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Italy and the World War


Guest AmericanDoughboy

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Guest AmericanDoughboy

As this front is neglected all too often by historians, most likely even more than the East African Campaign, I have found absoulutely no books about Italy's role in the war except one book about Erwin Rommel's role in IL Combattimento di Caporetto. Are there any good books still available in English?

Thank you,

-Doughboy

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Hi Doughboy,

There is the British Official History available through Battery Press Nashville TN.

Caporetto 1917 Victory or Defeat? By Mario Morselli which is $114 on Amazon!

Isonzo Forgotten Sacrifice of the Great War by John R. Schindler for $56 on amazon.

I have the British Official History but haven't gotten to reading it yet.

Take care,

Neil

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Guest woodyudet

I wouldn't say this front is ignored by historians, its just that its less popular with anlgophone historians. I would recommend reading:

J. R. Schindler: “Isonzo – The Forgotten Sacrifice of the Great War” Praeger 2001

is a very good up to date book on this front. I have read it and would highly recommend it.

H. H. Herwig “The First World War – Germany and Austria-Hungary 1914-1918” Arnold 1997 has some useful info about this front too.

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Norman Gladden's Across the Piave is a classic personal memoir of the campaign. There are two titles by Francis McKay in the Battleground Europe series; John & Eileen Wilks The British Army in Italy and the beautifully illustrated Our Italian Front by Wood and Mann.

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It's perhaps a bit specialist, but 'Italian Aces of World War I and Their Aircraft' by Roberto Gentilli, Antonio Iozzi and Paolo Varriale [iSBN 0 7643 1664 8] is a comprehensive and well illustrated study of that part of the War. It's not cheap, but it's the best you're likely to see in English.

Norman McMillan's 'Offensive Patrol' [iSBN 0 09 116180 0] is a good account of the part played by the RFC, RNAS and RAF in Italy.

Cyril Falls' 'Caporetto' [mine doesn't have an ISBN] covers that battle.

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Yes Isonzo is quite good but maps are awful; Francis McKay is a friend & was going with my group this fall but has hurt his knees; the Wilks book is informative but dry dry dry. Francis' titles are Asiago & Touring the Italian Front.

Sardinian Brigade is a novel by a man who was there, wonderful, hard to find.

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I'm glad I'm not alone regarding the Wilks book Paul. To be honest I can't say that I've read it. I tried, but soon set it aside for a more companionable read. Maybe I should carry it around for one of those occasions when you will read anything to relieve tedium.

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Wilks book, I read it a few years ago then prior to 1st Asiago trip, going again Sep., should read it again but don't want too.

Isonzo is really good. The Italian & AH armies had terrible problems, AH was fighting on 3 fronts, by end of 15 had more casualties than pre war strength including reserves, were terribly outnumbered by Italians or Isonzo front but still basically repulsed repeated Italian attacks and on Asiago front moved them back. Italian arms had not done well previously either, slaughtered in Ethiopia in 1896, did manage to beat the Pope in 1870 cause French were rather busy, did quite badly v AH in 1866 tho Prussia was crushing them and v AH in 1859 when France was involved v them.

THen June 15 16 starving pauper AH army crossed huge amount of ground and broke into both UK divisions on Asiago front, really did damage 48th Robert Fawnshawe, chocolate soldier, was sacked. Considering there financial, ethnic problems AH army performed pretty well, Italian sure didn't.

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Can I add Paolo Monelli's memoir "toes up' to the list - a fine Italian memoir.

If you read Italian there are a surprising number of Italian volumes which are available.

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Guest AmericanDoughboy

To all who have contributed to my thread,

I thank you very much for your kindness and support for my interest in the subject and the search of books. When I visited the Somme I did see Touring the Italian Front 1917 - 1919 by Francis MacKay. I did consider purchasing it but I put it down. I read an excerpt from Francis MacKay's Asiago and I was immeadietely drawn into it. I believe the next books I shall read are Touring the Italian Front or Isonzo. I am currently reading The Last Days of Innocence by Meirion & Susie Harries. Overall the book is very readable and in some areas you a drawn in until the very end, yet in some areas it seems very dry.

I thank you all strongly for contributing to this thread, and I shall be purchasing myself a copy very soon from the internet, and I shall consider the other books listed for future purchase.

Regards,

-Doughboy

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