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Publisher's Summary

On July 10, 1943, the largest amphibious invasion ever mounted took place, larger even than the Normandy invasion 11 months later: 160,000 American, British, and Canadian troops came ashore or were parachuted onto Sicily, signaling the start of the campaign to defeat Nazi Germany on European soil. Operation HUSKY, as it was known, was enormously complex, involving dramatic battles on land, in the air, and at sea. Yet, despite its paramount importance to ultimate Allied victory, and its drama, very little has been written about the 38-day Battle for Sicily. 

Based on his own battlefield studies in Sicily and on much new research, James Holland’s Sicily ’43 offers a vital new perspective on a major turning point in World War II and a chronicle of a multi-pronged campaign in a uniquely diverse and contained geographical location. The characters involved - Generals George Patton and Bernard Montgomery among many - were as colorful as the air and naval battles and the fighting on the ground across the scorching plains and mountaintop of Sicily were brutal. But among Holland’s great skills is incorporating the experience of on-the-ground participants on all sides - from American privates Tom and Dee Bowles and Tuskegee fighter pilot Charlie Dryden to British major Hedley Verity and Canadian lieutenant Farley Mowat (later a celebrated author), to German and Italian participants such as Wilhelm Schmalz, brigade commander in the Hermann Göring Division, or Luftwaffe fighter pilot major Johannes “Macky” Steinhoff and to Italian combatants, civilians and mafiosi alike - which gives listeners an intimate sense of what occurred in July and August 1943. 

Emphasizing the significance of Allied air superiority, Holland overturns conventional narratives that have criticized the Sicily campaign for the vacillations over the plan, the slowness of the Allied advance and that so many German and Italian soldiers escaped to the mainland; rather, he shows that clearing the island in 38 days against geographical challenges and fierce resistance was an impressive achievement. A powerful and dramatic account by a master military historian, Sicily ’43 fills a major gap in the narrative history of World War II. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2020 by Griffon Merlin Ltd. Recorded by arrangement with Atlantic Monthly Press, an imprint of Grove Atlantic, Inc. (P)2020 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Sicily '43

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Great study of an under-appreciated campaign

In-depth study of a key campaign in the ETO, assessing both Allied and Axis performance. Highly recommended reading.

1 person found this helpful

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Best Close Up View of Soldier's Life in WWII

Superb writing, good pace, characters as well-drawn as a novel.

I'm a WW II fan and this is the best I've read ever.

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One of Holland’s best

Outstanding story of the first post-North Africa Allied effort in the Med. Tremendous look at all aspects of the campaign. Impressive narration by Al Murray. I’m a charter member of the Independent Company.

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Generally very good

The author has a great ability to breathe life into history. I wish, however, that he hadn't been so relentlessly negative regarding Patton. He gives the sense that that the US success on Sicily was despite Patton, which is categorically absurd.