The village of Castelluccio

Castelluccio is the largest village in the municipality of Montese. The surrounding dense woods were shelter to the partisans and rebellions from the spring of 1944. Located on the northern slopes of Mount Belvedere, the last Gothic Line bulwark (Green Line II), the village was then occupied by the Germans in the summer months who fortified the southern ridges in anticipation of the arrival of the allied armies. The German presence in an area that was teemed with partisans led to repeated clashes, which followed in a major air raid in August and some reprisals against civilians by the occupiers. To be remembered the execution of three young people including the partisan “Napoleon” (Jacques Lapeyrie) of the “Justice and Freedom “brigade which took place in the village on 1 October ’44.

Due to its location near to the German Lines, Castelluccio was subjected to constant bombing raids and frequent strikes by allied artillery, especially during the days of repeated American assaults on Monte Belvedere in the last months of 1944. At the decisive attack, which occurred February 19, 1945, the start of “Operation Encore”, the village was under the intense fire of the American advance, with destruction and civilian casualties. After the capture of Belvedere the Germans had to retreat from Castelluccio while the US “mountaineers” continued their advance towards the north-east.