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Fatal Decision: Anzio ...
Carlo D'Este
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Fatal Decision: Anzio and the Battle for Rome

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  68 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
A brilliant and definitive narrative of the most brutal and costly World War II battle in the Mediterranean by a leading military historian. 73 black-and-white halftones; 16 maps.
Paperback, 608 pages
Published July 1st 1992 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published June 1st 1991)
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The entire Italian campaign in World War II was something of a strategic mistake, and it reached it's nadir when, with the allied offensive stalled at Monte Cassino, Churchill conceived the amphibious attack that would supposedly turn the Germans out of the Cassino position and help liberate Rome. Instead, the result was a 5 month-long stalemate and one of the most wretched campaigns in the West: the battles in the Anzio bridgehead. To make matters worse, when the allies finally broke out, US Ge ...more
Feb 25, 2017 Bill rated it really liked it
D'Este sets a standard that modern historians of WW2 should aim for. This is a very clear, concise treatment of an operation that was misbegotten and and misguided from the start. The brainchild of Churchill and tasked to competent by second string generals, Anzio is a battle of many "what if's". What if the allies allotted enough manpower to overcome the Germans? What if General Mark Clark had followed his commander's orders and cut off the German line of retreat once the break through was unde ...more
Mar 09, 2012 Ali rated it liked it
Interesting narrative of Italian campaign in WWII. It reveals interesting details about decision making and the command structure in Anzio and on the liberation of Rome. However its focus is more on American troops in general and British troops in Anzio. It leaves out the French and the Pole. It portraits General Clark, commanding US fifth Army, most unfavorably, describing him as an attention seeker who sacrificed opportunity after opportunity to encircle and to annihilate German 10th and 14th ...more
A good, detailed look at the Anzio beach landings in World War II and all that surrounded it. There's a better mix of information about what was going on at ground-level as well as amongst the corridors of power than in his Normandy book. The happenings around Cassino are intertwined although at a higher level of generality.
Bill V
Aug 27, 2016 Bill V rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an alright book. I was surprised that it focused so heavily on Operation Shingle and Anzio. Despite the subtitle, I was hoping for more coverage on Salerno (Operation Avalanche) and the battles around Cassino.
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Carlo D'Este retired from the U.S. Army as a lieutenant colonel in 1978, having served overseas in Germany, Vietnam, and England. Born in Oakland, California, he received his B.A. from Norwich University and his M.A. from the University of Richmond and an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters from Norwich in 1992.
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