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Salerno 1943

Salerno 1943 Book Review

By Rachel E. Veres

Date of Review August 2013 Title Salerno 1943
Author Angus Konstam Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2013 ISBN 9781780962498
Format 96 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $21.95


Subtitled "The Allies invade southern Italy", Osprey's Salerno 1943 chronicles the September Allied Operation Avalanche during WWII – beginning the day after Italy's capitulation.  Author Angus Konstam offers readers a concise and methodical account of the hard-won Allied victory.

A brief introduction precedes a strategic situation overview and practical chronology.  Konstam concentrates subsequent sections on opposing sides' commanders, forces and plans.

The real meat lies in the book's second half.  Here, the author deftly recounts the 10-day opening campaign to liberate mainland Italy from German forces.  Using records, memoirs and eyewitness reports, Konstam recreates the brutal battle, hour-by-hour.  As well written as this is, I would have preferred some personal anecdotes in the narrative.

An aftermath analysis and short look at the battlefield today conclude contents.  64 historic photographs, maps and charts supplement this useful narrative.  Steve Noon's illustrations encapsulate the conflict's intensity.  A bibliography and index complete this informative book.

Readers can find other related Osprey titles on the back cover – including Sicily 1943 – subject of my Feb 2013 Cybermodeler review.

Only one other minor quibble – the minuscule military symbol chart at the beginning.  A bigger legend would alleviate eyestrain for those with reading glasses – which I don't need.  Even then, I still had to hold the book close to my face.

Quibbles not withstanding, I highly recommended this title.

My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!