Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Italy's Sorrow

Italy's Sorrow

A Year of War, 1944--1945

James Holland

St. Martin's Press

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During the Second World War, the campaign in Italy was the most destructive fought in Europe - a long, bitter and highly attritional conflict that raged up the country's mountainous leg. For frontline troops, casualty rates at Cassino and along the notorious Gothic Line were as high as they had been on the Western Front in the First World War. There were further similarities too: blasted landscapes, rain and mud, and months on end with the front line barely moving.

And while the Allies and Germans were fighting it out through the mountains, the Italians were engaging in bitter battles too. Partisans were carrying out a crippling resistance campaign against the German troops but also battling the Fascists forces as well in what soon became a bloody civil war. Around them, innocent civilians tried to live through the carnage, terror and anarchy, while in the wake of the Allied advance, horrific numbers of impoverished and starving people were left to pick their way through the ruins of their homes and country. In the German-occupied north, there were more than 700 civilian massacres by German and Fascist troops in retaliation for Partisan activities, while in the south, many found themselves forced into making terrible and heart-rending decisions in order to survive.

Although known as a land of beauty and for the richness of its culture, Italy's suffering in 1944-1945 is now largely forgotten. Italy's Sorrow by James Holland is the first account of the conflict there to tell the story from all sides and to include the experiences of soldiers and civilians alike. Offering extensive original research, it weaves together the drama and tragedy of that terrible year, including new perspectives and material on some of the most debated episodes to have emerged from World War II.

EXCERPT

PART I The Road to Rome
ONEThe Eve of Battle May 1944
There were many nationalities and differing races in the two Allied armies waiting to go into battle. The British and Americans formed the largest contingents,...

Reviews

Praise for Italy's Sorrow

“'James Holland has written his best book yet, a gripping, yet compassionate account of the terrible war in Italy, with a memorable depiction of civilian suffering.'” —Antony Beevor, award-winning author of The Fall of Berlin 1945 and Stalingrad

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

James Holland

James Holland was born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, and studied history at Durham University. A member of the British Commission for Military History and the Guild of Battlefield Guides, he also regularly contributes reviews and articles in national newspapers and magazines. He is the author of several historical works, including Fortress Malta: An Island Under Siege, 1940-1943; Together We Stand: North Africa 1942-1943 - Turning the Tide in the West; and Heroes: The Greatest Generation and the Second World War. His many interviews with veterans of the Second World War are available at the Imperial War Museum. James Holland is married with two children and lives in Wiltshire.

James Holland

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Press

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