Operation Corncob (ii)

This was an Allied bombing campaign by Lieutenant General Ira C. Eaker’s Mediterranean Allied Air Forces to destroy the bridges over the Po, Adige and Brenta rivers in northern Italy (20/23 April 1945).

The object of the undertaking was to sever the lines of reinforcement and/or retreat for General Traugott Herr’s 10th Army and General Joachim Lemelsen’s 14th Army of Generaloberst Heinrich-Gottfried von Vietinghoff-Scheel’s Heeresgruppe ‘C’, which were pulling back respectively toward the Brenner Pass and Venice in front of Lieutenant General Lucian K. Truscott’s US 5th Army and General Sir Richard McCreery’s British 8th Army.

The undertaking was the fourth and final phase of the overall Allied bombing effort in the last weeks of the Italian campaign, the first three phases having been the carefully orchestrated and pre-planned neutralisation of the German defensive efforts before the launch of 'Buckland' and 'Craftsman' (and their developments), the more fluid support of the Allied movements to the north as the British and Americans approached the Po river, and the interdiction of the crossings of the Reno and Panaro rivers.