Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

D-Day: Juno Beach, Canada's 24 Hours of Destiny

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

D-Day: Juno Beach, Canada's 24 Hours of Destiny

Article excerpt

Lance Goddard, D-Day: Juno Beach, Canada's 24 Hours of Destiny (Toronto: Dundurn Group, 2004), 256pp. Paper. C$29.99 (US$26.99). ISBN 1-55002-492-2.

This fascinating book should be compulsory reading for those who perceive Canada's armed forces only as blue-helmeted UN peacekeepers. On 6 June 1944 Canadian troops were in the thick of the action as the great crusade to liberate Europe reached the Normandy beaches.

Goddard begins by introducing the 30 or so veterans - sailors, pilots, paratroops, infantry, artillery and tank crew - whose vivid first-hand accounts of combat are crucial elements. Preliminary chapters cover the rise of Hitler and the spread of Nazi tyranny, the intricate planning of Operation Overlord, and the protracted training that Canadians underwent in Britain before the assault on Hitler's supposedly impregnable 'Atlantic Wall'.

The core structure of the book consists of an hour-by-hour analysis of Canada's role on D-Day, including air strikes and the dropping of paratroops, the stormy cross-Channel approach of the main invasion force, the Juno Beach landings, overcoming fierce German resistance (second only to that at Omaha Beach; p. 221), and fighting inland to pre-determined objectives. Goddard provides a linking narrative, and the Canadians' hourly progress beyond the beaches is plotted graphically on a series of maps, while the veterans recall powerful emotions such as apprehension, excitement, elation and horror, as well as the general chaos and confusion of battle. Over 200 black-and-white photographs, mostly taken on D-Day itself, enhance understanding of the unfolding drama. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.