Mr. Media Review - Passchendaele

Mr. Media
Reviewed by: Mike Gange

Ninety years ago this month, the war to end all wars came to an end on November 11th. It was a war that tested the courage of Canadian soldiers, made heroes and goats of the military leadership, and cost hundreds of thousands of lives. In the Belgian town of Passcendaele, the battle-hardened Canadian Corps, sometimes called the Storm troopers' because, like a storm, they could not be stopped, experienced a hell unlike anything they had ever seen. Amid the mud, the blood, the chlorine gas and the artillery shells, the Canadian Corps lost more than 16, 000 men.

Norman Leach's new book details the horror of the battles fought in the trenches at this tiny village -battles that were considered victories after 16 days of heavy close-range fighting, but proved to be pointless after the enemy re-took the ground shortly afterwards. The book is perfect for high school students, as it chronicles the horrors of this battle, and leaves the reader wondering if it is all worth it. The timing of the release of the book is perfect, coming out as close as it does to Remembrance Day. A fortunate overlap with the release of the movie of the same name by Canadian director Paul Gross seems to make the foreword by a natural fit too. Article by Mike Gange.

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