Benvenuti / Welcome to
On 3rd September 1943, following the Allied landing in Sicily, the Allies invaded the mainland of Italy. The V American Army lead by General Mark W. Clark and the VIII British Army, commanded by General Montgomery swiftly pressed forward heading North.
However by the end of October the Allies had come up against the Germans, commanded by Feldmarshall Kesserling, who had set up well positioned fortifications along a line of defence known as the GUSTAV Line. Cassino was one of its main strongholds and Monte Cassino dominated the surrounding countryside including the Liri Valley that runs through the mountains to the North, and the main road linking the South with Rome.
The town of Cassino was first bombed by the British and Americans on the 10th September 1943 concentrating on strategic targets along the Garigliano River, however any advancement was severely hindered by the harsh winter weather. Thus the Allies found themselves blocked at Monte Cassino.
A strategic plan was hatched named “Operation Shingle”, to launch an attack on the
coast just south of Rome, to conquer the nine-
Secondly it was designed to distract the Germans from their defensive positions at Monte Cassino, in the hope that Allied troops could break through the Gustav Line.
World War II -
Sadly Anzio and Nettuno are best remembered as being the landing point of the Allied British and American Forces in the WWII, during “Operation Shingle” in January 1944, and the terrible loss of life of many of these soldiers who took part in the bloody battle along its shores. Both towns suffered heavy damage during this time.
Operation Shingle was originally scheduled to take place on 20th December 1943, however it was postponed to coincide with a major offensive at Cassino.
The Allies once again attacked Cassino on the 17th January 1944, however the British there found themselves baulked on the River Garigliano in San Angelo, and the French near Sant`Elia Fiumerapido.
On 18 February 1944, the British light cruiser Penelope was struck by two torpedoes off the coast of Anzio and sunk with a loss of 417 crew.
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