Historians too often neglect [the] emotional tapestry [of war]. War is characterised as arrows on a map, tables of munitions, cold casualty statistics. Holland’s great skill lies in bringing these warriors back to life with vivid prose. He’s an enormously prolific historian of the war, but each book he produces is constructed with great care and emotional commitment. He introduces the reader not just to well-known generals, but also to ordinary soldiers ... Since Holland never romanticises them, his account seems honest ... [Holland's] war is anarchy. His soldiers fight heroically, but also die brutally, torn to shreds or burnt to cinders. They’re racked with dysentery and typhoid or become gibbering wrecks in field hospitals. Holland is obsessed with war, but fortunately does not seem to love it. He recognises its beauty, but also its vileness.
Historian Holland covers the operation giving attention in equal measure to the men, tactics, and weapons used by all sides ... Based on extensive archival research, firsthand accounts, and interviews, Holland paints a detailed portrait of both Sicily and the battle ... An excellent and accessible telling of the invasion that will be enjoyed by military history and World War II enthusiasts alike.
Historian Holland chronicles the 1943 Allied invasion of Sicily in this expert account... argues that the Sicily invasion provided crucial lessons for the D-Day landings in Normandy ... Holland also offers astute assessments of commanders ... and includes the perspectives of frontline combatants and eyewitnesses ... Marshalling a wealth of primary and secondary sources into an engrossing narrative, Holland fills a yawning gap in histories of WWII. This magisterial account is a must-read for military history fans.