Taking Monte Cassino - May 11, 1944 - May 18, 1944

Operation Diadem
Mediterranean Theater By: rasmussen81 - Last update: 05/18/2011
Axis Player: Allied Player:
x5 x6 x6 x6
    first You play first

Historical Background:
The Allies had failed to break through Kesselring's Gustav Line, defended by the German 1oth Army, in three previous battles. Every time they were pushed back by the stiff resistance and static defenses. The Allied commander, Alexander, wanted a decisive breakthrough on their fourth try so he brought over reinforcements from the British 8th Army to support the US 5th Army. At 2300 hours on May 11th, with superior forces, what would be the last Cassino Battle began. The Allies outnumbered the Germans 3 to 1 in Armor and Artillery, with 21 Allied divisions attacking the 14 German divisions.

The French colonial mountain troops lead by General Juin won the battle by compromising the entire Gustav Line position in the east. They swarmed through terrain that was lightly defended because the Germans had assumed it was impassable. This break in the line opened the Liri valley for Allied advances. Meanwhile the II Polish Corps, assigned to the assault of Monte Cassino itself, struggled up the mountain using the Allied artillery fire as cover. The Germans held on at Monte Cassino for four days, despite the break in their flank. On the night of the 17th, the monastery was finally evacuated and the way to Rome was open.

The stage is set, the battle lines are drawn, and you are in command. The rest is history.

Allied: (Great Britain)
Take 6 Command Cards.
You move first.

Axis: (Germany)
Take 5 Command Cards.

Conditions of Victory:
6 Medals.

The town hexes of Cassino and Pontecorvo, and the Monastery are each Temporary Medal Objectives for the Allied player.

Special Rules:
British Commonwealth Forces rules are in effect (Nations 5).
Allied Infantry units that start in the Rapido River are in collapsible rafts (Actions 5).
The Polish unit and French units with badges are Elite (Troops 2).
The Monastery is at the same elevation as mountains and cannot be entered unless from a hill or neighboring mountain.
Air rules are not in effect. Remove both Air Sortie cards and place them aside.

Scenario Bibliography:
"Monte Cassino: The Hardest-Fought Battle of World War II" by Matthew Parker

"The Italian Campaign" by Robert Wallace

Please note that this scenario was not approved by Richard Borg or Days of Wonder, so you have to check yourself about playability, potential gaming issues, etc.

Set-up Order