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Anzio Landing

Anzio Landing
Item# anziolanding1
Availability: Usually ships the next business day.

Product Description

Anzio Landing, 22 January 1944, 2.00 am Italian time...

7861 American soldiers are in the War Cemetery of Nettuno...

Between the 22th and 31th january 1944, the Germans they put together 8 divisions on the front of Anzio-Nettuno to stop the landing of the Allieds. At the end of March 1944, 52.130 allied lost their lifes.

USA 22.219

England 22.219

French 7.421

Italian 398

The 23th of may 1944 finally the allied could break the last german resistance and they came to Rome the 4th June 1944

Meanwhile, the Allied troop buildup had proceeded at a breakneck pace. Despite continuous German artillery and air harassment, a constant fact of life throughout the campaign, the Allies off-loaded twenty-one cargo ships and landed 6,350 tons of materiel on 29 January alone, and on 1 February the port of Anzio went into full operation. Improving air defenses downed ninety-seven attacking Luftwaffe aircraft prior to 1 February, but the Germans did succeed in sinking one destroyer and a hospital ship, as well as destroying significant stocks of supplies piled on the crowded beaches. Mindful of the need for reinforcements, Lucas ordered ashore the rest of the 45th Infantry Division and remaining portions of the 1st Armored Division allotted to the Anzio operation, raising the total number of Allied soldiers in the beachhead to 61,332.

OKW, Kesselring, and Brig. Gen. Siegfried Westphal, Kesselring's chief of staff, were astonished that the Anzio forces had not exploited their unopposed landing with an immediate thrust into the virtually undefended Alban Hills on 23-24 January. As Westphal later recounted, there were no significant German units between Anzio and Rome, and he speculated that an imaginative, bold strike by enterprising forces could easily have penetrated into the interior or sped straight up Highways 6 and 7 to Rome. Instead, Westphal recalled, the enemy forces lost time and hesitated. As the Germans later discovered, General Lucas was neither bold nor imaginative, and he erred repeatedly on the side of caution, to the increasing chagrin of both Alexander and Clark.

By 24 January Kesselring, confident that he had gathered sufficient forces to contain the beachhead, transferred the Fourteenth Army headquarters under General Eberhard von Mackensen from Verona in northern Italy to Anzio. Mackensen soon controlled elements of 8 divisions, totaling 40,000 troops, with 5 more divisions on the way. Seeking to prevent a permanent Allied foothold at Anzio, Kesselring ordered a counterattack for 28 January, but Mackensen requested and received a postponement until 1 February to await further reinforcements, especially armored units that were being held up by Allied air attacks. Two days before the scheduled offensive, the Fourteenth Army numbered about 70,000 combat troops, most already deployed in forward staging areas, with several thousand more on the way.

Racing against the expected German counterattack, both the Fifth and Eighth Armies prepared to renew their stalled offensives in the south. Lucas meanwhile planned a two-pronged attack for 30 January. While one force cut Highway 7 at Cisterna before moving east into the Alban Hills, a second was to advance northeast up the Albano Road, break through the Campoleone salient, and exploit the gap by moving to the west and southwest. A quick link-up with Fifth Army forces in the south was believed still possible even though German resistance all along the perimeter of the beachhead was becoming stronger.

The 3d Division and the 1st, 3d, and 4th Ranger Battalions under Col. William O. Darby were responsible for the initial attack on Cisterna. The 1st and 3d Rangers were to spearhead the assault by infiltrating the German lines and seizing and holding Cisterna until the 4th Rangers and 15th Infantry, 3d Division, arrived via the Conca-Cisterna Road. Meanwhile, at 0200, 30 January, the 7th Infantry, 3d Division, was to push on the left to a point above Cisterna and cut Highway 7, while the 15th Infantry passed to the right of Cisterna and cut the highway south of town. As a diversion the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment would attack along the Mussolini Canal. Unknown to the Americans, their assault was aimed directly at the center of the area where thirty-six enemy battalions were massing for their 1 February counterattack.

The Rangers moved out at 0130 to the right of the Conca-Cisterna Road and by dawn were within 800 yards of Cisterna. But German soldiers of the 715th Motorized Infantry Division discovered the lightly armed Ranger force during the night and sprang a devastating ambush at first light. Heavy fighting broke out and the Rangers were pinned down quickly by an enemy superior in arms and numbers. Efforts by the 4th Rangers and 15th Infantry to rescue the beleaguered units failed, and by noon armored units of the Hermann Goering Division had forced the Rangers into the open. The Americans had only grenades and bazookas for antitank weapons, and as they attempted a fighting withdrawal in small and scattered groups they were cut down mercilessly. Of the 767 men in the two battalions, only 6 eventually returned to Allied lines.

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