Simonds file photo

Guy Simonds

Born23 Apr 1903
Died15 May 1974
CountryCanada
CategoryGround
GenderMale

Contributor: C. Peter Chen

Guy Granville Simonds was born in Bury St Edmunds, England. He was the son of a British officer who brought his family to Canada. Simonds attended Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario between 1921 and 1925, and joined the Canadian Permanent Force in 1926 as an artillery specialist. After some time studying in Britain, his understanding in modern mobile warfare brought him to join the staff of his alma mater Royal Military College, and published in the Canadian Defence Quarterly. As Britain became involved in WW2, he was transferred to Britain with the Canadian 1st Infantry Division in Dec 1939. He spent some time training officers at the Canadian Junior War Staff Course.

Simonds' first combat commission was during the Allied operations at Sicily commanding the 1st Infantry Division, participating in battles at Nissoria, Agira, and Regalbuto. He was then appointed as the commander of the 5th Canadian Armored Division for his brilliance commanding both infantry and tanks at Sicily. In Jan 1944, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general and was placed in charge of Canadian troops of the II Canadian Corps for the campaign in Normandy. The II Canadian Corps reached Normandy in Jul 1944, participating in various actions in the Normandy region. During the actions in Normandy, Simonds invented the "Kangaroo", a troop carrier made from carrier made for self-propelled guns. In Sep 1944, Simonds took over the 1st Canadian Army due to General H.D.G. Crerar's illness. In this role, his Canadian soldiers bravely fought a bitter campaign to clear stubborn German defenses at the Scheldt Estuary. With the mouth of the Scheldt cleared, Antwerp became a usable port capable of bringing large amounts of supplies for the Allied war effort. Montgomery called Simonds "only general fit to hold high command in war".

After WW2, Simonds joined the staff of the Imperial Defence College at Britain, then returned to the Royal Military College of Ontario in 1949 as its commander. Between 1951 and 1955, he served as the Chief of the General Staff of the Canadian Army.

Simonds passed away in Toronto in 1974.

Source: Juno Beach Centre.

Guy Simonds Timeline

23 Apr 1903 Guy Simonds was born.
15 May 1974 Guy Simonds passed away.

Photographs

Lt General Guy Granville Simonds, Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, and General Henry Crerar at Allied Headquarters, Feb 1945.Montgomery visiting Canadian troops in the Kleve-Goch sector, Germany, 26 Feb 1945; left to right: Vokes, Crerar, Montgomery, Horrocks, Simonds, Spry, MathewsLieutenant General Guy Simonds inspecting II Canadian Corps in Meppen, Germany, 31 May 1945




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Visitor Submitted Comments

  1. TIM says:
    18 Nov 2011 12:58:29 PM

    LTG Guy Simonds was brilliant in every way even though his personality was cold. He was a favorite w/FM Montgomery and if Monty had his way Simonds would have been the GOCinC, 1 Canadian Army instead of GEN.Harry Crerar.
    Simonds had a personal axe to grind with GEN.Crerar due to the latter's wanting him to see a psych doctor when in Sicily and Italy. GEN.Crerar also nominated LTG Charles Foulkes to become the Chief of the General Staff,Canada instead of Simonds. These personal jealousies/axes to grind caused a lot of animosity which caused a number of problems.
    LTG Simonds eventually did become Chief of the General Staff in 1951-1955 but his relations with many of his peers failed.

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More on Guy Simonds
Event(s) Participated:
» Normandy Campaign, Phase 2
» Battle of the Scheldt Estuary


Guy Simonds Photo Gallery
Lt General Guy Granville Simonds, Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, and General Henry Crerar at Allied Headquarters, Feb 1945.
See all 3 photographs of Guy Simonds



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