Walker, Ian W.
Iron Hulls, Iron Hearts: Mussolini's Elite Armoured Divisions in North Africa
Marlborough, UK: Crowood Press, 2003
Italian Ariete, Littorio and Centauro armored divisions
Recommended Reading selection
Read our review
See also more books on the same topic(s):
Italy: Armored forces and operations
Italy: Ground forces, OBs, and TOEs
Italy: Ground operations and support
Italy: Ground unit histories
North Africa campaigns and the Mediterranean, 1940-1943: Forces, OBs, and TOEs
North Africa campaigns and the Mediterranean, 1940-1943: Unit histories
See also references to this book:
Reference in news archive February 2004
Reference in book review/survey May 2004
Reference in book review/survey January 2005
Feedback from visitors
Feedback from Ian Bell on Tuesday, 13 July 2004
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A very worthwhile book on a very neglected area. The author demonstrates that the Italian's were capable of fighting bravely and well, especially when on the defensive. The book covers the technical aspects of Italian armoured development in sufficientdepth to give a proper historical perspective on how the introduction of the Sherman and 6 pounder shifted the balance against the axis forces in North Africa.
I purchased this after reading the Stone & Stone review and found it accurate. Theauthor's favourable bias does come out on a few occassions (such as his suggestion that an Italian Division should really be compared to a British Brigade and blaming the Germans for not knowing the details of the Trobruk defences)but is generally well balanced.
Highly recommended as it is likely to be the standard work on the subject for many years.
Feedback from Dominic Ciocca, Jr. on Friday, 28 October 2011
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For the doctrinal development of Italy's Armormed formations and to illuminate their strengths and many weaknesses, read Iron Arm: The Mechanization of Mussolini's Army 1020-1940 by J.J.T. Sweet. Otherwise I mostly concur with Mr.Bell's comments, above.
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