Countdown to Cassino by Alex Bowlby
In the autumn of 1943 the German Bernhardt Line ran through Mignano Gap, 12 miles south-west of Cassino. XIV Panzer Korps was to make a stand there, holding up the advancing US 5th Army – two thirds American, one third British – whilst Cassino was being fortified. If the 5th Army broke through Mignano Gap before Cassino’s fortifications were really strong, Allied armour would smash its way through the town and go on to take Rome. Drawing on the memories of veterans who fought at Mignano Gap, and on extensive archive research, this book presents a wide-ranging account of this major battle, and describes how close the 5th Army came to making the crucial breakthrough. The author served with the Green Jackets in World War II and his 1969 publication, “The Recollections of Rifleman Bowlby”, was republished 20 years later.