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World War II

World War II

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World War II

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  1. World War II Battle of Monte Cassino Jan 4 - May 18, 1944

  2. In late 1943… • German troops had blocked off northern Italy, Rome from allies • Monte Cassino, an elevated area in the Liri Valley, was crucial to Germany’s defense of Rome


  4. December, 1943 • Allied troops from the United States, Great Britain, Poland, Morocco, France, and Algeria began arriving in Italy. • German troops held their position in and around Cassino. • Allied troops surrounded Monte Cassino from the West, North and East

  5. The Battle Begins… • Phase One began Jan. 4, 1944. • In preparation for Allied troops, German army laid land mined to the South along the Rapido River, gained high ground, set up heavy artillery. • Artillery fire began on January 17, 1944.

  6. Attack from the East • To completely surround the German Army, the Allies had to cross the Rapido River. • Allied troops tried to cross the river to the East of Cassino, but were held back by land mines, sniper fire. • Allies eventually gave up to the East and traveled North and crossed the river at a more shallow area.

  7. The ascent of Monte Cassino • Once they crossed the river, the Allies began ascending the steep terrain around Cassino. • By Feb. Allied troops made it within 1000 meters of the monastery at the top of Monte cassino. • After trying to reach the top, Allied troops were forced to retreat after losing too many soldiers to German artillery fire.

  8. Destruction of the Abbey at Monte Cassino

  9. Phase Two Begins • On Feb. 15, 1944, United States Air Force bombed the Monastery for three hours after receiving information that German troops were inside. • The information proved incorrect, German troops remained mostly unscathed. • Allied troops, who had fled the area to allow for bombing, made their way back to Monte Cassino on newly-flattened terrain. • German troops dug in behind the rubble and prepared for combat.

  10. Before Destruction During the Bombing

  11. The Ruins…

  12. March, 1944 • After destroying the monastery, Allied troops tried, once again, to get to the top of Monte Cassino. • German troops decimated the Allied troops with sniper and artillery fire from inside their fortifications inside the ruins of the monastery. • Out of 3,200 Allied soldiers, only 840 survived the March attack.

  13. Second Bombing Attack • After too many casualties on the ground, the Allied Air Force took over. • On March 14, seven hundred and seventy five (775) Allied aircrafts bombed Cassino and the surrounding areas for four hours. • In total, they dropped 1,250 tons of explosives. • Allied troops waited until the bombing stopped, then stormed Monte Cassino.

  14. Allied Victory in Sight • For a month after the March bombing, Allies and German troops were in a stalemate. • Allied reinforcements came in early May to relieve worn out troops. • Fresh Allied troops began to make their way around the southern side of Monte Cassino.

  15. German Troops Retreat • In one final attempt to surround the Germans, British, French, US, Moroccan and Polish troops moved in a great synchronized sweep around Monte Cassino. • French troops overwhelmed the German Troops and opened a route to Rome. • By May 14, German troops realized they were surrounded, on May 17 they withdrew. • Allied declared victory.

  16. Monte Cassino: Timeline