Monte Cassino: The Story of the Hardest-fought Battle of World War Two Hardcover – 6 Oct 2003
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Monte Cassino is a fitting tribute: an important and beautifully written book, told with real understanding and pathos for those who withstood the Western Allies' bloodiest encounter with the German army (James Holland, Daily Telegraph)
Parker has produced a deeply moving, richly detailed and fast-paced account of the most infamous British battle of the Second World War (Saul David, Sunday Telegraph)
Published in time for the sixtieth anniversary of the battle, Monte Cassino deserves to be widely read (Gary Sheffield, Living History)
Some excellent passages (Norman Stone, Sunday Times)
Moving and well-researched (Economist)
A pacy and informative addition to the military history of a much-neglected campaign (Glasgow Herald)
The gripping and horrific story of one of the most terrible battles of World War Two, including interviews with hundreds of veterans who have never spoken publicly beforeSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I have also read John Ellis' 'Hollow Victory' on the same subject, and, in comparison to Parker's book, Ellis is more concerned with allocating blame to the various Allied commanders who lead their soldiers so pitifully, and let petty squabbles get in the way of good strategy, but is perhaps less in touch with the single soldier's plight on the ground. Parker, I feel, gave a much better impression of what the 'Poor Bloody Infantry' suffered. Ellis gives us a more impressive view of the grand strategy behind the campaign, and also better describes the battles after Cassino, while Parker simply alludes to them. Parker tells us how it all lead up to Cassino though, so you can see the two books in many cases complement each other well, and for a complete understanding of this battle I would recommend first reading Parker's work, then Ellis'.
Both, individually, however, are very good histories, detailing a very long, very bitter, very hard-fought and hugely costly battle in a long, bitter war.
I would thoroughly recommend this book, especially for those who believe the Second World War was somehow 'easier' than the First. If you want to get as good an impression of war as you can from words and script, this book will show you.
Matthew Parker's excellent account of the allies' four attempts to break the Gustav Line goes a long way to put the reader into the hell of these battles. When you read as much military history as I do then you do develop a certain emotional immunity to reels of casualty statistics. The author has been able to bring together numerous very moving firsthand accounts, principally of the front line infantry and engineers, and weave these into a clear and coherent narrative of the battle. This is one of the few books that have left me almost shell shocked, even to the extent of deliberately picking non-military related book to read next.
The author doesn't engage a great deal of debate about the strategy of the campaign and the handling of the battles, although there is sufficient to give the events proper context.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good reading for the history of a battle my Grandfather was involved inPublished 3 months ago by RW
this book is marvellous eye witness accounts from the men who fought.was able to follow my nephew in laws fathers battles and war in 1943/44. Read morePublished 3 months ago by janjan
Very enjoyable , the narrator was very knowledgable excellent dvd.Published 4 months ago by Blackbird
Terrific read this. In depth well researched story of an atrocious battle and an ill thought out campaign. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Andy Rennie
Extremely interesting book but too much emphasis on Divisions. Would have been better if it spent more time down to battalion level. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Andrew Anderson
Absolutely brilliant. I visited Monte Cassino afer reading this bookPublished 10 months ago by Boudicca
A gripping book that brings together many of the jigsaw pieces of the latter end of the war. It vividly describes the importance of the Cassino region as it affected Anzio and... Read morePublished 10 months ago by jack russell