Operation Valediction

This was the Allied initial but unrealised plan, subsequently redefined as ‘Veritable’, for an advance to the Rhine river (late 1944).

This operation was schemed within the overall strategic concept for Lieutenant General Omar N. Bradley’s US 12th Army Group and Field Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery’s Allied 21st Army Group enunciated by General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Allied supreme commander in Europe, at an inter-Allied military conference held at Brussels on 18 October 1944. Eisenhower’s plan was based on the primary requirement for the destruction of the German forces to the west of the Rhine river, followed by broad-front crossings of this river in preparation for a mobile exploitation to the east with early emphasis on the crushing of the defences of the Ruhr industrial region and a further development into the North German plain.

The part allocated to the 21st Army Group was at first in the area lying to the north of the Ruhr, and within this sector Montgomery allocated the thrust between the Maas and Rhine rivers from Nijmegen to Lieutenant General H. D. G. Crerar’s Canadian 1st Army as ‘Valediction’. The US centre of gravity was later shifted farther to the south by the commitment of Lieutenant General Courtney H. Hodges’s 1st Army and Lieutenant General George S. Patton’s 3rd Army of the 12th Army Group to the elimination of the German ‘Wacht am Rhein’ offensive in the Ardennes, and the Ruhr became a 21st Army Group responsibility, resulting in the recasting of ‘Valediction’ as ‘Veritable’.