Book Review
Battleground Italy 1943-1945

by: Twig [ TWIG ]

Battleground Italy 1943-1945 The Battle for the Boot

Franz Kurowski

Mfg: J.J. Fedorowicz

Battleground Italy is the latest book issue from the exceptional publisher J.J. Fedorowicz. The book chronicles the Italian campaign from first invasion by the Allied forces right up to capitulation in May 1945. The author of this book Franz Kurowski has once again produced a superb volume chronicling this period of WWII in his own indomitable style. Describing the overall military positions at the same time interspersed with references from supporting autobiographies and first hand action accounts. Kurowski has produced what will undoubtedly become an important reference on this period of human conflict.

Several things in this book stand out for me as being extremely good. The first has to be the initial twenty or so pages which are concerned with setting the atmosphere by giving a complete overall summary of the entire conflict. I, probably like many other people interested in the history of WWII have a reasonable knowledge of the Eastern and Western front campaigns but outside of Monte Casino are relatively ignorant of the major actions that took place in Italy. This initial summary included in the book provides a good means of immediately offsetting this imbalance thus allowing you to dive straight into the book as a whole.

Another excellent feature is the appendices. These go into a great deal of depth but do not interfere with the general reading of the book. They can be dipped into as the reader requires and thus can be used to enhance knowledge where required. Of particular interest is the appendix that contains the complete transcript of the address that Hitler gave to Germany on Sept 3rd 1943 concerning the capitulation and surrender of the Italians to the Allies. Hitler makes it quite clear that he holds the Italian bureaucracy in contempt, he still holds Il Duce in high regard (the latter was under arrest at the time) and vows that Germany will not bow in defeat and will fight to defend its territories. Very interesting stuff indeed!

Two chapters in the book that are worthy of note are those that deal with the actions of the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe. Both these sections of history are ones which were completely unknown to me and so I was looking forward very much to reading them. Unfortunately though both these chapters have been compiled as a series of short sentence snapshots of action and at times it was difficult to follow what was going on. That is not to say that the information is poor, rather that more glue text was required in order to splice it all together.

The book also contains over 300 photographs which I presume many of which have not been published before (at least they were new to me). Unfortunately though in general they are of relatively poor image quality, something which I feel J.J. Fedorowicz books have suffered from of late. When you consider the likes of Histiorie & Collections, Concord and Heimdal and the quality of illustrations they include I cannot see why J.J. Fedorowicz could not do at least some basic image manipulation of their photographs to improve the general quality.

All in all though it is not the photographs but the written content which defines this book. Of the latter it has to be said that I think this is a very fine work that has been researched to quite considerable depth. This book has greatly enhanced my knowledge and understanding of the Italian Peninsula conflict. I would most definitely recommend its inclusion in anyone’s library that has an interest in this field of history.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:1
  Suggested Retail: $58 USD/$7
  Related Link: J. J. Fedorowicz
  PUBLISHED: Dec 19, 2003
  NATIONALITY: United States

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