Mussolini's Island.

By John Follian

Printed: 2005

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton. London

Edition: First edition

Dimensions 16 × 24 × 4 cm

Language: English

Size (cminches): 16 x 24 x 4

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Item information


In the original dustsheet. Black cloth binding with red gilt title on the spine.

  • F.B.A. provides an in-depth photographic presentation of this item to stimulate your feeling and touch. More traditional book descriptions are immediately available.

In July 1943, the Allies launched their first assault against the ”Fortress Europe” which Hitler thought invincible. MUSSOLINI’S ISLAND captures for the first time the full horror and glory, the fear and the foul-ups of one of the least known but most dramatic and controversial battles of World War II.

MUSSOLINI’S ISLAND is not a conventional military history. It tells the story of otherwise faceless men and women – American and Italian soldiers, a British Navy officer, and a Spitfire pilot – whose lives and loves are changed by the choices of Hitler and Mussolini, and of two star commanders locked in a personal rivalry: old ”blood and guts” Patton and Montgomery, the best-known British Army commander of World War II. Based on in-depth interviews with the main characters, and hundreds of interviews with survivors, unpublished letters and diaries, MUSSOLINI’S ISLAND sweeps the reader across stormy seas and onto the landing beaches in the first D-Day.

Review: I bought this book because I was quite curious to know the feelings of people involved in both sides of the conflict. The Sicilian campaign was not especially appealing to me as I thought of it as an easy victory for the Allied armies. But at the same time I dived into the memories of the eight individuals who are the ‘leit motiv’ of the book I learnt that even an easy victory exacts a great toll from the victors and that individual soldiers were just thinking of how to have the job done -and the job was mainly to stay alive-.

There are useful insights into the politics and general lines of the campaign for the ones that like me are not familiar with them, but the extrapolable core of the book are the feelings of people. I found that the 8 characters are quite up to the standards you expect from them, I don’t know if that has been intentionally sought by the author or it is simply that the stereotypes match reality in most cases. But, that is, most of them are terribly young, the German is military minded and plays the orders, the Italian has a very weak will for fighting, the British fighter pilot is mostly concerned in scoring his first victory… maybe the most surprising is the Royal Navy officer, always at the verge of a nervous breakdown…

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