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Ortona Audiobook

Ortona: Canada's Epic World War II Battle

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Audible Editor Reviews

A nine-time finalist for the prestigious Audie Awards for audiobook performance, performer William Dufris brings his authoritative but gentle tone to a harrowing account of hand-to-hand warfare during a decisive World War II Battle.

Ortona is the story of Canada’s heartbreaking but ultimately heroic contribution to the Allied war effort in the port town of Ortona, Italy, over one week in December 1943. Master Canadian military historian and novelist Mark Zuehlke has assembled his chronicle from a wealth of sources, including interviews with soldiers from all sides of the conflict. For its studious evocations of the battle itself to the lovingly rendered details of the men involved, Ortona is sure to be of interest to any student of the "peak experience" that is warfare.

Publisher's Summary

In one furious week of fighting in December 1943, the First Canadian Infantry Division took Ortona, Italy, from elite German paratroopers ordered to hold the medieval port at all costs. When the battle was over, the Canadians emerged victorious despite heavy losses. Over 2,500 Canadians died or were wounded there. Military historian Mark Zuehlke blends reminiscences of the Canadians, Germans, and Italians who were there together with a blow-by-blow account of the fighting to create a harrowing, ultimately hopeful rendering of one of World War II's defining moments.

©2004 Mark Zuehlke (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (17 )
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3.7 (12 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Charles LYNDON STATION, WISCONSIN, United States 05-11-13
    Charles LYNDON STATION, WISCONSIN, United States 05-11-13 Member Since 2017
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    "Ortona"

    I enjoyed this book very much. We usually don't hear about what other countries did in WWII.I would recommend this book to others.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan 10-08-17
    Ryan 10-08-17 Member Since 2015
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    "A must read"

    Another great read. Mark sets a high bar for everyone of his books and meets it every time. I really enjoyed this one and is a must read for all Canadians.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig 07-18-17
    Craig 07-18-17 Member Since 2017
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    "My Grandfather's Battle"

    I enjoyed this audio book very much. The story of what the Canadians went through to break through the German lines was one I only heard of from my mother as my grandfather passed away when I was five.
    While the performer did mispronounce some Canadian terms and institutions, his tempo and pace kept you on the edge of the story as it progressed.
    I would recommend this book to all people who want to understand what it was truly like in the Second World War. It was not the glamor that we see in the old movies.
    Thank you for producing this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Howling Monkey 06-13-16 Listener Since 2008
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    "Ortona the Story I didn't know"

    I was amazed that I hadn't heard about the epic battle in Italy and the heroic efforts by Canadian troops including the Loyal Edmonton's...fantastic and fantastically narrated!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Assis 05-03-16
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    "Amazing story, poor choice in narrator"

    This book is a well put together and written account of the Canadian battle for Ortona.

    What is notable is that a non-Canadian narrator was selected. names of institutions and places are badly mispronounced, and he continuously pronounces 'lieutenant' in the American way, rather than that of the Commonwealth (pronounced: Lef-tenant)". As other comments mentioned, he also struggles at times with common English words.
    These mistakes take away from the story, and make it feel less of a Canadian Epic, and more of an American teacher trying to give you a history lesson.
    Great piece of literature, but maybe next time have a Canadian read a Canadian book by a Canadian author about a Canadian battle.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles N. Ward ojai ca usa 10-05-13
    Charles N. Ward ojai ca usa 10-05-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Exciting story of WWII but terrible reader"
    What was one of the most memorable moments of Ortona?

    Christmas Dinner with the Seaforth Highlanders, the Fallschirmjager defense of the city, "mouseholing" technique developed by Canadians in order to advance through the city.


    What didn’t you like about William Dufris’s performance?

    He is very distracting, almost as if his voice were constrained and reading were difficult to do. He seems unable to speak many common words, such as "the." He sounds clipped and awkward, and some sentences are almost unintelligible. I will never listen to a story narrated by this man again.


    Did Ortona inspire you to do anything?

    I am a WWII reenactor, and am now more enthusiastic in efforts to portray at a reenactment the Canadian infantryman.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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