Panzers outside Moscow, late 1941.
Panzers outside Moscow, late 1941.


January 17th: Major Allied assault on Monte Cassino commenced.


January 24th: US 34th Division started their attack on Monte Cassino.


January 29th: It became clear that the attack on Monte Cassino had failed and the ‘first battle’ ended. Rain ensured that movement around Monte Cassino was limited with whole areas in the region flooded. Even the weight of a jeep could not be taken. Between the end of January and mid-March, the Germans took the opportunity to reorganise the defences at Monte Cassino.


March 15th: Allied bombers dropped over 1,250 tons of bombs on Cassino. 142 B-17 Flying Fortresses dropped 350 tons of bombs on the monastery on the peak of Monte Cassino. Once this bombing raid had ended, an artillery bombardment started. An attack by the New Zealand 2nd Corps was met with heavy resistance and was halted. The 4th Indian Division captured peak 165 to the northeast of Monte Cassino.


March 16th: No advances were made on the previous day’s success.


March 17th: New Zealanders took most of Cassino town. The monks at the monastery were persuaded by the Germans to leave for Rome.


March 19th: A German counter-attack failed.


March 22nd: Allied assaults were halted due to high casualty rates and lack of territorial gains.


May 11th: An all-out Allied attack on the monastery started – but not a direct assault. A new plan called on Allied forces to outflank the monastery.


May 12th: The French Expeditionary Corps launch a successful attack against German positions.


May 13th: The French opened up a direct route to Rome to the north of Monte Cassino. Other Allied forces gathered to commence a major attack on Monte Cassino.


May 14th: The British 13th Corps continued its assault on Monte Cassino.


May 17th: German forces at Monte Cassino were ordered to retreat. French forces were 25 miles to the north of Cassino.


May 18th: Troops from the Polish 12th Podolski Regiment entered the ruins of the monastery at the top of Monte Cassino.


May 25th: The US 2nd Corps linked up with the beachhead at Anzio.

Related Posts

  • The attack on Monte Cassino was a bloody affair and one that was dubbed the Stalingrad of the Italian front. It was split into two…
  •   The defence of Monte Cassino was made much easier for the German defenders as a result of the destruction caused by the aerial and…