The Gothic Line: Canada's Month of Hell in World War II Italy

Portada
D & M Publishers, 2009 M07 1 - 551 páginas
Like an armor-toothed belt across Italy’s upper thigh, the Gothic Line was the most fortified and fiercely defended position the German army had yet thrown in the path of the Allied forces. On August 25, 1944, it fell to I Canadian Corps to spearhead the famed Eighth Army’s major offensive, intended to rip through it.

The 1st Infantry and 5th Armored Divisions advanced into a killing ground covered by thousands of machine-gun, antitank gun positions, and pillboxes expertly sited behind minefields and dense thickets of barbed wire. Never had the Germans in Italy brought so much artillery to bear or deployed such a great number of tanks.

For 28 days, the battle raged as the Allied troops slugged an ever deeper hole into the German defences. The Metauro River, the Foglia River, Point 204, Tomba Di Pesaro, Coriano Ridge, San Martino, and San Fortunato became place names seared into the memories of those who fought there.

They fought in a dust-choked land under a searing sun which by battle's end was reduced to a guagmire by rain. But they prevailed and on September 22 won the ground overlooking the Po River Valley, opening the way for the next phase of the Allied advance.
 

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Página 16 - Always on the vino, and always on the spree. Eighth Army skivers and their tanks, We go to war in ties and slacks, We are the D-Day Dodgers, in sunny Italy. We fought into Agira, a holiday with pay; Jerry brought his bands out, to cheer us on our way, Showed us the sights and gave us tea, We all sang songs, the beer was free, We are the D-Day Dodgers, in sunny Italy. The Moro and Ortona were taken in our stride, We didn't really fight there, we went there for the ride. Sleeping till noon and playing...
Página 53 - Let them take their seven divisions — three American and four French. Let them monopolise all the landing craft they can reach. But let us at least have a chance to launch a decisive strategic stroke with what is entirely British and under British command. I am not going to give way about this for anybody. Alexander is to have his campaign.
Página 52 - France is the decisive theater. This decision was taken long ago by the Combined Chiefs of Staff. In my view, the resources of Great Britain and the US will not permit us to maintain two major theaters in the European war, each with decisive missions.
Página 16 - Goin' to shiver when the cold winds blow. Ballad of the D-Day Dodgers An ironic Second World War ballad, arising from a rumour in Italy that Lady Astor had referred to the men of the CMF as D-Day dodgers. To the tune of 'Lili Marleen'.
Página 53 - I hope you realise that an intense impression must be made upon the Americans that we have been ill-treated and are furious. Do not let any smoothings or smirchings cover up this fact. After a little, we shall get together again; but if we take everything lying down, there will be no end to what will be put upon us.

Acerca del autor (2009)

Mark Zuehlke has dedicated his career to writing about military history and the influence of the nation’s war experiences on Canadian society. He is the author of The Liri Valley: Canada’s World War II Breakthrough to Rome; The Canadian Military Atlas: The Nation’s Battlefields from the French and Indian Wars to Kosovo; The Gallant Cause: Canadians in the Spanish Civil War, 1936–1939; and Scoundrels, Dreamers, and Second Sons: British Remittance Men in the Canadian West. He is frequently sought out for comment about military matters from Canada’s major media. He lives in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

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