Summary

Footage Information

CriticalPast
Allied assaults against the German Gustav Line at Monte Cassino, Italy during World War II
Opening scene shows peaceful Italian mountains, including one snow-capped, in Spring, 1944, during World War 2. Camera focuses on the town of Monte Cassino and its historic Monastery, on a mountain above the town. (German forces held the Rapido-Gari, Liri and Garigliano valleys and some of the surrounding peaks and ridges that formed the heavily defended Gustav Line.) Animated relief map shows where, by mid January, 1944, American, Polish, and British forces had cleared the enemy from mountains east of Cassino and drawn up on the east side of the Rapido valley. Map shows progress of subsequent Allied attacks that finally reached Mount Castellone and then up Abbey Hill at Monte cassino, itself. Image of German soldier is superimposed on the scene, using binoculars on Abbey hilltop to observe Allied forces. (Narrator states: On February 9th, 75 yards from the abbey, we were stuck.") U.S. Army Air Forces Douglas A-20 Havoc aircraft are seen starting engines. Closeup of Fifth Army leaflet warning the local people to leave the Monte Cassino Abbey to avoid shelling and bombing. View of U.S. troops packing the leaflets into thin-skinned shells to deliver the warning by artillery fire. Next, 105 howitzer guns are seen under camouflage netting, firing bombardments of warning shells. Formation of A-20 aircraft taking off. Aerial view from high above, of B-25 bomber formation in flight. Formations of B-17s, B-24s, B-26s in flight enroute to bomb Monte Cassino. Bombs dropping from B-25 Mitchell bombers. Bombs exploding on Monte Cassino and the Abbey. Batteries of 155 mm guns firing. Formation of 6 B-25 bombers in formation. More bombs bursting on Monte Cassino. Animated map shows German forces taking up their earlier defenses again following the Allied artillery and air attacks. It also shows supplies streaming in to the German Green Devils Parachute Division (Luftwaffe's 1st Fallschirmjaeger [Parachute-Hunter] division.) The map illustrates all the locations in the town that they occupied and would defend to the last man. Map also illustrates circling positions of Allied artillery batteries. Camera focuses on Polish troops and M4 Sherman tanks moving forward in an offensive. Glimpse of U.S. Army Air Forces mechanics working on a Douglas bomber engine. M4 prime movers towing 155mm howitzer guns. Gun crews camouflaging their positions with netting. Various views of A 240mm howitzer being put in place by a crane. Soldiers deploy detector microphones to locate enemy gunfire sources. They test them, and then enclose them in water-proof containers, bury and cover them. Sound from the microphones being recorded on film at a machine in the Command Post. The data being plotted on a map and corresponding grid locations phoned to Battalion headquarters. View of bombers resuming attacks again, on March 15, 1944. Formations of Douglas bombers, followed by B-25s, seen dropping bombs that explode in the town of Monte Cassino. Artillery firing. Formation of B-24 Liberator bombers in flight. Formation of B-17s dropping bombs. String of bombs exploding in a line on the town. More views of artillery barrages. More lines of bombs exploding. Allied forces storming the shattered town found German soldiers using destroyed structures as shelters to fire from and rubble obstructing the movements of Allied tanks, so the Allied advance was again stopped. Later, a newspaper headline reports resumption of Allied offensive. Location: Italy. Date: 1944.
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1944
65675045027-H264

Keywords

Allied Forces stymied in early attempts to breach the Gustav Line Italy
Italy
Americans with Polish and British forces
Town of Monte Casino and Monastery repeatedly bombed and shelled
Numerous formations of American warplanes dropping bombs
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