Juno Beach – Review

Juno BeachD-Day was the invasion of Normandy by the American and British, right? Actually the Canadians were there as well, not just to reinforce the British but to land on their own beach. The landing at Juno Beach was one of the great battles of World War Two.

It has always been one of my pet peeves that the Canadian landing is either completely unknown or is left as a minor footnote to the battles of the “real” armies. The truth is that the Canadian soldiers were (and are) extremely respected by the Allies and feared by the Germans.

I recently finished reading Mark Zuehlke’s Juno Beach: Canada’s D-Day Victory. I really enjoy Zuehlke’s writing, having first encountering him with his Gothic Line. What I appreciate is that his research is not focused solely on official military records but also rely heavily on accounts of regimental diaries and interviews with those who survived the battle.

Readers of this book will be impressed with the preparation and planning that went into the D-Day invasion. The reader is also put into the landing craft, feeling a sense of the anxiety of what would happen when the doors opened. The book tells us what went wrong and the things that went unexpectedly right.

You will see that the Canadian forces were a power to reckon with. In fact, it was the Canadians that made it the furthest of all the troops that landed at Normandy. As a Canadian and as one in the Canadian Forces, I felt extremely proud of those who served and sacrificed sixty years ago. Even if you are not Canadian, you will enjoy this book as an example of superb military history.

 


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