Just finished reading this book on the Anzio attack to break open the Italian front in WWII.
A very good read, showing the horror and humour of war as well as the courage and fear of those involved. It shows the ineptitude and vainness of allied commanders and the resourcefulness of the German CIC and the caution of his underlings. It shows how the Americans didn’t want to be there and Churchill’s fixation with Italy.
The words of a old veteran just before he died, ‘I’ll pray that your Freddie never has to fight in a war.’
Mark Clark commander of 5th army ‘We not only wanted the honour of capturing Rome, but we felt that we deserved it..’ Rather that have the glory of destroying his enemy! He wanted to take Rome, how many times in history has that been so? The allure of Rome.
Ten’s of thousands died and were wounded and scared so that a few men could fight over who had saved Italy and taken Rome. They all seemed to have missed the point of war that of defeating your enemy. The idea of fighting in Italy wasn’t wrong, it was just badly handled and badly lead by generals who either didn’t know what they were doing, or didn’t control there subordinates or just disobeyed orders to gain glory. The only ones to come out of this with any honour is Kesselring and the poor men doing the fighting.
All in all a good read which shows a lot about that war is about those who make the least errors.