Mussolini’s Defeat at Hill 731 March 1941 written by John Carr and published by Pen and Sword Books – £19.99 – Hardback – Pages 219

The scene of the most ferocious battle of the Greek-Italian war in Albania was at Hill 731. Launching a Spring Offensive with the attempt to reverse a number of set-backs, with the objective of taking a pair of parallel valleys held by the Greeks. Spearheaded by the Italian 8th Corps and the 38th Division, against the holding Greek 1 Division of II Corps. What followed was seventeen days of heavy artillery fire with appalling losses on both sides, even at some points both sides came to hand to hand combat but the Greeks held on. In what had been hoped to give Hitler and advantage from Mussolini, turned out to hamper things for the German leader by at least a month.

I love a book where I know little about the event or what happens, I know I’m in line for a good book hopefully where I’m going to learn a lot. The book is very well written book from both sides of the battle, not just the one sided version, the book is very good indeed and it helps that it relies upon first hand testimonies. I like that the book is purely about this battle and the effect it would have in this case on the future tactics of the axis member countries. In many books your always reading about conjoining events that filter in to take you away from the main story but this book doesn’t. The conditions and suffering by those that endured the bombardment must have been so bloody and devastating. All quite portrayed and detailed in the books. The detail in this book is fascinating and really does make a great book to read for anyone interested in this particular part of the war. I would give this book a full recommendation and a great read indeed.

By Ben Davidson

Hello, I have been studying all aspects of history for about 25 years. I have a BA History from the University of Bedfordshire. My historical areas of interest are anything really, but I specialise in 19th - 20th century Britain, America and Ireland. I am also strongly aligned with most military history, really enjoying WW2 and the US Civil War. Chuck in the king or queen and Bob's your uncle.