The Savage Storm

The Battle for Italy 1943

If you have been toying with the idea of taking a battlefield tour of Italy, James Holland’s new book might persuade you to reserve the flights and the rental car.

The Savage Storm: The Battle for Italy 1943 is the latest history from the prolific British author. Across more than 600 pages, Holland follows the fighting in Italy between August and December 1943 – from the invasion of mainland Italy to the pause before the Allied assault on the Gustav line.

With the usual clarity of writing style and flair for imagery, Holland charts the progress of the ‘DUKE’ (Dominion, United Kingdom and Empire) and US forces northwards through Italy. The summer sun burns off the page in the early chapters while the bitter cold, the pouring rain and the glutinous mud marks the arrival of winter towards the end.

Italy is mountainous and crossed by rivers. Moving the Allied forces, with all the encumbrances of a modern mechanised army – lorries, halftracks, motorcycles, field and heavy artillery, tanks and armoured vehicles, fuel and water bowsers and ambulances – across this terrain was a nightmare.

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