Bitter Victory: The Battle for Sicily July-August 1943

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9780060973131: Bitter Victory: The Battle for Sicily July-August 1943

Bitter Victory illuminates a chapter of World War II that has lacked a balanced, full-scale treatment until now. In recounting the second-largest amphibious operation in military history, Carlo D'Este for the first time reveals the conflicts in planning and the behind-the-scenes quarrels between top Allied commanders. The book explodes the myth of the Patton-Montgomery rivalry and exposes how Alexander's inept generalship nearly wrecked the campaign. D'Este documents in chilling detail the series of savage battles fought against an overmatched but brilliant foe and how the Germans—against overwhelming odds—carried out one of the greatest strategic withdrawals in history. His controversial narrative depicts for the first time how the Allies bungled their attempt to cut off the Axis retreat from Sicily, turning what ought to have been a great triumph into a bitter victory that later came to haunt the Allies in Italy.

Using a wealth of original sources, D'Este paints an unforgettable portrait of men at war. From the front lines to the councils of the Axis and Allied high commands, Bitter Victory offers penetrating reassessments of the men who masterminded the campaign. Thrilling and authoritative, this is military history on an epic scale.

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About the Author:

Carlo D'Este, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel and a distinguished military historian, is the author of the acclaimed biographies Patton: A Genius for War and Eisenhower: A Soldier's Life, among other books on World War II. He lives in Massachusetts.

From Publishers Weekly:

With a veritable blizzard of primary-source support, D'Este ( Decision in Normandy ) argues that the generally ignored Sicily campaign laid the foundation and set the trends for the decisive battles that were to follow in Italy and Northwest Europe. Sicily brought together the military commanders whose leadership ultimately decided the outcome of the war (Eisenhower, Tedder, Montgomery, Bradley, Patton); comprised the first real test of the military compatibility of the British and Americans; and served as a proving ground where the U.S. Army came into its own. D'Este is critical of the committee system of coalition warfare during this formative stage of the Allied partnership, citing the lack of strategic purpose in the campaign, the failure of Allied naval and air support, and the squandered opportunities that allowed the grossly outnumbered German army to pull off "one of the most dazzling strategic withdrawals in military history." The Germans, according to D'Este, came away from Sicily convinced that they had given as good as they got. Illustrations. History Book Club alternate.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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