Monte Cassino opens in the cold Italian winter of 1943–44. Germany would lose the war, but they still held much of Italy, leaving the Allies to fight their way north to capture Rome—a route no army had taken since Hannibal traversed the Alps to avoid it. And overlooking the only possible passage stood the ancient Abbey of Monte Cassino. The ultimate decision to bomb Monte Cassino was one of the most controversial—and tragic—events of World War II. The combat that followed was just as tragic: Soldiers from more than a dozen nations fought through that savage winter in a ferocious battle that allowed no advance or retreat. Here Hapgood and Richardson examine the military operations and political machinations that led inexorably to the bombing, explore the personalities of all involved, and in a new afterword reflect on its lingering consequences. This is an epic tale of men—and monks—at war.