On to Victory: The Canadian Liberation of the Netherlands, March 23 - May 5, 1945

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Douglas & McIntyre, 2010 - 525 pagina's
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March 23, 1945. Tens of thousands of Allied troops, following on the heels of a massive artillery barrage, lunge across the Rhine River aboard amphibious craft, while even more land from the skies. Operations Plunder and Varsity aim to smash the German forces determined to stop this crossing, which will unleash a breakout into the heartland of Germany and the Netherlands and likely bring a rapid end to the war.

On the left flank of Plunder, First Canadian Army thrusts into the westernmost corner of Germany and advances into the Netherlands to free the Dutch people from a tyrannical Nazi occupation. In much of the Netherlands, the population is on the brink of starvation, a disastrous humanitarian crisis imminenet.

During the next forty-eight days, Canadian troops face some of their toughest fighting. Repeatedly, in such towns as Bienan, Speldrop, Zutphen, and Deventer, and in the major Dutch city of Groningen, they are embroiled in costly large-scale street fighting. And on the other side of each canal or river---whose dykes provide ideal defences---the Germans wait calmly for the attack. Each day the casualties mount, while the tension of a war nearly over increases. Will the last man to fall today be the war's final casualty?

"With his signature style of veteran accounts artfully interlaced with the official record, Zuehlke's skill in writing battle narrative remains unsurpassed." Quill & Quire

For the Millions of Dutch Facing imminent starvation, the period of their liberation, March 23 to May 5, 1945, was "the sweetest of springs." But for the Canadians fighting a series of fierce, desperate battles in these last months of the war, it was bittersweet. A nation's freedom was being won and the war concluded, but these final hostilities cost First Canadian Army 6,289 casualties, of which 1,481 were fatal.

These numbers could have been far higher had it not been for one of the war's most highly guarded secrets---a clandestine agreement with German command in the Netherlands to allow the Allies to deliver food to the people in western Holland, where the country's largest cities were situated, 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 to 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 final chapter in the story of Canada in World War II, in time for the 65th anniversary of Holland's liberation by Canadian troops.
 

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Inhoudsopgave

Preface
1
Acknowledgements
5
Maps
8
introduction The Sweetest of Springs
19
over the rhine then let us
27
No Possibility of Doubt
29
Never to Be Forgotten
43
Go for the Goddamn Woods
57
Minor Skirmishes
214
breakouts
227
Long Way Out Front
229
On to Groningen
244
Waited So Long
259
Piece of Cake
271
Jerry Is Running
287
A Stern Atonement
305

Rugged Resistance
73
The Enemy Fought Like Madmen
83
More Than Battered About
96
Pretty Sticky
110
Utmost Tenacity
126
delighted with this entire show
139
All Together Again
141
A Lion and a Tiger
153
Fierce Rearguard Actions
167
On the Brink
183
Crazy Young Devils
199
LargeScale Street Fighting
322
Operation Cleanser
338
Sound Tactical Plans
356
Crossroad Ambushes
375
Bitterest Battle
391
Thank You Canadians
407
The Liberation Campaign in Memory
428
The Canadian Army in the Liberation
437
Canadian Infantry Battalion
443
Army Decorations
449
Copyright

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Over de auteur (2010)

Mark Zuehlke's Canadian Battle Series, of which this is the eighth volume, is the most extensive account written of the combat experiences of Canada's army in World War II. These best-selling books continue to confirm Zuehlke's reputation as the nation's leading writer of popular military history. In combination with 2007's Terrible Victory, On to Victory presents the most comprehensive English-language account of Holland's liberation from German occupation. Zuehlke is currently at work on his next book in the series.

Zuehlke's five other historical works include for Honour's Sake: The War of 1812 and the Brokering of an Uneasy Peace, which won the 2007 Canadian Authors Association Lela Common Award for Canadian History. Also a novelist, he is the author of the popular Elias McCann crime series. The first book in the series, Hands Like Clouds, won the Crime Writers of Canada Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel in 2000.

Zuehlke lives in Victoria, B.C., and can be found on the web at www.zuehlke.ca.

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