The Context

Prelude to the massacre of Monte Sole

On September 29th, 1944 the 16th SS Panzergrenadier Division of the Waffen SS, under the overall command  of  Lieutenant-General Max Simon and led by Major Walter Reder, began an assault on the villages of the mountainous region of Monte Sole in North Italy.  Their orders were to seek out and eliminate any partisan groups operating in the area.  


In reality they did not distinguish between armed partisans and  the defenceless men, women and children living in the villages. Hundreds were systematically massacred.


This is the story of what happened.