Operation Mallory Major from Below

Soldiers under a Hailstorm of Bombs

Paolo Dossena

The Allied Operation Mallory Major (northern Italy, July 1944) aimed at the destruction of all bridges across the Po River: the bombers were opposed by a Flak army composed of aging Germans leading young non-German women (who played a major role in the campaign) and men in Wehrmacht service: Czechs (who deserted en masse), Italians, Poles, Soviets.
Date Published :
February 2022
Publisher :
Fonthill Media
Illustration :
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781781558089
Pages : 144
Dimensions : 11 X 8.5 inches
Stock Status : In stock


The Allied Operation Mallory Major (northern Italy, July 1944) aimed at the destruction of all bridges across the Po River and its tributaries and at isolating the enemy in the northern Apennine mountains (the Gothic Line). The Allied Air Forces could count on the ground support of the guerrillas from the Great Partisan Pocket (in the Apennines south of Piacenza) and were opposed by the Flak. This army was led by aging German officers and NCOs leading young non-German women and men in Wehrmacht service: the Czech guards (Regierungstruppe), and the Italian, Slovak, Polish and former Soviet gunners (the Wehrmacht had transferred its German young men to front line units). Yet, this improbable Flak force proved to be effective and supported by Luftwaffe aircraft (outnumbered by at least 10 to 1) it faced both a hailstorm of Allied bombs and guerrilla ground attacks. Women played a major role in this campaign. Axis, guerrillas, and Allied intelligence used women to infiltrate the enemy and as auxiliaries, nurses and fighters. Another aspect of this battle was the Hitler-Beneš confrontation, an intelligence-guerrilla war which took place within the ranks of the Regierungstruppe.

About The Author

Paolo A. Dossena was born in 1968, and he has been writing for the Swiss Magazine ‘Azione’ (Migros) since 1999. The author is an Anglophile who, by night, teaches Academic English at an Italian based Swiss school (InLingua). He is the author of ‘Hitler’s Turkestani Soldiers’ (Helion & Company, January 2016). Before all of this, while working as a seasonal labourer in the mountains, he was able to obtain a university degree. His interests are history and English Grammar.


Glossary and Abbreviations

Part 1 The Government Army on the Po Bridges
1 Die Regierungstruppe (Spring 1944)
2 Women and Men. The Two Battle Arrays (Spring 1944)
3 A Byzantine System. In the Labyrinth World of the German Police in Italy (Spring 1944)
4 Propaganda Ladies (4 June-7 July 1944)
5 Padania. The Great Partisan Pocket (7-11 July 1944)
6 Twenty-four Bridges Across the Po River (12-29 July 1944)
7 Moroder’s Ladies. Flugplatz San Damiano (30 July-4 August 1944)
8 The German Victory

Part 2 The Scientist and the Shaman
9 Beneš the Jacobin (1914-44)
10 Hitler the Aristocratic Occultist (1944)

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