World Battlefronts: Seventeen Days

As the Fifth Army fronts in Italy hung in stalemate last week, military observers suggested that a special medal should be struck off. The candidates for the medal: the few U.S. infantrymen who got across the Rapido River, cracked their way into Cassino, then clung to a few shattered buildings for 17 days & nights.

Those days saw fighting as bitter as any in the war. It was a succession of desperately fought street battles, with U.S. and German tanks rattling past each other on adjacent streets, while progress was measured by the capture or loss of a single house, even a...

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