set piece battle of the war. Corporal Douglas Robinson, of 297 Company RASC, whose DUKWs had originally been a part of the beach group working on Juno Beach, and had been invaluable in coping with the Rhine Floods during VERITABLE was sent to help the effort.


Lieutenant Douglas Goddard.

On 18 March we came under the command of the Second British Army and moved to Bonninghardt, from where we were transporting 25-pounder shells and petrol from Nijmegen to the small village of Werrich ..., where all the stores were stockpiled along the hedgerows, together with the tanks and guns, in readiness for the Rhine crossing, our last load of four tons of ammunition was left on the DUKW.

Being one of the laden vehicles that was to cross the Rhine in the first two days, Corporal Robinson’s DUKW was issued packet serial numbers as a part of the traffic management plan. This plan incorporated a methodology of being able to change priorities and to call forward to the crossing point the supplies or troops needed most urgently at the front.

Lieutenant Peter White of 4 KOSB, who as part of 52nd (Lowland) Division, was in the area just west of the Rhine, recalled:

Interesting units and vehicles, including amphibious tanks and Buffaloes, bridging pontoons, hundreds of guns and mountains of ammunition, were piling into every available space. During daylight hours, more and more smoke generators and canisters tended by pioneers appeared over the countryside, pouring out coiling billows of bluish and yellow smoke screens to keep the enemy guessing on the date and place of the crossing.

The smoke, designed to screen the west bank from observation from the other side of the river had been started as First Canadian Army advanced south east from the Groesbeek Heights towards Wesel. With the dyke on the far bank being higher than on the home bank, the essential smoke screen was now maintained by four Pioneer Corps smoke companies to conceal the preparations. The companies were made up of no less than 1,350 men, who one old soldier described as ‘ineligible for any other arm of the service, with a sprinkling of intellectuals considered to be of no military value elsewhere’. They worked under a headquarters known as Smoke Control and expended during VERITABLE and PLUNDER 8,500 zinc chloride smoke generators and about 450,000 gallons of fog oil to maintain a screen up to sixty-six miles long. Their work was when combined with smoke from the fires in Wesel, extremely effective, however, the Dakota and glider pilots carrying the airborne divisions, perhaps found their work a little too effective.


Corporal Douglas Robinson.


Lieutenant Peter White.


Pioneer Corps soldiers maintain the screen on the banks of the Rhine with smoke generators.

Lieutenant White continued his account of the build-up west of the Rhine:

While taking a spin round the area, enjoying a ′liberated’ motorcycle, I was struck anew at the rapidly massing material for the river crossing.... Guns and materials speckled the landscape as thickly as it had once been sprinkled with cattle. The hedgerows were lined and the barns bursting with supplies and ammunition. Other shell dumps were camouflaged as false haystacks. Every house and farm was becoming packed with troops, among them those of the 51st Highland Division and our sister Battalion 1st KOSB. The woods were bristling with tanks, normal, amphibious with Duplex drive and other weird types for special purposes. Massed in other areas were Buffaloes and DUKW amphibious vehicles and fantastic quantities of bridging materials.

Variously known as ‘Movement Light’, ‘Artificial Moonlight’ or even ‘Monty’s Moonlight’ search light units were deployed into the assault area on a large scale, with the idea of reflecting light off a cloud base. Some nights prior to the assault they were used to ‘accustom the Germans to their presence’ and no doubt aid the deployment into forward assembly areas. The searchlight unit HQ generally referred to as ‘Moonlight Ops’ was tasked with adjusting the intensity of light from the River bank in accordance with requests from the commanders concerned.

If the location of the assault were to remain a secret one thing that had to be controlled was reconnaissance. Lieutenant General Horrocks, commander XXX Corps, explained:

Before an attack of this sort a large number of people must go forward and reconnoitre the position they are to occupy. This applies particularly to the Gunners, who have many mysterious rites of their own to perform before they can bring down accurate concentrations of fire. Nobody was allowed forward on to the flat Polderland stretching back from the banks of the Rhine without reporting to a special branch of XXX Corps H.Q., where a very large-scale map of the forward area was maintained. This was known as ′The Pig Hotel’. After examining the accommodation on the map which they had been allocated, the reconnaissance parties were allowed to go forward a few at a time to see their ′rooms’, which, if satisfactory, were then marked up on the plan as ′booked’.

Captain Goulden of 59 GHQ Troops Engineer Regiment was one of those who went forward to the river for a recce of the four sites where the Regiment’s squadrons were to ferry troops across the Rhine:

We decided to do a night recce on the 14th. I visited corps, division and battalions, and then went to see the company of infantry holding that particular sector of the Rhine. The CRE [Commander Royal Engineers] and I went down to the forward company and as dusk was falling we met the Company commander. As soon as it was dark enough he took us down to the forward position at the bank on the river bank where the old Rees ferry used to operate and we were introduced to the infantry patrol which was to accompany us. There was a slight mist at the time and there were vague rumours of enemy patrols on our side of the river. The whole situation was rather eerie ... and the farms were quite deserted.

After some time, we set out with the infantry patrol down to the water’s edge where in a low mist on the water and half moonlight, as far as possible we avoided the crunchy patches of gravel. The patrol moved along about half way up the foreshore and the CRE and I worked along the edge of the water. We waded out testing the slopes of the banks on our chosen beaches and feeling the firmness of the mud. We had nearly finished the stretch of beach which we had been allotted when we were told by the infantry commander that he would rather not go any further as he was coming into the next company area. He was not sure of the stability of the nerves of his neighbours, though they had been informed that we would be out that night. So we then turned and worked our way back to the house at the ferry. After a few cheery words we were conducted back to company headquarters, to battalion and to our car.


Lieutenant General Horrocks wearing the

‘Old Pig’ of XXX Corps.

General Horrocks highlighted the fact that not everyone was as careful in the conduct of their recce as they should have been:

I was particularly angry one day to hear that a certain Major General, who was much too brave to take the normal precautions, had walked along the near bank of the Rhine, wearing his red hat. He subsequently left our area, with a monumental flea in his ear.

To facilitate commanders’ daylight recces, the smoke screen was briefly allowed to disperse but on one occasion the wind changed and the commanders peering from camouflaged Observation posts built into the dykes only got a ‘watery eye squint’.


Perhaps potentially the most obvious preparations were those being made by the Royal Artillery. 1,300 British and 600 US field, medium and heavy guns, their numerous vehicles and stockpiles of ammunition were difficult to conceal. So large was the number of guns to move and so few the routes available for them, it was not possible to bring the batteries forward in one move but they had to be brought up over the nights between 21 and 23 March using staging areas about six miles from the river. By the morning of 23 March, the majority of the guns were in their pre-recced forward positions. However, Captain Whately-Smith wrote: ‘As one looked around it was hard to believe that these fields and orchards concealed a mass of artillery waiting in silence for the evening zero hour’.

While Second Army’s preparations for the amphibious assault across the Rhine were underway, XVIII US Airborne Corps, who were to come under command of the British Second Army, were similarly making ready at their bases in the UK and France.

All that could be done, had been done. The staff had prepared meticulously for this massively complicated operation; material was stockpiled, the soldiers were ready. The scene was set for another typical Montgomery set piece battle and victory, just as Eisenhower had intended.

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