© 2009 454 & 459 RAAF Squadrons


1. Italian Bases - 454 Squadron Airfields

2. Cesenatico:

3. Falconara:

4. Pescara:

5. Po Valley - Northern Italy

Po Valley Region of Northern Italy

The east-west Po Valley is relatively level land, north of the Gothic Line of German defense in the

North Apennines. In the Po Valley lay the Po River, meandering east from its source in northwestern

Italy to the Adriatic Sea, forming a second line of defense. The river varied in width from

130 to 500 yards, bordered by levees which served as natural fortifications, augmented by field works

constructed on both banks. The towns and villages along the river were fortified, and the east-west road

system provided good logistical support for the defenders.

North of the Po, in the Alpine foothills, extending east and west of Lake Garda, the Germans had built

a third line of defense. Dubbed the Adige Line, after the Adige River, these defenses were designed to

 cover a last-ditch Axis withdrawal into northeast Italy and Austria. The Adige Line, with its

intricate system of trenches, dugouts, and machine-gun emplacements, was reminiscent of World War I.

If stoutly defended it could be the toughest line yet encountered in Italy.

6. Venice aerial photo - Northern Italy

Venice  - 19 October 1944 [CLICK HERE larger pic] [H. Keelan collection]

7. Po Valley aerial photo - Northern Italy