• Samantha Cowan

The Liberation of Holland - The Ultimate Reading List


In preparation for the 70th Anniversary since the liberation across the Netherlands, I have reached out to members of our community, both our Canadian battlefield community, and our hosts in the destinations we touch. I've asked researchers, writers, and the historical community of Toronto. I've called upon online Battlefield forums, news threads, and made my search as public as I could... I was looking for reading material - any and all - that covers the events between 1940 - 1945 across Holland, but more specifically covers the events touched by the Canadian troops that came to help liberate.

The response I recieved was overwhelming (I'm not used to that feeling yet) From these efforts, I've compiled the top reffered reading material covering the specific and extraordinary events our Canadian brothers, uncles, fathers, cousins and friends witnessed and struggled with, as we mark 70 years since Holland's Liberation.

THE READING LIST

"Hell's Highway", by George Koskimaki, it is a part of a larger series by him. This one deals specifically with Holland. It is most definitely non-fiction. The author compiles personal accounts from soldiers that fought in various battles, including himself. Reffered by: R.Burgundy'sBeard /R/History

"Tug Of War", by Dennis Whitaker. He was the Colonel of the Rileys (The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry of Canada) at Dieppe, and he was with them from D Day to the end of the war in May of 1945. The book covers the "Water War " time period when the Canadians were liberating Belgium, and the winter campaign in Holland. Reffered by: Jim B Toronto /R/History

For the gunners, look for "The Guns Of Normandy" by George Black Blackburn. He was an artillery forward observer, the guy who 'calls the shots " by radio back to the gun lines, to support the infantry and the tanks. The book covers the pre-invasion time in Britain, the D Day invasion and the grim winter battles in Belgium and Holland. In the first 30 days after June 6th, the Canadian artillery units fired over a MILLION rounds of artillery ammunition at the Germans. The gunners were firing around the clock, an average of 2,000 rounds PER GUN for weeks on end. They wore out the barrels of their 25 pounder guns. Reffered by: Jim B Toronto /R/History

For the later time period, after the crossing of the Rhine, I recommend Dennis Whitaker's second book, "Rhineland." This covers the last fighting for the Canadians in WW2. Reffered by: Jim B Toronto /R/History

The standard history of the Canadian involvement in the second world war is "Maple Leaf Against the Axis" by David Bercuson. Which is in my openion, the best history of WW2 written from the Canadian POV. Reffered by: Sid_Burn Specialist in Nazi Germany Brandenburg & Prussia /R/History

"The Guns of Normandy" & "The Guns of Victory" by George Blackburn. Great first person perspective of a FOO from D-day to the end of the war. Reffered by: Zedman 70 /R/History

I'm currently on a Pierre Berton kick, and I'll recommend Marching As to War, which covers in broad sweep Canadian military involvement from 1899 to 1953. Berton does a great job of tying Canada's military affairs in the Second World War to its experience in the First World War.

You'll also want to read Journal of a War by Donald Pearce, Missing in Action by John Harvie, Battle Diary by Charles Martin and A Bloody War by Hal Lawrence.

Reffered by: The Alaskan /R/History One of the best general histories is CINDERELLA ARMY by Terry Copp. It covers the post-Normandy operations of the Canadian army with some good chapters on the actions in the Netherlands.

Reffered by: Flabergie /R/History


#70thanniversary #ReadingLists

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