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Operation Shingle (January 22, 1944), during the Italian Campaign of World War II, was an Allied amphibious landing against Axis forces in the area of Anziomarker and Nettunomarker, Italymarker. The operation was commanded by Major General John P. Lucas and was intended to outflank German forces of the Winter Line and enable an attack on Romemarker. The resulting combat is commonly called the Battle of Anzio.

Background

At the end of 1943, following the Allied invasion of Italy, Allied forces were bogged down at the Gustav Line, a defensive line across Italy south of the strategic objective of Romemarker. The terrain of central Italy had proved ideally suited to defense, and Field Marshal Albert Kesselring took full advantage. Several Allied proposals were made to break the stalemate, but Winston Churchill's idea for "Operation Shingle" was initially looked upon with disdain by the US General George Marshall, who was more concerned with planning a massive Normandy invasion than listening to Churchill's ideas about amphibious operations. Only after Churchill made a personal plea was the idea accepted by Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Joseph Stalin, who welcomed any major Allied offensive that would take pressure off the Eastern Front. A major attack in the south by the U.S. Fifth Army, commanded by Lieutenant-General Mark W. Clark, would draw Germany's depleted forces away from the area around Rome and from the hills between Rome and the coast. This would make possible a surprise landing by Fifth Army's U.S. VI Corps under the command of Maj. Gen. John P. Lucas in the Anzio/Nettuno area, and a rapid advance into the Alban Hillsmarker to cut German communications and "threaten the rear of the German XIV Panzer Corps" under General Fridolin von Senger und Etterlin.

Plan

Planners argued that if Kesselring (in charge of German forces in Italy) pulled troops out of the Gustav Line to defend against the Allied assault, then Allied forces would be able to break through the line; if Kesselring did not pull troops out of the Gustav Line, then Operation Shingle would threaten to capture Rome and cut off the German units defending the Gustav Line. Should Germany have adequate reinforcements available to defend both Rome and the Gustav Line, the Allies felt that the operation would nevertheless be useful in engaging forces which could otherwise be committed on another front. The operation was officially canceled on 18 December, 1943. However, it was later reselected.

General Clark did not feel he had the numbers on the southern front to exploit any breakthrough. His plan therefore was relying on the southern offensive drawing Kesselring's reserves in and providing the Anzio force the opportunity to break inland quickly. 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]." However, his written orders to Lucas did not really reflect this. Initially Lucas had received orders to "1. Seize and secure a beachhead in the vicinity of Anzio 2. Advance and secure Colli Laziali [the Alban Hills] 3. Be prepared to advance on Rome". However, Clark's final orders stated "...2. Advance on Colli Laziali" giving Lucas considerable flexibility as to the timing of any advance on the Alban Hills. It is likely that the caution displayed by both Clark and Lucas was to some extent a product of Clark's experiences at the tough battle for the Salerno beach head and Lucas' natural caution stemming from his lack of experience in battle.

Neither Clark nor Lucas had full confidence in either their superiors or the operational plan. Along with most of the Fifth Army staff they felt that Shingle was properly a two corps or even a full army task. 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?" and "[The operation] has a strong odour of Gallipoli and apparently the same amateur was still on the coach's bench." The "amateur" can only have referred to Winston Churchill, architect of the disastrous Gallipoli landings of World War I and personal advocate of Shingle.

Availability of naval forces

One of the problems with the plan was the availability of landing ships. The American commanders in particular were determined that nothing should delay the Normandy invasion and the supporting landings in southern France. Operation Shingle would require the use of landing ships necessary for these operations. Initially Shingle was to release these assets by January 15. However, this being deemed problematic, President Roosevelt granted permission for the craft to remain until February 5.

Only enough tank landing ships (LSTs) to land a single division were initially available to Shingle. Later, at Churchill's personal insistence, enough were made available to land two divisions. 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.

Order of battle

Allied forces in this attack consisted of 5 cruisers, 24 destroyers, 238 landing craft, 62+ other ships, 40,000 soldiers, and 5,000+ vehicles.

The attack consisted of three groups:

The British force ("Peter Beach")

This force attacked the coast 6 miles (10 km) north of Anzio.

The northwestern U.S. Force ("Yellow Beach")

This force attacked the port of Anzio.



The southwestern U.S. Force ("X-Ray Beach")

This force attacked the coast 6 miles (10 km) east of Anzio. The invasion plan originally assigned the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment to make a parachute assault near Apriliamarker, eight miles north of Anzio, which would have placed it in position for an early capture of the key road junction at Campoleonemarker, which was not taken until late May. However these plans were scrapped on 20 January, apparently because of the high losses during the airborne assaults at Sicily. The 504th PIR was then assigned to land by sea.



Southern attack

The Fifth Army's attack on the Gustav Line began on January 16, 1944, at Monte Cassinomarker. Although the operation failed to break through, it did succeed in part in its primary objective. General Heinrich von Vietinghoff, commanding the Gustav Line, called for reinforcements, and Kesselring transferred the 29th and 90th Panzergrenadier Divisions from Rome.

Battle

Initial Landings

Force dispositions at Anzio and Cassino January / February 1944
The landings began on January 22, 1944.

Although resistance had been expected, as seen at Salernomarker during 1943, the initial landings were essentially unopposed, with the exception of desultory Luftwaffe strafing runs.

By midnight, 36,000 soldiers and 3,200 vehicles had landed on the beaches. Thirteen Allied troops were killed, and 97 wounded; about 200 Germans had been taken as POWs. The 1st Division penetrated 2 miles (3 km) inland, the Rangers captured Anzio's port, the 509th PIB captured Nettuno, and the 3rd Division penetrated 3 miles (5 km) inland.

In the first days of operations, the command of the Italian resistance movement had a meeting with the Allied General Headquarters: it offered to guide the Allied Force in the Alban Hillsmarker territory, but the Allied Command refused the proposal.

After the landings

It is clear that Lucas's superiors expected some kind of offensive action from him. 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. However, Lucas instead poured more men and material into his tiny bridgehead, and strengthened his defences.

Winston Churchill was clearly displeased with this action. "I had hoped we were hurling a wildcat into the shore, but all we got was a stranded whale," he said.

Lucas's decision remains a controversial one. 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. Nevertheless he might have 'staked out claims well inland.'" However, Lucas did not have confidence in the strategic planning of the operation. Also, he could certainly argue that his interpretation of his orders from Gen. Clark was not an unreasonable one. With two divisions landed, and facing two or three times that many Germans, it would not have been unreasonable for Lucas to consider the beachhead insecure. But according to Keegan, Lucas's actions "achieved the worst of both worlds, exposing his forces to risk without imposing any on the enemy."

Response of Axis forces

British POWs near Nettuno
Kesselring was informed of the landings at 03:00 on January 22. Although the landings came as a surprise, Kesselring had made contingency plans to deal with possible landings at all the likely locations. All the plans relied on his divisions each having previously organised a motorised rapid reaction unit (Kampfgruppe) which could move speedily to meet the threat and buy time for the rest of the defenses to get in place. At 05:00 he ordered the Kampfgruppe of 4th Parachute Division and the Hermann Göring Division to defend the roads leading from Anzio to the Alban Hillsmarker via Campoleonemarker and Cisterna whilst his plans expected some 20,000 defending troops to have arrived by the end of the first day. In addition, he requested that OKW send reinforcements, and in response to this they ordered the equivalent of more than three divisions from Francemarker, Yugoslavia, and Germanymarker whilst at the same time releasing to Kesselring a further three divisions in Italy which had been under OKW's direct command. Later that morning, he ordered Generaloberst Eberhard von Mackensen (Fourteenth Army) and Gen. von Vietinghoff (Tenth Army - Gustav Line) to send him additional reinforcements.

The German units in the immediate vicinity had in fact been dispatched to reinforce the Gustav Line only a few days earlier. All available reserves from the southern front or on their way to it were rushed toward Anzio; these included the 3rd Panzer Grenadier and 71st Infantry Divisions, and the bulk of the Luftwaffe's Hermann Göring Panzer Division. Kesselring initially considered that a successful defence could not be made if the Allies launched a major attack on January 23 or January 24. However, by the end of January 22, the lack of aggressive action convinced him that a defence could be made. Nevertheless, few additional defenders arrived on January 23 although the arrival on the evening of January 22 of General Alfred Schlemm and his 1st Parachute Corps headquarters brought greater organisation and purpose to the German defensive preparations. By January 24, however, the Germans had over 40,000 troops in prepared defensive positions.

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.

The Wehrmacht's 14th Army, commanded by Gen. von Mackensen, assumed control of the defence on January 25. Elements of eight German divisions were employed in the defence line around the beachhead, and five more divisions were on their way to the Anzio area. Kesselring ordered an attack on the beachhead for January 28, though it was postponed to February 1.

Allied offensive

Allied force dispositions on 1 February, 1944
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. Lucas initiated a two-pronged attack on January 30. 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. In heavy fighting British 1st Division made ground but failed to take Campoleone and ended the battle in an exposed salient stretching up the Via Anziate. On the right, two Ranger battalions made a daring covert advance towards Cisterna in advance of the main assault. (see Battle of Cisterna) Due to faulty intelligence, when daylight arrived they were engaged and cut off. A brutal battle with elements of the Hermann Göring division followed. After several hours of fighting which saw the Ranger's ammunition supplies run low, the Germans drove a group of US prisoners at bayonet point towards the US position, demanding surrender. Each time a German was shot, a prisoner was bayonetted. Rangers began surrendering individually or in small groups prompting others, acting on their own authority, to shoot them. Of the 767 men in the 1st and 3rd Ranger Battalions, 6 returned to the Allied lines and 761 were killed or captured. The attack of the 3rd Division captured ground up to three miles deep on a seven-mile wide front, but failed to break through or capture Cisterna.

German counterattacks

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. Allied forces by this time totalled 76,400 (including the recently arrived British 56th Infantry Division) After a making exploratory probes on the Campoleone salient on the afternoon of February 3 the German forces launched a full counterattack at 23.00 in order to reduce the salient and "iron out" the front line.. Von Mackensen had planned for the salient to be ground away rather than employing a rapid, focused thrust to cut it off. 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. In the morning of the 4 February the situation was becoming more serious, the Irish Guards only had one cohesive company left and on the opposite side of the salient, the companies of the 6th Gordon Highlanders were beginning to crumble. However, even though the base of the salient was nearly broken, Lucas was able to bolster 1st Infantry Division's defenses with one of the newly-arrived brigades from 56th Division, allowing the withdrawal into reserve of 3rd Infantry Brigade from the nose of the salient where it had become vulnerable to being pinched out. From 5 February to 7 February both sides employed heavy artillery concentrations and bombers to disrupt the other side. At 21.00 on 7 February the Germans renewed their attack. Once more the fighting was fierce and it was during this period that Major William Sidney of the Grenadier Guards won the Victoria Cross. Slowly the Allies were forced to give ground and by February 10 they had been pushed out of the salient. Lucas ordered attacks on 11 February to regain the lost ground but the Germans, forewarned by a radio intercept, repelled the Allies' poorly coordinated attack.

On February 16 the Germans launched a new offensive (Operation Fischfang) down the line of the Via Anziate. By February 18, after desperate fighting, the Allies' Final Beachhead Line (prepared defenses more or less on the line of the original beachhead) was under attack. However, a counterattack using VI Corps' reserves halted the German advance, and Fischfang petered out with both sides exhausted. During Fischfang the Germans had sustained 5,400 casualties, the Allies 3,500. Both had suffered 20,000 casualties each since the first landings. Also on February 18 while returning to Anzio the HMS Penelope light cruiser was struck by two torpedoes and sunk with a loss of 417 men.Despite the exhausted state of the troops, Hitler insisted that 14th Army should continue to attack. Consequently a further assault was mounted on February 29, this time on LXXVI Panzer Corps' front around Cisterna. This push achieved little except to generate a further 2,500 casualties for the 14th Army.

Lucas replaced

Churchill had continued to bridle at Lucas' perceived passivity. He had written on 10 February to Alexander encouraging him to exert his authority and Alexander had visited the beachhead on 14 February to tell Lucas he wished for a breakout as soon as the tactical situation allowed. After his visit Alexander wrote to the CIGS, Alan Brooke, saying: Lucas wrote in his diary on 15 February:

On 16 February at a high level conference hosted by Alexander and attended by Clark and Wilson, commander AFHQ it was decided to appoint two deputies under Lucas, Lucian Truscott and the British Major-General Vyvyan Evelegh. On 22 February Clark replaced Lucas with Truscott, appointing Lucas deputy commander 5th Army until such time as a suitable job could be found for him back in the United States.

Stalemate: planning for Operation Diadem

Allied plan of attack for 'Operation Diadem', May 1944


Both sides had realised that no decisive result could be achieved until the spring and reverted to a defensive posture involving aggressive patrolling and artillery duels whilst they worked to rebuild their fighting capabilities. 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 Albanomarker, skirting south of the Alban Hills to Valmontonemarker and across Italy to the Adriaticmarker coast at Pescaramarker, behind which 14th Army and, to their left, 10th Army might withdraw when the need arose. Meanwhile, Lucian Truscott, who had been promoted from the command of U.S. 3rd Infantry Division to replace Lucas as commander of VI Corps on February 22, worked with his staff on the plans for a decisive attack as part of a general offensive which General Harold Alexander, commander of Allied forces in Italy, was planning for May and which would include a major offensive on the Gustav Line, Operation Diadem (which was later to be called the fourth Battle of Cassino). The objective of the plan was to fully engage Kesselring's armies with a major offensive and remove any prospect of the Germans withdrawing forces from Italy to redeploy elsewhere. It was also intended to trap the bulk of the German Tenth Army between the Allied forces advancing through the Gustav Line and VI Corps thrusting inland from Anzio.

In March, the 2nd Italian SS "Vendetta" Battalion and 29th Italian SS Rifle Battalion were sent to fight against the Anglo-American forces at the Anzio/Nettuno beachhead. Dispersed among German battalions, the German commanding officers later gave the Italians companies favourable reports. Because of the demonstration of courage and sense of duty displayed by the volunteers of the Italian SS, they are designated as units of the Waffen-SS, with all the duties and rights that that entailed.

In March, U.S. 34th Infantry Division and in early May, U.S. 36th Infantry Division had arrived at Anzio whilst the British 56th Infantry Division had been relieved by British 5th Infantry Division. By late May, there were some 150,000 Allied troops in the bridgehead including five U.S. and two British divisions, facing five German divisions. 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).
The Allied breakout from Anzio and advance from the Gustav Line May 1944
Despite Alexander's overall plan for Diadem requiring VI Corps to strike inland and cut Route 6, Clark asked Truscott to prepare alternatives and to be ready to switch from one to another at 48 hours' notice. 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. Operation Turtle on the other hand foresaw a main thrust to the left of the Alban Hills taking Campoleone, Albano and on to Rome. On May 5, Alexander selected Buffalo and issued Clark with orders to this effect.

However, Clark was determined that VI Corps should strike directly for Rome as evidenced in his later writing: "We not only wanted the honour of capturing Rome, but felt that we deserved it...Not only did we intend to become the first army to seize Rome from the south, but we intended to see that people at home knew that it was the Fifth Army that did the job, and knew the price that had been paid for it.". 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. 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".

Truscott's planning for Buffalo was meticulous: British 5th Division and 1st Division on the left were to attack along the coast and up the Via Anziate to pin the German 4th Parachute, 65th Infantry and 3rd Panzergrenadier in place whilst the U.S. 45th Infantry, 1st Armored and 3rd Infantry Divisions would launch the main assault, engaging the German 362nd and 715th Infantry Divisions and striking towards Campoleone, Velletrimarker and Cisterna respectively. On the Allies' far right, the 1st Special Service Force would protect the American assault's flank.

Breakout

At 05:45 on May 23, 1944, 1,500 Allied artillery pieces commenced bombardment. Forty minutes later the guns paused as attacks were made by close air support and then resumed as the infantry and armour moved forward. The first day's fighting was intense: 1st Armored Division lost 100 tanks and 3rd Infantry Division suffered 955 casualties, the highest single day figure for any U.S. division during World War II. The Germans suffered too, with 362nd Infantry Division estimated to have lost 50% of its fighting strength.

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 May 24 did nothing to persuade him otherwise. 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 Livornomarker, to Valmontone to hold open Route 6 for the Tenth Army, which was retreating up this road from Cassino.

In the afternoon of May 25 Cisterna finally fell to 3rd Division who had had to go house to house winkling out the German 362nd Infantry which had refused to withdraw and, as a consequence, had virtually ceased to exist by the end of the day. 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 (5 km) of Valmontone and were in contact with units of the Herman Göring Division which were just starting to arrive from Leghorn. 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 final move on Rome
On the evening of May 25 Truscott received new orders from Clark via his Operations Officer, Brigadier General Don Brand. These were, in effect, to implement Operation Turtle and turn the main line of attack ninety degrees to the left. 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 Valmontonemarker with 1st Special Service Force in support. Clark informed Alexander of these developments late in the morning of May 26 by which time the change of orders was a fait accompli.

At the time, Truscott was shocked, writing later "...I was dumbfounded. This was no time to drive to the north-west where the enemy was still strong; we should pour our maximum power into the Valmontone Gap to insure the destruction of the retreating German Army. I would not comply with the order without first talking to General Clark in person. ...[However] he was not on the beachhead and could not be reached even by radio....such was the order that turned the main effort of the beachhead forces from the Valmontone Gap and prevented destruction of the German Tenth Army. On the 26th the order was put into effect.". He went on to write "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. To be first in Rome was a poor compensation for this lost opportunity".

On May 26, whilst VI Corps was initiating its difficult maneuver, Kesselring threw elements of 4 divisions into the Velletri gap to stall the advance on Route 6. For four days they slugged it out against 3rd Division until finally withdrawing on May 30, having kept Route 6 open and allowed 7 divisions from 10th Army to withdraw and head north of Rome.

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. Nevertheless, an early breakthrough seemed unlikely until on May 30 Major-General Fred Walker's 36th Division found a gap in the Caesar Line at the join between 1st Parachute Corps and LXXVI Panzer Corps. Climbing the steep slopes of Monte Artemisio they threatened Velletri from the rear and obliged the defenders to withdraw. This was a key turning point, and von Mackensen offered his resignation which Kesselring accepted.

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.

On June 2 the Caesar Line collapsed under the mounting pressure, and 14th Army commenced a fighting withdrawal through Rome. On the same day Hitler, fearing another Battle of Stalingradmarker, had ordered Kesslering that there should be "no defence of Rome". Over the next three days the rearguards were gradually overwhelmed, and Rome was entered in the early hours of June 5 with Clark holding an impromptu press conference on the steps of the Town Hall on the Capitoline Hillmarker that morning. He ensured the event was a strictly American affair by stationing military police at road junctions to refuse entry to the city by British military personnel.

Aftermath

Although controversy continues regarding what might have happened had General Lucas been more aggressive from the start, most commentators agree that the initial Anzio plan was flawed, questioning whether the initial landing of just over two infantry divisions with no supporting armour had had the strength to achieve the objective of cutting Route 6 and then holding off the inevitable counterattacks which would come as Kesselring re-deployed his forces.

Volume 5 of Churchill's The Second World War is riddled with implied criticism of Lucas, blaming the failure of Operation Shingle on his caution. However, Kesselring after the war was to opine Furthermore, Alexander in his Official Despatch was to say "the actual course of events was probably the most advantageous in the end."

Churchill defended the Anzio operation. In his view, sufficient forces were available. He had clearly made great political efforts to procure certain resources, especially the extra LST needed to deliver a second division to shore, but also specific units useful to the attack such as U.S. 504th Parachute Regiment. He argued that even regardless of the tactical outcome of the operation, there was immediate strategic benefit with regard to the wider war. Following the landings, the German High Command dropped plans to transfer five of Kesselring's best divisions to North West Europe. This gave obvious benefit with regard to the upcoming Operation Overlord. Churchill also had to ensure the British dominated forces in Italy were contributing to the war at a time when the Russians were suffering tremendous losses on the Eastern Front.

What is clear is that because of Clark's change of plan, Operation Diadem (during which U.S. 5th and British 8th Armies sustained 44,000 casualties) failed in its objective of destroying the German 10th Army and condemned the Allies to a further year of brutal combat notably around the Gothic Line from August 1944 to May 1945. The greatest irony was that if the VI Corps main effort had continued on the Valmontonemarker axis on 26 May and the days following, Clark could undoubtedly have reached Rome more quickly than he was able to do by the route northwest from Cisterna. The VI Corps also could have cut Highway 6 and put far greater pressure on the Tenth Army than it did.

Noted participants

  • Denis Healey - later a prominent Labour Party politician - was the Military Landing Officer for the British assault brigade at Anzio.
  • Pink Floyd bassist and songwriter Roger Waters' father Eric Fletcher Waters was killed during Operation Shingle at Anzio. Much of the Pink Floyd album The Final Cut contains references to this, in particular the song When the Tigers Broke Free.
  • The current controller of BBC Radio 1 Andy Parfitt's father, John Raymond Parfitt was part of the British force landing at Anzio. He was shot in the head and badly wounded in early February.
  • "Angelita" was the name of a little girl, a war orphan, whom Pte. Christopher S. Hayes of the Royal Scots Fusiliers claimed to have found and about this story he asked for information to the major of Anzio 20 years later. Reportedly, she became the platoon mascot but was killed just a few days later. The story has variations on which army adopted her and how she was killed, leading some to conclude that it could be only a legend; this is the opinion of historian Carlo D'Este who has labeled it a 'myth' of the battle. Regardless, the story has come to symbolize the plight of all the children in all the wars and has been the inspiration for one of the most moving and successful Italian songs in the 60's. The town of Anzio erected a monument in Angelita's memory, unveiled in the International Year of the Child (1979).
  • James Arness (born May 26, 1923 in Minneapolis, Minnesota as James Aurness) is an actor best known for portraying Marshal Matt Dillon on the T.V. series Gunsmoke for 20 years. Arness served in the United States Army during World War II, and was severely wounded at the Battle of Anzio, leading to a lifelong slight limp.
  • Bill Mauldin noted cartoonist and author of the Willie and Joe series which appeared in the American Army newspaper Stars and Stripes was at Anzio, serving with the 45th Infantry Division.
  • Audie L. Murphy Hollywood actor, Murphy became the most decorated United States combat soldier in United States military history. He received the Medal of Honor, the U.S. military's highest award for valor, along with 32 additional U.S. medals. Served with Company B, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division.
  • James Chichester-Clark, Baron Moyola, a newly commissioner officer in the Irish Guards, who was later the fifth Prime Minister of Northern Ireland and eighth leader of the Ulster Unionist Party.
  • BBC reporter Alan Whicker was at Anzio as a member of the British Army Film and Photo Unit. His 2004 documentary, Whicker's War describes his experiences there.


In Media

Wynford Vaughan-Thomas, who had been the BBC war correspondent at the battle, wrote the book Anzio in 1961. In 1968, Anzio, a film adaption of the book, was released.

The Pink Floyd song "When the Tigers Broke Free" is narrated from the point of view of a son whose father perished at the "Anzio Bridgehead".

See also





Notes

Footnotes
  1. Clark (2006), p. 69
  2. Clark (2006), p. 85
  3. Clark (2006), pp.70—71
  4. Clark (2006), p. 76
  5. Clark (2006), p. 77
  6. Laurie in CMH Publication 72-19, p. 9
  7. John Colville (2004), The Fringes of Power–Downing Street Diaries 1939-1955. London: Wiedenfield and Nicolson, p. 456.
  8. Clark (2006), p. 83
  9. Clark (2006), p. 101
  10. Clark (2006), p. 123
  11. Clark (2006), pp. 134 & 136
  12. King (1985), Ch 4
  13. Clark (2006), p. 158
  14. Clark (2006), p. 160
  15. Clark (2006), p. 162
  16. Clark (2006), p. 165
  17. Clark (2006), p. 166
  18. Clark (2006), p. 172
  19. Clark (2006), p. 173
  20. Clark (2006), pp. 175–197
  21. Clark (2006), pp. 209–216
  22. Clark (2006), p. 174
  23. Clark (2006), p. 177
  24. Clark (2006), pp. 197–198
  25. Clark (2006), pp219–220
  26. pp. 18-19
  27. Clark (2006), p. 281
  28. Clark (2006), p. 271
  29. Clark (2006), pp. 271–272
  30. Clark (2006), p. 272
  31. Clark (2006), p. 273
  32. Clark (2006), p. 277
  33. Clark (2006), pp. 281–2
  34. Clark (2006), p. 287
  35. Livorno is referred to as "Leghorn" in contemporary Allied maps and documents
  36. Clark (2006), p. 291
  37. Clark (2006), p. 300
  38. Clark (2006), p. 301
  39. Clark (2006), p. 302
  40. Majdalany (1957), p. 256
  41. Majdalany (1957), p. 259
  42. Clark (2006), p. 304
  43. Clark (2006), p. 307
  44. Clark (2006), p. 311
  45. Clark (2006), pp. 309–319
  46. Churchill, Winston: The Second World War, Volume 5, p436
  47. Mathews, p. 363
  48. Dodge City Globe story on Angelita. Here it is claimed she was adopted by U.S. troops.
  49. Angelita di Anzio (Angelita from Anzio) song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvJaY4uJ_nE
  50. Whicker's War
Citations
  1. Clark (2006), p. 69
  2. Clark (2006), p. 85
  3. Clark (2006), pp.70—71
  4. Clark (2006), p. 76
  5. Clark (2006), p. 77
  6. Laurie in CMH Publication 72-19, p. 9
  7. John Colville (2004), The Fringes of Power–Downing Street Diaries 1939-1955. London: Wiedenfield and Nicolson, p. 456.
  8. Clark (2006), p. 83
  9. Clark (2006), p. 101
  10. Clark (2006), p. 123
  11. Clark (2006), pp. 134 & 136
  12. King (1985), Ch 4
  13. Clark (2006), p. 158
  14. Clark (2006), p. 160
  15. Clark (2006), p. 162
  16. Clark (2006), p. 165
  17. Clark (2006), p. 166
  18. Clark (2006), p. 172
  19. Clark (2006), p. 173
  20. Clark (2006), pp. 175–197
  21. Clark (2006), pp. 209–216
  22. Clark (2006), p. 174
  23. Clark (2006), p. 177
  24. Clark (2006), pp. 197–198
  25. Clark (2006), pp219–220
  26. pp. 18-19
  27. Clark (2006), p. 281
  28. Clark (2006), p. 271
  29. Clark (2006), pp. 271–272
  30. Clark (2006), p. 272
  31. Clark (2006), p. 273
  32. Clark (2006), p. 277
  33. Clark (2006), pp. 281–2
  34. Clark (2006), p. 287
  35. Livorno is referred to as "Leghorn" in contemporary Allied maps and documents
  36. Clark (2006), p. 291
  37. Clark (2006), p. 300
  38. Clark (2006), p. 301
  39. Clark (2006), p. 302
  40. Majdalany (1957), p. 256
  41. Majdalany (1957), p. 259
  42. Clark (2006), p. 304
  43. Clark (2006), p. 307
  44. Clark (2006), p. 311
  45. Clark (2006), pp. 309–319
  46. Churchill, Winston: The Second World War, Volume 5, p436
  47. Mathews, p. 363
  48. Dodge City Globe story on Angelita. Here it is claimed she was adopted by U.S. troops.
  49. Angelita di Anzio (Angelita from Anzio) song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvJaY4uJ_nE
  50. Whicker's War


References



External links




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