Italians suffer as the battles continue
13th February 1944: Italian men women and children struggle to avoid the frontline battles and the bombing of roads and railways further back
The battles at Cassino and Anzio continued as both sides slugged it out. The 'soft underbelly of Europe' was now firmly established as a bloody and costly theatre. It was an expensive exercise for the Allies but at the very least it was pinning down large numbers of German troops, many of whom would otherwise be manning the 'Atlantic Wall'.
For those caught in the middle, the Italian civilians, the suffering went on. Iris Origo, an English writer married to an Italian, was doing her best to help those affected.
Her diary entry1 for today sums up the her thoughts and fears particularly well - but might well have been written by millions of other people across Europe who were in very similar circumstances. When would the actual battle reach them - and could they survive?
Mr. Churchill declares that ‘while all battles, as they approach their decisive phase, are anxious’, he feels ‘no especial anxiety’ about the Anzio battle. I wish I could share his feelings.