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|BOOK TWO in theCanadian Battle Series Stretching like an armour-toothed belt across Italy's upper thigh, the Gothic Line was the most fortified and fiercely defended position the German army had yet thrown in the path of the advancing Allied forces.
On August 25, 1944, it fell to I Canadian Corps to spearhead the famed Eighth Army's major offensive, intended to rip through the Gothic Line. Never had the Germans in Italy brought so much artillery to bear or deployed such a great number of tanks. For twenty-eight days, the battle raged as the Canadians, with British and Polish troops advancing on their flanks, slugged into the German defences. On September 22 the Canadians finally won, opening the way for the next phase of the Allied advance.
The price was high-the greatest toll in casualties suffered during the long years of the Italian campaign. The Gothic Line: Canada's Month of Hell in World War II Italybrings the story of what renowned military historian Jack Granatstein hails as Canada's most momentous World War II battle to vivid life by telling the story through the eyes of the soldiers. It is a suspenseful, dramatic book that gives back to Canadians a forgotten and neglected part of their historical heritage.|
For four dreadful weeks under Italy's summer sun, the soldiers of the 1st Canadian Infantry and 5th Canadian Armoured divisions struggled against the Gothic Line-a vast network of fortifications spanning the width of the nation along the spine of the Apennines.