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Anzio 1944: The Beleaguered Beachhead (Campaign) Paperback – August 10, 2005


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Anzio 1944: The Beleaguered Beachhead (Campaign) + Salerno 1943: The Allies invade southern Italy (Campaign) + Sicily 1943: The debut of Allied joint operations (Campaign)
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Product Details

  • Series: Campaign (Book 155)
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (August 10, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841769134
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841769134
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #486,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Highly visual guides to history's greatest conflicts, detailing the command strategies, tactics, and experiences of the opposing forces throughout each campaign, and concluding with a guide to the battlefields today.

About the Author

Steven J Zaloga was born in 1952, received his BA in history from Union College and his MA from Columbia University. He has published numerous books and articles dealing with modern military technology, especially armoured vehicle development. His main areas of interest are military affairs in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in World War II and American armoured forces. He lives in Maryland, USA.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By R. A Forczyk VINE VOICE on September 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
Stephen Zaloga's Anzio 1944, #155 in Osprey's Campaign series, provides a solid, if conventional account of one of the more controversial Allied operations in the Second World War. Zaloga states in the introduction "the Anzio Operation presents a classic study of ambitious political objectives doomed by limited military resources." British Prime Minister Churchill and US 5th Army Commander General Clark were not satisfied to merely outflank the German defenses on the Gustav Line with the intended amphibious operation - they wanted Rome. Although Zaloga's narrative summary is solid, his over-emphasis on the role of senior decision-makers ignores the misery down at the trench level in this very bitter campaign and does not provide readers with any feel for the tactical-level combat.

In the section on opposing commanders, Zaloga's top-heavy approach is most evident and it reduces the value of this component. On the German side, Zaloga only covers the theater commander (Kesselring) and the two army commanders (von Mackensen and Vietinghoff), with little real mention of the commanders of the 1st Fallschirmjager Corps or 76th Panzer Corps (von Choltitz). On the Allied side, Zaloga only covers the theater commander (Alexander), army commander (Clark) and corps commander (Lucas), with only slight asides to Truscott or the British tactical-level commanders. The Opposing Armies section is also rather abbreviated and provides none of the incisive analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of each side that Zaloga normally delivers. Although Zaloga provides many photographs of the Allied 1st Special Service Force, he fails to discuss its strength or special capabilities or even mention that it was a joint US-Canadian unit.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stephan Bullard on May 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book provides an excellent introduction to the Anzio Campaign. Anzio was an interesting operation in that the landings were envisioned as a way to bypass the Gustav Line and break open the deadlock in Italy. Sadly, the attack was launched too far behind the front line and with too few troops to succeed. Although a linkup was eventually established and Rome liberated soon after, the Anzio beachhead did little more than serve as a means to tie down some Axis forces.

This book covers the entire campaign from Operation Shingle through the fall of Rome. The scale of description is generally at the battalion to divisional level. The writing is very clear and the objectives and flow of operations are easy to follow. The only downside is a lopsided presentation style. The initial time periods from Jan 22 until March 3 are covered in excellent detail, while the remaining periods (mainly Operation Buffalo to the Race to Rome) are rushed; indeed the period from March 4 until May 23 are covered in several short sentences. As always with Osprey books the visuals are outstanding. The 2D maps and photographs are fantastic and the 3D maps are of the newer, more detailed and useful Osprey style. I recommend this book to readers interested in gaining an overview of the Anzio Operations and for more serious students of military history looking for a quick desk reference on the subject.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dave Schranck on July 30, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thought the accounting of this campaign was great but, once again, I suggest that if the author had a few more pages it would have been a wee bit better.
The book starts with a 2-D map of the strategic situation at the time of the landing. With Rome at the top and the 5th Army at the Gustav Line at the bottom, Anzio is in the middle. The text begins with background info of the political situation of the Allies as well as the strategic setting in the Med. The main topics include Churchill and Clark which the author is critical of. While discussing Churchill, the author explains the imperialistic agenda that the Prime Minister follows in regards to the Med and the Middle East. This aspect was excellent and convincing but it came at the expense of a reduced statement of the stalemate at Monte Cassino.

The Chronology that follows was very good, covering the period from 11/8/43 to 6/5/44.
In Opposing Commanders, Kesselring, Mackensen and Vietinghoff are discussed while Lucas, Truscott and Darby are covered for the Allies. Alexander and Clark are briefly mentioned. This chapter was adequate but Opposing Forces was a bit thin, a victum to page limitation. The Opposing Plans for both sides was very good and gave the reader a headstart as what to expect in the campaign. A full page 2-D map of the beachhead on 2/1 complees the chapter.
Mr Zaloga devotes 61 pages to the campaign which begins with the Anzio landing and ends with Clark entering Rome. Besides the good coverage of the German attempts to push the Allies back into the sea, there are three 3-D maps to help depict the action. The first map shows the 3 distinct landing zones. The second map is the Battle for the Thumb, the British salient.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kay's Husband on June 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
As with most OSPREY histories the survey is 'once over lightly' giving only a thumbnail description of the total activities. These books have their purpose but can never supplant a full history.

The main trouble with the Anzio 1944 campaign was that D-Day, 1944, over shadowed it. Materials were even at that time being allocated for June, 44, the real landing in Europe, with even the LCI and LCT to be taken away by January of 1944; they were needed for the D-Day landings. The entire Anzio campaign would have, in fact did, die a natural death only to be resurrected late December by one man: Winston Churchill. Winston believed in Mediterrean operations and empire and wanted, even needed, campaigns such as this for his concept of the "soft underbelly" of Europe theory. Hardly anyone on the American side believed as Churchill yet this ill advised campaign got underway due his persistance. Even the American general in charge did not believe it would work, and it did not. Might have even protracted the fighting along the Gustav line.

Another item of conflict: most planners and advisors wanted to direct the attack toward the Alban hills not Rome itself. Yet they and this author freely admit that Rome really was the prize to be taken. Talk about divided purpose while being under staffed in men and materials to boot. So, from Salerno to Anzio things went very wrong and in their own way caused needless bloodshed and possibly lengthened the war by months. Who can say. At Salerno we charged ahead recklessly, while at Anzio we sat on the beach with both campaigns suffering due our misdirected strategy and tactics.

But this book is very readable, very well illustrated, and serves a purpose of putting a reader in touch with most salient facts concerning Anzio.
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More About the Author

Steven Zaloga is a senior analyst for Teal Group Corp., an aerospace consulting firm. His professional specialization is the commercial and technological aspects of the international trade in missiles, precision guided munitions, and unmanned aerial vehicles. He also serves as an adjunct staff member with the Institute for Defense Analyses, a federal think-tank.

Mr. Zaloga has published numerous books and articles on military technology and military history. His books have been translated into Japanese, German, Polish, Czech, Romanian, and Russian. He has been a special correspondent for "Jane's Intelligence Review" and is on the executive board of the "Journal of Slavic Military Studies". From 1987 through 1992, he was the writer/director for Video Ordnance Inc., preparing their TV series "Firepower" that aired on The Discovery Channel in the US.

Mr. Zaloga was born in 1952 and received his BA in history from Union College, Schenectady, NY. He received an MA in history from Columbia University specializing in modern East European history, and did graduate research and language study at Uniwersitet Jagiellonski in Krakow, Poland.

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