The Italian Campaign, 1943–1945 (Paperback)
Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives
The Second World War Italian campaign is often less well remembered than the struggle of the Germans against the western Allies in north-west Europe and against the Soviet Union in the east. But, as this book demonstrates in over 300 photographs, the Italian peninsula was a major theatre of the war in itself.
More than a million Allied troops fought there, more than half a million Germans and Italians; there were over 600,00 casualties and well over 100,000 dead. The soldiers of many nations took part – Americans, Australians, Brazilians, British, Canadians, French, Germans, Greeks, Indians, Italians, Poles, South Africans – in a gruelling and protracted sequence of battles across rocky, mountainous terrain that made a mockery of Churchill’s description of it as the ‘soft underbelly’ of occupied Europe.
Every stage of the campaign is represented in the photographs – from the Allied landings in Sicily in 1943, through the tenacious defence by the Germans of a series of fortified lines as the Allies struggled north, to the final Allied advance across the Po in April 1945 and the German surrender. As well as showing the soldiers on all sides and the towns and Italian landscapes in which the fighting took place, the photographs record the appalling devastation the warfare left in its wake.