Brilliantly argued, with vivid portraits of Churchill, Montgomery, FDR, Rommel, and Mussolini, this original, accessible, and compelling account of a little-known theater emphasizes the importance of the Mediterranean in the ultimate Allied victory in Europe in World War II.
The Mediterranean theater in World War II has long been overlooked by historians who believe it was little more than a string of small-scale battles--sideshows that were of minor importance in a war whose outcome was decided in the clashes of mammoth tank armies in northern Europe. But in this ground-breaking new book, one of our finest military historians argues that the Mediterranean was World War II's pivotal theater.
Douglas Porch's The Path to Victory examines the Mediterranean as an integrated arena, one in which events in Syria and Suez influenced the survival of Gibraltar. Without a Mediterranean alternative, the Western Allies would probably have committed to a premature cross-Channel invasion in 1943 that might well have cost them the war.
Douglas Porch is a military historian and the author of The Conquest of Morocco and The Conquest of the Sahara (FSG, 2005). He is a professor of national security affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.
“Substantial, authoritative and beautifully written...[An] elegance of presentation rests on a mastery of technical detail... The best account of the Mediterranean campaign that we are ever likely to see.” —Michael Howard, Times Literary Supplement
“Porch's stout history of the Mediterranean campaign in World War II justifies its size by its coverage. . . Porch writes clearly and accessibly. . . For WWII studies, essential.” —Roland Green, Booklist
“[Porch's] sweeping narrative incorporates encyclopedic mastery of a massive body of source material, and is written in a style that holds attention from first page to last . . . [a] terrific book.” —Publishers Weekly
“A thoughtful account of an important theater of military operations.” —Library Journal (starred review)
“Illuminating . . . Porch's analysis is sharp and to the point, and his skills as a storyteller will please readers of narrative history.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A supple and absorbing analytical account . . . unlike many traditional accounts, Porch's narrative goes far beyond the armies and the ground war . . . No other treatment of the subject approaches Porch's narrative and thematic sweep, his eye for telling detail and his forcefully expressed judgments...A monumental work and a major contribution to our understanding of World War II.” —John Whiteclay Chambers III, The Washington Post Book World