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  • Published: 16 May 2013
  • ISBN: 9780099568674
  • Imprint: Arrow
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 416
  • RRP: $19.99
Categories:

Monte Cassino

Ten Armies in Hell



Peter Caddick-Adams, one of the world's authorities on battle field history and author of the applauded joint biography of Montgomery and Rommel ('... a brilliant book written with passion and verve ...' BBC History Magazine), writes a compelling and authoritative account of the greatest battle of the Italian campaign of World War Two.

The five-month Monte Cassino campaign in central Italy is one of the best-known European land battles of World War Two, alongside D-Day and Stalingrad. It has a particular resonance now, because Cassino, with its multitude of participating armies - most notably the American 5th Army under the controversial General Mark Clark - was perhaps the campaign of the Second World War that most closely anticipates the coalition operations of today, with its ever-shifting cast of players stuck in inhospitable, mountainous terrain, pursuing an objective set by unknowing politicians in distant capitals, where victory is difficult to define.

Monte Cassino was characterised by the destruction of its world famous Abbey: in retrospect, considered an unjustifiable act of cultural vandalism by the allies.The audit trail of decision-making to destroy an icon as well known then as the Eiffel Tower or Lincoln Memorial, is a chilling reminder that similar decisions are still being made in Iraq and Afghanistan and indeed Libya. To this day, reversing normal prejudice, German troops are welcome in the abbey, having rescued its treasures from allied destruction in February 1944.

Cassino was an unusual campaign for World War II in that its outcome was not reliant on sweeping movements or the use of tanks or aircraft - but by old-fashioned boots in the mud, whether capturing the town of Cassino after months of grinding urban warfare (a Stalingrad in miniature) or scrambling up the steep mountain to seize the heights and the religious complex on top of Monte Cassino.

Monte Cassino Abbey was painstakingly rebuilt after the war (its baroque chapel remains incomplete) and is now a World Heritage site. An hour south of Rome, it is visited each year by up to one million tourists and pilgrims from around the world.

  • Published: 16 May 2013
  • ISBN: 9780099568674
  • Imprint: Arrow
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 416
  • RRP: $19.99
Categories:

About the author

Peter Caddick-Adams

Peter Caddick-Adams is a writer and broadcaster who specialises in military history, defence and security issues. He previously lectured in Military and Security Studies at the UK Defence Academy for twenty years, and in Air Power for the Royal Air Force. A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Royal Geographical Society, he also spent thirty-five years as an officer in the UK Regular and Reserve Forces, and has extensive experience of various war zones, including the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan. He was educated at Shrewsbury School, Sandhurst and Wolverhampton University, where he gained first class honours in War Studies; he received his PhD from Cranfield University. His previous works include Monty and Rommel: Parallel Lives (2011), Monte Cassino: Ten Armies in Hell (2012), and Snow and Steel: Battle of the Bulge 194445 (2014).

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Praise for Monte Cassino

Peter Caddick-Adams has brought highly perceptive and much-needed fresh analysis to this new account of the Cassino battles. Both authoritative and compellingly written, his immense knowledge and understanding of the Second World War exudes off every page. It will unquestionably remain the standard text on this bloody episode of the war for many years to come

James Holland

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