In September 1943, shortly after the conquest of Sicily, the Allied armies made amphibious assaults on the Italian Mainland at Calabria, Taranto and along the Gulf of Salerno beaches. The Italian Government quickly capitulated but the Germans fought on. Although the British XIII Corps and 1st Airborne’s attacks were largely uncontested in Calabria and Taranto, the Allied Fifth Army s beachheads at Salerno underwent savage Nazi counterattacks. After Salerno, the Allied Fifth and Eighth Armies continued their advance north initially to the ports of Naples and Bari before struggling through Italian massifs, held up by a determined enemy and unfavourable ground and weather. In January 1944, the Fifth Army s X, II and French Expeditionary Corps attacked across the Garigliano and Rapido Rivers with the aim of breaking through the Gustav Line fortifications. The Nazi defence at the town of Cassino just succeeded in halting the two-week Allied attack during First Battle of Cassino and the Gustav Line was to be the scene of fierce fighting for months.
IMAGES OF WAR: SALERNO TO THE GUSTAV LINE 1943-1944
The difficult fighting of the Italian Campaign up to the Nazi defence of Cassino is covered in the popular “IOW” style, this is a very useful addition to this ongoing series.