The Osprey Men-at-Arms series are designed to provide quick thumbnail descriptions for wargamers and modeler. In this case, Mr. Jowett focus is the Italian Army in WWII, specifically against France, Greece, Russia, and the Occupation of Yugoslavia. As with all Osprey Men-at-Arms book there's drawing in the center (8 panels, each with 3 soldiers in uniform for the point of focus).
This book covers something that's a little hard to find, information on the Italian soldiers uniforms. With the supporting drawings and the detail text on the panels in the back, you're able to develop a good idea of the colors of Italian soldiers uniforms.
My first dislike is the drawings; namely that Mr. Andrew's Italian soldier's noses are so large. I really with he'd draw them a little more like normal peoples noses. Having said that, that's the minor one. My real problem with this book is that there's very little on the Italian Army. We see a little battle history for them fighting France, Greece, and Russia, but nothing on the composition of the different Italian units. This is especially poor given that the author constrained himself to infantry formations and failed to include uniforms for Italian armored and airborne formations. The last piece that I have a problem with this book is that Mr. Jowett defines this book as covering the Italian Army from 1940 to 1943. The last time I checked, Sicily and the Italian mainland were invaded during this time period. Very poor form to cut short the time period you're covering Mr. Jowett.
I was very disappointed with the content. While the drawings were nice, they couldn't compensate for the order and writing. Mr. Jowett failed to cover the complete era (no coverage of Sicily or when the Italian forces were waiting for the Allies to land on the mainland) and totally failed to cover the armored forces. When you add to this that he failed to provide any description of the different types of units (what's the difference between Folgore, Alpine, Bersaglieri, and Fucilieri) or their formation and weapons, this book barely makes the cut at 2 stars. The only redeeming feature is the drawings and the associated text in the back, while up to the usual Osprey levels, it can't raise this turkey to the three star level. This one barely makes the cut for a modeler, and that's assuming they want to know about painting vs. the forces. Osprey, please put out a better quality book on the Italian Army in WWII. You're slowly losing my business.