Albaneta : Lost Opportunity at Cassino

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In mid-winter 1944, massive infantry losses were incurred at Cassino, in the town and hills above it, as the Allies fought vainly to batter their way through heavily fortified positions to advance on Rome. What is not widely known is that a golden opportunity was created by Kiwi and Indian engineers to outflank Cassino through the construction of a road carved high up into the hills to the north of the German encampment. A surprise attack by 15 Kiwi Sherman tanks on 19 March saw the capture of Albaneta, a key German stronghold and supply line. As with Gallipoli 30 years earlier, however, the failings of army hierarchy let the Kiwi troops down as they were refused vital reinforcements and the result was defeat a few days later at the hands of hardened German paratroopers using hand-held weaponry. This book details the brilliant opportunity afforded by the Kiwi engineers, the surprise and success that resulted, and the inevitable failure. Based on eye-witness accounts on both sides, Freyberg's war diaries, minutes of Officers Conferences and formal reports, author Ron Crosby provides keen insight into a feat of Kiwi wartime bravery not previously written about.
Maps and plenty of photographs complement the information as events unfold.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 128 pages
  • 138 x 212mm
  • Auckland, New Zealand
  • Illustrated
  • illustrated edition
  • photographs and maps
  • 0790011298
  • 9780790011295

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