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Carrier's Mussolini's Army against Greece


Staff member
I just received my copy today and wanted to warn others before they buy. I have not read the book, but upon opening the package, I was very disappointed.


This is an expensive book and I was concerned about Carr as the author. I put my trust in Routledge as they are generally a very good publisher of scholarly works and their books are usually of excellent research standards. Since there isn't much written in English about 2GM Italy, I normally buy what is available. I will reserve final judgement until after I have read the book, but I don't have high hopes. It certainly is not worth the $160 for the hardback, and I am pretty sure it isn't worth the $37 for the e-book.

I expected somewhere above 400 pages with maps and charts as a minimum. I got 207 pages, no maps, charts, or photos. The presentation of the campaign itself is 27 pages. The rest is analysis and two brief chapters on the R.A. and R.M. In comparison, Cervi's The Hollow Legions is 373 pages and all discussing the campaign.

As I previously stated, I will reserve final judgement until after I read the book. My intent is to warn others if they are eyeing this book but are baulking at the cost.


Pista! Jeff
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Staff member
I finished reading this book two weeks ago but am now just sitting down to write. First a correction.

The book was written by Dr. Richard Carrier, not John Carr. Why I got Carr's name in my head, I do not know. Carrier is a associate professor at the Royal Military College of Canada. Sorry for the error.

You can read from my first post that I was already disappointed with book. As I started reading, I slowly found myself thinking this is a well written, argued book. In the end, I was glad I had purchased the book.

Bottomline first: For a very serious researcher of the Italian military, this book has much to offer. If you wish to read about the problems of the Italian Army and have examples/cites to use in discussions, this book provides that. I have already used some of the arguments/data present by Carrier. If the book was in the $30-$40 range, I would recommend to everyone with an interest in the R.E. to buy a copy. As it is priced as an academic tome, I can't see the average reader of military history feeling that the book is worth the cost. Note I use the word tome to mean detailed research and well argued, not a description of its physical size. At 206 total pages, it is a slim book.

It is not a detailed account of the campaign. The history of the campaign itself is covered in 36 pages (including end notes). It is a good overview, but not in itself worth the price. No maps or diagrams, so previous knowledge of the campaign is certainly a plus.

The book is divided into two parts:

Part I: The army, the decisions, the campaign. 70 pages.
Part II: Analyzing military ineffectiveness. 103 pages.

There are two brief appendices discussing the R.A. and the R.M.

Part II is divided into:
Chap. 4 Rome snd Tirana. Failing command structures.
Chap. 5 Weapons and equipment: Old, faulty, and insufficient.
Chap. 6 Combatants: The behavior of men in battle.
Chap 7 Logistics: To square the circle.

The value is the presentation of the problems that R.E. labored under to explain the lack of any independent success by the Italians. The writing is very good and the arguments are both easy to follow and well supported. It really meshes well with Cervi's account of the war in English or Montanari's account in Italian.

Recommended if you are truly serious about studying the R.E. or can find a less expensive copy.

Pista! Jeff
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