Terry Copp's "The Brigade: The Fifth Canadian Infantry Brigade in World War II" is one of the better unit histories I've had the pleasure of reading. The book focuses on the campaign in Northwest Europe (Normandy, The Netherlands) for this unit after a couple of chapters covering the recruiting, training and preparation of the three component battalions (the Calgary Highlanders, the Royal Highland Regiment of Canada [the Black Watch], and the Régiment de Maisonneuve). The coverage of the attacks around Caen are covered in great detail. The general details of the campaign are laid out then the 5th Brigade actions are described. The text comprises selected anecdotes from battle reports and the unit histories. The text is very readable, going from short sections highlighting the overall campaign and the Generals' view to the Brigade actions. These are given hour by hour, and with a nice balance of the Canadian and opposing German movements.
I got this as free Kindle edition not long ago. In the past, some of the Stackpole stuff I have run across has been a little disappointing so I was not expecting anything real great.
I was pleased at how good it was. It was well written and appeared well researched. I thought some of the conclusions the author put in might have been opinion as opposed to fact, but I guess he is entitled to that, and it was pretty evident when he was opining.
The book covered material mostly about 3 units, but had enough material on other units that were involved in the operations that it made sense.
The book has a number of illustrations and photographs including overhead imagery that help the reader understand what was going on. Neither the Kindle nor the Kindle apps do them justice but even so they are helpful.
I noticed several places where there were duplicate words in the text within a sentence. It seemed odd given that the book did not have a lot of...
Detailed description of a hard-fighting and determined group , representative of the Canadian military in WW2. A fair analysis of performance including the learning curve, difficulties encountered, leadership and hard won battles. A straightforward portrayal of individuals acting as cohesive units recognizing personal heroics.
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