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list price: $37.95
edition:Hardcover
category: History
published: Nov 2019
pages: 480
ISBN:9781771622356
publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

River Battles

Canada’s Final Campaign in World War II Italy

by Mark Zuehlke

tagged: canada, world war ii
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $37.95
edition:Hardcover
category: History
published: Nov 2019
pages: 480
ISBN:9781771622356
publisher: Douglas & McIntyre
Description

The Canadians called it the Promised Land. In late September 1944, the Emilia-Romagna plain before I Canadian Corps stretched to the far horizon—a deceptively wide-open space where the tanks could run free. Throughout British Eighth Army, hopes ran high that once it entered the plain, the Germans could be driven from Italy. As soon as the advance began, however, the plain’s true nature was revealed: the land was criss-crossed by rivers, canals and drainage ditches over which all bridges had been demolished.

With higher command urging haste, the Canadians entered a long and nightmarish series of battles to win crossings over each waterway, whose high banks provided the Germans with perfect defensive positions. Early fall rains caused rivers to spill their banks and transformed the countryside into the worst quagmire the soldiers had ever seen.

More than five months of battle followed, with weeks of hard fighting required to advance from one river to the next. Each month, conditions only worsened, and the casualty rates rose appallingly. As their comrades fell one by one, most soldiers sought merely to survive. Doing that much required every measure of stamina, courage and fighting skill they possessed.

The fifth and final Canadian Battle Series volume set in Italy, The River Battles tells the story of this campaign’s last and hardest months. In riveting detail and with his trademark “you-are-there” style, Mark Zuehlke shines a light on this forgotten chapter of Canada’s World War II experience.

About the Author

Mark Zuehlke is the author of the critically acclaimed Canadian Battle Series and many other books. He has worked as a journalist, been educated as a historian and written award-winning fiction. The Canadian Battle Series is the most detailed accounting of any army during World War II ever written by a single author. In recognition of his work, Mark Zuehlke was awarded the 2014 Governor General's History Award for Excellence in Popular Media (Pierre Berton Award). Zuehlke lives in Victoria, BC.

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Editorial Reviews
— The Globe and Mail

The River Battles is the important saga of the final five months of Canada’s 20-month Italian campaign from 1943-45 and the courage and skill of her 93,000 soldiers and tankers who took more ground from the enemy in Italy than any other Allied unit of British and Americans, and did it ‘while braving the worst of fighting conditions and extreme German opposition.’  

These last battles are well-told by Victoria author Mark Zuehlke, a prolific, well-established veteran writer of our war history.” 

— Winnipeg Free Press

 “In summary, readers will find that The River Battles is an interesting account of a little-known part of the Italian Campaign, and it will be a valuable resource for future historians.”

— The Ormsby Review

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