10.08.2013 12:32

§   The battle of Monghidoro   §         

During the Second World War, 1944 was a crucial moment for Italy. On August 25, the Anglo-American and free Polish armies launched a massive attack along the Gothic Line: a formidable 300 kilometres of fortifications, from the Ligurian coast to the Adriatic, created by Field Marshal Albert Kesselring to favour the fighting retreat of the Germans towards the Alps. 

In mid-September, after a terrible battle, the Allies conquered the Giogo Pass and the Futa Pass.  At dawn on October 1, a massive artillery fire fell on the prepared German defenses around Monghidoro and its urban area.

On the evening of October 2, after a bloody street-to-street, house-to-house battle, the town was liberated. The following day the last defenses on Monte Piano finally fell. In those three days, the Americans lost 1,734 men killed and wounded.  On October 4, General Mark Wayne Clark, commander of the US Fifth Army, visited the town and set up the HQ for the assault on Loiano, which took place the following morning; after a heavy bombardment and a brief battle this too fell.  

When the inhabitants of Monghidoro emerged from their shelters, the world had suddenly changed. Together with the liberators abundance had arrived: chocolate, cigarettes, condensed milk, canned foods and medicines were generously donated to the incredulous people, mostly old men, women and children, dirty, hungry, sick, full of lice.  In addition to feeding the population, the liberators also laid the foundations of the first democratic government after decades of dictatorship. 

On October 14, on the nomination of the National Liberation Committee, Carlo Alpi, who had been the liaison officer of the partisan Brigade  Giustizia e Libertà (Justice and Freedom) since 1943, was appointed mayor of Monghidoro. 

On 17 December, during a visit of the US Representative from California, Martin Costello, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Military Affairs, Monghidoro was formally assimilated to the City of Los Angeles.  The Americans were in Monghidoro until the liberation of Bologna in April 1945, forever earning the esteem and affection of the people.