FROM THE DAILY MAIL
The tides of war turned irrevocably in favor of the Allied forces in July 1943 when 150,000 British and American soldiers swarmed the shores of Sicily at the start of World War II’s bloody Italian Campaign.
Along with Canadian, French and other Allies, the invasion was the start of a long march to Rome that would forever be noted as some of the most brutal of the entire war.
Tens of thousands of soldiers died on each side during the campaign, which saw the ousting of Italy’s Fascist leader Benito Mussolini in its early days but would stretch into nearly two years.
The Allies marched up the most of famous of Roman roads, the Appian Way, which connected the city of Rome to the southern Italian coast.
These haunting yet hopeful color photographs from Life were never published in the magazine, but can now be seen here in their full glory.
March to Rome: This May 1943 photo shows British and South African soldiers showing off a Nazi flag during the Allied march toward Rome in the Italian city of Cassino
Casualties of war: An American soldier sleeps on a pile of rocks. The Italian Campaign was long a bloody and saw the deaths of tens of thousands of soldiers on both sides, as well as many thousands of civilian casualties
Unrelenting: American soldiers looking over German armor destroyed during the drive towards Rome. The Italian Campaign began with the booting of Mussolini but didn’t end for another 20 brutal months
Rubble: As they drove toward Rome along the Appian Way, Allied forces bombed Italian towns in an attempt to drive out the German forces. At right, soldiers pose beside the resulting rubble
A column of American medical vehicles inches toward Rome. Over the course of the campaign, hundreds of thousands of soldiers were wounded in addition to the casualties
End of the road: A German grave yard crops up along Italy’s Esperia Pico Road. The photographs were taken as troops marched to Rome by photojournalist Carl Mydans