The Savage Storm: The Battle for Italy 1943

Atlantic Monthly. Dec. 2023. 480p. ISBN 9780802161604. $32. MILITARY HISTORY
As the battle for Sicily raged, Allied war planners turned their attention to an invasion of the Italian island. Using a wide array of diaries, letters, and memoirs from combatants, World War II historian Holland (Brothers in Arms; host of the podcast We Have Ways of Making You Talk) expertly weaves together the story of the fight for Italy. His book shows that the proposed invasion plan included three major objectives: knock Italy out of the war, establish airfields to launch air attacks deep into Germany, and draw much-needed German troops away from Russia and Western Europe. In early September 1943, Allied forces came ashore in southern Italy. The British and Americans quickly met their main goals, which forced the Germans to rush more troops into the country and forcefully disarm Italian soldiers. Hopes for a quick capture of Rome by Christmas were soon dashed by stiff German resistance, which effectively used the mountainous terrain to slow the Allied advance. As planning for the Normandy invasion began to take priority, Allied personnel found themselves desperately short of troops and equipment. Holland recounts the terrible obstacles, including weather, that the soldiers faced in the terrain.
VERDICT Readers interested in World War II history, especially the Mediterranean campaign, will enjoy this title.
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