The battle of Falaise Gap in Lower Normandy was the second decisive factor after the battles of the beaches to ensure Allied victory in France during WWII. The battle was monumentally mishandled, it seems. And yet the failure of the Allies to close the Falaise Gap earlier than they did, thus allowing many German troops and commanders to escape, cannot be laid to any one Allied commander. If the British, American and Canadian armies had fulfilled their original intention of totally enclosing and capturing all of the defending German forces at the Gap, the war would have been shortened by months and there would have been fewer German troops on stage at the later battle of Ardennes. However, General Bradley changed plans without consulting British commander Montgomery, and Montgomery and the Canadians themselves shilly-shallied in their attack. What Bradley did was redirect several divisions toward the Seine in pursuit of a large German army which Bradley was decimating and which function he construed as the first objective of any commander: to destroy the opponent's forces. However, in doing this he left many unseasoned troops to effect the taking of the Gap. Historian Florentin points no accusing finger and explains that the battle's success speeded up Western Europe's liberation but prolonged the war. Real engineer of the debacle was Hitler, who ordered his troops to stand still rather than retreat or attack--a style of warfare that went out with Custer...Reports from footsoldiers, but mostly top echelon strategy for specialists.