The perception of the operational effectiveness of armour in shaping the 1944 Normandy campaign is one of disappointment and failure. In the 1950s, Basil Liddell Hart recorded his belief that British armour had ‘done badly’ in Normandy, while John English, in his critique of 1st Canadian Army, and most recently Russell Hart in Clash of Arms have variously claimed that Allied armour performed disappointingly or added little to the Allied effort.1

In comparison with artillery and air power, armour is considered not to have lived up to expectations, and that as a consequence, particular operational difficulties ensued. It is further contended that much of 21st Army Group’s inability to exploit advantageous situations was related to the ineffectiveness of British and Canadian armoured forces, particularly the armoured divisions.2