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Pen & Sword- Images of War "The Italian Campaign 1941-1945"

ISBN Number:
Wednesday, May 31, 2023
Pen and Sword Books
Retail Price:
Reviewed By:
Shon Stephens

Images of War

"The Italian Campaign 1941 - 1945 Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives"

"The Soft Underbelly of Europe"

The Italian Campaign of World War II, spanning from 1941 to 1945, was a series of Allied military operations aimed at overthrowing Fascist rule in Italy, ultimately leading to a significant strategic shift in the European theater of war. In 1941, while most Italian action was centered in North Africa and the Balkans, Italy itself became a critical battleground. Following the fall of Mussolini in 1943, Italy signed an armistice with the Allies. This resulted in the German occupation of Italy, escalating the conflict there.

The campaign officially started with the Allied invasion of Sicily in July 1943, known as Operation Husky. This was a joint British-American operation and resulted in the ousting of the Italian dictator Mussolini. In September 1943, the Allies followed up with Operation Avalanche, a large-scale amphibious invasion at Salerno on the western coast of Italy. This was met with strong German resistance, but the Allies eventually established a firm foothold. For the next year and a half, the Allies engaged in a slow and costly advance up the Italian peninsula, with major battles at places like Monte Cassino and Anzio. The campaign was characterized by harsh conditions, rugged terrain, and well-prepared German defenses, which stalled the Allied advance several times. In the spring of 1945, after a successful offensive, the Allies broke through the last German defensive line, leading to a general German retreat. On April 28, 1945, Mussolini was captured and executed by Italian partisans. The war in Italy ended on May 2, 1945, when the German forces in Italy surrendered.

While sometimes overshadowed by other theatres of World War II, the Italian Campaign was a pivotal phase of the war. It tied down significant German resources, contributing to the overall Allied strategy of stretching German defenses on multiple fronts.

Pen & Sword Military have added to their excellent Images of War series with "The Italian Campaign 1941-1945, Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives" by Phillip Jowett.  The many black and white photos, draw the reader into the narrative of the Italian Campaign during the Second World War. Following the " Images of War" approach of storytelling through photographs, the book sheds light on this sometimes overlooked theater of the war.

The book's presentation is divided into 13 well-curated chapters, each focusing on a specific operation or phase in the Italian campaign. It commences with the lead-up to the invasion of Sicily and culminates with the German surrender in 1945. Each chapter begins with a few paragraphs that provide historical context, before following the well-captioned photographs to complete the story.

One of the book's notable strengths lies in the breadth and variety of its visual content. There is a little something here for all interests, amateur historian or modeler, with pictures covering air, land, and sea.

"The Italian Campaign 1941-1945, Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives" is a gripping, visual journey through the Italian Campaign.

Front Cover Contents Image 1
Image 2 Image 3 Image 4
Image 5 Image 6 Back Cover


Publisher :  Pen and Sword Military (June 30, 2023)
Author: Jowett, Philip
Language :  English
Paperback :  240 pages, 300 photographs
ISBN-10 :  1399073117
ISBN-13 :  978-1399073110
Item Weight :  1.5 lbs.
Item Dimensions : 7.4 x 0.5 x 9.7 in.

Highly Recommended for Beginner to Advanced builders.

Thanks goes out to Casemate Publications for this review sample.

Reviewed by Shon Stephens


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