This will be a definitive work in capital letters; hence it is gratifying to find the book not only balanced and comprehensive, but very well written indeed. The italian Campaign has received side glances from historians of World War II. The author (a British general who saw action in Sicily and Italy) succeeds in detailing five phases of the offensive mission against well-matched German forces, from the Allies' gingerly approach in 1943 through the fall of Rome and Mussolini to final victory. No mere battle-to-battle pedant, Jackson also gives a brilliant account of the campaign's role in overall Allied strategy. He contributes to an understanding of Anglo-American disputes about how to win in Europe, as well as differences of opinion among Axis leaders. There are 59 maps, 32 photographs, a long index, 7 appendices including a chronological outline of events, and a substantive introduction by Alexander who commanded the Allies. Imperative for students of World War II; formidable for the casual reader.