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Montecassino Green Devils

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posted by Hughes Songe alias bernawy hugues kossi huo on Thursday 25th of September 2014 11:11:59 AM

Following three unsuccessful attempts in early 1944 by the US Fifth Army to break through the German Winter Line, the Eighth Army was covertly switched from the Adriatic coast in April 1944 to concentrate all forces, except the V Corps, on the western side of the Apennine Mountains alongside the US Fifth Army in order to mount a major offensive with them and punch through to Rome. This fourth Battle of Monte Cassino was successful with Eighth Army breaking into central Italy and Fifth Army entering Rome in early June. Fallschirmjäger (Fallschirmjager or Fallschirmjaeger in English) is the German word for paratroopers. They played an important role during World War II, when, together with the Gebirgsjäger they were perceived as the elite infantry units of the German military. After World War II, they were reconstituted as parts of postwar armed forces of both West and East Germany, mainly as special ops troops.German Fallschirmjäger in World War II were the first paratroopers to be committed in large-scale airborne operations. They came to be known as the "green devils" by the Allied forces they fought against, as well as for their uniquely distinct Esprit de corps.In the Battle of Monte Cassino, 1st Fallschirmjäger division held the ground near the Monastery of Monte Cassino. After the monastery had been bombed by the Allies, the Germans moved into protected positions among the bricks and cellars. The Fallschirmjäger held out for months against repeated assaults and heavy bombardment. Here they gained the nickname "Green Devils" from the Allied forces for their distinctive jackets and their tenacious defence. Inflicting huge losses on the Allied forces, they ultimately retreated from their positions only to avoid beinoutflanked.Fallschirmjäger also played a key role defending positions in France against much larger forces in 1944, even holding on to some of the German-occupied regions until the surrender of Germany.After mid-1944, Fallschirmjäger were no longer trained as paratroops due to the strategic situation, and fought as infantrymen. Near the end of the war, the series of new Fallschirmjäger divisions extended to more than 12, with a reduction in quality in the late units, which, however still inflicted moderate losses on the advancing Allied troops. The last parachute division to be raised by Germany during World War II was destroyed during the Battle of Berlin in April 1945.Throughout World War II, the Fallschirmjäger commander was Kurt Student.Thousands of German paratroopers were killed in action. Fallschirmjäger were awarded a total of 134 Knight's Crosses between 1940 and 1945. Moroccan Goumiers were soldiers who served in auxiliary units attached to the French Army of Africa, between 1908 and 1956. The term Goumier was also occasionally used to designate native soldiers in the French army of the French Sudan and Upper Volta during the colonial era.In Italy, the Allies suffered a long stalemate at the German Gustav Line. In May 1944, three Goumier groupes, under the name Corps de Montagne, were the vanguard of the French Expeditionary Corps attack through the Aurunci Mountains during Operation Diadem, the fourth Battle of Monte Cassino. "Here the Goums more than proved their value as light, highly mobile mountain troops who could penetrate the most vertical terrain in fighting order and with a minimum of logistical requirements. Most military analysts consider the Goumiers' manoeuvre as the critical victory that finally opened the way to Rome." The Allied commander, U.S. General Mark Clark also paid tribute to the Goumiers and the Moroccan regulars of the Tirailleur units:In spite of the stiffening enemy resistance, the 2nd Moroccan Division penetrated the Gustave [sic] Line in less than two day’s fighting. The next 48 hours on the French front were decisive. The knife-wielding Goumiers swarmed over the hills, particularly at night, and General Juin’s entire force showed an aggressiveness hour after hour that the Germans could not withstand. Cerasola, San Giorgio, Mt. D’Oro, Ausonia and Esperia were seized in one of the most brilliant and daring advances of the war in Italy... For this performance, which was to be a key to the success of the entire drive on Rome, I shall always be a grateful admirer of General Juin and his magnificent FEC.During their fighting in the Italian Campaign, the Goumiers suffered 3,000 casualties, of which 600 were killed in action www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceCdCs9D8ec



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  • Published 02.06.23
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