Books: Nine-Day Nightmare

SALERNO (260 pp.)—Hugh Pond—Lif-tle, Brown ($5.95).

There was every reason to expect that the Allied landing at Salerno in September 1943 would be a quick success. The Allies had an invasion force of 450 ships, mostly American, and 100,000 British and 69,000 American troops. The Italians had just surrendered, and the Germans could muster only 20,000 troops. But this first full-scale invasion of continental Europe in World War II floundered into confusion and almost failed—dashing Allied hopes of winning the war in a hurry.

Many military writers have tried to explain the Battle of Salerno, among them Naval Historian Samuel Eliot Morison and...

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