Start My Family Tree Welcome to Geni, home of the world's largest family tree.
Join Geni to explore your genealogy and family history in the World's Largest Family Tree.

Bernhardt Line (December 1943 - January 1944)

« Back to Projects Dashboard

view all


The Bernhardt Line (or Reinhard Line) was a German defensive line in Italy during the Italian Campaign of World War II. Having reached the Bernhardt Line at the start of December 1943, it took until mid-January 1944 for the U.S. Fifth Army to fight their way to the next line of defences, the Gustav Line. The line was defended by XIV Panzer Corps (XIV Panzerkorps), part of the German Tenth Army (10. Armee).

Unlike most of the other defensive lines it did not run all the way across Italy but was merely a bulge in front of the main Gustav Line, running over the massif of Monte Cassino, enclosing the peaks of Monte Cassino (Monastery Hill), Monte la Difensa, Monte la Remetanea and Monte Maggiore, in the territory of Rocca d'Evandro, and Monte Sambucaro (or Sammucro), which stands at the border of the three regions (Lazio, Molise and Campania). However, the defences of the Gustav Line on the Adriatic are sometimes referred to as the Bernhardt Line and the battles for this part of the line are included in this entry.

The Bernhardt line was not as strong as the Gustav Line and was intended only to delay the Allies' arrival at the Gustav Line. Together with the Gustav Line and the Hitler Line, it made up the German Winter Line defences.