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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Castrioti

February 15, 1944 - The Second Battle of Cassino

Conflict: World War II

Combatants: Germans vs. New Zealanders

Location: Italy

Outcome: German victory


Following the Allied landings in Italy, the German and Italian military established a series of defensive lines throughout the peninsular nation. The American 5th Army and allies were bogged down on the Gustav Line in the areas of Anzio and Cassino. On February 12th of 1944, the American 34th Division attempted to storm the German-held mountains over the town of Cassino. The American assault failed.


A New Zealander Sherman tank at Monte Cassino by Frederick Kaye

Then, on February 15th, a New Zealand corps made the attempt. The allies preceded this assault by bombarding the monetary atop Monte Cassino, mistakenly believing it was occupied by German troops. Though the Germans had not occupied the buildings, they quickly moved in after the bombardment and used the ruins as cover. The offensive by the New Zealanders also failed.


Sherman Tanks of the New Zealand 19th Armored Division recreate the fighting at Monte Cassino (April of 1944) by Hewitt (Sgt), No 2 Army Film & Photographic Unit

Points of Interest:

  • The Allies attempted a third assault in mid-March with another extensive aerial bombardment, but this too failed.

  • Cassino would not be secured by the Allies until May 18th of 1944.


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Sources:


Dupuy, R. Ernest & Dupuy, Trevor N. (1993). The Harper's Encyclopedia of Military History. New York: HarperCollins.


Eggenberger, David (1985). An Encyclopedia of Battles: Accounts of Over 1,560 Battles from 1479 B.C. to the Present. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.


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