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History Canada

Breakout from Juno

First Canadian Army and the Normandy Campaign, July 4-August 21, 1944

by (author) Mark Zuehlke

Douglas & McIntyre
Initial publish date
Oct 2011
Canada, World War II
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2011
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2011
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2012
    List Price

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The ninth book in the Canadian Battle Series, Breakout from Juno, is the first dramatic chronicling of Canada's pivotal role throughout the entire Normandy Campaign following the D-Day landings.

On July 4, 1944, the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division won the village of Carpiquet but not the adjacent airfield. Instead of a speedy victory, the men faced a bloody fight. The Canadians advanced relentlessly against Hitler's finest armoured divisions, at a great cost in bloodshed. Initially, only the 3rd Division was involved, but in a couple of weeks two other Canadian divisions -- 2nd Infantry and 4th Armoured -- along with a Polish division and several British divisions came together as First Canadian Army.

While their generals wrangled and planned, the soldiers fought within a narrow landscape extending a mere 21 miles from Caen to Falaise. The Canadians won a two-day battle for Verrières Ridge starting on July 21, costing them 1,500 casualties. More bloody battles followed, until finally, on August 21, the narrowing gap that had been developing at Falaise closed when American and Canadian troops shook hands. The German army in Normandy had been destroyed, only 18,000 of about 400,000 men escaping. The Allies suffered 206,000 casualties, of which 18,444 were Canadians.

Breakout from Juno is a story of uncommon heroism, endurance and sacrifice by Canada's World War II volunteer army and pays tribute to Canada's veterans at a time when many Canadians, young and old, are actively engaged in acts of remembrance.

About the author

Hailed by Jack Granatstein as Canadas leading popular military historian and short-listed for both the 2007 and 2013 Pierre Berton Award for popularizing Canadian history, Mark Zuehlke is the author of 26 books, including 14 devoted to military history. Tragedy at Dieppe is the latest in his bestselling Canadian Battle Series, which includes Ortona, The Liri Valley, The Gothic Line, Juno Beach Operation Husky, Holding Juno, Breakout from Juno, Terrible Victory, and On to Victory. He is also the co-author of The Canadian Military Atlas.

Zuehlke first began writing about the role Canadians played in World War II after discussing the Battle of Ortona with several veterans following a Remembrance Day ceremony in Kelowna, B.C. Discovering no book had been written on this pivotal battle, he decided to fill that gap, which resulted in the publication of Ortona: Canadas Epic Worl

Mark Zuehlke's profile page


  • Short-listed, City of Victoria Butler Book Prize

Editorial Reviews

"Breakout from Juno is the first account of Canada's important role during the Normandy campaign after the D-Day landings...[It's] a story of heroism, endurance and sacrifice by Canada's volunteer army."

Globe & Mail

"This is a monumental series of books, each of which presents the events of a particular battle in amazing detail...Zuehlke's research for all his books is meticulous, making use of regimental histories, interviews with veterans and the masses of paper reports that the army produced during the war...In Breakout from Juno he uses this material to recreate each engagement, his writing style effectively capturing the confusion and chaos of warfare...As it stands the book is a fine memorial for these young men, most of whom would otherwise be forgotten."

Winnipeg Free Press

"a fast-paced, highly readable account of one of Canada's major Second World War campaigns."

Chronicle Herald

"[Breakout from Juno] is excellent and on par with Zuehlke's other Canadian Battle Series books which strive to present the war through the eyes of the individuals who were there."

Rocky Mountain Outlook

"Zuehlke eloquently narrates the intensity of each battle from a Canadian perspective..."

The Toronto Quarterly

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