A Hard Way to Make a War: The Allied Campaign in Italy in the Second World War

A Hard Way to Make a War: The Allied Campaign in Italy in the Second World War

by Ian Gooderson


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781844860593
Publisher: Conway
Publication date: 09/01/2009
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements     9
Introduction     11
The Strategic Context of the Italian Campaign     19
'Husky': Commanders and Controversy     39
'Husky': Planning the Allied Invasion of Sicily     59
The Invasion Plan and Practical Amphibious Planning     59
Confounding Axis Defence: Allied Strategic Deception     64
Sicily: The Axis Defence and its Dilemmas     68
Allied Air Power and 'Husky': The Preliminary Air Campaign     74
'Husky': The Battle for Sicily     79
The Landings     79
The Battle for the Gela Beachhead     84
The Island Campaign, 12 July to 17 August 1943     92
The End of the Sicily Campaign     98
Sicily: The Voice of Battle Experience     102
The Influence of Terrain     102
The Interpretation of Battle Experience     109
The Problem of Attack     111
The Land Mine Threat     112
The Gunners' Campaign     117
What Artillery Could Do     120
Artillery in Support of the Infantry Attack     124
The Infantry Attack in Sicily: A British Specialist's Interpretation     126
Planning the Next Move: The Decision to Invade Mainland Italy, June-August1943     142
The Surrender of Italy, August-September 1943     151
The Italian Situation     151
Italy: The German Perspective     154
Italy: The Allied Reaction and Intelligence Picture     162
Ashore in Italy     186
'Baytown'     186
'Avalanche': An Opposed Landing     188
'Avalanche': The Landing Battle Experience     209
The Salerno Beachhead Battle, 10-16 September     212
Autumn Frustration     221
The Mainland Campaign to the Winter Line     229
Closing to the Winter Line     229
The Winter Line     233
Strategic Stock-Taking     238
Clearing the Bernhardt Line     240
The Gustav Line, Breaking the Gustav Line     249
Anzio and Rome     268
To the Gothic Line and Beyond     281
Pursuit North of Rome     281
The Gothic Line     289
Fighting in Italy: The Voice of Experience     296
Mountain Warfare     297
Firepower in Support of the Infantry Attack     303
German Counterattack and Allied Patrolling     305
Casualties and Replacements     309
The Urban Battle      311
Air Support     315
Armour     317
A Hard Way to Make a War: The Italian Campaign in Retrospect     319
Notes     329
Allied and German Divisions     340
Bibliography     343

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A Hard Way to Make a War: The Allied Campaign in Italy in the Second World War 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
JonSowden on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I bought this on the strength of Gooderson's "Airpower at the Battlefront", and was not disappointed. The narrative of the campaign's in Sicily and Italy is sound, but where Gooderson really shines is in his analysis of those campaigns, how the two sides - and especially the Allies - were learning and improving from their experiences in battle. The analysis is comprehensive, balanced, and supported by extensive archival research. In common with practically all books on the Italian campaign, "A Hard Way To Make A War" is very heavily front-loaded. Roughly half the book is on the preparation for and invasion of Sicily, a quarter on Salerno, much of the remainder up to the capture of Rome, and only a few pages on the last year of the war north of Rome. This is, given the thrust of Gooderson's thesis, understandable (i.e., by the last year of the war the Allies had pretty much figured out how to beat the Germans) but still a little unsatisfying, since there was a lot of hard fighting, and and a lot of innovation and excellence there that gets glossed over.