cover image Forgotten Victory: First Canadian Army and the Cruel Winter of 1944–45

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

Mark Zuehlke. Douglas & McIntyre (PGW, U.S. dist.; UTP, Canadian dist.), $37.95 (528p) ISBN 978-1-77162-041-3

Canadian WWII vets who fought in the Rhineland receive acknowledgement from historian Zuehlke (Tragedy at Dieppe) in the 11th volume of his Canadian battle series. During the harsh winter of 1944–45, Canadian, British, American, and Polish soldiers battled German forces entrenched around the Rhine in an effort to cross the river and take the war to Germany. According to Zuehlke, the First Canadian Army's critical involvement and valiant fighting are often overshadowed by American action, so he endeavors to tell the Canadian story. He provides broad, sweeping history and then zooms in on individual skirmishes, companies, and people. His writing is factual, yet personal accounts and direct quotes make it profound and moving. His brief portrayals of individual soldiers are masterful in the emotions they manage to elicit. The interplay of power among the British, Canadians, and Americans is fascinating, revealing the leaders to be entirely human and vulnerable as well as admirable for the roles they played in achieving an Allied victory. The detail and scope of the book is stunning; readers will greatly appreciate the appendices listing commanders, Canadian Army divisions, and army ranks. Agent: Carolyn Swayze. (May)