Terrible Victory: First Canadian Army and the Scheldt Estuary Campaign, September 13–November 6, 1944

On September 13, 1944, First Canadian Army’s most horrific battle of World War II began, in the mud-soaked Belgian and Dutch lowland country bordering the West Scheldt estuary near Antwerp. This sixty-mile waterway linking Europe’s greatest port to the North Sea was crucial to support the vast Allied armies rolling toward Germany. The advance was grinding to a halt for want of supplies.

Told to open Antwerp at any cost, First Canadian Army slammed hard against heavily entrenched German forces ordered to die in place. For 55 days, a titanic contest between two equally determined foes ensued—fought at close quarters in ground devoid of protective cover and in appalling conditions where each day was colder and wetter than the one before.

Published by Douglas & McIntyre, 2007: 545 pages.

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The Toronto Star

“Victoria’s Mark Zuehlke is nothing if not prolific…Another new Zuehlke book chronicles a vicious conflict with a name – the Scheldt Estuary – that will be horribly familiar to many of those at the Old City Hall ceremonies this morning [November 11]. The savage two-month battle to free the crucial waterway linking the port of Antwerp to the North Sea is told in Terrible Victory: The first Canadian Army and the Scheldt Estuary Campaign, September 13- November 6, 1944.”

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The Globe And Mail

“Zuehlke tells the story well, and his work is a welcome addition to Second World War literature on the subject.”

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Esprit de Corps

“Zuehlke has produced another winner. Terrible Victory covers the little known series of battles to wrest the strategically vital Scheldt estuary from the Germans….it was a tough grinding slog that resulted in more Canadian deaths than any other battle in the war. Zuehlke brings this story to light in his inimitable style.”