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AFTER THE BATTLE Then and Now
Issue No. 192

The Battle For Orsogna


Author: Karel Margry
Language: English Text
Format: Soft cover, 8.5" x 11"
Pages:  56 pages
Photos:  wartime b+w photos and present day color comparisons
Maps: Some maps
Publisher: After The Battle
ISBN: none listed

Item No. ATB-192 Price: $10.95



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The Battle For Orsogna - by Jeffrey Plowman and Perry Rowe. In early December 1943, the 2nd New Zealand Division, advancing northwards from the Sangro river in central Italy, came up against Orsogna, a small town perched on the edge of an escarpment overlooking the wide valley of the Moro river. Staunchly defended by German infantry, tanks and paratroops, the position proved a very tough nut to crack. Five times the New Zealanders launched a determined attack on the town - on December 2, 7, 15 (twice) and 16 - but each time they were thrown back, with heavy losses in men and tanks. A final attempt, aimed at outflanking Orsogna from the north, bogged down on Christmas Day without achieving the objective either. For the New Zealand Division it constituted its first defeat after a long series of successes and its most costly battle in the Italian campaign.

From the Editor -The Richard Montgomery. Liberty ships comprise the largest single class of vessels ever built and were based on the time-proven British tramp steamer of 1879. The Libertys were an emergency measure in response to the critical wartime shortage of cargo vessels. Of standardised design, and with the aim of mass production, many of the parts were prefabricated before final assembly which normally took around three months although a record time of four days was set for completion of Robert E. Peary in November 1942. In total over 2,700 Liberty ships were built and of these it is estimated that over 200 were lost to enemy action. In August 1944, the Richard Montgomery, loaded with over 6,000 tons of war stores, arrived in the Thames Estuary en route for Normandy but while at anchor off the Kent coast at Sheerness, it ran aground on a sandbank and broke in half. Efforts were made at the time to retrieve the cargo but after a month work was discontinued, although 1,400 tons of bombs still remained on board the ship.

The Battle for Festung Küstrin -Tomasz Zgoda tells us how from late January to the end of March 1945, the German city of Küstrin, located at the confluence of the Oder and Warthe rivers, held out against the Red Army onslaught, forming a major obstacle for the planned Soviet advance to Berlin. Under siege by two Soviet armies, its garrison doggedly held out for over two months, persevering even after the Russians finally completed encirclement of the city on March 22. It took two major offensives, one in early March to capture the part of the city on the east bank of the Warthe, and another in late March to capture the rest, before the German defenders were finally subdued.





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