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The War in Italy 1943-1944 (Despatches from…
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The War in Italy 1943-1944 (Despatches from the Front)

by John Grehan

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Recently added bybrs, srkal, RobPALMER
eb (1) history (1) Italian Campaign (1) Italy (1) military (1) war (1) WWII (2)

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Despatches from the Front, The War in Italy 1943 - 1944
Introduced and Compiled by John GREHAN and Martin MACE
Barnsley, Pen & Sword Military 2014
i – xii 292 pp ISBN 978 1 78346 213 1 (hbk) £25.00

This book is one of a series published by Pen and Sword Military compiled by GREHAN and MACE. As it name suggests, this one includes four Despatches relating to the British involvement in the campaign in Sicily and Italy from July 1943 until December 1944. It does not cover the U.S. involvement in that campaign, and because General Mark CLARK assumed command of the Army Group in December 1944, it does not cover the final offensive other than in passing. The four despatches included are those of General ALEXANDER relating to the invasion of Sicily, that of Admiral CUNNINGHAM relating to the naval aspects of that invasion, CUNNINGHAM’s despatch on the landings at Salerno, and the main one, which is by ALEXANDER and covers the land campaign from September 1943 until December 1944.

The despatches are reproduced in their original form, with a short commentary by the compilers at the beginning of the book. The one on the Sicilian campaign is relatively short, in line with the campaign. The two naval ones bring a different perspective on these two landings, but that at Anzio is not included. The largest section is that covering the main campaign in Italy, up to the initial battle of the Gothic Line. ALEXANDER’s despatch is comprehensive, but covers the campaign from a strategic and operational perspective only. There are some useful appendices, including ten providing the outline orders of battle of the Allies and Axis forces at various times during the campaign.

In conclusion, this book falls short of providing a comprehensive account of the Italian campaign in Italy, omitting as it does the air campaign, the final offensive and naval operations other than the landings on Sicily and at Salerno. However, it is a useful account for students of the Italian campaign, giving as it does the account of the Army Group commander and his view of the events as they occurred. ( )
  RobPALMER | May 13, 2015 |
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