Despatches From The Front, The War in Italy 1943-1944

B2113

Another addition to the excellent range of primary source information drawn from a careful selection of despatches. The text is very well supported by an interesting photo plate section and the authors/editors are to be commended for producing a work that provides a direct insight into the thoughts, fears, beliefs and actions of senior commanders in what was a very important theatre of operations.

This book provides a unique set of views from the commanders involved in the Italian Campaign. Essential reading for military history enthusiasts, but also a fascinatingly different set of insights for those wishing to develop their knowledge and appreciation of WWII.

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NAME: Despatches From The Front, The War in Italy 1943-1944
DATE: 081214
FILE: R2113
AUTHOR: John Grehan, Martin Mace
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back
PAGES: 292
PRICE: £25.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWII, World War Two, Second World War, European Theatre, Italy, soft underbelly, 2nd Front, slow slog, primary sources
ISBN: 1-78346-213-2
IMAGE: B2113.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/ocqoqmx
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: Another addition to the excellent range of primary source information drawn from a careful selection of despatches. The text is very well supported by an interesting photo plate section and the authors/editors are to be commended for producing a work that provides a direct insight into the thoughts, fears, beliefs and actions of senior commanders in what was a very important theatre of operations.

At the time, the Italian campaign was much derided, with a popular song describing the troops as D-Day Dodgers on holiday in sunny Italy. That was also Stalin’s opinion. Churchill has been over-quoted as talking of Italy as the soft underbelly which is not exactly what he believed. The result is that the Italian campaign has received much less coverage that it deserved and the courage of Allied Forces there has been under-valued.

After the complete victory in North Africa, the Allies already had considerable military assets a short distance from Scilly and Italy. The Germans and Italians had been in retreat to Italy and rifts were already opening between the two Axis powers. Landing an invasion force on Scilly and then on the Italian mainland was a very logical step, keeping the pressure on Germany after its North African defeat. It also achieved the overturning of the Fascists in Italy and for the Italians to come over to the Allied side. That was a major propaganda coup and assisted both in the occupation of Southern Italy by the Allies and the relentless advance North. Italy was the real second front that Stalin had been calling for and it was practical at a time when much still had to be done to prepare for a successful landing in Normandy.

The Italian campaign tied down important numbers of German troops and Panzer forces that would otherwise have been available to the Germans in defending the Channel coast. It also consumed large quantities of ammunition, fuel and supplies, which Germany could ill-afford.

The weather conditions in Italy were often harsh and unforgiving, unlike the claims in the popular song. The fighting was also fierce and the Germans expended great effort in slowing down the Allied advance. When D-Day arrived, the presence of Allied forces in Italy assisted in making landings in Southern France to further pressure the Germans. Without the forces in Italy, the Germans would have been able to both strengthen defences in southern France, and threaten any Allied forces, that landed in southern France, with a flank attack.

This book provides a unique set of views from the commanders involved in the Italian Campaign. Essential reading for military history enthusiasts, but also a fascinatingly different set of insights for those wishing to develop their knowledge and appreciation of WWII.

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