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This is a powerful, dramatic, often moving, and ultimately definitive narrative on one of the most desperate campaigns of WW11.

In the winter of 1943-44 Anzio was a small Mediterranean resort and port some thirty-five miles south of Rome and nearly one hundred miles northwest of Naples. It became important in the fortunes of WW11 as the target of an Allied amphibious landing whose goal was to bypass the strong German defences along the Gustav Line and at Monte Cassino sixty miles to the southeast, which were holding up the American and British armies and preventing the liberation of Rome. By taking advantage of Allied command of the sea and air to effect complete surprise, infantry and armoured forces landing at Anzio on January 22 were expected to secure a beach-head and then push inland to cut the two main highways and railroads supplying the German armies to the south, either trapping and annihilating them or forcing them to withdraw north and opening the way to Rome.

Such was the plan. What really happened was a near disaster for the Allies and the unfortunate soldiers involved. Doomed by uncertain leadership at the highest levels, including Churchill’s pressure and meddling, General Sir Harold Alexander’s lack of firm directives, and General Mark Clark’s unwillingness to risk defeat or push a tired General John Lucas, the Anzio beachhead became a death trap, with Allied troops forced to fight for their lives for five dreadful months in a throwback to the trench warfare of World War 1

Carlo D’Este author, HarperCollins Publisher 1991, 566pp, h/c, dj, b/w photos/maps.

Ex- reference copy in good clean condition.

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  • Seller location: Rotorua, Bay of Plenty, NZ

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