Mission Accomplished: Page 7  LoneSentry.com

[Mission Accomplished: They Stopped Us at Cassino]


IT took four full-scale attacks and four months to capture Cassino, strongest point in the enemy's Gustav line. The 36th division made the first bid by crossing the narrow Rapido river, south of the town. This action became known as "The Battle of Guts." When it was over, the 36th had lost heavily and was forced back to where if started from.

Four days, later the 34th division crossed the river north of Cassino and stormed the hills overlooking the town. Through minefields and against deeply entrenched paratroopers, one regiment forced its way into the town. Another assaulted and captured Hill 593 overlooking the famous Benedictine Abbey above the town.

Then the New Zealand Corps took over and on 15 February the Abbey was shattered by a heavy bombing attack. On 15 March Cassino was leveled under a great concentration of bombs. Still the Germans could not be driven out.

The Eighth Army moved into the Cassino sector 26 March. The long fight continued until 18 May when British forces took the town and Polish troops captured the Abbey. When this happened, the Gustav line ceased to exist.

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