On To Victory: The Canadian Liberation of the Netherlands, March 23 May 5, 1945
Written by Mark Zuehlke.
Published by Douglas & McIntyre Ltd., 2010.
|On To Victory relates the little-told story of the tense
final days of World War II, remembered in the Netherlands as "the sweetest of
springs," which saw the country's liberation from German occupation.
The Liberation Campaign, a series of fierce, desperate battles during the last three months of the war, was bittersweet. A nation's freedom was won and the war concluded, but these final hostilities cost Canada 6,298 casualties, including 1,482 dead.
These numbers could have been far higher had it not been for one of the war's most highly guarded secretsa clandestine agreement with German command in the Netherlands to allow the Allies to deliver food to the people in western Holland in exchange for a ceasefire in that area. Food supplies were virtually exhausted, and the Germans had threatened to open the dykes and flood the entire region if they were attacked. Only skillful negotiation with these German leaders prevented a catastrophe.
But on other fronts, the Canadians continued the grim fight to liberate the rest of Holland and drive into northern Germany as part of the Allied push to end the war.
With his trademark "you are there" style that draws upon official records, veteran memories, and a keen understanding of the combat experience, Mark Zuehlke brings to life this concluding chapter in the story of Canada in World War II. In combination with his Terrible Victory volume, Zuehlke's On To Victory presents the most comprehensive English-language account of Holland's liberation from German occupation.
Also from Mark Zuehlke:
Brave Battalion: The Remarkable Saga of the 16th Battalion (Canadian Scottish) in the First World War
Canadian Military Atlas: Four Centuries of Conflict from New France to Kosovo
Holding Juno: Canada's Heroic Defence of the D-Day Beaches, June 712, 1944
Operation Husky: The Canadian Invasion of Sicily, July 10 August 7, 1943
Terrible Victory: First Canadian Army and the Scheldt Estuary Campaign, September 13 November 6, 1944
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This page last modified: August 17, 2010
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