World Battlefronts: Incident on the Rapido

At night, after two days of preparatory shelling, orders came to attack the enemy positions across the Rapido. A thick haze rose from the ground, and through it men stumbled toward the river. Here & there, the earth heaved and roared, and exploding mines killed and maimed men. Many others were killed in boats or on a narrow, ice-coated footbridge. But some got across and dug their foxholes. The haze was still thick.

Late in the morning the sun tore the haze into milky shreds. With the visibility good, German machine guns, mortars, artillery opened up. The Germans sat behind their...

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