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Category: Military Army
Echoes of Resistance: British Involvement with the Italian Partisans by Laurence Lewis
Tunbridge Wells: Costello, 1985
Hardback with Dust Jacket over boards with titling to
Illustrated by way of: Black & White Photographs; Facsimiles; Maps;
From the cover: Over the past 40 years, countless books and articles have been written about the Second World War. However only a small proportion of these have been devoted to the Italian Campaign and they have mostly ignored or dismissed the Partisan contribution. Nevertheless, by April 1945, the Partisans had over 250,000 men under arms, including Britons, Australians, New Zealanders, American, Frenchmen, Russians, Poles and Czechs, as well as Italians. This book considers the part played by British and Allied soldiers in the Partisan movement, whether as escaped PoWs, British Liaison Officers sent in by SOE No. l Special Force, or SAS raiders hitting specific targets.
The book divides into three main sections: the first gives the background to the Partisans the rise of Mussolini, the invasion of Italy, the Allied campaign of 1943-5, and describes how the British made contact with the Partisans. The second section, mostly told by the men who took part, follows some 12 soldiers through specific missions on behalf of the Allies. The last section assesses the results of the Partisan actions, the failure of the Allied High Command to appreciate the weapon they had to hand, and the subsequent careers of the spotlighted 12.
With 18 pages of illustrations and seven maps, this is a fascinating study of a neglected aspect of the Second World War. By April 1945, over 45,000 Italians had given their lives for this cause while at least another 48,000 were wounded. Finally credit is being given to those gallant Italians and their comrades in arms who risked life, home and family to fight against Germany and Fascism.
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