The invasion of Sicily on 10 June 1943 and the landings on the Italian mainland in September, gave the Allies their first toehold in Europe since 1941. But it was achieved at a cost. Following success on Sicily the forces were put under considerable pressure to take advantage of the changed situation and they landed at Salerno without a clear strategic aim and were met with fierce German counterattack. The subsequent march north was complicated by Italy's unique terrain (mountains and rivers), its climatic extremes (very hot summers; freezing winters) and German resistanc- e, and was agonisingly slow.Ian Gooderson's considered analysis of the entire campaign places the convoluted mixture of air, land and naval actions into the overall war but, more importantly, shows how the commanders on the battlefield dealt with the military issues as they arose. He has produced one of the finest explanations of a combined forces twentieth-century battle zone ever published and the volume will surely become the standard work against which others will be judged.It has an erudite assessment of one of the most complex and least covered areas of action in the war. It includes land, sea and air operations. It studies the complex alliances and mixed commands of the Allied forces. It covers all the major battles such as Salerno and Monte Cassino in detail.