The 16th Durham Light Infantry in Italy, 1943-1945, Peter Hart

The 16th Durham Light Infantry in Italy, 1943-1945, Peter Hart

This book is based on a series of interviews conducted from the mid 1980s with surviving members of the 16th Durham Light Infantry, a unit that served in Italy from 1943 to 1945. The battalion landed at Salerno and took part in the fighting advance up the country, before moving to Greece to help prevent the Communists taking over after the Germans left.

The interviews are connected by a good account of the overall campaign, but it is the men's voices that dominate. One constant theme is morale - how it could be raised or maintained, and more importantly how it was worn down by the constant fighting in Italy with its endless series of heavily defended ridges and a feeling that the war would be decided elsewhere.

The veteran's voices also give us a clear impression of the nature of infantry fighting, with its confusion, high human cost, randomness and frequent acts of heroism. This quite ordinary wartime battalion performed as well as any elite unit, and its achievements and its sacrifices deserve to be remembered.

1 - Happy Landings
2 - Hospital Hill
3 - Breakout to Naples
4 - River Crossings
5 - The Winter Line
6 - Middle East Interlude
7 - The Gothic Line
8 - Gemmano
9 - Casa Ricci Ridge
10 - Fear
11 - Balignano Spur
12 - Cesena to Cosina
13 - Grecian Memories
14 -Victory
Casualties for the 16th Durham Light Infantry, September 1943-May 1945

Author: Peter Hart
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 224
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Year: 2010 edition of 1999 original

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