Author(s): Angelos Mansolas
In 1944, two Allied armies were ready to launch an assault against German forces in central Italy so they could march to Rome. There were three routes available to get there. The fastest one passed through the Liri valley. The entrance to the valley, however, was blocked by the rugged Monte Cassino massif with its hilltop medieval monastery and the town below, which controlled the battlefield. In front of them ran the Gustav Line, the most formidably constructed defensive line the Western Allies would ever come up against.
The second possible route would be to outflank the Gustav Line to reach the valley, but they would also have to capture the innumerable rough peaks and ridges along the massif on a treacherous terrain that favoured the defenders.
The third and last option would be to breach the Gustav Line directly in front of the Cassino town. Nevertheless, they would have to engage in costly house-to-house fighting against stubborn German paratroopers lurking beneath the rubble. They decided to try all three routes. None of those was easy and all proved deadly...
|FORMAT||234 x 156 mm|
|PUBLICATION DATE||15 July 2017|
|ILLUSTRATIONS||90 black-and-white and 29 colour photographs|