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MAPLE LEAF ROUTE: CAEN

Terry Cropp and Robert Vogel.

Alma (ON), Maple Leaf Route, c1983.
Distributed by Maple Leaf Route, Alma, ON, N0B1A0.
123pp, cloth, $19.95.
ISBN 0-919907-01-6.


Grades 12 and up.
Reviewed by Neil Payne.

Volume 11 Number 5.
1983 September.


Caen. The first Canadian objective after D-Day. The pivotal point for the Allies to move north into Belgium and on to Germany.

This is the first book in a planned series on the Canadian campaign in northwestern Europe in 1944 and 1945.

The treatment is strictly Canadian. There are brief background explanations of the situation, tactics, Allied and German strategy, and what was happening on the broad scene, but the greater part of the book is about the role of the Canadian soldiers from D-Day to the fall of Caen.

There are many supporting materials-war photos and art, maps and Canadian regimental war diariesówell organized around a chronological account. The events are well-handled, providing a wealth of information.

Unfortunately, the authors have allowed some serious faults to mar the usefulness of what is basically a fine history of this important period. Military jargon and unfamiliar abbreviations are used repeatedly without even providing a glossary. Maps are difficult to relate to the text: references are repeatedly made to places not on the adjacent map; the text often talks about particular regiments while adjacent maps show only brigade positions or vice versa. The result is confusion for all but the very knowledgeable reader.

The book is valuable for both the information contained and the illustrations, but the difficult text and other problems indicated prevent its being recommended for small collections. However, libraries with special interest in Canada's role in the war will definitely want to add this book to their collection. Military and war buffs will have no problems with the treatment and will enjoy reading it.


Neil Payne, Kingston C. V. I., Kingston, ON.
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