Operation Mitten

This was the British elimination of a small north-facing German salient in the area of Château de la Londe and Château de la Landel in northern France some 6 miles (10 km) to the north of Caen and so open the way for two brigades of Major General L. O. Lyne’s 59th Division to pass through and take other villages (27/28 June 1944).

The task of clearing this area, comprising a few farms and the two large 18th century manor houses (chateaux), was entrusted to Brigadier E. E. E. Cass’s 8th Brigade of Major General L. G. Whistler’s 3rd Division, a formation of Lieutenant General J. T. Crocker’s I Corps within Lieutenant General Sir Miles Dempsey’s 2nd Army.

The initial evening assault, by the 1/South Lancashire, was repulsed, but during the morning of the following day larger attacks by all three of the brigade’s battalions (1/Suffolk, 2/East Yorkshire and 1/South Lancashire), with significant armour and artillery support, reached and took the intended objectives and in the process destroyed several German tanks. 'Mitten' cost at least three British tanks and, had it succeeded more quickly, Brigadier A. D. G. Orr’s 9th Brigade, supported by Brigadier D. G. Cunningham’s Canadian 9th Brigade detached from Major General R. F. L. Keller’s Canadian 3rd Division, would have launched 'Aberlour' to take the villages of La Bijude, Epron, Galmache, St Contest, Authie and Cussy, but this follow-up operation was cancelled by Crocker.