Operation Step

'Step' was a Canadian training exercise in the UK concerned largely with operations involved in a break-out from a beach-head or bridgehead (1/9 April 1944).

Major General C. Foulkes’s 2nd Division carried out 'Step' as a full-scale exercise to practise commanders and staffs in handling troops during a break-out operation, the advance of a division on a single axis, the crossing of a river and an assault using live ammunition. One field regiment and two medium regiments of artillery were in support, and significant elements of Major General H. W. Foster’s 4th Armoured Division were also involved. General training was also undertaken, including a cross-country route march of 25 miles (40 km) by each unit, joint infantry/tank training by the infantry and armoured units, street fighting by the infantry units in Eastbourne and, on 18 May, an exercise at Alfriston Artillery Ranges in which the divisional artillery and a regiment of the 2nd Division fired a barrage over the heads of the battalions of Brigadier J. C. Jefferson’s 10th Brigade.