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Book Recommendations for Salerno and Anzio Landings


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I was hoping to see if anyone here has any books they could recommend that covers the landings at Salerno and Anzio. I don't know a lot about these two operations, other than they were both nearly disasters for various reasons. 

I already know about the Army Green Books and have access to them, and I am aware that Atkinsons second book, "Day of Battle" is considered to be a rather poor history of the Italian campaign that focuses too much on the drama of the generals involved. There was a discussion about it a while ago in this thread:

Any and all suggestions welcome!

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Carlo D'Este's Fatal Decision covers Anzio at some length and might be a good place to start. I've read several accounts of Salerno, but no single one stands out in my memory at the moment.

Atkinson's account is somewhat uneven due to being too US-centric to be a really comprehensive account. It's not that he particularly disparages the various Allies—of which there were many—it's just that he barely mentions them. This means that about half the campaign is missing from his account. But what is there is well written and informative. So worth reading, just don't stop there.

Michael

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8 hours ago, Michael Emrys said:

Carlo D'Este's Fatal Decision covers Anzio at some length and might be a good place to start. I've read several accounts of Salerno, but no single one stands out in my memory at the moment.

Atkinson's account is somewhat uneven due to being too US-centric to be a really comprehensive account. It's not that he particularly disparages the various Allies—of which there were many—it's just that he barely mentions them. This means that about half the campaign is missing from his account. But what is there is well written and informative. So worth reading, just don't stop there.

Michael

Ahh ok thanks for the clarification on Atkinsons book. I already own it so I will likely start there and then rad more about Salerno and Anzio specifically to fill in the gaps. I'll look into "Fatal Decision" for this purpose. Thanks for the recommendation! 

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1 hour ago, jtsjc1 said:

http://www.history.army.mil/catalog/pubs/100/100-7.html  Here's one from CMH.  They have a large catalog of online books and pamphlets. There's also one for Salerno To Cassino, and Anzio Beachead.

These are the US Army Green Books I mentioned in my first post. I should have clarified, as they go by a few different names.

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1 hour ago, IICptMillerII said:

These are the US Army Green Books I mentioned in my first post. I should have clarified, as they go by a few different names.

Well, the last of jtsjc1 sentences mentions booklets that are different from the Green Book series. I have the one on Salerno, for instance.

Michael

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13 minutes ago, Michael Emrys said:

Well, the last of jtsjc1 sentences mentions booklets that are different from the Green Book series. I have the one on Salerno, for instance.

Michael

You're right! I looked again and found this:

http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/salerno/sal-fm.htm

It was another link on the page that jtsjc1 linked to. It seems that there were additional books/material prepared and released for the Green Books. The link above looks to be supplementary reading on Salerno itself. Thanks to @jtsjc1 for posting the link. I had no idea that there was supplemental information to go along with the base Green Books. 

A friend of mine just finished reading "The Second World War" by Anthony Beever and enjoyed it a lot: 

https://www.amazon.com/Second-World-War-Antony-Beevor/dp/0316023752

It covers the entire war, but from what I've heard it does a better job of explaining the situation in the Italian theater from all points of view, and doesn't over drama-fy the generals relationships like Atkinson is accused of doing. Its a relatively new book as well, published in 2013. Anyone here read it and have an opinion? I'm considering picking it up as well and reading the parts that cover Salerno and Anzio first, then going back later and reading the whole thing when I've finally scratched this Italy obsession. 

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On 21/02/2017 at 10:39 AM, Michael Emrys said:

Carlo D'Este's Fatal Decision covers Anzio at some length and might be a good place to start. I've read several accounts of Salerno, but no single one stands out in my memory at the moment.

I second the Carlo d'Este recommendation. He has another Italian campaign book, "Bitter Victory".

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I read a book called "Salerno 1943:Gulf of Hell" many years ago. I remember it being enjoyable and very interesting. It focuses sorely on the Salerno landing with only a few pages devoted to the attack up the boot of Italy. Not a full recommendation though as I read it over twenty-five years ago and the memory fades.
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10 minutes ago, niall78 said:
I read a book called "Salerno 1943:Gulf of Hell" many years ago. I remember it being enjoyable and very interesting. It focuses sorely on the Salerno landing with only a few pages devoted to the attack up the boot of Italy. Not a full recommendation though as I read it over twenty-five years ago and the memory fades.

Thanks for the recommendation! I'll look into it and add it to the list. It sounds very helpful if it is an account that focuses solely on Salerno. The larger histories, while helpful in their own respects, tend to lack the fine detail that these types of specific books have. Thanks again!

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20 minutes ago, Pete Wenman said:

 

The Battleground series are good for CM level reference, and I used a good number when creating scenarios

They offer one on Anzio

http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Anzio-Paperback/p/1302

P

This looks excellent, both the book on Anzio and the series. I just briefly looked over all of the books they offer and wow, they sure do cover a lot! This looks like an excellent resource for tons of well known and lesser known battles. Thanks for the recommendation! I can already feel my wallet getting lighter.

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Then there is this: A Hard Way to Make a War: The Allied Campaign in Italy in the Second World War by Ian Gooderson. I bought this three years and presumably read it, but can't recall a thing about it. It didn't seem to make an impression on me, so I really don't know what to say about it. I notice that the two reviews of it in Amazon were raves. It can be had very cheaply, so it might be worth getting on speculation.

Michael

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http://www.history.army.mil/catalog/pubs/em/em 0312.html    Here is the collected works of the US Army In WWII. This is great because it has all the Green Books including some which are impossible to find and the other pamphlets etc I linked to earlier. Its backordered but they're pretty good at replacing the stock in reasonable time. I have it and its great to have everything in one place but I like physical copies because many of these publications are packed with an envelope of maps.

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I also have Gooderson's A Hard Way To Make a War and rate it very highly. It's very analytical and well written, the section on Salerno is quite extensive, although Anzio is a bit briefer. Gooderson is the guy who wrote Airpower at the Battlefront, which is another excellent read.

 

This is the bibliography for a thing I wrote on Anzio several years ago:

Anonymous, (1944). Outline Plan OPERATION “SHINGLE”. Headquarters Fifth Army.

Anonymous, ( - ). The German operations at Anzio. Fort Benning, Georgia: Headquarters 25th Infantry

Anonymous, (1944). Lessons learned in combat, November 1942 – September 1944. Headquarters 34th Infantry Division, US Army.

Anonymous, (1997) MCDP 1.3 Tactics. USMC

Bailey, B. (2000). Operation Dickens, the third battle for Cassino: an analysis of defeat. Massey University.

Blumenson, M. (1960). General Lucas at Anzio. In K.R. Greenfield (ed.), Command Decisions. (p. 323 – 350). (2000) Washington, D.C.: Center Of Military History, Department Of The Army.

Bowditch, J. (1947). Anzio beachhead 22 January - 25 May 1944. (1990) Washington, D.C.: Center Of Military History, Department Of The Army.

D’Este, C. (1991). Fatal decision, Anzio and the battle for Rome. New York: Harper Collins Publishers Ltd.

Ellis, J. (1984). Cassino, the hollow victory, the battle for Rome January – June 1944. London: André Deutsch Ltd.

Graham, D., & Bidwell, S. (1986). Tug of war, the battle for Italy, 1943 – 45. New York: St. Martin’s Press

Hastings, M. (1984). Overlord: D-Day and the battle for Normandy, 1944. (1985). London: Pan Books Ltd.

Laurie, C.D. ( - ). The US Army campaigns of world war II, Anzio, 1944. U.S. Army Center of Military History.

Lowry, Rear Admiral J.F. (1944) Supplementary Action Report 17 May 1944

Mark, E. (1994). Aerial interdiction in three wars. Washington D.C.: Center for Air Force History.

Molony C.J.C (1973). History of the Second World War: The Mediterranean and Middle East: Volume V, the campaign in Sicily 1943 and the campaign in Italy, 3rd September 1943 to 31st March 1744. Her Majesty’s Stationery Office.

Morison, S.E. (1947). History of United States Navy operations in World War II, volume II: Operations in North African waters, October 1942 ~ June 1943. Boston: Little, Brown and Company

---- (1954). History of United States Navy operations in World War II, volume IX: Sicily – Salerno – Anzio, January 1943 ~ June 1944. Boston: Little, Brown and Company

Pemberton, A.L. (1950). The development of artillery tactics and equipment. London: The War Office

Smith, K.V. ( - ). The US Army campaigns of world war II, Naples – Foggia, 1943 – 1944. U.S. Army Center of Military History

Wilmot, C. (1952) The struggle for Europe. (1954). London: Collins, Sons and Co. Ltd.

Woodruff, W. (1995). The battle for Anzio. Joint Force Quarterly, Summer 1995, 62 - 67.

 

A lot of these are available online.

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20 hours ago, JonS said:

I also have Gooderson's A Hard Way To Make a War and rate it very highly. It's very analytical and well written, the section on Salerno is quite extensive, although Anzio is a bit briefer. Gooderson is the guy who wrote Airpower at the Battlefront, which is another excellent read.

 

This is the bibliography for a thing I wrote on Anzio several years ago:

Anonymous, (1944). Outline Plan OPERATION “SHINGLE”. Headquarters Fifth Army.

Anonymous, ( - ). The German operations at Anzio. Fort Benning, Georgia: Headquarters 25th Infantry

Anonymous, (1944). Lessons learned in combat, November 1942 – September 1944. Headquarters 34th Infantry Division, US Army.

Anonymous, (1997) MCDP 1.3 Tactics. USMC

Bailey, B. (2000). Operation Dickens, the third battle for Cassino: an analysis of defeat. Massey University.

Blumenson, M. (1960). General Lucas at Anzio. In K.R. Greenfield (ed.), Command Decisions. (p. 323 – 350). (2000) Washington, D.C.: Center Of Military History, Department Of The Army.

Bowditch, J. (1947). Anzio beachhead 22 January - 25 May 1944. (1990) Washington, D.C.: Center Of Military History, Department Of The Army.

D’Este, C. (1991). Fatal decision, Anzio and the battle for Rome. New York: Harper Collins Publishers Ltd.

Ellis, J. (1984). Cassino, the hollow victory, the battle for Rome January – June 1944. London: André Deutsch Ltd.

Graham, D., & Bidwell, S. (1986). Tug of war, the battle for Italy, 1943 – 45. New York: St. Martin’s Press

Hastings, M. (1984). Overlord: D-Day and the battle for Normandy, 1944. (1985). London: Pan Books Ltd.

Laurie, C.D. ( - ). The US Army campaigns of world war II, Anzio, 1944. U.S. Army Center of Military History.

Lowry, Rear Admiral J.F. (1944) Supplementary Action Report 17 May 1944

Mark, E. (1994). Aerial interdiction in three wars. Washington D.C.: Center for Air Force History.

Molony C.J.C (1973). History of the Second World War: The Mediterranean and Middle East: Volume V, the campaign in Sicily 1943 and the campaign in Italy, 3rd September 1943 to 31st March 1744. Her Majesty’s Stationery Office.

Morison, S.E. (1947). History of United States Navy operations in World War II, volume II: Operations in North African waters, October 1942 ~ June 1943. Boston: Little, Brown and Company

---- (1954). History of United States Navy operations in World War II, volume IX: Sicily – Salerno – Anzio, January 1943 ~ June 1944. Boston: Little, Brown and Company

Pemberton, A.L. (1950). The development of artillery tactics and equipment. London: The War Office

Smith, K.V. ( - ). The US Army campaigns of world war II, Naples – Foggia, 1943 – 1944. U.S. Army Center of Military History

Wilmot, C. (1952) The struggle for Europe. (1954). London: Collins, Sons and Co. Ltd.

Woodruff, W. (1995). The battle for Anzio. Joint Force Quarterly, Summer 1995, 62 - 67.

 

A lot of these are available online.

This is quite the list, thank you! 

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  • 2 weeks later...
21 hours ago, James Crowley said:

Salerno by Eric Morris; Hutchinson & Co 1983

Anzio 44: an unexpected fury by Peter Verney; B T Batsford Ltd 1978

Both books are very readable; bring the action down to detailed tactical level and have numerous first-hand accounts as well as black and white maps.

Thanks! These sound like very enjoyable reads. Added to the (rather large) list!

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  • 2 months later...
On 2017-03-16 at 7:53 PM, IICptMillerII said:

Thanks! These sound like very enjoyable reads. Added to the (rather large) list!

Did you ever get around to reading any of the suggested books? I'm now on a hunt for a good and detailed account of the Salerno landings for future scenario making ideas and though you might give me some guidance on what to pick. 

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On 5/19/2017 at 6:06 PM, rocketman said:

Did you ever get around to reading any of the suggested books? I'm now on a hunt for a good and detailed account of the Salerno landings for future scenario making ideas and though you might give me some guidance on what to pick. 

http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/salerno/sal-fm.htm This is quite helpful as its posted online, so its more readily accessible. Aside from that I haven't been able to crack into many of the books posted yet. Although now that CMFI has been upgraded to 4.0 I'll likely pick some of these up. I'll likely start with these: https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Anzio-Paperback/p/1302 as they look like a great small but dense resource.

I have read chunks of "The Day of Battle" pertaining to Salerno and agree that it is a rather lacking depiction. So I can recommend you avoid it as its not a thorough account. 

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2 hours ago, IICptMillerII said:

http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/salerno/sal-fm.htm This is quite helpful as its posted online, so its more readily accessible. Aside from that I haven't been able to crack into many of the books posted yet. Although now that CMFI has been upgraded to 4.0 I'll likely pick some of these up. I'll likely start with these: https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Anzio-Paperback/p/1302 as they look like a great small but dense resource.

I have read chunks of "The Day of Battle" pertaining to Salerno and agree that it is a rather lacking depiction. So I can recommend you avoid it as its not a thorough account. 

Currently reading "The Day of Battle" and that wetted my appetite to learn more about Salerno. The first link, is it for "Salerno to Cassino" - the official Army book? For some reason I can't access "history.army.mil" links any more but downloaded it a couple of years ago. Have it on a HD somewhare. Will look inte "Pen and Sword" books. Haven't read any of their titles but my impression from different forums is that they are generally of good quality.

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