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History World War Ii

Through Blood and Sweat

A Remembrance Trek across Sicily's World War II Battlegrounds

by (author) Mark Zuehlke

Publisher
Douglas & McIntyre
Initial publish date
Oct 2015
Category
World War II, General
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9781771620093
    Publish Date
    Oct 2015
    List Price
    $36.95

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Description

"We should not need [monuments] to picture a past battlefield and the horrors endured there. But their presence definitely helps to focus the mind, reinforce the solemnity of emotion that is so inherent in the act of remembrance."

Through Blood and Sweat takes readers on a memorable, thought-provoking 300-kilometre march in the footsteps taken by the soldiers of 1st Canadian Infantry Division in 1943. As part of Operation Husky 2013, a group of Canadians walked this route to honour the memory of the nation’s soldiers who fought in Sicily seventy years earlier and whose sacrifice has been largely forgotten. Under a searing sun, with Mount Etna’s soaring heights always in the distance, a small contingent of marchers trekked each day along winding country roads for between 15 and 35 kilometres to reach the outskirts of a small town or village. Here they were joined by a pipe band, which led them to the skirl of bagpipes in a parade into the community’s heart to be met by hundreds of cheering and applauding Sicilians. Before each community’s war memorial a service of remembrance for both the Canadian and Sicilian war dead followed. Each day also brought the marchers closer to their final destination—Agira Canadian War Cemetery where 490 of the 562 Canadian soldiers who fell during the course of Operation Husky in 1943 are buried. On July 30—after twenty gruelling days—the marchers were joined here by almost a thousand Canadians and Italians. All joined to conduct a profoundly emotional ceremony of remembrance that ended with one person standing before each headstone and answering the roll call on that soldier’s behalf. Mark Zuehlke, author of the award-winning Canadian Battle Series, was one of the Operation Husky 2013 marchers. He uses this arduous and poignant task as a focal point for a contemplative look at the culture of remembrance and the experience of war.

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

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