The Battles of Monte Cassino: The Campaign and Its Controversies

By Glyn Harper; John Tonkin-Covell | Go to book overview

Foreword

The battles at Monte Cassino were some of the toughest that occurred in the Western theatre of operations during the Second World War. German, New Zealand, British, Indian, Polish, French and American troops played prominent roles at Cassino, and each country takes pride in what its forces achieved. This was a tough, gritty fight: skilful, determined opponents and challenging terrain made Cassino an amazing feat of arms for both sides. These very issues have united those nations that fought there. For example, during my career I have met Polish veterans or serving soldiers who instantly recognised me as a New Zealander and made reference to how at Monte Cassino the Divisions from each country fought side by side.

With this book, Glyn Harper and John Tonkin-Covell have added to the rich historiography around these battles. Even those familiar with the events should find that this work adds dimensions to our understanding. The two authors make good use of American archival material that has not been assessed in depth before, as well as skilfully examining the views of other historians. The issues that they raise resonate strongly with my own experiences of operations: the impact of personalities, the issues around coalitions and joint operational procedures.

-vii-

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The Battles of Monte Cassino: The Campaign and Its Controversies
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vii
  • Acknowledgements x
  • Abbreviations xiii
  • Operation Codenames xiv
  • List of Maps xvi
  • Introduction xvii
  • 1 - The Four Cassino Battles- An Overview 1
  • 2 - The Anzio Magnet 28
  • 3 - War Crime or Military Necessity? the Bombing of Monte Cassino Abbey 35
  • 4 - Climbing the Flagpole- Lieutenant General Mark Clark, Part 1 57
  • 5 - Masters of the Air? Part 1 77
  • 6 - The Melting Point- Alex and the Generals 99
  • 7 - Masters of the Air? Part 2 134
  • 8 - Hero or Bum? Lieutenant General Mark Clark, Part 2 168
  • 9 - The Other Side of the Hill- The Germans at Monte Cassino 195
  • 10 - A Mighty Coalition? 208
  • Select Bibliography 247
  • Notes 252
  • Index 281
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