09 May 2007

Globalism At War

The Italian front of WWII is in my opinion one of the least well "documented" major arenas of the war from the standpoint of popular historical memory. I'm not quite sure why, but perhaps it has to do with its perceived lack of centrality. Or perhaps it is the gritty, nasty and bloody nature of the fighting there that doesn't recommend it for glorification.

Possibly its most intriguing feature for me is how "international" it was in scope. Not only were there Americans and British involved, but sizeable elements of the Free French army, that of the Polish government in exile and many other nations. Indeed it could be argued that the two most competently lead elements of the allied forces there were that of the French and the Poles. They in my mind had something to prove and their bravery (bordering on madness at times) pulled the allied ass out of the fire on more than a few occassions.

2 comments:

Shem said...

I don't think it's a matter of the gory nature; the Pacific front was spectacularly bloody, even moreso than Italy, at least in my opinion. I would agree that it's more about the front's centrality (or lack thereof) though. There does tend to be the opinion (somewhat justified, I think) that the war wasn't won or lost in terms of Italy, making it less important.

Mark said...

Grotius- I recommend picking up Mary Doria Russell's A Thread of Grace. It's a historical novel dealing with the Italian front.galt3184