World Battlefronts: BATTLE OF ITALY: Death Comes to Ortona

Like death's shroud, snow fell on Ortona. Over the town's rubble and corpses a chill Apennine wind keened. Ortona, for centuries alive and pleasant on a rocky shelf above the slate-colored Adriatic, now lay dead and hideous. The battle had surged on.

For more than a week Canadians and Germans had grappled for every building stone in Ortona. Never before had the Wehrmacht chosen to slug it out for a town in the path of the British Eighth Army's long march up Italy's Adriatic shore. Most of Ortona's 9,000 folk fled as the...

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