Italy at al - Page 3

January 17th, 2017  
Originally Posted by JOC
Regardless of after the fact possibilities the allied troops at Monti Casino had to go uphill against dung in Germans many of whom were special forces and the whole bloody thing took months and was the bloodiest single battle in the entire Italian Campaign. If I recall the Poles were the ones that finally broke thru but I might be wrong going on memory. Clark never was known for his brilliance. Anther tragedy was the allies destroyed the Abbey which up till that time was unoccupied by the Germans.
The Poles took Monte Cassino but it was only after French Mountain troops bypassed the Gustav line (by bypassed I mean they went through a relatively undefended area to the east) at which point the bulk of the German forces had already begun to withdraw.

By the time Monte Cassino was captured it had pretty much been abandoned the night before, all that were left were wounded and the odd straggler.

Do not assume however that I am belittling the Polish achievements as they fought extremely well in the days before the withdrawal but by the time the Poles entered the monastery the Germans were already making themselves comfortable at the Gothic line largely thanks to Alexander failing to put any pressure on their flanks.

But my point is not that the German forces they faced were not good troops, although the wife's grandfather who fought at Monte Cassino on the German side wouldn't agree, he was a 1942 call up to replace the losses at Crete and says that training was limited and in 3 years service in the paratroops he never once flew in an aircraft let alone jumped out of one, my point is that the Italian campaign was a poorly led fiasco and that Monte Cassino never had to be fought, it simply could have been bypassed with minimal losses.

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