Mark Zuehlke is best known as the award winning author of the Canadian Battle Series, each volume of which focuses on a battle or campaign fought by the Canadian Army in World War II. There are currently ten books in the series, the most recent of which is Tragedy at Dieppe: Operation Jubilee, August 19, 1942 published in fall 2012. The series is the most extensive account of any national army’s involvement in World War II written by a single author. In 2006, Holding Juno: Canada’s Heroic Defence of the D–Day Beaches won the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize.
His interest in the nation’s history is eclectic and he approaches writing about it in diverse ways. Zuehlke has published five books of history unconnected to World War II. These are 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, The Gallant Cause: Canadians in the Spanish Civil War, The Canadian Military Atlas: Four Centuries of Conflict from New France to Kosovo, and Scoundrels, Dreamers & Second Sons: British Remittance Men in the Canadian West. For Honour’s Sake won the Canadian Authors Association Lela Common History Award in 2007.
Recently he has turned to bringing Canada’s history alive for reluctant and younger readers with two titles in the Raven Books Rapid Reads series: Ortona Street Fight and Assault on Juno. He also authored in 2012 a historical summary outlining the course of the War of 1812 that is appended to the Renegade Arts graphic novel, The Loxleys and the War of 1812. Among current projects, he is the lead author on a sequel to this graphic novel that follows members of the Loxley family through the negotiations that resulted in Canadian Confederation.
He is also currently at work on the eleventh installment of the Canadian Battle Series, Decision on the Rhine: First Canadian Army and the Rhineland Campaign, February 8–March 10, 1945. This July he travelled to Sicily to undertake a twenty-day march in the company of several hundred other Canadians to commemorate Canada’s participation in Operation Husky—the 1943 Allied amphibious invasion that liberated the island from the fascist yoke. Through Blood and Sweat: A Remembrance Trek Across the Hills of Sicily will be a personal account of this undertaking.
Although most often described as Canada’s leading popular military historian, Zuehlke is also a novelist. Hands Like Clouds, the first of the popular Elias McCann series, won the 2000 Crime Writers of Canada Arthur Ellis Best First Novel Prize and the third volume, Sweep Lotus, was a finalist for the Arthur Ellis Best Novel Prize in 2004.
Zuehlke lives in Victoria with partner and fellow writer Frances Backhouse.