It is our great joy to welcome back internationally acclaimed and award-winning historian, writer, and broadcaster, James Holland, to the Edinburgh bookshop. This time round, James will talk about _The Savage Storm: The Battle for Italy 1943 -_ an entirely fresh and revealing telling of this most pivotal phase of WWII.
With the invasion of France the following year taking shape, and hot on the heels of victory in Sicily, the Allies crossed into Southern Italy in September 1943. They expected to drive the Axis forces north and be in Rome by Christmas. And although Italy surrendered, the German forces resisted fiercely and the swift hoped-for victory descended into one of the most brutal battles of the war.
Even though shipping and materiel were already being safeguarded for the D-Day landings, there were still huge expectations on the progress of the invading armies, but those shortages were to slow the advance with tragic consequences. As the weather closed in, the critical months leading up to Monte Cassino would inflict a heavy price for every bloody, hard fought mile the Allied troops covered.
Chronicling those dark, dramatic months in unflinching and insightful detail, The Savage Storm is unlike any campaign history yet written. James Holland has always recounted the Second World War at ground level, but this version telling brings the story vividly to life like never before. Weaving together a wealth of letters, diaries, and other incredible documents, Holland traces the battles as they were fought - across plains, over mountains, through shattered villages and cities, in intense heat and, towards the end, frigid cold and relentless rain - putting readers at the heart of the action.
James Holland is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning historian, writer, and broadcaster. The author of a number of best-selling histories including most recently _Brothers In Arms_ and _Normandy '44_, he is also the author of nine works of fiction and a dozen Ladybird Experts. He is the co-founder of the annual Chalke Valley History Festival which is now in its twelfth year, and he has presented - and written - many television programmes and series for the BBC, Channel 4, National Geographic and the History and Discovery channels. With Al Murray, he has a successful Second World War podcast, We Have Ways of Making You Talk, which also has its own festival, and is a research fellow at St Andrew's University and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He can be found on Twitter as @James1940 and on Instagram as @jamesholland1940.
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