74th Anniversary Landing in Anzio

Operation Shingle

Operation Shingle, 22 January 1944

Between 05:00 hours and 24:00 hours, Task Force 81, Task Force X-Ray and Task Force Peter landed on their designated Beaches!

In January 1944, General Dwight D. Eisenhower and General Harold Alexander, Supreme Allied Commander in Italy, ordered an amphibious operation at Anzio, a small port on the west coast of Italy. This was to be combined with a new offensive on Monte Cassino. The main objective of the operation was to cut the communication lines of the German 10th Army and force withdrawal from the Gustav Line.

The next four months saw some of the fiercest, most prolonged fighting in World War II’s European Theater, as the Allies battled German troops for control of the region.

When the Allies landed at Anzio almost unopposed and the situation for them was excellent but general Lucas didn't ordered the troops to attack until it was too late for an easy breakthrough, instead he prefered to consolidate the beachead first. This delay in the attack costed the allies a lot of casualties, when Lucas decided to attack his troops faced a rough german defense, and finally it meant the failure of all the operation. On January 30 1944 Lucas decided to attack, the American Rangers assaulted Cisterna di Latina and the British troops intended to take Campo Leone, both attacks were disastrous failures and the allies established defensive positions. On February 3 the Germans launched an artillery bombardment to the british sector, then the troops assaulted the british positions isolating some british units. The British surrounded units escaped in a night withdrawal. During all the attack they lost 1400 men.

Between February 7 and February 9 the germans launched an attack taking the city of Aprilia, known as th Factory, forcing the decimated Britsh to withdraw to their last defenses. The 45th american division came to support the British and launched two failed attacks to recapture Aprilia in February 11 and 12.

After these attacks all the allied beachead was endagered, and the commanders in order to weaken the final german assault ordered massive air strikes and an attack to Cassino to sustract some german units from the Anzio zone. The Germans brought reinforcements and concentrated in the Aprilia area for the attack. On February 16 the attack begun, the allies where forced to withdraw suffering heavy casualties. On February 17 the situation was so critical that all the air forces available in Italy launched an attack on the Anzio zone to stop the german advance. But on February 18 and 19 the Germans continued advancing and it seemed to the allies that the operations will end with a second Dunkirk. But a miracle happened and the Germans begun to retreat. Then the British launched an assault on the german positions. After February 20 the situation remained static until May 1944 when the allies launched an offensive breaking the Gustav line, that ended with the capture of Rome on June 4 1944.

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