For the Canadian Soldiers who lived through the momentous battle for Normandy in the summer of 1944, it was inconceivable that the conflict in Europe could continue for another eight long months. The war was won, they thought, and to win it they had been pushed to what seemed like the limits of endurance. But ahead lay not only an enemy with no thoughts of surrender, but also appalling battle conditions reminiscent of the legendary miseries of Passchendaele.
This much-anticipated sequel to The Guns of Normany picks up where its critically acclaimed predecessor leaves off, and it continues in the same absorbing, startlingly vivid style. After the battle for Normandy, Blackburn's 4th Field Regiment, with the rest of 1st Canadian Army, is called upon to pursue the enemy through the flooded Low Country, clearing the Scheldt estuary - a task equal to that of D-Day - and opening the port of Antwerp to allow for the huge influx of supplies necessary to press on against the German forces, now fighting with mounting desperation and ferocity.
After enduring the worst winter in local memory, and spending yet another Christmas far from home, in the spring of 1945 the Canadians are thrust into the crucial Battle of the Rhineland, which will eventually allow Allied forces to plunge into the heart of the Reich.
When victory comes, it is with no sense of triumph over a vanquished foe, but with the profoundest relief that this most terrible conflict in history is finally over.
Told with Blackburn's now trademark sense of drama and eye for detail, this story of the desperate struggle for Europe becomes as large as life. It should fully establish Blackburn as the author of an acknowledged classic on the Second World War.