|Born||23 Apr 1903|
|Died||15 May 1974|
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.|
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James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945