This book was very disappointing. Having a detailed knowledge of the battle of Termoli (October 1943), I decided to check how the author had dealt with this engagement. The account that appears bears little resemblance to what happened and, in fact, the author insults the courage of the men who really won the battle, the poor bloody infantry of 78th Division. At one point he refers to the green soldiers of the Reconnaissance Regiment. Had he checked his facts, he would have found that the regiment referred to, 56th Reconnaissance Regiment, was a highly experienced unit with outstanding service in Tunisia and Sicily and an exemplary CO in Lt-Col Kendal G F Chavasse, cousin of Noel Chavasse VC & Bar, MC. Colonel Chavasse had earned the DSO in Tunisia and received a Bar for his performance at Termoli. It was his regiment that identified the presence of 16th Panzer Division (not 26th Panzer) and which provided the pivot of the defence against its attacks. The SRS were placed under his command but seem to have decided to fight their own battle. Suggestions that Recce troopers abandoned their A/T guns are nonsense. No A/T guns of 56 Recce were in the area but some troopers manned guns from an infantry battalion whose gunners had been killed. The Recce men were also killed while serving their guns.
Mr Kemp makes the mistake of taking his facts from only one source, members of the SAS, and assuming that these are accurate. He ought to have consulted the records and veterans of the units that won the battle.
Having read his account of Termoli, I found it difficult to accept many of his other statements at face value.
A very disappointing book.