This is a bastard of a place"", said an English Tommy on the beachhead of Anzio, Italy. And indeed it was, especially to the 18,000 men wounded and 4,400 killed there in the early months of 1944. This book tells their story. It tells of how the landing was made in hopes of cutting across to Rome and splitting the German Army in two. It tells of how that hope failed, and of how the invading force was pinned down by those same Germans to a helpless, slogging, stalemate of a trench fight highly reminiscent of World War I. The author, a former BBC correspondent, was an eyewitness. Now, armed with staff information, maps, German accounts, and the perspective of history, he does a first-rate job in recreating the struggle. The heroes are not of Greek stature. American General Lucas (later replaced) is shown as tough and well-intentioned, but not up to the terrible task of command. It shows Kesselring over on the other side, an invisible terror, striking, withdrawing, striking like a ghost again. The fact that the Allied force at Anzio was able to withstand the German onslaught at all, thus diverting the enemy from the southern Italian front, is a credit to man's stamina under fire.