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Forgotten Victory: First Canadian Army and the Cruel Winter of 1944!45

Category: Book
By (author): Zuehlke, Mark
Subject:  HISTORY / Canada / General
  HISTORY / Military / Canada
  HISTORY / Military / World War II
  NON-FICTION / Canadian
Awards: Pierre Berton Award (2014) Winner
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre (2013) Ltd.
Published: October 2014
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 416
Size: 9.25in x 6.00in x 1.00in
Our Price:
$ 37.95
Available to order

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*

Winner of the 2014 Pierre Berton Award!

During the winter of 1944-45, the western Allies desperately sought a strategy that would lead to Germany's quick defeat. From the Swiss border to the North Sea, hundreds of thousands of soldiers in trenches and dugouts suffered through the bitterest European winter in fifty years, while their generals debated and schemed in the war rooms. In this grim environment, the troops of First Canadian Army engaged in deadly patrols behind the German lines and fought short, sharp, often costly skirmishes to gain control of small patches of contested ground.

After much rancorous debate, the Allied high command decided that First Canadian Army would launch the pivotal offensive to win the war -- an attack against the Rhineland, an area of Germany on the west bank of the Rhine. Winning this land would give them a launching point for crossing the river and driving into Germany's heartland. This was considered the road to victory.

Before the Allies could strike, however, Hitler launched a massive December offensive towards Antwerp, which erupted into the Battle of the Bulge. By the time the Germans were driven back to their start lines, the first thaws had begun. Previously frozen ground, ideal for mobile warfare, had turned to quagmire. Anticipating the Allied attack, the Germans broke dams and dykes to inundate great swaths of the Rhine's floodplain. Thousands of troops were deployed behind heavily fortified defensive lines and inside the cover of dense forests, such as the sprawling Reichswald.

On February 8, 1945, First Canadian Army launched Operation Veritable. Advancing on the heels of the greatest artillery bombardment yet fired by the western Allies, thousands of Canadian and British troops advanced into an inferno of battle. Under orders to surrender not an inch of German soil, elite paratroop divisions resisted fanatically. With tanks miring in the endless seas of mud, infantrymen were forced to fight relentlessly, alone and often at close quarters, for thirty-eight gruelling and costly days.

For the Canadians who fought there, the names of battlegrounds such as Moyland Wood and the Hochwald Gap would forever call up memories of uncommon heroism, endurance and tragic sacrifice. Their story is one largely lost to the common national history of World War II. Forgotten Victory gives this important legacy back to Canadians.

Review Quote*"Award-winning military historian and novelist Mark Zuehlke has focused his career on remembering the Canadian men and women and the tremendous efforts undertaken in the Second World War...In his latest, Zuehlke shares the extraordinary accomplishments of these troops and brings alive the heroic Canadian contributions that helped bring the conflict to an end...Zuehlke's mastery at blending first-person accounts with meticulous military research brings these stories to life. He effortlessly combines the source materials, helping bring the reader into the heart of the action...Zuehlke's respect and admiration for the soldiers resonates as he details the sacrifices that led to victory and the war's end less than two months later. His powerful combination of fact and emotion in Forgotten Victory will help Canadians better understand and remember the dedication of the young men and women who served."
Review Quote*"With his best-selling Canadian Battle Series, now boasting a dozen titles, Zuehlke is now widely regarded as one of Canada's pre-eminent World War II historians."