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On 1/15/2018 at 3:09 AM, grunt_GI said:

Day of Battle by Rick Atkinson is a very good one volume history. 

I have to disagree – written with a completely pro-US bias, any volume that hero-worships Mark Clark has to be questioned.

For a balanced, well written book of one the key campaigns in the battle for Italy, try 'Fatal Decision: Anzio and the Battle for Rome' by Carlo D’Este. Despite the fact that it focuses a little too much on the political in-fighting between the senior Allied commanders, it remains an excellent and well-researched account.

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Eh, well, Atkinson may not be for everyone..and I definitely did not get the impression he hero worshipped Mark Clark.

However, D'Este has written several great books on this theater in addition to Fatal Decision.

Bitter Victory: The Battle for Sicily 1943,  

World War II in the Mediterranean, 1942–1945

James Holland also has a great book on the campaign from May 1944 to the end of the war called Italy's Sorrow

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Atkinson is pretty great, however he focuses mainly on the US forces. I don't think he's biased against anybody in particular. The Allies ( both Americans and the British ) comited pretty bad errors during the Italian campaign and Atkinson is pretty clear about it.

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On 1/18/2018 at 12:32 AM, jonPhillips said:

I have to disagree – written with a completely pro-US bias, any volume that hero-worships Mark Clark has to be questioned.

For a balanced, well written book of one the key campaigns in the battle for Italy, try 'Fatal Decision: Anzio and the Battle for Rome' by Carlo D’Este. Despite the fact that it focuses a little too much on the political in-fighting between the senior Allied commanders, it remains an excellent and well-researched account.

I can't find Battle for Rome by Casrlo D'Este but there is one by Robert Katz.

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"Primavera 1945 sul fronte italiano. Atlante dei 25 giorni dall'appennino al fiume Po. Ediz. italiana e inglese" Marco Belogi and Daniele Guglielmi

It is (as the title specifies- in Italian) in both English and Italian. Excellent maps and an accounting of the Spring fighting in 1945. Maybe a bit pricey, due to the curse of all decent niche history books- but excellent if you can find a copy for an amount you can live with yourself for paying.

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  • 1 year later...

I've done quite a lot of research on the Sicily campaign (mainly focused on the Commonwealth effort though). You can find a list of books in the second post in this thread (https://forums.lnlpublishing.com/threads/the-battle-for-catania-primosole-bridge-sicily-july-1943.5326/).

For tactical, "Combat Mission" purposes, the "Lessons learned from the campaign in Sicily" might be of particular interest: https://archive.org/details/LessonsFromTheSicilianCampaign/page/n21 (A similar thing exists for the campagin in mainland Italy, but I couldn't find it on the internet). I found p.13-14 particularly interesting (infantry failing to deliver a sufficient volume of fire because they would only fire at enemies they could see)

Edited by Kaunitz
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On 1/18/2018 at 7:33 PM, Heirloom_Tomato said:

For a Canadian perspective try the Canadian Battle Series by Mark Zuehlke specifically Operation Husky, Ortona, The Gothic Valley and The Liri Valley.

Hey Heirloom, based on your recommendation I have read three of the Zuehlke books, Juno, Holding Juno, & Ortona.  All VERY good, thanks!  Husky is next on my list.

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Just to add to this older topic. I see Osprey Publishing has four of their Campaign books focussed on the Italian Battlegrounds:

Campaign 251 - Sicily 1943, The debut of Allied joint operations (Zaloga)

Campaign 257 - Salerno 1943, The Allies invade Southern Italy (Konstam)

Campaign 155 - Anzio 1944, The beleaguered beachhead (Zaloga)

Campaign 134 - Cassino 1944, Breaking the Gustav line (Ford)

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15 minutes ago, umlaut said:

Even though it is not completely on topic, I will highly recommend "Operation Mincemeat" by Ben MacIntyre. A fantastic story about british intelligence´s incredible deception operation prior to the invasion of Sicily.

They made a rather sober film about this too, called “The Man Who Never Was.”

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3 hours ago, umlaut said:

Even though it is not completely on topic, I will highly recommend "Operation Mincemeat" by Ben MacIntyre. A fantastic story about british intelligence´s incredible deception operation prior to the invasion of Sicily.

MacIntryre book are all very very good.  I've read five or six of them.  His newest, about a russian agent who was working for the Brits was outstanding.  Read like a novel.  He as a really good one the brit SAS also

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1 hour ago, rocketman said:

Anyone read Monte Cassino: A German View by Rudolf Bohmler? I've had my eyes on it and want to know if it is a good read or just a glorification of Fallschirmjäger heroism?

I don’t know if any of this is a reliable review but FWIW

 

https://www.naval-military-press.com/product/monte-cassinoa-german-view/

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25580132-monte-cassino

 

One from amazon said:

 

Quote

This is a reprint of Bohmler’s 1956 account, published in English firstly in the 1960s. It is, as it says, a German view of the battles for Cassino but it is also a look at the preceding campaign in Italy and the decisions that lead to it. Bohmler quotes extensively from the writings of Kesselring, Clark, Alexander, Juin and others about the battles but also to give the broader context of the war in Italy. Fascinatingly, he points out that German success and Allied mistakes impacted heavily on post war Europe.

As for the battles for the abbey, town and related positions, there is a host of material about the actions of the various divisions and regiments, even smaller units when concerning the Germans. I found this particularly interesting. This focus did mean that accounts about individuals actually fighting the battles were largely absent. This is surprising given the author commanded a battalion of the 1st Falschirmjager Division. His recollections and observances are no doubt incorporated but they are not specified. I was hoping for first person accounts but again, there are only a handful. This approach means the account is of a general nature only, rather than the frontline eye-witness accounts that have become popular in recent decades.

It is still a good read and gives necessary credit to the German conduct in the battle but also to their removal for safekeeping of many of the abbey’s treasures. The translation flows well and while there is a cliché or two, it seems even handed in how it explores the actions of the participants. There’s the occasional error regarding division identities but it seemed largely accurate to me. I’d have liked more in terms of strength states for the Germans but I guess much of this is lost. Still, I found myself learning new things about the campaign and battle. Recommended 3½ stars.

 

Edited by Bud Backer
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Well this section from the Amazon reader's review is relevant to what you asked:

 

Quote

It is still a good read and gives necessary credit to the German conduct in the battle but also to their removal for safekeeping of many of the abbey’s treasures. The translation flows well and while there is a cliché or two, it seems even handed in how it explores the actions of the participants. There’s the occasional error regarding division identities but it seemed largely accurate to me. 

You're right, the first link is more a description, but if you look at the Goodreads link you will see different people's opinions, and that might give you some feel for whether it's what you're hoping to find. 

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