What Is Monte Cassino's Decision To Invade Italy

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Monte Cassino has been referred to as “the bitterest and the bloodiest of the Western Allies’ struggles […] of the Second World War” by Matthew Parker. Four battles and a total of 75,000 casualties were necessary to break the German line of defence. From the 17th January to the 18th March 1944 the two sides fought fiercely over a twenty-mile front. Why did it take the Allies so long to pierce through German defence? The first factor to consider is planning and preparation for the campaign. The decision to invade Italy was taken in 1943 at the Conference of Casablanca and saw the two main Allied forces divided on what strategy to adopt. The Americans saw the invasion of France as the most pressing issue and wished to focus their troops there.…show more content…
An example is the amphibious landing in Anzio, which Churchill referred to as a “beached whale” in desperate need of help. The troops in Anzio should have cut off the supply route to the Gustav Line and attacked it with a pincer movement. The overall strategy was therefore, adequate. The tactics implemented were also satisfactory since 70,000 troops, 356 tanks and 18,000 other vehicles had been brought ashore by the end of January, enough to launch a powerful attack from the North and aid the troops fighting on the Gustav Line. However, the plan ultimately failed because of the lack of communication between the troops and the miscalculations of the leaders. Churchill expected major-general John Lucas, in charge of the campaign, to take advantage of the surprise factor and strike an attack that would cut off the supply route to Cassino. But the latter decided against it and followed US commanding officer Mark Clark’s advice to dig artillery positions to secure the bridgehead. This delay would allow the Germans to prepare an opposition force. Even though there had been some errors they only influenced single operations of the conflict and therefore, did not have as great an effect on the length of the campaign as the strength of German
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