Gothic Line

One of the strongest of Germany's east-west defensive lines in Italy was the Gothic Line. It ran from Pisa in the west to Rimini in the east, followed a number of rivers and the chain of the Apennines. The design work began at the end of 1943, but construction did not really start until the summer of 1944. Tank Ditches, barbed wire and mines were the passive defenses and machine gun positions and dug-in tank turrets the active ones.

Since the Germans feared that the Allies would circumvent the Gothic Line and several of the other lines of defence by landing troops behind them, the coastal defence zones were strengthened. As the flat beaches were ideal for amphibious assaults, “dragon’s teeth” were planted along the seafront and bunkers was built. Inland, bridges and especially the mountain passes were heavily fortified.

Today, traces of the Gothic Line  are still visible in several places.