In 1943, the Allies decided to land in Italy. Two army corps, one commanded by Clark, the other by Montgomery, set foot in the Gulf of Salerno and Calabria. On site, after some success with taking Naples, the troops face a strong Nazi resistance. Field Marshal Kesselring had indeed ordered the German soldiers to hold their position. After the Allied invasion in September 1943 and Italy's surrender, General Mark Clark's U.S. Fifth Army pursued the German forces of Field Marshal Albert Kesselring into the Apennine mountains. There the Allies confronted a formidable system of mountain defenses and ferocious winter weather. A radical solution was needed to break the impasse–and in the resulting Allied gamble, the Battle of Anzio, around 100,000 men would be lost to both sides. On the morning of January 22, 1944 Allied troops landedat Anzio on Italy's west coast . Germans were taken by surprise and it seemed that American and British forces would finally break through German defenses.
There are almost more Petula Clark collections than there were actual songs (that's saying something), and Sanctuary's three-disc Songs of My Life: The Essential Petula Clark is one of the better ones. Split into three themes, "Swinging Times," "Mellow Moods," and "Beautiful Sounds," Songs of My Life relies heavily on the English pop sensation's peak '60s and '70s output. All of the key radio hits are here ("Downtown," "I Know a Place," "My Love," "This Is My Song"), as well as countless ballads, uptempo pop gems, and choice covers. Fans looking for a decent career overview (sadly, none of Clark's vast arsenal of French hits are here) may find the 78 tracks that populate Songs of My Life a bit overwhelming, but they're well worth spending some quality time alone with.