The U.S. Navy’s decisive victory in the air-sea battle (June 3-6, 1942) and its successful defense of the major base located at more. [60], Mackensen had been convinced that the Allies' main thrust would be up the Via Anziate, and the ferocity of the British feint on May 23 and 24 did nothing to persuade him otherwise. [62], On the evening of May 25, Truscott received new orders from Clark via his Operations Officer, Brigadier General Don Brand. [33] Once more the fighting was fierce and they managed to infiltrate between the 5th Battalion, Grenadier Guards (24th Guards Brigade) and the 2nd Battalion, North Staffordshire Regiment (2nd Brigade) and nearly surrounded them; it was during this period that Major William Sidney, a company commander in the 5th Grenadier Guards, was awarded the Victoria Cross. By midnight, 36,000 soldiers and 3,200 vehicles had landed on the beaches. 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). Advance on Colli Laziali"[11] giving Lucas considerable flexibility as to the timing of any advance on the Alban Hills. » Battle of Anzio; Map of Anzio-Cassino area in Italy, 17 Jan-19 Feb 1944: Map of Allied force dispositions at Anzio, Italy, ... "No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. However, a counterattack using VI Corps' reserves halted the German advance, and on February 20, Fischfang petered out with both sides exhausted. His artillery units had a clear view of every Allied position. Anzio, Battle of (1944). While one force was to cut Highway 7 at Cisterna before moving east into the Alban Hills, a second was to advance northeast up the Via Anziate towards Campoleone. Theodore Reed Fehrenbach, the author of this book, explains to you one of the bloodiest battles of World War II. Despite being heavily criticized Churchill always defended the battle of Anzio, with the reasoning that even though the operation failed it proved to achieve tactical goals and it was successful in holding the German forces that were in Italy from reaching Normandy. Volume 5 of Churchill's The Second World War is riddled with implied criticism of Lucas, blaming the failure on his caution. Any delay could result in the occupation of the mountains by the defenders and the consequent entrapment of the invaders. He had written on February 10 to General Alexander[37] encouraging him to exert his authority and Alexander had visited the beachhead on February 14 to tell Lucas he wished for a breakout as soon as the tactical situation allowed. It is clear that Lucas' superiors expected some kind of offensive action from him. He argued that even regardless of the tactical outcome of the operation, there was immediate strategic benefit with regard to the wider war. © 2021 A&E Television Networks, LLC. [citation needed] Their performance at Anzio led to designation as units of the Waffen-SS, with all the duties and rights that that entailed. He wanted to get around German forces on the Winter 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.". 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 Germans also stopped the drainage pumps and flooded the reclaimed marsh with salt water, planning to entrap the Allies and destroy them by epidemic. The New Zealanders and their allies who fought at Cassino also softened up the defence for the next attack later that year in May, but New Zealand and her allies lost much as well. 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. The American commanders in particular were determined that nothing should delay the Normandy invasion and the supporting landings in southern France. [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? 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. The Wiki page fully explains Anzio. The battle was Germany’s last chance to regain more, The Battle of Britain in World War II was between Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF) and the Luftwaffe, Nazi Germany’s air force, and was the first battle in history fought solely in the air. 18 Dec 1943 : The plan to land several divisions at Anzio, Italy was briefly canceled. 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. [29], Even though the base of the salient was nearly broken, Lucas was able to bolster the British 1st Division's defenses with the newly arrived 168th Brigade (from the 56th Division, containing 1st Battalion, London Irish Rifles, 1st Battalion, London Scottish, 10th Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment). All the tanks used on both sides were post war US models in different paint schemes - possibly M-47's as used in the film Battle of the Bulge made 4 years earlier. To support the landings, Major General Robert T. Frederick's 1st Airborne Task Force was to drop around Le Muy, approximately halfway between Draguignan and … Anzio was an important part of cracking open the Gustav Line, the German defensive line south of Rome. 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. These canals divided the land into personal tracts with new stone houses for colonists from north Italy. Churchill defended the operation[72] and believed that sufficient forces were available. The Fifth Army's attack on the Gustav Line began on January 16, 1944, at Monte Cassino. Heinrich von Vietinghoff, commanding the Gustav Line, called for reinforcements, and Kesselring transferred the 29th and 90th Panzergrenadier Divisions from Rome. To be first in Rome was a poor compensation for this lost opportunity. It began on January 22, 1944, with an amphibious landing to break German's Gustav Line in Italy. His concept was to land two divisions at Anzio, bypassing German forces in central Italy, and take Rome, the strategic objective of the current Battle of Rome. 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. Overall Significance Casualties Battle of the Atlantic Battle of Stalingrad Operation Torch Battle of Anzio Battle of the Bulge D-Day- Operation Overlord Battle of Berlin VE Day -Victory in Europe Day . The Germans disarmed the Italians and took over the defense of Italy, but Naples and Foggia fell to the Allies on 1 October 1943. Thid was defensive line across Italy. Although resistance had been expected, as seen at Salerno during 1943, the initial landings were essentially unopposed, with the exception of desultory Luftwaffe strafing runs. The Anzio and Nettuno beaches are on marshland. Climbing the steep slopes of Monte Artemisio they threatened Velletri from the rear and obliged the defenders to withdraw. 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). The second battle began on 15 February, with the controversial destruction of the monastery by heavy and medium bombers. In the morning of February 4 the situation was becoming more serious, with the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards (of 24th Guards Brigade), only having one cohesive rifle company left and on the opposite side of the salient, the 6th Battalion, Gordon Highlanders (of 2nd Brigade) was beginning to crumble and later lost three complete companies as prisoners. At the end of 1943, following the Allied invasion of Italy, Allied forces were stuck at the Gustav Line. 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. Mussolini also founded the five cities destroyed by the battle. Be prepared to advance on Rome". The point of the landing was to turn the German defences on the Winter Line, taking advantage of their exposed rear and hopefully panicking them into retreating northwards past Rome. Liberty ships, which were never intended as warships, were involved in some fighting during the battle of Anzio. [c] Although VI Corps had suffered over 3,300 casualties in the three days fighting, Operation Buffalo was going to plan, and Truscott was confident that a concerted attack by 1st Armored and 3rd Infantry Divisions the next day would get his troops astride Route 6. 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. In fact there is no military reason for Shingle. Raising the pressure further, Clark assigned U.S. II Corps which, fighting its way along the coast from the Gustav Line, had joined up with VI Corps on May 25 to attack around the right hand side of the Alban Hills and advance along the line of Route 6 to Rome. [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. Three days after the landings, the beachhead was surrounded by a defence line consisting of three divisions: The 4th Parachute Division to the west, the 3rd Panzer Grenadier Division to the center in front of Alban Hills, the Hermann Göring Panzer Division to the east. [41] Also on February 18 while returning to Anzio the light cruiser HMS Penelope was struck by two torpedoes and sunk with a loss of 417 men. As the plan developed, the Agro Pontino, an area of reclaimed marshland near Anzio and Nettuno, was chosen as the landing area. The Battle of Anzio was a battle of the Italian Campaign of World War II. 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. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! [6] General Harold Alexander, commander of the Allied Armies in Italy, had already considered such a plan since October using five divisions. Nevertheless, few additional defenders arrived on January 23, although the arrival on the evening of January 22 of Lieutenant General Alfred Schlemm and his 1st Parachute Corps headquarters brought greater organisation and purpose to the German defensive preparations. Battle of the Atlantic: a. 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. The Germans suffered too, with the 362nd Infantry Division estimated to have lost 50% of its fighting strength. [71], Furthermore, Field Marshal Sir Harold Alexander, in his Official Dispatch, stated, "The actual course of events was probably the most advantageous in the end."[71]. 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. One of the problems with the plan was the availability of landing ships. Do you know who won each of these battles? "[11] and "[The operation] has a strong odour of Gallipoli and apparently the same amateur was still on the coach's bench. Lucas wrote in his diary on February 15:[47]. However, Lucas, who had little confidence in the operation as planned, failed to capitalize on the element of surprise and delayed his advance until he judged his position was sufficiently consolidated and he had sufficient strength. Kesselring, however, was convinced that the Allies' intentions were to gain Route 6 and ordered the Hermann Göring Panzer Division, resting 150 miles (240 km) away at Livorno,[c] to Valmontone to hold open Route 6 for the Tenth Army, which was retreating up this road from Cassino. They question whether the initial landing of just over two infantry divisions, with no supporting armour, had the strength to achieve the objectives: of cutting Route 6 and then holding off the inevitable counterattacks that would come, as Kesselring redeployed his forces. It did not immediately work as planned. 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. 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. It happened on 30 January-2 February 1944 near Cisterna, Italy. It endured a prolonged barrage of shrapnel, machine-gun fire and bombs. [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. [24][25] Lucas initiated a two-pronged attack on January 30. The operation was opposed by German forces in the area of Anzio and Nettuno. Allied naval commanders for Operation Shingle, The invasion plan originally assigned this unit to make a. Livorno is referred to as "Leghorn" in contemporary Allied maps and documents. 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. A succession of attacks resulted in heavy casualties on both sides, though no budge in the stalemate for four months.