A lively and highly readable study of the often-overlooked Italian Campaign, from the invasion of Sicily to the march on Rome.
While the Allied armies were beginning their invasion of the beaches of north-west Europe during D-Day, their fellow soldiers were also engaged in a gruelling campaign throughout the length of Italy.
They had expected to carve through the ‘soft underbelly of Europe’, but what they found instead was a ‘tough old gut’ filled with battle-hardened troops. It was the costliest campaign on the Western front in terms of casualties suffered by infantry forces of both sides, with both the Allies and Germans losing over three hundred thousand men.
Drawing on the recollections of British, American, Polish, French and German men and women who took part, as well as on the official histories, Charles Whiting paints a vivid picture of the liberation of Italy as seen through the eyes of the ordinary soldier.
Whiting sheds light on some of the most ferocious fighting that took place during this conflict, including the bloody Battle of Anzio, where Allied troops attempted to outflank German forces but were held down by dogged fighting.