Spring 1945 offensive in Italy
The Spring 1945 offensive in Italy, codenamed Operation Grapeshot, was the Allied attack by Fifth United States Army and British 8th Army
Eighth Army (United Kingdom)
The Eighth Army was one of the best-known formations of the British Army during World War II, fighting in the North African and Italian campaigns....

 into the Lombardy
Lombardy is one of the 20 regions of Italy. The capital is Milan. One-sixth of Italy's population lives in Lombardy and about one fifth of Italy's GDP is produced in this region, making it the most populous and richest region in the country and one of the richest in the whole of Europe...

 Plain which started on 6 April 1945 and ended on 2 May with the surrender of German forces in Italy.


The Allies had launched their previous major offensive, on the Gothic Line
Gothic Line
The Gothic Line formed Field Marshal Albert Kesselring's last major line of defence in the final stages of World War II along the summits of the Apennines during the fighting retreat of German forces in Italy against the Allied Armies in Italy commanded by General Sir Harold Alexander.Adolf Hitler...

, in August 1944 with the British 8th Army attacking up the coastal plain of the Adriatic
Adriatic Sea
The Adriatic Sea is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkan peninsula, and the system of the Apennine Mountains from that of the Dinaric Alps and adjacent ranges...

 and the U.S. 5th Army attacking through the central Apennine Mountains
Apennine mountains
The Apennines or Apennine Mountains or Greek oros but just as often used alone as a noun. The ancient Greeks and Romans typically but not always used "mountain" in the singular to mean one or a range; thus, "the Apennine mountain" refers to the entire chain and is translated "the Apennine...

. Although they managed to breach the formidable Gothic Line defences, they narrowly failed to break out into the Lombardy Plains before the winter weather closed in and made further progress impossible. Their forward formations spent the rest of the winter in highly inhospitable conditions while preparations were made to renew the campaign when better conditions returned in the spring.

Command changes

On the death on 5 November of Field Marshal Sir John Dill
John Dill
Field Marshal Sir John Greer Dill, GCB, CMG, DSO was a British commander in World War I and World War II. From May 1940 to December 1941 he was the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, the professional head of the British Army, and subsequently in Washington, as Chief of the British Joint Staff...

, the head of the British Mission in Washington
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson
Henry Maitland Wilson, 1st Baron Wilson
Field Marshal Henry Maitland Wilson, 1st Baron Wilson, GCB, GBE, DSO , also known as "Jumbo" Wilson, saw active service in the Second Boer War and First World War, and became a senior British general in the Middle East and Mediterranean during the Second World War...

 was appointed his replacement. Harold Alexander
Harold Alexander, 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis
Field Marshal Harold Rupert Leofric George Alexander, 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis was a British military commander and field marshal of Anglo-Irish descent who served with distinction in both world wars and, afterwards, as Governor General of Canada, the 17th since Canadian...

 having been promoted Field Marshal
Field Marshal
Field Marshal is a military rank. Traditionally, it is the highest military rank in an army.-Etymology:The origin of the rank of field marshal dates to the early Middle Ages, originally meaning the keeper of the king's horses , from the time of the early Frankish kings.-Usage and hierarchical...

, was in turn appointed to replace Wilson as Allied Supreme Commander Mediterranean on 12 December. Lieutenant-General Mark Clark
Mark Wayne Clark
Mark Wayne Clark was an American general during World War II and the Korean War and was the youngest lieutenant general in the U.S. Army...

 succeeded Alexander as commander of the Allied Forces in Italy (renamed once more 15th Army Group) but without promotion. Lieutenant-General Lucian Truscott
Lucian Truscott
Lucian King Truscott, Jr. was a U.S. Army General, who successively commanded the 3rd Infantry Division, VI Corps, U.S. Fifteenth Army and U.S. Fifth Army during World War II.-Early life:...

 had been commanding U.S. VI Corps
U.S. VI Corps
The VI Corps was activated as VI Army Corps in August 1918 at Neufchâteau, France, serving in the Lorraine Campaign. Constituted in the Organized Reserves in 1921, it was allotted to the Regular Army in 1933 and activated on 1 August 1940 at Fort Sheridan, Illinois...

 from its time in the bridgehead at Anzio
Operation Shingle
Operation Shingle , during the Italian Campaign of World War II, was an Allied amphibious landing against Axis forces in the area of Anzio and Nettuno, Italy. The operation was commanded by Major General John P. Lucas and was intended to outflank German forces of the Winter Line and enable an...

 and the capture of Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 to its current location in Alsace
Alsace is the fifth-smallest of the 27 regions of France in land area , and the smallest in metropolitan France. It is also the seventh-most densely populated region in France and third most densely populated region in metropolitan France, with ca. 220 inhabitants per km²...

, having landed in the South of France during Operation Dragoon
Operation Dragoon
Operation Dragoon was the Allied invasion of southern France on August 15, 1944, during World War II. The invasion was initiated via a parachute drop by the 1st Airborne Task Force, followed by an amphibious assault by elements of the U.S. Seventh Army, followed a day later by a force made up...

. He returned to Italy to assume command of U.S. 5th Army.

Command changes also took place in the German army before the spring campaign. On 23 March, Albert Kesselring
Albert Kesselring
Albert Kesselring was a German Luftwaffe Generalfeldmarschall during World War II. In a military career that spanned both World Wars, Kesselring became one of Nazi Germany's most skilful commanders, being one of 27 soldiers awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords...

 was appointed Commander-in-Chief Army Group West, replacing General-Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt
Gerd von Rundstedt
Karl Rudolf Gerd von Rundstedt was a Generalfeldmarschall of the German Army during World War II. He held some of the highest field commands in all phases of the war....

. Heinrich von Vietinghoff
Heinrich von Vietinghoff
Heinrich Gottfried Otto Richard von Vietinghoff genannt Scheel was a German Colonel-General of the German Army during the Second World War....

 returned from the Baltic to take over from Kesslering while Traugott Herr
Traugott Herr
Traugott Herr was a German general of Panzer troops who served during World War II. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords...

, the experienced commander of German 10th Army's LXXVI Panzer Corps, took over 10th Army. Joachim Lemelsen
Joachim Lemelsen
Joachim Hermann August Lemelsen was a German general during the Second World War. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves...

, who had had temporary command of the 10th Army, returned to the command of the 14th Army.

Orders of battle

Looking ahead to the spring, the problems of manning continued. In October 1944, Indian 4th Infantry Division had been sent to Greece and British 4th Infantry Division
British 4th Infantry Division
The 4th Infantry Division is a regular British Army division with a long history having been present at the Peninsular War the Crimean War , the First World War , and during the Second World War.- Napoleonic Wars :...

 had followed them in November as well as part of British 46th Infantry Division, the rest following in December along with the 3rd Greek Mountain Brigade
3rd Greek Mountain Brigade
The 3rd Greek Mountain Brigade was a unit of mountain infantry formed by the Greek government in exile in Egypt during World War II. It was formed from politically reliable right-wing and pro-royalist personnel following a pro-EAM mutiny among the Greek armed forces in Egypt in April 1944...

. At the end of January 1945, Canadian I Corps and British 5th Infantry Division
British 5th Infantry Division
The 5th Infantry Division is a regular army division of the British Army. It was established by Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington for service in the Peninsula War, as part of the Anglo-Portuguese Army, and has been active for most of the period since, including the First World War and the...

 were ordered to North-West Europe, reducing Lieutenant-General Richard McCreery
Richard McCreery
General Sir Richard Loudon McCreery GCB, KBE, DSO, MC , was a British career soldier, who was Chief of Staff to Field Marshal Harold Alexander, 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis, at the time of the Second Battle of El Alamein and later commanded the British Eighth Army in Northern Italy during...

's Eighth Army to 7 divisions. On the positive side, 5th Army had been reinforced from September to November 1944 with the arrival of fresh troops of 1st Brazilian Division and in January 1945 with the specially trained and equipped 10th Mountain Division. Allied strength amounted to 17 divisions plus 8 independent brigades (including four Italian groups of volunteers from the Italian Co-Belligerent Army
Italian Co-Belligerent Army
The Italian Co-Belligerent Army , or the Army of the South , was the army of the Italian Royalist forces fighting on the side of the Allies during World War II....

, equipped and trained by the British), a total equivalent of just under 20 divisions. 15th Army Group's total headcount amounted to 1,334,000 men with Eighth Army's effective fighting strength totalling 632,980 men and Fifth Army 266,883. Against them were ranged 21 much weaker German divisions and 4 Italian ENR
Esercito Nazionale Repubblicano
The National Republican Army was the army of the Italian Social Republic from 1943 to 1945 that fought on the side of Nazi Germany during World War II....

 divisions, a total of 25. Three of the Italian divisions were allocated to the Ligurian Army under Rodolfo Graziani
Rodolfo Graziani
Rodolfo Graziani, 1st Marquis of Neghelli , was an officer in the Italian Regio Esercito who led military expeditions in Africa before and during World War II.-Rise to prominence:...

 guarding the western flank facing France and the fourth to 14th Army in a sector thought least likely to be attacked.

Plan of attack

Clark set out his battle plan on 18 March. Its objective was "...to destroy the maximum number of enemy forces south of the Po, force crossings of the Po and capture Verona." In Phase I Eighth Army would cross the Senio and then Santerno rivers and then make a dual thrust, one parallel to Route 9, the Via Emilia, towards Budrio and the other north west along Route 16, the Via Adriatica towards Bastia and the Argenta Gap, a narrow strip of dry terrain through the flooded land west of Lake Comacchio. An amphibious operation across the lake and parachute drop would bring pressure to bear on the flank and help to break the Argenta position. Depending on the relative success of these actions a decision would be made on whether Eighth Army's prime objective would become Ferrara, on the Via Adriatica, or remain Budrio. Meanwhile, it was intended for U.S. Fifth Army to launch the Army Group's main effort at 24 hours notice from two days after Eighth Army's attack and break into the Po valley. The capture of Bologna was given as a secondary task.

In Phase II, the Eighth Army was to drive north west to capture Ferrara and Bondeno, blocking routes of potential retreat across the Po. U.S. Fifth Army was to push past Bologna north to link with Eighth Army in the Bondeno region to complete an encirclement of German forces south of the Po. The Fifth Army was also to make a secondary thrust further west towards Ostiglia, the crossing point on the Po of the main route to Verona. Phase III involved the establishment of bridgeheads across the Po and exploitation north.

The Eighth Army plan (Operation Buckland) had to deal with the difficult initial task of getting across the Senio, with its raised artificial banks varying between 20 feet (6.1 m) and 40 feet (12.2 m) in height, honeycombed with defensive tunnels and bunkers front and rear. V Corps were ordered to make an attack on the salient formed by the river into the Allied line at Cotignola. On the right of the river's salient was Indian 8th Infantry Division
Indian 8th Infantry Division
The 8th Indian Infantry Division is a division of the Indian Army which specialises in tactics and operations in mountainous territory.Originally formed in Meerut on 25 October 1940 under Major-General C.O...

, reprising the role they played crossing the Rapido in the final Battle of Monte Cassino
Battle of Monte Cassino
The Battle of Monte Cassino was a costly series of four battles during World War II, fought by the Allies against Germans and Italians with the intention of breaking through the Winter Line and seizing Rome.In the beginning of 1944, the western half of the Winter Line was being anchored by Germans...

. To the left of the 8th Indian Division, on the left of the salient, the New Zealand 2nd Division
New Zealand 2nd Division
The 2nd New Zealand Division was a formation of the New Zealand Military Forces during World War II. It was commanded for most of its existence by Lieutenant-General Sir Bernard Freyberg, and fought in Greece, Crete, the Western Desert and Italy...

 would attack across the river to form a pincer. To the left of V Corps, on Route 9, the Polish II Corps
Polish II Corps
Polish II Corps , 1943–1947, was a major tactical and operational unit of the Polish Armed Forces in the West during World War II. It was commanded by Lieutenant General Władysław Anders and by the end of 1945 it had grown to well over 100,000 soldiers....

 would widen the front further by attacking across the Senio towards Bologna
Bologna is the capital city of Emilia-Romagna, in the Po Valley of Northern Italy. The city lies between the Po River and the Apennine Mountains, more specifically, between the Reno River and the Savena River. Bologna is a lively and cosmopolitan Italian college city, with spectacular history,...

. The Poles had been desperately under strength in the autumn of 1944, but had received 11,000 reinforcements during the early months of 1945, mainly from Polish conscripts in the German army taken prisoner in the Normandy campaign.

Once across the Senio the assault divisions were to advance to cross the Santerno. Once the Santerno was crossed, British 78th Division would also reprise their Cassino role and pass through the bridgehead established by the Indians and New Zealanders and drive for Bastia and the Argenta gap, 14 miles (22.5 km) behind the Senio, where the dry land narrowed to a front of only 3 miles (4.8 km), bounded on the right by Lake Comacchio, a huge lagoon running to the Adriatic coast, and on the left by marshland. At the same time 56th Infantry Division would launch the amphibious flank attack along Lake Comacchio. On V Corps' left flank the New Zealand Division would advance to the left of the marshland on the west side of Argenta while the Indian Division would pass in Army Reserve.

The Fifth Army plan (Operation Craftsman) envisaged an initial thrust by IV Corps along Route 64 to straighten the army front and to draw German reserves away from Route 65. II Corps would then attack along Route 65 towards Bologna. The weight of the attack would then switch westward again to break into the Po valley skirting Bologna.


In the first week of April, diversionary attacks were launched on the extreme right and left of the Allied front to draw German reserves away from the main assaults to come. This included Operation Roast
Operation Roast
Operation Roast was a military operation by British Commandos at Comacchio lagoon in north east Italy during the Spring 1945 offensive in Italy in World War II.- Strategy :...

, an assault by British 2nd Commando Brigade supported by the partisans of 28th Garibaldi Brigade and armour to capture the seaward isthmus of land bordering Lake Comacchio and seize Port Garibaldi on the lake's north side. Meanwhile, damage to other transport infrastructure having forced Axis forces to use sea, canal and river routes for re-supply, Axis shipping was being attacked in bombing raids such as Operation Bowler
Operation Bowler
Operation Bowler was an air attack on Venice harbour by Allied aircraft on 21 March 1945, as part of the Italian campaign of the Second World War...


The build-up to the main assault started on 6 April with a heavy artillery bombardment of the Senio defenses. In the early afternoon of 9 April, 825 heavy bombers dropped fragmentation bombs on the support zone behind the Senio followed by medium and fighter bombers. From 15:20 to 19:10, five heavy artillery barrages were fired, each lasting 30 minutes, interspersed with fighter bomber attacks. In support of the New Zealand operations, 28 Churchill Crocodile
Churchill Crocodile
The Churchill Crocodile was a British flame-throwing tank of late Second World War. It was a variant of the Tank, Infantry, Mk VI Churchill Mark VII, although the Churchill Mark IV was initially chosen to be the base vehicle....

s and 127 Wasp
Universal Carrier
The Universal Carrier, also known as the Bren Gun Carrier is a common name describing a family of light armoured tracked vehicles built by Vickers-Armstrong. Produced between 1934 and 1960, the vehicle was used widely by British Commonwealth forces during the Second World War...

 flamethrower vehicles were deployed along the front. The 8th Indian Division, New Zealand 2nd Division and 3rd Carpathian Division (on the Polish Corps front at Route 9) attacked at dusk. In fighting in which there were two Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
The Victoria Cross is the highest military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of the armed forces of various Commonwealth countries, and previous British Empire territories....

es won by 8th Indian Division members, they had reached the river Santerno
The Santerno is a river of Romagna, in northern Italy, the major tributary of the Reno River. In Roman times, it was known as the Vatrenus , although, in the Tabula Peutingeriana, it was already identified as the Santernus....

, 3.5 miles (5.6 km) beyond, by dawn on 11 April. The New Zealanders had reached the Santerno at nightfall on 10 April and succeeded in making a crossing at dawn on 11 April. The Poles had closed on the Santerno by the night of 11 April.

By late morning of 12 April, after an all night assault, the 8th Indian Division was established on the far side of the Santerno and the British 78th Division started to pass through to make the assault on Argenta. In the meantime the British 24th Guards Brigade, part of British 56th (London) Division, had launched an amphibious flanking attack from the water and mud to the right of the Argenta Gap. Although they gained a foothold, they were still held up at positions on the Fossa Marina on the night of 14 April. 78th Division was also held up on the same day on the Reno River
Reno River
The Reno is a river of Emilia-Romagna, northern Italy. It is the tenth longest river in Italy and the most important of the region apart from the Po...

 at Bastia.

The U.S. 5th Army began its assault on 14 April after a bombardment by 2,000 heavy bombers and 2,000 artillery pieces, with attacks by the troops of U.S. IV Corps (1st Brazilian, 10th Mountain, and 1st Armored Divisions) on the left. This was followed on the night of 15 April by U.S. II Corps striking with 6th South African Armoured and 88th Infantry Divisions advancing towards Bologna between Highway 64 and 65, and 91st and 34th Infantry Divisions along Highway 65. Progress against a determined German defence was slow but ultimately superior Allied firepower and lack of German reserves told and by 20 April both corps had broken through the mountain defences and reached the plains of the Po valley. 10th Mountain Division were directed to bypass Bologna on their right and push north leaving U.S. II Corps to deal with Bologna along with Eighth Army units advancing from their right.

By 19 April, on the Eighth Army front, the Argenta Gap
Battle of the Argenta Gap
The Battle of the Argenta Gap was an engagement which formed part of the Allied spring 1945 offensive during the Italian Campaign of the Second World War...

 had been forced, and British 6th Armoured Division
British 6th Armoured Division
The 6th Armoured Division was a Second World War, British Army formation, created on 12 September 1940. The unit was initially supplied with Matilda and Valentine Tanks, which were replaced by Crusader tanks and then finally with the M4 Sherman Tank...

 was released through the left wing of the advancing 78th Division to swing left to race north west along the line of the river Reno to Bondeno
Bondeno is a comune in the Province of Ferrara in the Italian region Emilia-Romagna, located about 45 km north of Bologna and about 15 km northwest of Ferrara....

 and link up with the US 5th Army to complete the encirclement of the German armies defending Bologna. On all fronts the German defense continued to be determined and effective, but Bondeno was captured on 23 April. The 6th Armoured Division linked with US IV Corps' 10th Mountain Division the next day at Finale
Finale Ligure
Finale Ligure is a comune on the Gulf of Genoa in the Province of Savona in Liguria, Italy. It is considered part of the Italian Riviera.-Geography:...

 some 5 miles (8 km) upstream along the river Panaro
The Panaro is an Italian river and the final right-hand tributary to the Po, discounting the Cavo Napoleonico canal. It runs right across Emilia-Romagna in a north-easterly direction: from its source close to the Apennine watershed, where Emilia-Romagna meets Tuscany, to its outlet where the Po...

 from Bondeno. Bologna was entered in the morning of 21 April by the Eighth Army's Polish II Corps' 3rd Carpathian Infantry Division advancing up the line of Route 9, followed two hours later by US II Corps from the south.

U.S. IV Corps had continued their northwards advance and reached the river Po
Po River
The Po |Ligurian]]: Bodincus or Bodencus) is a river that flows either or – considering the length of the Maira, a right bank tributary – eastward across northern Italy, from a spring seeping from a stony hillside at Pian del Re, a flat place at the head of the Val Po under the northwest face...

 at San Benedetto
San Benedetto
San Benedetto in Perillis is a town and comune in the province of L'Aquila, Abruzzo, central Italy. The town is situated 43 kilometers away from the regional capital, L'Aquila.-History:...

 on 22 April. The river was crossed the next day, and they advanced north to Verona
Verona ; German Bern, Dietrichsbern or Welschbern) is a city in the Veneto, northern Italy, with approx. 265,000 inhabitants and one of the seven chef-lieus of the region. It is the second largest city municipality in the region and the third of North-Eastern Italy. The metropolitan area of Verona...

 which they entered on 26 April. To the right of Fifth Army on Eighth Army's left wing, British XIII Corps
XIII Corps (United Kingdom)
XIII Corps was a British infantry corps during World War I and World War II.-World War I:XIII Corps was formed in France on 15 November 1915 under Lieutenant-General Walter Congreve to be part of Fourth Army. It was first seriously engaged during the Battle of the Somme in 1916. On the First day on...

 crossed the Po at Ficarolo
Ficarolo is a comune in the Province of Rovigo in the Italian region Veneto, located about 90 km southwest of Venice and about 30 km southwest of Rovigo...

 on 22 April, while V Corps
V Corps (United Kingdom)
V Corps was an army corps of the British Army in both the First and Second World War. It was first organised in February 1915 and fought through World War I on the Western front...

 were crossing the Po by 25 April, heading towards the Venetian Line, a defensive line built behind the line of the river Adige
The Adige is a river with its source in the Alpine province of South Tyrol near the Italian border with Austria and Switzerland. At in length, it is the second longest river in Italy, after the River Po with ....


As Allied forces pushed across the Po, on the left flank the Brazilian, 34th Infantry and 1st Armored Divisions of IV Corps were pushed west and northwest along the line of Highway 9 towards Piacenza
Piacenza is a city and comune in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Piacenza...

 and across the Po to seal possible escape routes into Austria and Switzerland via Lake Garda. On 27 April, the 1st Armored Division met partisans who reported they had liberated Milan, and IV Corps commander Crittenberger
Willis D. Crittenberger
Willis Dale Crittenberger was a United States Army officer whose career served as a World War II combat commander of IV Corps during the later part of Italian campaign from 1944 to the end of the war....

 entered the city on 30 April. To the south of Milan, the Brazilian Division bottled up the 148th Grenadier and Italia Bersaglieri Divisions on 28 April, taking 13,500 prisoners.

On the Allied far right flank, British V Corps, met by lessening resistance, traversed the Venetian Line and entered Padua
Padua is a city and comune in the Veneto, northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Padua and the economic and communications hub of the area. Padua's population is 212,500 . The city is sometimes included, with Venice and Treviso, in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area, having...

 in the early hours of 29 April, to find that partisans had locked up the German garrison of 5,000.


Secret surrender negotiations between representatives of the Germans and Western Allies had taken place in Switzerland (Operation Crossword
Operation Crossword
During World War II, Operation Crossword or Operation Sunrise was a series of secret negotiations conducted in March 1945 in Switzerland between representatives of Nazi Germany and the Western Allies to arrange a local surrender of German forces in northern Italy...

) in March but had resulted only in protests from the Russians that the Western Allies were attempting to negotiate a separate peace.

On 28 April, von Vietinghoff (who by then was in Bolzano under siege by partisans) sent emissaries to Allied Army headquarters. On 29 April, they signed an instrument of surrender to the effect that hostilities would formally end on 2 May. Confirmation from von Vietinghoff of the arrangements did not reach Allied 15th Army Group headquarters until the morning of 2 May. It emerged that Kesselring had had his authority as Commander of the West extended to include Italy and had replaced von Vietinghoff with General Schulz from Army Group G
Army Group G
The German Army Group G fought on the Western Front of World War II and was a component of OB West.When the Allied invasion of Southern France took place, Army Group G had eleven divisions with which to hold France south of the Loire...

 on hearing of the plans. However, after a period of confusion during which the news of Hitler's death
Death of Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler committed suicide by gunshot on Monday, 30 April 1945 in his Führerbunker in Berlin. His wife Eva , committed suicide with him by ingesting cyanide...

 arrived, Schulz obtained Kesselring's agreement to the surrender and von Vietinghoff was reinstated to see it through.

See also

  • Italian Campaign (World War II)
    Italian Campaign (World War II)
    The Italian Campaign of World War II was the name of Allied operations in and around Italy, from 1943 to the end of the war in Europe. Joint Allied Forces Headquarters AFHQ was operationally responsible for all Allied land forces in the Mediterranean theatre, and it planned and commanded the...

  • European Theatre of World War II
    European Theatre of World War II
    The European Theatre of World War II was a huge area of heavy fighting across Europe from Germany's invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939 until the end of the war with the German unconditional surrender on May 8, 1945...

  • Gothic Line order of battle
    Gothic Line order of battle
    Gothic Line order of battle is a listing of the significant formations that were involved in Operation Olive, the Allied offensive on the Gothic Line in northern Italy, August - September 1944, and in the subsequent fighting in the central Apennine mountains and on the plains of eastern...

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