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AR385
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A Good Book On World War Two In Italy. Any Advice?

Sat May 12, 2012 2:26 am

I am looking for a good history book on World War Two on Italy. Preferably one that includes everything from the rise of Mussolini to the Allied Invasion and subsequent collpase of Il Duce. I don´t want a novel. I´m looking for serious history but I´m handicapped on my knowledge of good historians on this part of the War. Does anybody have good reccommendations?
 
trident3
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RE: A Good Book On World War Two In Italy. Any Advice?

Sat May 12, 2012 4:19 pm

Quoting AR385 (Thread starter):
I don´t want a novel. I´m looking for serious history

Ah. I was going to reccommend Spike Milligan's autobiographies Mussolini, His Part in my Downfall and Where Have All the Bullets Gone? Very funny books written by someone who was actually there. To be honest I would recommend you read all 5 parts of the trilogy(!) anyway. Starting with Adolf Hitler, My Part in his Downfall. Believe me you won't be disappointed.
"We are the warrior race-Tough men in the toughest sport." Brian Noble, Head Coach, Great Britain Rugby League.
 
AR385
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RE: A Good Book On World War Two In Italy. Any Advice?

Tue May 15, 2012 4:55 am

Quoting trident3 (Reply 1):
Ah. I was going to reccommend Spike Milligan's autobiographies Mussolini, His Part in my Downfall and Where Have All the Bullets Gone? Very funny books written by someone who was actually there. To be honest I would recommend you read all 5 parts of the trilogy(!) anyway. Starting with Adolf Hitler, My Part in his Downfall. Believe me you won't be disappointed.

Thanks. I´ve researched them and I´m not sure they are my cup of tea. Even so, 3 of the 5 are out of print and hard to get. But, I´m sure I can get them. Are they really that good? From what I read they seemed like a Terry Pratchet´s version of events.
 
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mariner
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RE: A Good Book On World War Two In Italy. Any Advice?

Tue May 15, 2012 5:29 am

Quoting AR385 (Thread starter):
I am looking for a good history book on World War Two on Italy. Preferably one that includes everything from the rise of Mussolini to the Allied Invasion and subsequent collpase of Il Duce.

This book is a life of Mussolini, that covers (of course) World War 2:

http://www.amazon.com/Mussolini-Rise...ooks&ie=UTF8&qid=1337059264&sr=1-2

I haven't read this one, but I've read other books by Christopher Hibbert and I think he's very good:

"[Hibbert] is a superbly skillful historical writer."--The Spectator"

But if it doesn't appeal the Amazon page in the link has some other books about WW2 and Mussolini.

mariner
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AR385
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RE: A Good Book On World War Two In Italy. Any Advice?

Tue May 15, 2012 5:34 am

Thank you Mariner. I have a nice personal library devoted to WWII. The Italy part I am just missing.
 
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mariner
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RE: A Good Book On World War Two In Italy. Any Advice?

Tue May 15, 2012 5:50 am

Quoting AR385 (Reply 4):
I have a nice personal library devoted to WWII. The Italy part I am just missing.

I have a fairly good library, too, but it's mostly northern European and Asia and I'm missing Italy.

If you do find a good book (this Hibbert one or any other) let me know.  

mariner
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slider
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RE: A Good Book On World War Two In Italy. Any Advice?

Tue May 15, 2012 2:10 pm

Ah! Great question!! I too am a voracious student of WWII history and have a number of books, but the Italian campaign has also been a weak spot in my library as well.

I can recommend a few.

First and foremost, one of my favorites, is Rick Atkinson’s ‘The Day of Battle’.

http://www.liberationtrilogy.com/day_of_battle.htm

It’s the second volume of a 3-volume series, the so-coined Liberation Trilogy, and the first volume won a Pulitzer for History. It’s an astoundingly well-researched incredibly detailed but captivating account of the battle for Sicily and Italy. I have to say that it’s a HUGE book and I am eagerly awaiting the third and final book. Atkinson is an incredible journalist and his work really translated well into this format. I honestly cannot speak highly enough about it.

Quote:
In An Army at Dawn -- winner of the Pulitzer Prize -- Rick Atkinson provided a dramatic and authoritative history of the Allied triumph in North Africa. Now, in The Day of Battle, he follows the strengthening American and British armies as they invade Sicily in July 1943 and then, mile by bloody mile, fight their way north toward Rome.

The Italian campaign's outcome was never certain; in fact, Roosevelt, Churchill, and their military advisers engaged in heated debate about whether an invasion of the so-called soft underbelly of Europe was even a good idea. But once under way, the commitment to liberate Italy from the Nazis never wavered, despite the agonizingly high price. The battles at Salerno, Anzio, and Monte Cassino were particularly difficult and lethal, yet as the months passed, the Allied forces continued to drive the Germans up the Italian peninsula. Led by Lieutenant General Mark Clark, one of the war's most complex and controversial commanders, American officers and soldiers became increasingly determined and proficient. And with the liberation of Rome in June 1944, ultimate victory at last began to seem inevitable.

Drawing on a wide array of primary source material, written with great drama and flair, this is narrative history of the first rank. With The Day of Battle, Atkinson has once again given us the definitive account of one of history's most compelling military campaigns.

I’d also recommend Matthew Parker’s “Monte Cassino: The Hardest-Fought Battle of World War II”. It’s just a sad but also captivating detailed breakdown of the slogfest of the Monte Cassino assault. I shake my head thinking about it.

I’ve also heard some very good things about Carlo D’Este’s “Fatal Decision: Anzio and the Battle for Rome”. His book on the Sicily campaign was very intriguing and I enjoyed it, but I haven’t read this one. I’ve liked D’Este’s work for some time, ever since having read his Patton: Genius for War years ago.
 
AR385
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RE: A Good Book On World War Two In Italy. Any Advice?

Wed May 16, 2012 5:01 am

Quoting mariner (Reply 3):
This book is a life of Mussolini, that covers (of course) World War 2:

http://www.amazon.com/Mussolini-Rise...r=1-2

Thanks for the link Mariner. I took a look at it and it´s definitely a book I will get in the future.

Quoting slider (Reply 6):
I can recommend a few.

First and foremost, one of my favorites, is Rick Atkinson’s ‘The Day of Battle’.

http://www.liberationtrilogy.com/day_of_battle.htm

It’s the second volume of a 3-volume series, the so-coined Liberation Trilogy, and the first volume won a Pulitzer for History. It’s an astoundingly well-researched incredibly detailed but captivating account of the battle for Sicily and Italy. I have to say that it’s a HUGE book and I am eagerly awaiting the third and final book. Atkinson is an incredible journalist and his work really translated well into this format. I honestly cannot speak highly enough about it.

Slider,

I had already taken a look at that trilogy. Your advice tipped my scales in favor of it. It seems it gives a big picture perspective, which is what I´m looking for. So I have purchased the first two books and will go from there. They´re on their way.

So Mariner, these two are the ones I got. Once I´ve read them, I´ll give you my point of view.

Thank you all.

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