Cassino, Italy
#1

The following was a special request from my friend Rocky.

 

ONE MORE BIG BIG BIG FAVOR I WOULD LIKE TO ASK. I was reading the

book,Dogfaces Who smiled------, and I was reading about Cassino.. My favor is

would it be possible ifyou could write 5 paragraphs from page 435 starting with

the 2nd paragraph. to next to the last one. The reason for this is I want people

to know there were other places besidesNormandy,Bastogne, battle of the bulge,etc,etc. And also about the 109th COMBAT ENGINEERS!!!!. I have heard

some say,MAN we went through some bad sh--. But they don't say that the Combat Engineers went first to clear mines and build bridges so WE could be

safe from mines and walk over the water not in it!!! They should have the C.I.B.

made big enuf to cover their chests. Now this is what I said. anyone disagree??

Roque of the 34th

 

I scanned the page and am posting it here. :pdt:

post-4-1157511981_thumb.jpg



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Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"
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#2

I am going to place all the info regarding the 109th in the Engineering section...

 

http://208.56.11.96/Invision/index.php?act...t=ST&f=6&t=2798

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"
Reply
#3

I have heard

some say,MAN we went through some bad sh--. But they don't say that the Combat Engineers went first to clear mines and build bridges so WE could be

safe from mines and walk over the water not in it!!! They should have the C.I.B.

made big enuf to cover their chests. Now this is what I said. anyone disagree??

 

Thanks Rocky. It's nice to hear someone back up the engineers. I still get angry when someone tells me that they shouldn't receive CIB's when they fight as infantry, which combat engineers do frequently. They're out there on the front lines many times and not sitting in some danged office 500 miles away. They are putting their lives on the line all the time. My dad earned his CIB and I am damned proud of him. :pdt34:

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"
Reply
#4

I have heard

some say,MAN we went through some bad sh--. But they don't say that the Combat Engineers went first to clear mines and build bridges so WE could be

safe from mines and walk over the water not in it!!! They should have the C.I.B.

made big enuf to cover their chests. Now this is what I said. anyone disagree??

 

Thanks Rocky. It's nice to hear someone back up the engineers. I still get angry when someone tells me that they shouldn't receive CIB's when they fight as infantry, which combat engineers do frequently. They're out there on the front lines many times and not sitting in some danged office 500 miles away. They are putting their lives on the line all the time. My dad earned his CIB and I am damned proud of him. :pdt34:

NO-ONE WILL DISPUTE YOUR WORDS MARION,

THEY BETTER NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Rocky

 

I will be off the air as of 7am,(9/7 to--9/11), Going to reunion, The president

has spoken,TEN-HUT!!

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#5

Yes, sir, roger that. Troops dismissed!!! :pdt20:

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"
Reply
#6

Marion,

I can't let a discussion on Italy go without putting in my 2 cents.

 

Fred Majdalany is quoted in the article. In case you don't recognize his name, he was co-author of "Cassino; Portrait Of A Battle" (Longmans, Green & Co Ltd. 1957). During the war he served as an officer in the British 8th Army in N. Africa, Sicily and Italy. He was wounded and awarded the M.C.

He also has written "The Battle of El Alamein; Fortress in the Sand".

 

Steve

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#7

Lately I have been reading and watching more about the Italian campaign. A recurring theme is the animousity which existed between the commanding officers of the British and American armies. The Patton/Monty competition' is well known, but it seems the distrust between American generals Omar Bradley & Mark Clark towards Generals Alexander and Monty BOTH was just as intense, if not more heated at times. Both felt the other's nation lacked good leadership. I wonder really how much of this attitude "rolled downhill" to the enlisted ranks of these Allies (if any). Not good to see your commanders engaged in this: :argue:

 

 

 

DD :woof:

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#8

That was prevalent in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France... BIG EGOS playing with the stakes of men's lives. When you read about the escapades, you just have to shake your head. You feel like screaming, get over it and get on with the war. Men are counting are you, your idiots!!!!! :banghead:

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"
Reply
#9

I wonder really how much of this attitude "rolled downhill" to the enlisted ranks of these Allies (if any).

Good question. I'll have to think of some examples for you.

 

The riff in the higher command is best exemplified in the decision to bomb the Monastery at Cassino. The New Zealand Corps commander, Freyberg, put this request into the Army Group commander, Gen. Alexander(British). The Brits did not want to offend Freyberg, who was respected as a WW1 veteran but also they didn't want the NZ troops to go back "home" to the Pacific theater. Gen Mark Clark was the immediate commander between Freyberg and Alexander and he didn't think the bombing was necessary. So I don't know how he did it but he got out of making the decision. He went on a trip and left the decision to his Chief of Staff. Backed by the Army Air Force commanders, Alexander made the decision in favor of Freyberg and the Monastery was bombed.

The day after the bombing, the Allied Air Forces initiated Operation STRANGLE, which was the strategic bombing of targets in Northern Italy that would cut the supply line----no longer would they use heavy bombers for tactical situations.

 

Steve

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#10

Well I don't want to add any controversy to the CASSINO topic. But please, no

argument intended.

Fred Majdalany wrote about No. Africa and Italy from the British side of the war.

You want to know about Cassino,read "Dogfaces who smilled--", written by a man

that was there. As far as the bombing of the Abbey. The Generals did not have

the authority to call it. It was the Presidents descision. Pres. Truman gave the order to bomb it. It was his call as President. C.I.C. At 9;25am,Feb. 15,1944

I SAW the wave of B17's fly over our heads and saw the first bombs fall then

nothing but smoke dust and bomb explosions. I recomend you read the book

I mentioned and see what and who was there. Now again this is my point of

view on Cassino. And yes I have talked too much on it, I just as soon let it rest.

Roque Riojas, 1st. Bn. 135th Inf. Regt. 34th Inf. Divn.

 

Tomorrow I leave for Council Bluffs Ia. for the annual reunion of the 34th.

and I have the honor of presiding the reunion.

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