Term Paper: WWII: Battle of Monte Cassino

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[. . .] But there were many sound reasons for justifying an attack on a historic monastery like Monte Cassino. Rome as an objective was too important to pass on. Casulties were very heavy and the Allied generals were aware that the Normandy had already been commited to.

Since the German's intentionally chose the monastery of Monte Cassino to thwart Allied Forces, by attacking and eventually bombing the location, Allied forces put a major hole in the German defensive strategy. "Those crew members who have served through the African campaign will remember how we did not bomb mosques because of the religious and humanitarian training all of us have received..." (Colvin & Hodges, 1994) By going against the expectations of the Germans, the Allies were able to regain the offensive in the battle for Italy.

By bombing the sight, countless lives were spared. "They finally succeeded on January 30th, reaching to within a few hundred yards of the monastery walls, but were unable to capture it. On February 12th the exhausted Americans at Monte Cassino were replaced by fresh New Zealand and Indian divisions. These new divisions made further assaults but also suffered heavy casualties and were unable to capture the monastery. Withdrawing these divisions in turn the Allies halted the attacks and spent a month regrouping." (Wikipedia, 2004)

The fact that Normandy was already in progress, winning the southern war with Germany put Hitler and his Generals in a precarious position of having to defend the boarders of Germany as opposed to defending troops occupying other nations. Once Berslin was threatened, the offensive posturing the German Army had used could no longer be effective. Troops had to be recalled and repositioned within the Germany's own boarders.

Con's

The loss of lives of individuals who fought to win Monte Cassino was very large. For example, The Allied forces almost lost the entire 36th Division as they made their way to the monastery out area and also around the Rapido River. American, British, German, Indian, New Zealand and Polish losses were staggering over the course of the four battles for the position.

The biggest negative regarding the decimation of the monastery was that the historical significance of the sight can never be replaced. "The destruction of the monastery, more than any other episode from the Italian campaign of 1943-45, remains a matter of intense dispute."(Colvin & Hodges, 1994) Although the archives and library had been recovered, the fact that the physical structure was destroyed is an archeological loss. The loss to the art world was also enormous. There were many Benedictine secular art pieces that could not be removed and a cemetery that dated back to the 6th century.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it seems true that history repeats itself. In the war with Iraq, United States and Allied troops have to fight insurgents who use Muslim holy locations and shrines as sanctuaries and initiation points for waging battles against the combined allied forces and the new Iraqi government. The Axis powers with Adolf Hitler and the Nazi army also attempted to use similar tactics during World War II. This report discussed the Battle of Monte Cassino and the pros and cons of the actions taken by Allied Forces. Although a historic shrine was decimated by Allied bombing raids, the Battle of Monte Cassino during the Italian campaign of 1943-1944 was major turning point against Adolf Hitler. Because of this, the bombing of the Monte Cassino Mission should be justified. Capturing Rome was as critical as the D-Day invasion because Rome represented a gateway into Berlin. Once engaged, Monte Cassino was that series of battles that allowed the combined forces of British and American troops to eventually liberate Rome from the occupying German forces just two days before Normandy.

References

Colvin, David, & Hodges, Richard (1994). Tempting providence: the bombing of Monte Cassino. History Today, Vol. 44.

Eagle19. (n.d.). The Battles for Monte Cassino and the Defense of the Gustav Line. Retrieved October 15, 2004, at http://www.eagle19.freeserve.co.uk/cassino.htm

Griess, Thomas E. (2002). The Second World War Europe and the Mediterranean. The West Point Military History Series.

Hapgood, David, & Richardson, David (1984). Monte Cassino: The Story of the Most Controversial Battle of World War II. Add City: Add Publisher.

Hoyt, Edwin P. (2002). Backwater War: The Allied Campaign in Italy 1943-1945. Add City: Add Publisher.

The Adolf Hitler Historical Archives. 2003. Retrieved October 15, 2004, from http://www.adolfhitler.ws/.

Wikipedia. (n.d.).… [END OF PREVIEW]

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WWII: Battle of Monte Cassino.  (2004, October 18).  Retrieved May 21, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/wwii-battle-monte-cassino/9873803

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"WWII: Battle of Monte Cassino."  Essaytown.com.  October 18, 2004.  Accessed May 21, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/wwii-battle-monte-cassino/9873803.