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  Monte Cassino A German View by Rudolf Bohmer   This is an older book that was published in German in 1956. This translation is exactly wha...

Monte Cassino: A German View by Rudolf Bohmer Monte Cassino: A German View by Rudolf Bohmer

Monte Cassino: A German View by Rudolf Bohmer

Monte Cassino: A German View by Rudolf Bohmer




 Monte Cassino


A German View


by Rudolf Bohmer





  This is an older book that was published in German in 1956. This translation is exactly what a reader who is interested in the Italian Campaign and the Battle of Monte Cassino is looking for. Despite the name of the book, the author goes into the entire Italian Campaign from the invasion of Sicily to fighting for the heights of Monte Cassino. The author was actually a German officer during the campaign. So he has first hand knowledge of a lot of the battles for Italy. 


 He starts the book with the choices that the Allies had in 1943. Whether to attack Italy proper, Sicily, Corsica and Sardinia, or the Balkans. Churchill fought long and hard for an invasion of the Balkans, but the American brass would have none of it. The author shows how the Germans were confused by the tentativeness of the Allies, and how they helped the Germans repeatedly to fight the battle for Italy on their terms.


 Monte Cassino was one of the linchpins of the Germans' 'Gustav Line' of defense across the width of Italy. The tenacious German defense, and offensive at Salerno, allowed the Germans to build a series of defensive lines, each tougher than the last. 


 Even though he was a German officer, the author has nothing but praise for the individual Allied Units. In the Italian Campaign the Allies had a polyglot group of Units from across the globe. According the the writer, the French North African troops came very close to capturing Monte Cassino on their very first attack. Unfortunately, they had far outrun any of their supports on either flank. This meant that the battle became a hell on earth for the common soldier for the next few months. 


 The next part of the battle that he goes into is the very controversial, even at the time, Allied decision to bomb the monastery at the top of Monte Cassino. The author quotes scripture and verse about how the Germans helped the monks move everything valuable out of the monastery and turned it over to the Vatican. All this, in the middle of a battle. The truth of the Germans helping with the removal, and the fact that there were never any Germans inside the monastery until after the bombing, has been proved factual after the war. The bombing of the monastery was actually one of the few propaganda coups that the Western Allies handed the Germans during the war.


 This is for the reader who wants to know the intimate details of the Allied and German strategical choices and plans about the Italian campaign. If someone wants to read about the minute details of the tactical battle for Monte Cassino, this is also the book. The author has an uncanny way of moving from large overviews about the campaign to boots on the ground without skipping the proverbial beat. To refer this book to anyone interested in either parts of the campaign is a no-brainer. This is a very well written and detailed look at it. Thank you very much Casemate Publishers for letting me review it.


Robert

Book: Monte Cassino: A German View

Author: Rudolf Bohmer

Publisher: Pen & Sword

Distributor: Casemate Publishers

 







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