Photo: View of Monastery Hill and Snakeshead Ridge from Portella. Nadir Elfarra.
Welcome to cassinobattlefields.co.uk
We specialise in battlefield studies to Cassino, Anzio, the Gothic Line at Rimini and Salerno. During each study, we examine the detail of the conflict from a military perspective and focus on the activities at Battalion, Brigade, Division and Corps level.
'Monte Cassino was arguably the most perfect defensive position in Europe, its impregnable heights blocking the Allied advance on Rome in early 1944. It was here that the Germans made their stand. The rocky, often precipitous terrain rendered heavy armour ineffective: most of the fighting was conducted using infantry and artillery assault. The bloodbath that ensued - redolent of the worst moments of World War One – left over a quarter of a million men killed or wounded in the six month struggle. The battle for Monte Cassino was Britain's bitterest and bloodiest encounter with the German Army on any front in World War Two.'
Matthew Parker, Monte Cassino. Headline Books 2003.
'The Battle of Anzio was nightmarish. In its pure awfulness it stands comparison with any other battle of the Italian Campaign. Over four months the Allies lost 7,000 killed and 36,000 wounded or missing (totalling one third of the total VI Corps strength) and a further 44,000 non-battle casualties who were hospitalised due to injuries and sickness. German losses were at least as heavy. But whilst these statistics alone are suggestive of a ferocious battle, they fail to do justice to the intensity of the fighting. For a fuller picture one needs to consider that around 300,000 troops, together with the guns and fighting machines gave battle along a mere sixteen miles of front.'
Lloyd Clark, Anzio, the friction of war. Headline Books 2006.
'War is not a smooth succession of dates and places interspersed with actions tied up neatly like so many parcels. War is confused, hard to understand, and for commanders in the field, fearfully difficult if not impossible to control. This was Salerno in those hectic, crowded days in September 1943.'
Eric Morris, Salerno, a military fiasco. Stein & Day 1984.
Eugenio Corti passed through Cassino six months after the fourth battle.
'Not only had all the buildings been reduced to debris but also every living creature, vegetation too, had been killed. Motionless water stagnated on the enclosed flat land between the mountains where the city once rose and flooded the large expanse of ruins: there was'nt a single tree or shrub as far as the eye could see.'
Photo: The Monastery as seen from the Rapido valley in October 1944.
Forthcoming Tour Dates
The next tour dates for Cassino are 14-17 May 20. £405* per person B&B single room, £305* per person B&B twin room sharing.
The next tour dates for Salerno are 1-4 Apr 20. £435* per person B&B single room, £313* per person B&B twin room sharing.
The next tour dates for the Gothic Line at Rimini are 10-13 Sep 20. £405* per person B&B single room, £305* per person B&B twin room sharing.
The next tour dates for Anzio & the Garigliano are 11-14 Jun 20. £405* per person B&B single room, £305* per person B&B twin room sharing.
* excludes flights, lunch and evening meals.
Photo: The 18 gravestones of the Jewish corner in the Polish Cemetery. In all, 838 Jewish soldiers served in II (PO) Corps of which 28 were killed and 52 were wounded.
Photo: Frank de Planta at Monte Cassino in full flow. Sketch by Caroline Deput 2019.
Photo: The original grave of Lt George Wright 38 Field Company RE before being moved to Minturno CWGC cemetery. Victor Wright.
Photo: A tribute to the 3/8 Punjabis at the Kingsmill Memorial. Sue Hughes.
Recommended by Jonathan Nicholls of Arras Battlefield Tours France & Belgium 1914-18 and author of 'Cheerful Sacrifice - The Battle of Arras 1917'.
Photo: The Polish Cemetery at Cassino in 2017. Karl Byatt.
Photo: Postcard sent home from 92 Field Regiment RA whilst in Italy by Bombadier Russell to his son. Bombadier Russell was a keen cyclist. Adam Tunningley.
Cassinobattlefields Limited. Registered in England No 8056935.