Italy's Sorrow: A Year of War: 1944--1945

Italy's Sorrow: A Year of War: 1944--1945

by James Holland
     
 

ISBN-10: 0312373961

ISBN-13: 9780312373962

Pub. Date: 04/01/2008

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

During the Second World War, the campaign in Italy was the most destructive fought in Europe – a long, bitter and highly attritional conflict that raged up the country’s mountainous leg. For frontline troops, casualty rates at Cassino and along the notorious Gothic Line were as high as they had been on the Western Front in the First World War. There

Overview

During the Second World War, the campaign in Italy was the most destructive fought in Europe – a long, bitter and highly attritional conflict that raged up the country’s mountainous leg. For frontline troops, casualty rates at Cassino and along the notorious Gothic Line were as high as they had been on the Western Front in the First World War. There were further similarities too: blasted landscapes, rain and mud, and months on end with the front line barely moving.

And while the Allies and Germans were fighting it out through the mountains, the Italians were engaging in bitter battles too. Partisans were carrying out a crippling resistance campaign against the German troops but also battling the Fascists forces as well in what soon became a bloody civil war. Around them, innocent civilians tried to live through the carnage, terror and anarchy, while in the wake of the Allied advance, horrific numbers of impoverished and starving people were left to pick their way through the ruins of their homes and country. In the German-occupied north, there were more than 700 civilian massacres by German and Fascist troops in retaliation for Partisan activities, while in the south, many found themselves forced into making terrible and heart-rending decisions in order to survive.

Although known as a land of beauty and for the richness of its culture, Italy’s suffering in 1944-1945 is now largely forgotten. This is the first account of the conflict there to tell the story from all sides and to include the experiences of soldiers and civilians alike. Offering extensive original research, it weaves together the drama and tragedy of that terrible year, including new perspectives and material on some of the most debated episodes to have emerged from the Second World War.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312373962
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
04/01/2008
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
656
Product dimensions:
6.91(w) x 9.19(h) x 2.01(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations     xi
List of Maps     xv
Note on the Text     xxvii
Principal Personalities     xxix
Prologue     xxxiii
The Road To Rome     1
The Eve of Battle: May 1944     3
Battle Begins: 11-12 May 1944     18
Churchill's Opportunism     23
The Slow Retreat     32
Frustrations     42
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea     53
Masters of the Skies     70
The Battle Rages: 13-16 May 1944     81
New Order     92
Breaking the Gustav Line: 17-18 May 1944     103
Achtung Banditen!     111
The Fog of War: 18-23 May 1944     125
Break-out: 23-26 May 1944     139
General Clark and the Big Switch: 26-30 May 1944     152
The Fall of Rome: 1-5 June 1944     169
The Brutal Summer     185
The North     187
The Problems of Generalship: June 1944     202
The Typhoon Rolls North     215
Breaking the Albert Line: 20-30 June 1944     225
The Politics of War     241
Differences of Opinion     252
Summer Heat: July1944     264
Crossing the Arno: July-August 1944     279
A Change of Plan: August 1944     291
Despair: August 1944     305
The Gothic Line: 25 August-1 September 1944     317
The Tragedy of Gemmano: 1-12 September 1944     333
Mountain Passes and Bloody Ridges: 12-21 September 1944     345
The Winter of Discontent     365
Death in the Mountains: 22-29 September 1944     367
The Reason Why     383
Rain, Mud and Misery, Part I: 1-14 October 1944     393
Rain, Mud and Misery, Part II: 15-31 October 1944     411
The Infantryman's Lot: November 1944     425
The Partisan Crisis: November-December 1944     441
White Christmas: December 1944     453
Endgame     471
Stalemate: January-February 1945     473
Getting Ready: February-April 1945     487
The Last Offensive: 9-20 April 1945     504
The End of the War in Italy: 21 April-2 May 1945     516
Postscript     528
References     541
Bibliography     547
Acknowledgements     573
Abbreviations and Glossary     577
Guide to ranks      581
Index     583

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