In September 1943 the Allies landed on the Italian mainland, the so-called “soft underbelly” of Europe. Their aim was to knock Italy out of the war and rapidly conquer the country. However, the Italian campaign was one of the toughest of the war. The Germans, under the inspired leadership of Albert Kesselring, mounted a tenacious and skillful defense in the mountainous terrain. Some of the most brutal battles of the Western Front were fought in Italy, most notably the battles for Cassino which lasted nearly six months. The German forces in Italy did not surrender until 2 May 1945 only 6 days before the end of the war in Europe.
The author, Franz Kurowski, interviewed many of the German veterans of the Italian campaign, from the common soldier to high commanders, and numerous, dramatic personal accounts are featured. Most of these accounts are published here for the first time.
All aspects of the battle are covered, including the operations of the Luftwaffe and the little known war at sea of the Kriegsmarine. There has been little, if anything, published in English on the German viewpoint of the Italian campaign.
Hard cover, small format (6” x 9”), 545 pages with 300 black and white photographs, 24 (mostly full-page) maps and 20 detailed appendices.
ISBN 0921991 77-0