"Ortona: A Battle Forgotten" (Battle In Which The Allied Forces Free Italy)

1816 words - 7 pages

Ortona : A Battle ForgottenDuring World War Two, there were many decisive battles that took place. Some on land, some on the sea, and some in the air, the battles even took place in all three. The most decisive battles that we remember, Dieppe, Omaha, D-Day, and Stalingrad. These battles are great in their own views, but the battle of Ortona, was also significant in it's own lead. It lost many lives, yet it made a great impact on the rest of the war, as it was the vocal point for fighting and freeing Italy. Italy will always remember the Canadians that took part in their independence, and their story will live on in history, whether it is as high respected as the others, in Italians hearts, it will always be number one."Ortona will be defended at all costs" was the slogan going into the battle from Germanys stand point. Facing a battle on the west and north sides, an attack from the south would cripple Hitler's regime. Ortona, located on southern Italian coast, on the cliffs above the Adriatic sea, with a population of around 22,029It blocked the Allies path to Rome, with the many streets, buildings, and civilian homes, all filled with the Germans, waiting for them. The major exports coming from the town include Grapes, Vines, and their commercial fishing ports and resorts in present day. Major landmarks include the towns cathedral, which was completely destroyed during the attack by a 45 millimetre tank shell, and was rebuilt in 1965. Ortona was the perfect place for the German soldiers to set up their camp.Prior to the battle the Canadian and Allied forces were staged in Dieppe. Dieppe was a scapegoat for the Canadian soldiers. They were sent to Dieppe on August 19th, 1942, but in that short time they lost 1000 soldiers and were completely decimated. The allies used Dieppe as a test to see if their idea for a D-Day raid would work. The Dieppe raid, though a miserable failure, helped the allies modify there plan of attack for D-day, which turned out to be the turning part of the war, and lead to the German's defeat. But before the soldiers even made it to Ortona, they had to deal with Sicily.The Canadian regiments arrived on the southern tip of Sicily, on July 10th, 1943. Of the 45,000 troops that landed, there was a total of 29,000 casualties in the battle. Canada in it's own lost 562 men, 1664 wounded, and lost 84 prisoners to the German defence. The battle, though with large causalities, was a success in that it gave the allies access to Italy, and could now start the long, tiring journey to Rome and beyond. But one thing got in the way of Rome, and that, was the Gustav Line.The Gustav Line attack started on September 3rd, 1943. The Italians had just left the war from Germanys side, and were prepared to attack Ortona when they reached a problem, the Gustav Line. The Gustav Line, which stretched from the river Garigliano in the west to the Sangro in the east. The Allied forces that had fought its way up the Adriatic took the Sangro river...

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