His artillery units had a clear view of every Allied position. In mid-February, they carried out Adolf Hitler’s order to “lance the abscess south of Rome” with a massive counteroffensive aimed at destroying the beachhead. Of the four scenarios prepared by Truscott, Operation Buffalo called for an attack through Cisterna, into the gap in the hills and to cut Route 6 at Valmontone. The Allies broke out in May. Part of the Italian Theater of World War II (1939-1945), the campaign was the result of the Allies' inability to penetrate the Gustav Line following their landings at Salerno. It began on January 22, 1944, with an amphibious landing to break German's Gustav Line in Italy. Random Battles, Special Battle, Team Battles, Grand Battles, Global Map, Tournaments, and Stronghold Battles (Skirmish and Advances) In keeping with the historical battle, activities of the Italian resistance movement are included. Castle Films. Dispersed among German battalions, the German commanding officers later gave the Italians companies favourable reports. Noted military historian John Keegan wrote, "Had Lucas risked rushing at Rome the first day, his spearheads would probably have arrived, though they would have soon been crushed. After a months-long stalemate, Allied forces finally achieved their objective and drove Axis forces north. It endured a prolonged barrage of shrapnel, machine-gun fire and bombs. From July 10 through October 31, 1940, pilots and support crews on both sides took to the ...read more, On June 15, 1944, during the Pacific Campaign of World War II (1939-45), U.S. Marines stormed the beaches of the strategically significant Japanese island of Saipan, with a goal of gaining a crucial air base from which the U.S. could launch its new long-range B-29 bombers ...read more, In late January 1944, a combined force of U.S. Marine and Army troops launched an amphibious assault on three islets in the Kwajalein Atoll, a ring-shaped coral formation in the Marshall Islands where the Japanese had established their outermost defensive perimeter in World War ...read more, The Battle of Midway was an epic clash between the U.S. Navy and the Imperial Japanese Navy that played out six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor. On the Allies' far right, the 1st Special Service Force would protect the American assault's flank. "[11] and "[The operation] has a strong odour of Gallipoli and apparently the same amateur was still on the coach's bench. Foreword to CMH Edition. This, vain-glorious blunder, the worst of the entire war, lost us a stunning victory, lengthened the war by many months and earned Mark Clark the contempt of other American and British generals. Winston Churchill was clearly displeased with this action. Battle of the Atlantic: a. The Anzio and Nettuno beaches are on marshland. The purpose was to flank the heavy fortifications known as the "Gustav Line" that German General Albert Kesselring had built across Italy south of Rome. The Allies invade Italy and the Russians start pushing Westward, 1943. During this battle, many US Ranger groups were ordered to support an attack by the 3rd Infantry Division on Cisterna. The 1944 Battle of Anzio stemmed from the Allied attempt to draw German troops off the Gustav Line during Operation Shingle. The gun crew fought back with shellfire and shot down five German planes.[23]. Be prepared to advance on Rome". The greatest loss was that if the U.S. Army VI Corps main effort had continued on the Valmontone axis from May 26, Clark could probably have reached Rome more quickly than by the route northwest from Cisterna. General Mark Clark was so eager that the world should see pictures showing him as the liberator of Rome, that he allowed the armies of a delighted Kesselring to escape. Anzio was an important part of cracking open the Gustav Line, the German defensive line south of Rome. By early February, German forces in Fourteenth Army numbered some 100,000 troops organised into two Army Corps, the 1st Parachute Corps under Schlemm and the LXXVI Panzer Corps under Lieutenant General Traugott Herr. Agreeing, Clark canceled the operation, but Prime Minister Churchill revived it. General Harold Alexanderhad thought of a plan using five divisions. The operation was initially commanded by Major General John P. Lucas, of the U.S. Army, commanding U.S. VI Corps with the intention being to outflank German forces at the Winter Line and enable an attack on Rome. Battle of Anzio Timeline. Advance and secure Colli Laziali [the Alban Hills] 3. Kesselring was informed of the landings at 3 a.m. January 22. The Battle of Anzio, which is also called Operation Shingle (January 22, 1944) was an Allied sea landing in the Italian Campaign against German forces of Anzio and Nettuno, Italy. If General Mark Clark had been in the German Army, Hitler would have had him shot. Kesselring ordered an attack on the beachhead for January 28, though it was postponed to February 1. Battle of Anzio. Battle of Anzio, (22 January–5 June 1944), World War II event on the coast of Italy, south of Rome. Lucas was relieved of command even though he had been given a mission he had no practical possibility of carrying out. Previously uninhabitable due to mosquitoes carrying malaria, in Roman times armies marched as quickly as possible across it on the military road, the Via Appia. The operation was opposed by German forces in the area of Anzio and Nettuno. c. What is a convoy? [66], On May 26, while the VI Corps was initiating its difficult maneuver, Kesselring threw elements of four divisions into the Velletri gap to stall the advance on Route 6. During the Battle of Dunkirk from May 26 to June 4, 1940, some 338,000 British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and other Allied troops were evacuated from Dunkirk to ...read more, Called “the greatest American battle of the war” by Winston Churchill, the Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes region of Belgium was Adolf Hitler’s last major offensive in World War II against the Western Front. Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present. They are naturally disappointed that I failed to chase the Hun out of Italy but there was no military reason why I should have been able to do so. [58], At 5:45 a.m. May 23, 1944, 1,500 Allied artillery pieces commenced bombardment. Do you know who won each of these battles? The Battle of Anzio was a battle of the Italian Campaign of World War II that took place from January 22, 1944 (beginning with the Allied amphibious landing known as Operation Shingle) to June 5, 1944 (ending with the capture of Rome). She will sail the seas dedicated to preserving the freedom won on the Anzio beachhead while keeping alive the legacy of the boundless bravery and fighting spirit of each Anzio veteran. The terrain of central Italy had proved ideally suited to defense, and Field Marshal Albert Kesselring took full advantage. Kesselring quickly contained the Allied threat and massed German troops. Canals and pumping stations were built to remove the brackish water from the land. In the skillfully defended terrain of southern Italy, the Allies in November 1943 during World War II were advancing so slowly that they decided to go around the German defenses by sea, hoping to speed progress to Rome. Liberty ships, which were never intended as warships, were involved in some fighting during the battle of Anzio. Heinrich von Vietinghoff, commanding the Gustav Line, called for reinforcements, and Kesselring transferred the 29th and 90th Panzergrenadier Divisions from Rome. They held the line all day, taking heavy casualties, but were eventually ordered to pull back and made a fighting retreat at 5pm to the Factory with the aid of artillery, and a successful assault launched by the London Scottish, of 168th Brigade,[31] supported by the 46th Royal Tank Regiment (46 RTR). By the end of May 25, 3rd Infantry were heading into the Velletri gap near Cori, and elements of 1st Armored had reached within 3 miles (4.8 km) of Valmontone and were in contact with units of the Herman Göring Division which were just starting to arrive from Leghorn. Allied leaders were Lieutenant General Mark Clark, Major General John P. Lucas, General Harold Alexander and Major General Lucian Truscott, along with 36,000 soldiers. The marshes were turned into cultivatable land in the 1930s under Benito Mussolini. 23 Jan 1944 : The destroyer HMS Janus was lost off Anzio, Italy. The American commanders in particular were determined that nothing should delay the Normandy invasion and the supporting landings in southern France. The Battle of Anzio commenced on January 22, 1944 and concluded with the fall of Rome on June 5. Volume 5 of Churchill's The Second World War is riddled with implied criticism of Lucas, blaming the failure on his caution. Anzio Beach head – contemporary film footage, Learn how and when to remove this template message, 46th (Liverpool Welsh) Royal Tank Regiment, Das Deutsche Reich und der Zweite Weltkrieg, United States Army Center of Military History, "Chapter 14: General Clark's Decision To Drive on Rome", "hey Were All Left Behind: A History of the Royal Fusiliers Company Z", "A German defence Area on the Anzio Front", "Anzio — The Allies' Greatest Blunder of World War II", The official history of the London Irish Rifles containing an account of the unit's participation in the Anzio battle, Anzio 1944 – German 10. In 1944, the Allies needed to attack Germany and Italy in Europe once they had successfully ended their African campaigns. Theodore Reed Fehrenbach. Anzio was an important part of cracking open the Gustav Line, the German defensive line south of Rome. The 1944 Battle of Anzio stemmed from the Allied attempt to draw German troops off the Gustav Line during Operation Shingle. He wanted to get around German forces on the Winter Line. [67], On the new axis of attack little progress was made until 1st Armored were in position on May 29, when the front advanced to the main Caesar C Line defences. However, by the end of January 22, the lack of aggressive action convinced him that a defence could be made. For four days they slugged it out against 3rd Division until finally withdrawing on May 30, having kept Route 6 open and allowed seven divisions from 10th Army to withdraw and head north of Rome. I am disappointed with VI Corps Headquarters. One group moved to By early February German forces in Fourteenth Army had 100,000 troops. On 22 to 30 January 1944 the SS Lawton B. Evans was under repeated bombardment from shore batteries and aircraft throughout an eight-day period. The Allies and Germans fought the battle. Actually, the Germans were able to remove both the monks and the treasures of the abbey; and, after the bombardment ceased, they in… After the war, Kesselring gave his evaluation: It would have been the Anglo-American doom to overextend themselves. In anticipation of the following spring, Kesselring ordered the preparation of a new defence line, the Caesar C line, behind the line of beachhead running from the mouth of the river Tiber just south of Rome through Albano, skirting south of the Alban Hills to Valmontone and across Italy to the Adriatic coast at Pescara, behind which 14th Army and, to their left, 10th Army might withdraw when the need arose. The Battle of Anzio was a battle of the Italian Campaign of World War II that took place from January 22, 1944, with the Allied amphibious landing known as Operation Shingle to June 5, 1944 with the capture of Rome. It was a halfway measure of an offensive; that was your basic error. It used just two infantry divisions with no armour. Most importantly, although the attack towards Valmontone and Route 6 would continue, 1st Armored were to withdraw to prepare to exploit the planned breakthrough along the new line of attack leaving 3rd Division to continue towards Valmontone with 1st Special Service Force in support. The Guards Brigade had suffered devastating casualties (nearly 2,000 of an initial strength of over 2,500) in just less than two months at Anzio. Alexander believed that if the expeditionary force seized the Alban Hills northeast of Anzio, it could block German resupply of Cassino, thus compelling Kesselring to abandon the Gustav Line and retreat to the Apennines. The Germans were well dug into prepared defenses, but were weak in numbers of officers and NCOs and, by the time of the late May offensive, lacked any reserves (which had all been sent south to the Gustav fighting). One of the problems with the plan was the availability of landing ships. Alan Whicker who as a war correspondent with the British Army's Film and Photo Unit, and who was present during the fighting, later said: After breaking out of Anzio, Alexander's plan was for the Fifth Army to drive east to cut Kesselring's escape route to the north and trap much of his Tenth and Fourteenth Armies. Jack C. Montgomery, who won the Medal of Honor by storming three German positions in the Battle of Anzio in World War II, died on June 11 in Muskogee, Okla. It did not immediately work as planned. The operation failed to break through, but it partly succeeded in its primary objective. Both had suffered nearly 20,000 casualties each since the first landings,[40] and it was "far the highest density of destruction in the Italian campaign, perhaps in the whole war". [5] By January he had recovered and was badgering his commanders for a plan of attack, accusing them of not wanting to fight but of being interested only in drawing pay and eating rations. Battle of Anzio Interactive Map. Name of Battle Date(s) Who Won? The infamous battle of Anzio lasted from January 22, 1944 to May 29, 1944. To speed up the advance, Winston Churchill ordered the British commanders to present a plan for a two-division amphibious assault at Anzio, Italy behind the Gustav Line. But according to Keegan, Lucas's actions "achieved the worst of both worlds, exposing his forces to risk without imposing any on the enemy.". It also condemned the Allies to another year of bloody combat in Italy, notably around the Gothic Line from August 1944 through March 1945. It was part of the battle of Anzio that followed Operation Shingle. On the same day Hitler, fearing another Stalingrad, had ordered Kesslering that there should be "no defence of Rome". [32], From February 5 to February 7 both sides employed heavy artillery concentrations and bombers to disrupt the other side and at 21:00 on February 7 the Germans renewed their attack. 10 Allied division equivalents forced a beachhead and held against 26 German division equivalents. The success of an amphibious landing at that location, in a basin consisting substantially of reclaimed marshland and surrounded by mountains, depended on the element of surprise and the swiftness with which the invaders could build up strength and move inland relative to the reaction time and strength of the defenders. In late 1943, the Allied campaign to liberate Italy from the hands of the Germans was at a stalemate along the “Gustav Line,” a natural stronghold of mountainous terrain stretching across the country; just north of Naples. Lieutenant General Mark W. Clark, commander of the U.S. Fifth Army, understood that risk, but he did not pass on his appreciation of the situation to his subordinate,[citation needed] Lucas, who preferred to take time to entrench against an expected counterattack. By late May, there were some 150,000 Allied troops in the bridgehead,[53] including five U.S. and two British divisions, facing five German divisions. However, it was later reselected. [10] However, Clark's final orders stated "... 2. The German units in the immediate vicinity had in fact been dispatched to reinforce the Gustav Line only a few days earlier. Name of Battle Date(s) Who Won? The Italian government quickly surrendered on 8 September 1943. The Battle of Anzio was a battle of the Italian Campaign of World War II. Thirteen Allied troops were killed, and 97 wounded; about 200 Germans had been taken as POWs. "[56] He argued to Alexander that VI Corps did not have the strength to trap the German 10th Army and Alexander, instead of making his requirements clear, was conciliatory and gave the impression that a push on Rome was still a possibility if Buffalo ran into difficulties. Allied intelligence thought that five or six German divisions were in the area, although U.S. 5th Army intelligence severely underestimated the German 10th Army's fighting capacity at the time, believing many of their units would be worn out after the defensive battles fought since September. The Germans also stopped the drainage pumps and flooded the reclaimed marsh with salt water, planning to entrap the Allies and destroy them by epidemic. In the skillfully defended terrain of southern Italy, the Allies in November 1943 during World War II were advancing so slowly that they decided to go around the German defenses by sea, hoping to speed progress to Rome. The VI Corps could also have cut Highway 6 and then put much more pressure on the 10th Army than it actually did.[73]. https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/battle-of-anzio. But, instead of striking inland to cut lines of communication of the German Tenth Army's units fighting at Monte Cassino, Truscott, on Clark's orders, reluctantly turned his forces north-west towards Rome, which was captured on June 4, 1944. Adrian Gilbert is a writer, editor an Advance on Colli Laziali"[11] giving Lucas considerable flexibility as to the timing of any advance on the Alban Hills. Anzio Beachead Video Operation Shingle was originally conceived by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in December 1943, as he lay recovering from pneumonia in Marrakesh. Only enough tank landing ships (LSTs) to land a single division were initially available to Shingle. Operation Shingle, one of the most ill-conceived operations of the war, took place thirty-five miles southwest of Rome on January 22, 1944, when a corps-sized Anglo-American expeditionary force commanded by U.S. major general John P. Lucas landed at Anzio and Nettuno. Questions-European Theatre 1. Numerous attacks were launched on 1st Battalion, Loyal Regiment (2nd Brigade) and they lost a company, overrun, and the day after had suffered 200 casualties. Some hours after the attack started the coherence of the front line had been completely shattered, and the fighting for the salient had given way to small unit actions, swaying back and forth through the gullies. When Lucian Truscott's 3rd Division was first selected for the operation, he pointed out to Clark that the position was a death trap and there would be no survivors. It is clear that Lucas' superiors expected some kind of offensive action from him. [45], Some RSI Italian units fought in the Anzio-Nettuno area, especially since March; the land units were part of the German 14th Army: only the paratroopers of the "Nembo" Battalion were there since February, participating in the German counterattack. Also in March the U.S. 34th Infantry Division and in early May, U.S. 36th Infantry Division, had arrived at Anzio. George Patton, 31 May 1944. Nevertheless he might have 'staked out claims well inland. The Battle of Cisterna was a battle during World War II. Anzio, located 30 miles south of Rome, was one of the deadliest battles of WWII. [14] A few days prior to the attack, Lucas wrote in his diary, "They will end up putting me ashore with inadequate forces and get me in a serious jam... Then, who will get the blame? This push achieved little except to generate a further 2,500 casualties for the 14th Army. On June 2 the Caesar Line collapsed under the mounting pressure, and 14th Army commenced a fighting withdrawal through Rome. The British 1st Infantry Division landed north of Anzio. 18 Dec 1943 : The plan to land several divisions at Anzio, Italy was briefly canceled. He planned to land two divisions at Anzio and capture Rome. This would also reflect the orders he had received from Alexander to "... carry out an assault landing on the beaches in the vicinity of Rome with the object of cutting the enemy lines of communication and threatening the rear of the German XIV Corps [on the Gustav Line]. Anzio, Battle of (1944). [24][25] Lucas initiated a two-pronged attack on January 30. With two divisions landed, and facing two or three times that many Germans, it would have been reasonable for Lucas to consider the beachhead insecure. Jerzy is correct. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! Later, at Churchill's personal insistence, enough were made available to land two divisions. On February 15 the Allies bombed and demolished the Benedictine monastery, erroneously believing that the Germans had occupied and fortified it. The Germans suffered too, with the 362nd Infantry Division estimated to have lost 50% of its fighting strength. ...read more, The Battle of Okinawa (April 1, 1945-June 22, 1945) was the last major battle of World War II, and one of the bloodiest. At the end of 1943, the terrain of central Italy had proved ideally suited to defense. With the breakout from Anzio finally achieved on 23 May, the reunited armies pursued the Germans north. 24 Jan 1944 : German forces in the Anzio, Italy region increased to over 40,000 men. While Lucas consolidated, Field Marshal Albert Kesselring, the German commander in the Italian theatre, moved every unit he could spare into a defensive ring around the beachhead. Then he wanted to attack Rome. Battle of Anzio, (22 January–5 June 1944), World War II event on the coast of Italy, south of Rome. [36] Lucas ordered attacks on February 11 to regain the lost ground but the Germans, forewarned by a radio intercept, repelled the Allies' poorly coordinated attack. [64], At the time, Truscott was shocked, writing later, ...I was dumbfounded. The operation was opposed by German forces in the area of Anzio and Nettuno. You win the war by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country!" "[10] However, his written orders to Lucas did not really reflect this. Further troop movements including the arrival of U.S. 45th Infantry Division and U.S. 1st Armored Division, brought Allied forces total on the beachhead to 69,000 men, 508 guns and 208 tanks by January 29, whilst the total defending Germans had risen to 71,500. [57] On May 6, Clark informed Truscott that "..the capture of Rome is the only important objective and to be ready to execute Turtle as well as Buffalo". The purpose was to flank the heavy fortifications known as the "Gustav Line" that German General Albert Kesselring had built across Italy south of Rome. May 18, 2018 - The 2016 National Memorial Day Concert features a tribute of a Medal of Honor recipient who fought against all odds at the Battle of Anzio. Forty minutes later the guns paused as attacks were made by close air support and then resumed as the infantry and armour moved forward. This multi-faceted battle marked one of the longest and bloodiest engagements of the Italian campaign during World War II. Anzio Beach was a stretch of sand 15 miles long and 7 miles deep. By midnight, 36,000 soldiers and 3,200 vehicles had landed on the beaches. An American Ordnance unit that could boast a battle history dating back to Tobruk blamed its presence at Anzio on its proclivity for always being in the worst place at the worst time. Allied forces at Anzio Beachhead - 22nd Jan 1944. It began with the Allied amphibious landing known as Operation Shingle, an ended with the capture of Rome. He had clearly made great political efforts to procure certain resources, especially the extra LSTs needed to deliver a second division to shore, but also specific units useful to the attack such as with the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment. The landing … The trap was left open. [62], On the evening of May 25, Truscott received new orders from Clark via his Operations Officer, Brigadier General Don Brand. As a result, the forces of the German Tenth Army fighting at Cassino were able to withdraw and rejoin the rest of Kesselring's forces north of Rome, regroup, and make a fighting withdrawal to his next major prepared defensive position on the Gothic Line. 217 relations. In fact there is no military reason for Shingle. However, the 5th Army did not have the troops nor the means to transport them. On the 26th the order was put into effect. All available reserves from the southern front or on their way to it were rushed toward Anzio and Nettuno; these included the 3rd Panzer Grenadier and 71st Infantry Divisions, and the bulk of the Luftwaffe's Hermann Göring Panzer Division. [69] Over the next day, the rearguards were gradually overwhelmed, and Rome was entered in the early hours of June 4 with Clark holding an impromptu press conference on the steps of the Town Hall on the Capitoline Hill that morning. [65], There has never been any doubt in my mind that had General Clark held loyally to General Alexander's instructions, had he not changed the direction of my attack to the north-west on May 26, the strategic objectives of Anzio would have been accomplished in full. It happened on 30 January-2 February 1944 near Cisterna, Italy. After a month of heavy but inconclusive fighting, Lucas was relieved and sent home. 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