Battle Diary: From D-Day and Normandy to the Suider Zee and VE


192 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Maps
ISBN 1-55002-213-X
DDC 940.54'8171





Reviewed by Sidney Allinson

Sidney Allinson is a Victoria-based communications consultant, Canadian
news correspondent for Britain’s The Army Quarterly and Defence, and
the author of Military Archives: International Directory of Military
Publications and The Bantams: The Untold St


This is the infantryman’s war as it really was—a slit-trench level
account of the bloody trail Canadian soldiers fought to hard-won victory
in World War II. Any “foot-slogger” veteran of Northwest Europe in
that decisive last year of the war deserves to be honored. Author
Charles Martin is more deserving than most, perhaps, considering that he
rose to the rank of Company Sergeant Major and was awarded two
decorations for battlefield courage—the Distinguished Conduct Medal
and Military Medal. Yet he describes his experiences modestly, but with
a wealth of detail that results in a virtual textbook of combat tactics.
The accompanying maps are particularly useful, clarifying each action

As history, this book gives insight into the role of Canadian soldiers
during the liberation of Europe. As a social document, it describes how
army service can bring together men from the most varied backgrounds and
forge a common spirit of pride and comradeship among them. Martin calls
his book simply “a memoir, not a documentary” of the Queen’s Own
Regiment. Disclaim as he may, though, one could seldom read a better
account of small-scale infantry actions.


Martin, Charles Cromwell., “Battle Diary: From D-Day and Normandy to the Suider Zee and VE,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 25, 2024,