Book Review: The Cinderella Campaign

The Cinderella Campaign First Canadian Army and the Battles for the Channel Ports
Mark Zuehlke

480 pages • ISBN 978-1-77162-089-5

The story of how First Canadian Army opened the way to the Allied victory in World War II, in the twelfth installment of the bestselling Canadian Battle Series.

They thought of themselves as the “Cinderella Army,” and international correspondents agreed. This was because First Canadian Army had been relegated to the left flank of the Allied advance toward Germany from the Normandy beaches and given the tough, thankless task of opening the Channel ports from Le Havre to Ostend in Belgium. Then suddenly, in early September 1944, securing these ports became an Allied priority, as this would allow Field Marshal Montgomery to drive to the Rhine with Operation Market Garden and win the war before Christmas.

Given only scant access to the Allied supply chain, the Canadians and their British partners in I Corps tackled the task assigned. Just getting to the ports proved a terrific undertaking fought against brutal German resistance. And once there, they faced fortresses that had been prepared for years to defeat an attack. “Lost outposts,” the Allies called them, but the Germans within were not going to give up easily. And so over the month of September, the Canadians set about fighting for control of each port, scrambling for supplies while under constant military pressure to get the ports open. For Canada, this was the Cinderella Campaign, the battle for channel ports. For those who fought it, the sacrifice of comrades dead and wounded would never be forgotten.

Mark Zuehlke is Canada’s leading writer of popular military history. Holding Juno won the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize in 2006, and in 2014. Zuehlke also known as the Pierre Berton Award. His Canadian Battle Series is the most detailed account of any army during World War II ever written by a single author. In addition to his critically acclaimed history books, Zuehlke writes mystery novels. His first, Hands Like Clouds, won the 2000 Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel. It was followed by Carry Tiger to Mountain and Sweep Lotus-the latter an Arthur Ellis Award finalist for Best Novel. Zuehlke lives in Victoria, British Columbia, where he is at work on his  next book in the Canadian Battle Series.