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Reginald Roy

Toronto, National Museums of Canada, c1984.
Canadian War Museum Historical Publications #19.
Distributed by Macmillan.
368pp, cloth, $24.95.
ISBN 0-7715-9796-7.

Grades 11 and up.

Reviewed by John H. Harkness.

Volume 12 Number 6
1984 November

It was inevitable that 1984 would see a number of books appearing that deal with what German Commander Erwin Rommel called "The Longest Day," i.e., June 6th, 1944, when the Allied landings on the Normandy beaches began. One of these books is this publication by the Canadian War Museum, in which the author, Reginald H. Roy, gives a step-by-step reconstruction of the operation of the major Canadian regiments who fought from the beaches of Normandy to the bloody battle leading to the closing of the Falaise Gap in late August of that same year.

For this 368 page volume, Professor Roy, who served in France with the Cape Breton Highlanders, has been able to use many unpublished and previously unavailable regimental war diaries. He has included seventy-five black-and-white photographs and thirteen detailed maps that help us follow the movements of each regiment from the beaches where 340 Canadians died, across the French countryside through Caen and its slaughter, to the triumph at Falaise.

1944 is quite a fitting commemoration of one of Canada's great military achievements and a book that certainly should be available in school libraries for consultation and for explanations of Canada's part in the greatest amphibious and airborne undertaking in the annals of war, the Allies' "Operation Overlord." (It is generally too detailed and dry for continuous reading.) Professor Roy includes three useful appendices, footnotes for each chapter, a bibliography, and an index at the back of this comprehensive book.

John H. Harkness, Emery C. I., North York, ON.
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