Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Mark Zuehlke: 'Ortona - Canada's Epic World War II Battle'

In 'Ortona', Mark Zuehlke does an admirable job in portraying the 1943 Canadian campaign along the Moro River which culminated in the fierce contest for the seaside town of Ortona. Overall, the book is a workmanlike, 'Maps and Chaps' piece of military history - which is fine, but I often found it wanting for deeper analysis. For example Zuehlke begins the book describing Montgomery's reason for the advance on Ortona, but does provide the reader with any concluding remarks to the battles' final effect (if any) on the larger Italian campaign. To his credit, he does spend the final chapter providing his personal opinions on some of the personalities and events, but I wonder if this might have been better served integrated with his overall historical narrative. Still, a good, solid effort describing a little known WWII campaign. (7 out of 10)

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