A riveting tour de force by Canada’s leading military historian about the heroic Black Watch’s fight for survival at Verrières Ridge
Centred around one of Canada’s most storied regiments, Seven Days in Hell tells the epic tale of the bloody battle for Verrières Ridge, a dramatic saga that unfolded just weeks after one of Canada’s greatest military triumphs of the Second World War. O’Keefe takes us on a heart-pounding journey at the sharp end of combat during the infamous Normandy campaign, when more than 300 Black Watch Highlanders from across Canada, the United States, Great Britain and the Allied world found themselves embroiled in mortal combat against elite Waffen-SS units and grizzled Eastern Front veterans. Only a handful walked away. Pinned down as the result of strategic blunders and the fog of war, the men were thrust into a nightmare where station, rank, race and religion mattered little and only character won the day. Drawing on formerly classified documents and rare first-person testimony from the men who fought on the front lines, O’Keefe follows the footsteps of the ghosts of Normandy, giving a voice yet again to the men who sacrificed everything in the summer of 1944.
DAVID O’KEEFE is an award-winning historian, documentarian and professor at Marianopolis College in Westmount, Quebec. He served with the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada in the Canadian Forces in Montreal and worked as a signals intelligence research historian for the Directorate of History and Heritage. He created and collaborated on more than fifteen documentaries for the History channel and National Geographic and has appeared on CBC, CTV, Global Television and the UKTV Network in Great Britain. He wrote and co-produced the groundbreaking documentary Dieppe Uncovered, which made headlines around the world, as well as the documentary Black Watch Snipers. He is also the writer, co-creator and host of the History channel’s program War Junk. In addition, he is the bestselling author of One Day in August: The Untold Story behind Canada’s Tragedy at Dieppe, a finalist for the John W. Dafoe Book Prize, the CAA Lela Common Award for Canadian History and the RBC Taylor Prize. David O’Keefe lives in Rigaud, Quebec, with his wife and children.