Catalogue


Breakout from Juno : First Canadian Army and the Normandy campaign, July 4-August 21, 1944 /
Mark Zuehlke.
imprint
Vancouver : Douglas & McIntyre, c2011.
description
513 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 25 cm.
ISBN
1553653254, 9781553653257
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
series author
series title
imprint
Vancouver : Douglas & McIntyre, c2011.
isbn
1553653254
9781553653257
catalogue key
8211241
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 478-489) and indexes.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
FRONT COVER:Mark Zuehlkeauthor of the best-selling Juno Beach and On to VictoryBreakout from JunoFirst Canadian Army and the Normandy Campaign, July 3-August 23, 1944
First Chapter
From Chapter 2: Having abandoned hope of regaining Carpiquet, the Germans returned to relentlessly hammering it with artillery and mortar fire. For five days beginning on July 4, Le Régiment de la Chaudière's regimental history reported, Carpiquet "was a literal hell. The fire of the mortars, the rockets, and the enemy artillery never ceased for an instant." Major George Sévigny of 'C' Company was among the regiment's casualties during this long siege. The historian of the Queen's Own Rifles described the battalion as enduring "a nightmare of bombardment." Private Alex Greer, a stretcher-bearer for 'B' Company's No. 11 Platoon, thought Carpiquet "was a terrible battle. Everyone possible was below ground in a trench and when you heard the cry, you had to get out and expose yourself to shellfire and look after the man. We were losing so many SBs [stretcher-bearers]...It could be quite nerve-racking. I was with a fellow at Carpiquet who was to be my partner. When night fell, everyone went below ground. He and I were in a slit trench, and he went bananas. I was wrestling with him, yelling, when the shelling eased and we took him away. He was able to come back after a period at rest camp. The people suffering from battle fatigue were not cowards, I assure you...After a while, the casualties all looked the same...arms and legs off. I found the people who were wounded the least, made the most fuss." Greer knew he would never forget the image of "a tank captain who had both legs blown off...when I found him, he was sitting beside his tank, quietly smoking a cigarette." During the battalion's time in Carpiquet, a corporal and sergeant working in the RAP (Regimental Aid Post) were both evacuated after suffering mental breakdowns due to the horrors they witnessed as the casualties were brought in by the dozens for triage. The Medical Officer sent for Greer to take over their duties. Seeing his chance to escape the front lines, Greer said, "If you let me stay here working with you from here on in, I'll come." The doctor agreed, and Greer remained on duty at the RAP for the rest of the war. Lieutenant MacRae, who had emerged unscathed after being knocked unconscious by a tank shell during the last German counterattack on the morning of July 5, was disheartened to find over the following days that the premonitions of his two friends on the night of July 3 - that they would die in Carpiquet - had been prescient. Company Sergeant Major Joe Murray had died during the assault on the village, and Lieutenant Hector McQuarrie was killed on the 6th. In addition, on July 4, Lance Corporal Wes McDavid, who had been the third man in the trench, also was fatally wounded. MacRae was the only man from the trench to survive. Movement anywhere in the open invited enemy fire. North Shore's Major G.E. Lockwood was standing with Captain Willard Parker at the town's main intersection late on the afternoon of July 5 when medium artillery plastered the immediate area. "He and I took off on a dead run through the back gardens of a row of houses, with the shells carefully following behind us with what appeared to be a deliberate attempt to make us increase our speed. Of course it was just a general shelling of the town. Finally we could run no more and dropped into a shallow ditch where we lay looking at each other. A shell dropped further up the ditch and he received hits in both legs while I was untouched. That was my third near miss." The Germans were dug in in their strongholds within the airfield buildings, practically on the doorstep of Carpiquet. Back in England, Captain H.S. MacDonald had been left in charge of rear area vehicles, equipment, and reinforcements for D-Day and only reached the North Shores after Carpiquet fell. His platoon turned out to be just three hundred yards from 12th SS troops. "The town is a mass of rubble and animals are decaying in nearby fields. There is a permanent stench everywhere you go. The morning was fairly quiet, just shelling. Only one hit on our house, though a rocket shell got four men in one trench." MacDonald set out in the afternoon to check the company perimeter. One platoon was under heavy mortar fire. When he headed back towards company headquarters, a mortar round tumbled a building's wall practically on top of him. He and his runner had to then dodge through machine-gun fire as they ran across an open farmyard. "The men's nerves were at the breaking point," he decided. MacDonald checked on one platoon sheltered behind a wall, only to see chunks of it collapse on the men. He did no better, as he was "buried partially three times in different trenches - I'd just get to them when I'd hear the wail and whine of a near one and jump into the trench and the wall would cave in on top of me. Had to dig out one man and three men went 'windy' and one entirely nuts. Got two of them pacified, using strenuous methods. Was caught by shells in one trench, and two men were praying fervently while shells hit the wall and exploded just behind us." He spent six hours with this tormented platoon, then led the broken man back to company headquarters. Behind him, MacDonald saw the entire building next to the platoon fall completely apart under the shelling. The new kid on the block, he was already wondering how long before his nerves snapped. Days "seemed years long and all the time the ear-cracking bedlam of shells, mortars, machine guns and bombs. There were flies and more flies. We couldn't take our clothes off and only shaved once in three days." ...On July 6, the Queen's Own were told to abandon any thought of carrying out the assault intended to capture the administration buildings, control tower and adjacent hangars on the airfield. From observation posts the troops could plainly see that a large number of Germans were still entrenched there and around the hangars on the airfield's southern edge. The Queen's Own were told by 8th Brigade headquarters that they would "have to hang on in our present positions for two more nights and one day. Then there will be a big attack on our left flank by 3 [British Division] and 7 [and] 9 [Canadian Infantry Brigades]." Word of the forthcoming attack buoyed the spirits of the troops caught in the maelstrom of Carpiquet. They also took solace in the belief that seizing the village and holding it must have contributed somewhat to making this advance towards Caen possible. If Operation Windsor had failed to achieve its original intentions, at least some good had come of it. This thought made it easier to hang on, but every man anxiously awaited the orders that would take him away from the ruins of the village for good.
Reviews
Review Quotes
"a fast-paced, highly readable account of one of Canada's major Second World War campaigns."
"[ Breakout from Juno ] is excellent and on par with Zuehlke 's other Canadian Battle Series books which strive to present the war through the eyes of the individuals who were there."
" Breakout from Juno is the first account of Canada's important role during the Normandy campaign after the D-Day landings...[It's] a story of heroism, endurance and sacrifice by Canada's volunteer army."
"This is a monumental series of books, each of which presents the events of a particular battle in amazing detail... Zuehlke 's research for all his books is meticulous, making use of regimental histories, interviews with veterans and the masses of paper reports that the army produced during the war...In Breakout from Juno he uses this material to recreate each engagement, his writing style effectively capturing the confusion and chaos of warfare...As it stands the book is a fine memorial for these young men, most of whom would otherwise be forgotten."
"Zuehlke eloquently narrates the intensity of each battle from a Canadian perspective..."
"Zuehlkeeloquently narrates the intensity of each battle from a Canadian perspective..."
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Summaries
Main Description
D-Day was just the beginning. The Allies' urgent next task was to burst through the massive German defences pinning them on the coast. On July 4, 1944, 3rd Canadian Infantry Division won the village of Car-piquet but not the adjacent airfield. Instead of the speedy victory they had hoped for, the men faced a bloody fight. The Canadians advanced relentlessly against Hitler's finest armoured divisions, at a great cost in bloodshed. Initially, only the 3rd Division was involved. But a couple of weeks later, two other Canadian divisionsùand Infantry and 4th Armouredùalong with a Polish division and several divisions of 1 British Corps came together as First Canadian Army. While their generals wrangled and planned, the soldiers fought within a narrow landscape extending a mere twenty-one miles from Caen to Falaise. On July 22, the Canadians won a vicious two-day fight for Verrières Ridge that cost them 1,500 casualties. More bloody battles followed, until finally, on August 21, the narrowing gap the Allies had been developing at Falaise closed when American, Polish, and Canadian troops shook hands. The German army in Normandy had been destroyed, fewer than 50,000 of about 400,000 men escaping. The Allies suffered 206,000 casualties, of which 18,444 were Canadians. With its trademark "you are there" style, Mark Zuehlke's ninth book in the best-selling Canadian Battle Series concludes the story of First Canadian Army's bitter and costly combat debut in World War 11ùthe breakout from Normandy's beaches to the closure of the Falaise Gap. It is a story of uncommon heroism, endurance, and sacrifice by Canada's World War 11 volunteer army. Book jacket.
Main Description
The ninth book in the Canadian Battle Series, Breakout from Juno , is the first dramatic chronicling of Canada's pivotal role throughout the entire Normandy Campaign following the D-Day landings. On July 4, 1944, the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division won the village of Carpiquet but not the adjacent airfield. Instead of a speedy victory, the men faced a bloody fight. The Canadians advanced relentlessly against Hitler's finest armoured divisions, at a great cost in bloodshed. Initially, only the 3rd Division was involved, but in a couple of weeks two other Canadian divisions -- 2nd Infantry and 4th Armoured -- along with a Polish division and several British divisions came together as First Canadian Army. While their generals wrangled and planned, the soldiers fought within a narrow landscape extending a mere 21 miles from Caen to Falaise. The Canadians won a two-day battle for Verri res Ridge starting on July 21, costing them 1,500 casualties. More bloody battles followed, until finally, on August 21, the narrowing gap that had been developing at Falaise closed when American and Canadian troops shook hands. The German army in Normandy had been destroyed, only 18,000 of about 400,000 men escaping. The Allies suffered 206,000 casualties, of which 18,444 were Canadians. Breakout from Juno is a story of uncommon heroism, endurance and sacrifice by Canada's World War II volunteer army and pays tribute to Canada's veterans at a time when many Canadians, young and old, are actively engaged in acts of remembrance.
Main Description
The ninth book in the Canadian Battle Series, Breakout from Juno , is the first dramatic chronicling of Canada's pivotal role throughout the entire Normandy Campaign following the D-Day landings. On July 4, 1944, the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division won the village of Carpiquet but not the adjacent airfield. Instead of a speedy victory, the men faced a bloody fight. The Canadians advanced relentlessly against Hitler's finest armoured divisions, at a great cost in bloodshed. Initially, only the 3rd Division was involved, but in a couple of weeks two other Canadian divisions -- 2nd Infantry and 4th Armoured -- along with a Polish division and several British divisions came together as First Canadian Army. While their generals wrangled and planned, the soldiers fought within a narrow landscape extending a mere 21 miles from Caen to Falaise. The Canadians won a two-day battle for Verrières Ridge starting on July 21, costing them 1,500 casualties. More bloody battles followed, until finally, on August 21, the narrowing gap that had been developing at Falaise closed when American and Canadian troops shook hands. The German army in Normandy had been destroyed, only 18,000 of about 400,000 men escaping. The Allies suffered 206,000 casualties, of which 18,444 were Canadians. Breakout from Juno is a story of uncommon heroism, endurance and sacrifice by Canada's World War II volunteer army and pays tribute to Canada's veterans at a time when many Canadians, young and old, are actively engaged in acts of remembrance.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. 1
Acknowledgementsp. 5
Mapsp. 8
Introduction: A Formidable Arrayp. 19
Battle for Caen
Little Short of Hellp. 27
A Murderous Beatingp. 41
Hopeless Situationp. 53
Day of Revengep. 68
A Terrible Dreamp. 78
Most Successful Operationp. 90
Little Excuse for Itp. 102
The Ridges
Offensive Spiritp. 117
Expensive Victoriesp. 128
Greenhornersp. 138
We Need Helpp. 153
Not a Pleasant Picturep. 168
Desperate Move in the Darkp. 183
Violence of Battlep. 197
A Stone Wallp. 209
Simple Plansp. 223
Totalize
Sheer Slaughterp. 241
Jaws Droppedp. 255
The Fullest Successp. 268
Many Anxious Momentsp. 284
That'll Be a Tough Onep. 298
Come What Mayp. 308
What a Stupid Placep. 323
The Gap
Without a Hitchp. 337
The Mad Chargep. 349
A Molten Fire Bathp. 362
Guns Chatteringp. 376
A Little Wildp. 390
A Hellholep. 403
Epilogue: The Normandy Campaign in Memoryp. 416
Principal Commanders in the Normandy Campaignp. 420
The Canadian Army in the Normandy Campaign (Combat Units Only)p. 422
Canadian Infantry Battalion (Typical Organization)p. 426
Canadian Army, German Army, and Waffen-ss Order of Ranks (Lowest to Highest)p. 427
Army Decorationsp. 430
Notesp. 431
Bibliographyp. 478
General Indexp. 491
Index of Formations, Units, and Corpsp. 505
About the Authorp. 513
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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