The Gothic Line: Canada's Month of Hell in World War II Italy

The Gothic Line: Canada's Month of Hell in World War II Italy
The Gothic Line: Canada's Month of Hell in World War II Italy by Mark Zuehlke
2003 | EPUB | 4.9MB

Like an armor-toothed belt across Italy’s upper thigh, the Gothic Line was the most fortified and fiercely defended position the German army had yet thrown in the path of the Allied forces. On August 25, 1944, it fell to I Canadian Corps to spearhead the famed Eighth Army’s major offensive, intended to rip through it.

The 1st Infantry and 5th Armored Divisions advanced into a killing ground covered by thousands of machine-gun, antitank gun positions, and pillboxes expertly sited behind minefields and dense thickets of barbed wire. Never had the Germans in Italy brought so much artillery to bear or deployed such a great number of tanks.

For 28 days, the battle raged as the Allied troops slugged an ever deeper hole into the German defences. The Metauro River, the Foglia River, Point 204, Tomba Di Pesaro, Coriano Ridge, San Martino, and San Fortunato became place names seared into the memories of those who fought there.

They fought in a dust-choked land under a searing sun which by battle's end was reduced to a guagmire by rain. But they prevailed and on September 22 won the ground overlooking the Po River Valley, opening the way for the next phase of the Allied advance.

The Liri Valley

The Liri Valley
The Liri Valley: Canada's World War II Breakthrough to Rome by Mark Zuehlke
2004 | EPUB | 4.78MB

The second instalment in military historian Mark Zuehlke’s compelling World War II tales of Canadians overcoming insurmountable odds in Italy.

For the allied armies fighting their way up the Italian boot in early 1944, Rome was the prize that could only be won through one of the greatest offensives of the war. Following upon his book about the battle of Ortona, Mark Zuehlke returns to the Mediterranean theatre of World War II with this gripping tribute to the valiant Canadians who opened the way for the Allies to take Rome.

The Liri Valley is testament to the bravery of these Canadians, like the badly wounded Captain Pierre Potvin, who survived more than thirty hours alone in the hell of no man’s land. This book, like the battle it records, will live long in readers’ memories.

Bringing Mulligan Home: The Other Side of the Good War

Bringing Mulligan Home: The Other Side of the Good War
Bringing Mulligan Home: The Other Side of the Good War by Dale Maharidge
2013 | EPUB | 5.05MB

Sergeant Steve Maharidge returned from World War II an angry man. The only evidence that he’d served in the Marines was a photograph of himself and a buddy tacked to the basement wall. On one terrifyingly memorable occasion his teenage son, Dale, witnessed Steve screaming at the photograph: “They said I killed him! But I didn’t kill him! It wasn’t my fault!”

After Steve died, Dale Maharidge began a twelve-year quest to face down his father’s wartime ghosts. He found more than two dozen members of Love Company, the Marine unit in which his father had served. Many of them, now in their eighties, finally began talking about the war. They’d never spoken so openly and emotionally, even to their families. Through them, Maharidge brilliantly re-creates Love Company’s battles and the war that followed them home. In addition, Maharidge traveled to Okinawa to experience where the man in his father’s picture died and meet the families connected to his father’s wartime souvenirs.

The survivors Dale met on both sides of the Pacific Ocean demonstrate that wars do not end when the guns go quiet—the scars and demons remain for decades. Bringing Mulligan Home is a story of fathers and sons, war and postwar, silence and cries in the dark. Most of all it is a tribute to soldiers of all wars—past and present—and the secret burdens they, and their families, must often bear.