WORLD WAR II – The Gothic Line and the Battle of the Senio

Between December 1944 and the 10th of April 1945, Alfonsine was a battlefield for the German army, for the Allie’s armies and for partisans; here on the Senio river the front of the war was named Linea Gotica (Gothic line), also known as Die Grüne Linie.

La Linea Gotica in Alfonsine
The Gothic Line was a defensive boundary created by the Germans along the Apennines when the Americans landed in Sicily (July 9 1943), in order to slow down or prevent their advancement in the north of Italy and further afar. La Linea Gotica ran from Pesaro, on the Adriatic Sea, to Massa Marittima on the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Following Rimini’s attack, the German army had to move further north at the beginning of 1944; Alfonsine and other towns on the river Senio became settlements for the German army. In the Summer of 1944 things didn’t look good for the Germans and Albert Kesselring changed the name of the gothic line into Grüne Linie and the defensive front was now in Romagna on the river Senio. Here the Germans were attacked in September 1944 and the battle carried on for four months around Ravenna.

La Battaglia del Senio
The name of Battaglia del Senio refers to the alleys offensive against the Germans in the province of Ravenna, along the river Senio; this is the concluding episode of the war in Romagna. The Anglo-American war campaign, which had started in July 1943, came to an end two weeks after the battle on the Senio.
Local youth joined the 28th Brigata Garibaldi from December 1944 to April 1945 and everyone in Alfonsine lived at the centre of the battlefield; locals fought back and took part in the resistance movement while they waited for the allies. The town’s liberation movement included supporters of various political parties and the local priest; they all collaborated in supplying locals with food and in feeding strategic information to the allies.
On April 10th 1945 the battle group “Cremona” freed Alfonsine. The town was a pile of rubbles, as a result of the heavy bombing of the Anglo-Americans and of the mines placed by the Germans before retreating north.

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