The historian Mark Zuehlke discusses his latest book, a companion to the Canadian Battle Series, Through Blood and Sweat: A Remembrance Trek Across Sicily’s World War II Battlegrounds (Douglas & McIntyre, 2015), Remembrance Day, and his career as a writer, with Joseph Planta.
|Through Blood and Sweat: A Remembrance Trek Across Sicily’s World War II Battlegrounds by Mark Zuehlke (Douglas & McIntyre, 2015).
Click to buy this book from Amazon.ca: Through Blood and Sweat
Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:
I am Planta: On the Line, in Vancouver, at TheCommentary.ca.
The distinguished historian Mark Zuehlke joins me again. He’s published an umpteenth book, Through Blood and Sweat: A Remembrance Trek Across Sicily’s World War II Battlegrounds. Some back story: In 2008, Mr. Zuehlke published Operation Husky, another volume in his highly regarded Canadian Battle Series. The combat on Sicily was nearly forgotten. They were gruelling battles, with 562 casualties. A Montreal businessman name Steve Gregory approaches Mark with the idea of a 20 day, 300 kilometre march through Sicily, in the footsteps of the soldiers. In 2013, seventy years after the original campaign, Operation Husky 2013 began, and this book reflects on the sacrifice there by Canadians, as well as chronicles this unique act of remembrance. The daily hikes covered between 15 and 35 kilometres a day, and in the July heat, you can well imagine how arduous it might have been. Mark describes the exhaustion, but also the cheers of the Sicilians who gathered along the way. It’s such a compelling journey that Mark was a part of, and I’ll get him to talk about the experience, and the active process of remembrance embodied in this journey and his literary work. It’s also fitting to have Mark in so close to November 11th, as he has in the past, we’ll take a moment to reflect on Remembrance Day. Mark Zuehlke is the recipient of the 2014 Pierre Berton Award, the Governor General’s History Award for Popular Media. His Canadian Battle Series book, Holding Juno received the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize, and he’s been on this program for previous books: For Honour’s Sake: The War of 1812 and the Brokering of An Uneasy Peace, Brave Battalion: The Remarkable Saga of the 16th Battalion (Canadian Scottish) in the First World War, Tragedy at Dieppe: Operation Jubilee, August 19, 1942, and Forgotten Victory: First Canadian Army and the Cruel Winter of 1944-45. The website for more is at www.zuehlke.ca. Douglas & McIntyre publishes this latest book. Please welcome back to the Planta: On the Line program, in person today, Mark Zuehlke; Mr. Zuehlke, good morning.