Matthew Parker: Monte Cassino

Monte Cassino: Pictures

The Pittaccio family

Young Tony was born in England but was visiting Italian relatives of his mother in Cassino when war broke out and was trapped there for the duration.>>

<< A German propaganda leaflet spells out the difficulty of attacking such superb defensive positions.

John Johnstone of US 34th Division, taken prisoner during an attack on the monastery in early February. >>

<< Matthew Salmon, Engineer with British 56th Division. He would end up in the same psychiatric ward as Spike Milligan.

The bombing of the monastery actually improved it as a defensive position. >>

<< US artilleryman Ivar Awes, who wrote home: ‘The news broadcasts always make it sound so easy.’

Cassino town before and after the bombing. As with the destruction of the monastery, the tactic was a failure. >>

<< Elite German paratroopers emerge from the wreckage of the town to fight off New Zealand attacks.

Ken Bond, one of the men from Essex regiment to struggle up Hangman’s Hill in March. >>

<< German prop leaflet 'amusing war for americans'

German propaganda leaflets, fired in hollow shells into the Allied lines, looked to exploit tensions between the different nationalities

NZ prop leaflet >>

The Italian Notarianni family, with Gemma on the right. She was 17 when the Allies reached her home. This was when the troubles really started.



French ambulance driver Solange Cuvillier, who served with the fearsome Moroccan Division, who were instrumental in breaking the Gustav Line at last. >>

<< Werner Eggert, one of the few German paratroopers to escape from Cassino.