THE GOTHIC LINE-ITALY 1944

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aurora
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THE GOTHIC LINE-ITALY 1944

Postby aurora » Sat Dec 13, 2014 11:08 am

The Gothic Line, renamed Green Line in June 1944, was the final main German defensive line in northern Italy. The line stretched from the area south of La Spezia on the west coast of Italy through the Appennine Mountains to the area between Pesaro and Ravenna on the east coast. It featured 2,376 machine gun nests, 479 gun positions, concrete bunkers, barbed wire, anti-tank ditches, and natural terrain favouring the defenders.

By Aug 1944, the Germans in Italy were plagued with increased Italian partisan activity behind the front lines, while the Allies commanders in Italy were frustrated by their superiors transferring forces under their control for the new front in France; by the first week of Aug, strength of British 8th Army had fallen from the height of 249,000 men to about 153,000, for example.

Although France now became the main front for the Allies to break into the heart of Germany, the Italian campaign was not cancelled, as it had political value. If the American and British forces were able to take northern Italy, they would have a chance to advance further north into Austria and Hungary to lessen post-war Soviet influence in that region.

The Battle of the Gothic Line was to cost the Allies 40,000 casualties-was it worth these losses in the long run?? Did the Allies advance into Austria and Hungary and if so -to what end??
Quo Fata Vocant-Whither the Fates call

Jim

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aurora
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Re: THE GOTHIC LINE-ITALY 1944

Postby aurora » Sat Dec 13, 2014 5:43 pm

This is how it all ended
The Allies' final offensive in Italy commenced with massive aerial and artillery bombardments on 9 April 1945. By 18 April, Eighth Army forces in the east had broken through the Argenta Gap and sent armour racing forward in an encircling move to meet the US IV Corps advancing from the Apennines in Central Italy and to trap the remaining defenders of Bologna.On 21 April, Bologna was entered by the Polish 3rd Carpathian Rifle Division, the Italian Friuli Group (both from Eighth Army) and the US 34th Infantry Division (from Fifth Army). 10th Mountain Division, which had bypassed Bologna, reached the River Po on 22 April; the Indian 8th Infantry Division, on the Eighth Army front, reached the river on 23 April.British infantry ride on Sherman tanks of 6th Armoured Division as they head towards the Austrian border, 4 May 1945.

By 25 April 1945, the Italian Partisans' Committee of Liberation declared a general uprising, and on the same day, having crossed the Po on the right flank, forces of Eighth Army advanced north north east towards Venice and Trieste. On the US Fifth Army front, elements drove north toward Austria and north west to Milan. On the army's left flank, the 92nd Infantry Division (the "Buffalo Soldiers Division") went along the coast to Genoa; and a rapid advance towards Turin, by the Brazilian division on their right, took the German–Italian Army of Liguria by surprise, causing its collapse.

As April came to an end, Army Group C, the Axis forces in Italy, retreating on all fronts and having lost most of its fighting strength, was left with little option but surrender. General Heinrich von Vietinghoff, who had taken command of Army Group C after Kesselring had been transferred to become Commander-in-Chief of the Western Front (OB West) in March 1945, signed the instrument of surrender on behalf of the German armies in Italy on 29 April, formally bringing hostilities to an end on 2 May 1945.
Quo Fata Vocant-Whither the Fates call

Jim


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