The area was further protected by the fast-flowing Rapido and Garigliano Rivers which ran west to east. Pushed into planning a new assault to relieve pressure on the Anzio beachhead, Freyberg intended to continue the attack through mountains north of Cassino as well as advance up the railroad from the southeast. The main thrust for Monte Cassino started on February 2 nd 1944 when the US 135 th and 168 th Infantry Regiments started their attacks. The main thrust for Monte Cassino started on February 2nd 1944 when the US 135th and 168th Infantry Regiments started their attacks. The central attack by U.S. started on January 20. The Allied landings in Italy in September 1943 were followed by an advance north in two parts. They were attacked by General Eberhard Rodt's 15th Panzer Grenadier Division. The Battle of Monte Cassino was one of the most important battles of World War Two. As a result, the operation was postponed three weeks until the airstrikes could be executed. With the removal of II Corps, Lieutenant General Bernard Freyberg's New Zealand Corps moved forward. In brutal, close-in fighting, his men were turned back by the enemy. It was a series of four attacks by the Allies against the Winter Line in Italy held by the Germans and Italians. Marked by outstanding military achievement in appalling conditions, the battles of Monte Cassino opened the road to Rome and the beginning of … This saw the transfer of the British Eighth Army across the mountains. Among the issues faced by Allied forces were large areas of exposed ground and rocky terrain that precluded digging foxholes. The attack on Monte Cassino was a bloody affair and one that was dubbed the Stalingrad of the Italian front. Lacking infantry support, the tanks were soon picked off one by one. The attack (11–12 May) on Cassino started at 23:00 with artillery bombing with 1,060 guns on the 8th Army front and 600 guns on the Fifth Army front. The French Expeditionary Force got into the Aurunci Mountains. Though Clark felt the odds of success were low, an effort needed to be made to support the Anzio landings which would occur further north on January 22. Below, the New Zealanders had succeeded in taking the railroad station, though fighting in the town remained fierce and house-to-house. Attempts to capture Monte Cassino were stopped by machine gun fire from the slopes. To the north, XIII Corps made two crossings of the Rapido. As a result, Clark was forced to use Route 6 which passed through the Liri Valley. This would support the main attack by U.S. II Corps on their right. The Germans had around 20,000 killed and wounded by the end of the struggle. Slowly falling back through the fall, the Germans sought to buy time to complete the Winter Line south of Rome. It was thought that such a maneuver would compel the Germans to abandon the Gustav Line. An attack by the German 1st Parachute Division stopped the Allied attack and destroyed the tanks. [31], By 13, the German right side began to lose to the Fifth Army. Inland, Leese's XIII Corps and Lieutenant General Wladyslaw Anders' 2nd Polish Corps opposed Cassino. On the right Polish II Corps (3rd and 5th Divisions) would attack the Abbey. Both efforts were successful and soon the German Tenth Army was reeling and facing being surrounded. With U.S. VI Corps under threat at Anzio, Freyberg asked to help at Cassini. The main central attack by U.S. II Corps would start on January 20. 5 Nov 1943 : In Italy, Lieutenant-General Richard McCreery's British X Corps reached Monte Camino, a 3,000-foot pinnacle overlooking the River Garigliano and the entrance to the Liri valley. The Battle of Monte Cassino was a battle during the Italian Campaign of World War II. On January 20, Clark launched his main assault with the US II Corps south of Cassino and near San Angelo. The British army contained units from New Zealand, India and Africa. Despite its military value, Field Marshal Albert Kesselring elected not to occupy the ancient abbey and informed the Allies and Vatican of this fact. Four days later, an attempt was made north of Cassino by Major General Charles W. Ryder's 34th Infantry Division with the goal of crossing the river and wheeling left to strike Monte Cassino. They dropped 1,150 tons of bombs on the abbey. An advance was made on each side of the mountain range in the middle of Italy. The battle was won but it came at a high price for the Allies. Moving forward on February 15, a large force of B-17 Flying Fortresses, B-25 Mitchells, and B-26 Marauders struck the historic abbey. Long neglected by historians, the horrific conflict saw over 350,000 casualties, while the worst winter in Italian memory and official incompetence and backbiting only worsened the carnage and turmoil. 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