Windsor Star Article By Gord Henderson

Seventy years ago Saturday, millions of Canadians were hovering around radios waiting anxiously for news from a small, little-known port city on Italy’s Adriatic Coast.

For my late mum and Lord knows how many of her generation, the word Ortona, given its heartbreaking association with bloody sacrifice in the Christmas season, would still bring Yuletide tears years later.

Windsor Star columnist Gord Henderson is pictured in this file photo.
Windsor Star columnist Gord Henderson
It’s hard, seven decades on, to grasp how emotionally involved Canadians were with the struggles of their soldiers, sailors and airmen in the Second World War. They sobbed over the Christmas Day 1941 Canadian surrender in Hong Kong. The festive season bloodbath in Ortona two years later compounded the pain.

A pregnant 25-year-old with a husband overseas, thankfully not in Italy, mum and two sisters who shared an Ottawa flat were mesmerized by battlefield reports from the CBC’s inimitable Matthew Halton…..

Read more at The Windsor Star

By Gord Henderson

About the Author

Mark Zuehlke is an award-winning author generally considered to be Canada’s foremost popular military historian. His Canadian Battle Series is the most exhaustive recounting of the battles and campaigns fought by any nation during World War II to have been written by a single author.

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