Operation Baritone (ii)

'Baritone' (ii) was a British unrealised plan for a raid by elements of Major General H. D. G. Crerar’s Canadian 2nd Division, then under the temporary command of Major General J. H. Roberts, on a target close to Boulogne on the north coast of German-occupied France (winter 1941/42).

During the autumn and winter of 1941/42 it was planned that Lieutenant General A. G. L. McNaughton’s Canadian II Corps should develop and undertake minor operations against German positions on the French coast, but these plans did not reach fruition despite the fact that Lieutenant General B. L. Montgomery’s South-Eastern Command had issued instructions for the training for and execution of such raids on 23 October 1941. The proposal was based on the use of the small Sussex port of Newhaven as the base for the raids by the Canadian troops if the necessary naval facilities could be made available there.

Initial plans for two minor operations, codenamed 'Baritone' (ii) and 'Crupper', had been drafted for execution by British troops, and these were taken over with a view to their execution by Canadian forces. On 29 November 1941 Montgomery informed Major General G. R. Pearkes, then in acting command of the Canadian II Corps, that it was proposed that the Canadian II Corps should alternate each month with the British troops of Montgomery’s own British XII Corps in effecting this programme of raids, and Pearkes then told Brigadier G. G. Simonds, the brigadier general staff of Pearkes’s own Canadian 1st Division, that the first raids would be undertaken by the Canadian 2nd Division until February 1942, after which the Canadian 1st Division would be used.

Nothing concrete came of any of these projects. It was proposed that 'Baritone' (ii) and 'Crupper' be carried out between 21 and 25 December 1941 by the Canadian 2nd Division, but this project was abandoned for lack of the landing craft which would have been needed. The was then proposed that the two operations should be carried out on between 16 and 20 January 1942, but yet again the required assault landing craft were not available. The same occurred when the operations were again proposed for implementation between 14 and 19 February 1942.