BATTLE OF ITALY: Horizontal Gothic

As they had been at El Alamein, Mareth, Enfidaville and Italy's Gustaf Line, the Germans were entrenched again. Now it was the Gothic Line, a complex of concrete pillboxes behind a maze of mine fields and barbed wire entanglements north of Italy's Arno River. Manning the positions were twelve divisions of stubborn Huns commanded by able Field Marshal Albert Kesselring. Their orders: to hold until the last day of summer.

Facing them along two-thirds of the line was the Eighth Army, now a rainbow aggregation of Britons, Canadians, New Zealanders, South Africans, Indians, Poles and Italians. At the western end...

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