The protracted Battle for Monte Cassino has attracted many historians, but somehow the important Cavendish Road Operation has largely escaped their attention. Monte Cassino and the Italian Campaign has frequently been dismissed as a wast of Allied resources, but it was the third front of WWII, the second being the air war over Europe, and vital to the eventual Allied victory. Within this critical campaign, Monte Cassino formed an important impediment to the Allied advance. – Very Highly Recommended
NAME: Tank Attack At Monte Cassino, The Cavendish Road Operation 1944 FILE: R3302 AUTHOR: Jeffrey Plowman PUBLISHER: Pen and Sword BINDING: hard back PRICE: £39.95 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: WWII, World War II, World War 2, Second World War, Europe, Italian Campaign, Monte Cassino, German paratroops, Wehrmacht, British Army, US Army, Canadian soldiers, 8th Army, ANZACS, second front, third front, forth front, fighting withdrawal, soft underbelly, armoured warfare ISBN: 1-52676-490-3 PAGES: 194, many maps and photographs through the body of text, mostly b&w, but with some full colour images IMAGE: B3302.jpg BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/y5ypgg4y LINKS: DESCRIPTION: The protracted Battle for Monte Cassino has attracted many historians, but somehow the important Cavendish Road Operation has largely escaped their attention. Monte Cassino and the Italian Campaign has frequently been dismissed as a wast of Allied resources, but it was the third front of WWII, the second being the air war over Europe, and vital to the eventual Allied victory. Within this critical campaign, Monte Cassino formed an important impediment to the Allied advance. – Very Highly Recommended
The Allied invasion of Italy and Sicily was an inevitable continuation of land war, following on the Allied victory in North Africa, but this has not stopped historians deriding the Italian Campaign. The soldiers felt they were neglected and a popular song of the time described them as the “D-Day Dodgers in Sunny Italy”. The Battle of El Alamein, through to the defeat of Axis forces in North Africa, ran alongside the Soviet efforts to retake Stalingrad and fight on to the largest land battle at Kursk. The two sets of events were entirely complimentary and divided German attention with the result that Hitler failed to decide on a priority and fully equip it for victory before turning on the second priority.
Although the Soviets were very vocal in claiming the Western Allies were shirking by not invading France to open a second front there were already several fronts and placing them in numerical order is not an easy matter. The British ran sea convoys to Russia in the face of terrible weather conditions and heavy German opposition. Without those convoys the Soviets would not have been able to achieve superiority on the Eastern Front. Before that, the evacuation of French and British troops from Dunkirk and the victory of the RAF in the Battle of Britain was a front that meant Hitler invaded the Soviet Union late and got bogged down in the Russian Winter. The British success of holding the Middle East and clearing the Axis out of North Africa meant that land convoys of armour, and a wealth of other war material, could be poured into the Soviet Union, making possible the concentration of resources necessary to retake Stalingrad. The combination of El Alamein and Stalingrad shook the German generals and showed them that their days of advancing were over and defeat was only a matter of time.
The air war over Europe seriously impeded the German attempt to send war materials to any front. In fact it required heavy artillery for anti-aircraft use in the homelands that would otherwise have been available to destroy Soviet mass tank formations. The air battles over Germany may not have won the war or stopped German war production, but they fatally wounded Germany and took pressure off the land war.
The invasion of Sicily and Italy were just a natural extension of the pressure on Germany and soaked up German resources that could not be spared. However, the Allied armies in Italy were denied the number of landing craft that were required to move up the Italian coastline, bypassing difficult points like Monte Cassino. That meant that Monte Cassino had to be taken by soldiers on the ground to move up the Italian coast and be ready to move into Southern France after the main landings in Normandy.