Espria, Italy
1943/1944
Espria, Italy lies on the western flank of Monte Cassino between Naples and Rome. This area was the focal
point of the French Expeditionary Corps during the Allied drive toward Monte Cassino during late 1943
through early 1944. The F.E.C. was primarily comprised of Moroccan soldiers. These Moroccan soldiers were
specifically chosen for operations in Espria for their mountain fighting ability. The Moroccan soldiers fought
swiftly and surgically in this campaign.
The summit above Espria is home to a Middle-Age Monastery, which is now in ruins, above left photo.
This area was occupied by the German Army and was used as an observation point for the western control of
the "Winter Line".
QuestMaster "Jonny Reb" Ray is pointing eastward toward Monte Cassino, above right photo. This photo
illustrates how well this mountain top controlled much of the movement in the Lire Valley.
This photo shows QuestMasters conducting archeology work within the ruins, above left photo.
Several U.S. .30-06 caliber fired projectiles were found in the soft-face of the Monastery slopes, as well as a
vintage Coca-Cola bottle and one German 5 liter gas can. Additionally, on the road leading to the summit, a
German gas mask carrier, a German 5cm 3 round mortar carrier and a World War One German 8cm "Trench
Art" shell casing were found.
This is the southern tower of the Monastery, above right photo.
The tower is in relative good condition considering the fighting conducted around it.