Cassino '44: The Brutal Battle for Rome (Hardcover)

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Acclaimed World War II historian James Holland vividly relates the dramatic last months of the crucial Italian Campaign from all sides in a masterful volume that illuminates the immediate experience of war like no other

As the new year of 1944 began in Italy, the Allied army's momentum had ground to a halt just south of the vaunted German Gustav Line of defense, far short of their initial objective of liberating Rome by Christmas. The fighting up the Italian peninsula had been brutal--rugged terrain, fierce resistance, terrible weather. While Allied leaders prepared for the cross-Channel invasion of France later that spring, the war in the West hinged in Italy. As bestselling historian James Holland relates in his seminal concluding volume on the Italy Campaign, the next five months saw two of World War II's most famous battles--the four ferocious assaults on Monte Cassino and the fraught landing northwest in the marshes at Anzio--culminating at last in the liberation of Rome on June 4-merely two days before D-Day.

Based on twenty years of research, Cassino '44 offers perspectives and conclusions that differ from the standard narrative. Holland elevates the narrative of war, chronicling the dramatic events primarily through in-the-moment letters and diaries of those who were there. Counterpointing the memories of German soldiers like battalion commander Jurg Kellner with those of British nurse Kal Morgan and American corporal Audie Murphy, whose exploits in the field would lead to Hollywood fame, and of Italian citizens and politicians caught up in the maelstrom, Holland vividly recreates their day-to-day encounter with destiny over each bloodily contested mile.

General Mark Clark, overall Allied commander in Italy, has been criticized for being overly cautious and needlessly extending the campaign. Holland argues that, given the conditions and constant shortage of materiel held back for the D-Day invasion, Clark and other commanders led a remarkably successful campaign. Well more than 100,000 Allied casualties occurred in the five months leading to Rome, more than in any other campaign of the war. Cassino '44 is the definitive account of a key turning point of World War II and brings our appreciation of the experience of war to a new level.

About the Author

One of WWII's finest historians, JAMES HOLLAND is the author of The Savage Storm, Brothers in Arms, Sicily '43, Normandy '44, Big Week, The Rise of Germany and The Allies Strike Back in the War in the West trilogy, Burma '44, and Dam Busters. He has written and presented the BAFTA shortlisted documentaries Battle of Britain and Dam Busters for the BBC, and his WWII podcast, We Have Ways of Making You Talk, now has millions of listeners.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780802163844
ISBN-10: 080216384X
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Publication Date: November 12th, 2024
Pages: 624
Language: English