[quote name='Rich' date='Thu 1 Sep 2005 2130']
Are you being deliberately obtuse? You
brought up "falling off cargo nets" as a source for evidently all 38 MIA recorded on 22 January. I suppose the LSI sunk on 22 January and the LST hit also "fell off cargo nets"? Did the 10 KIA and 87 WIA also "fall off cargo nets"?
Mines, air attack and artillery fire all constitute resistance, yet you continue to insist there was "no" resistance.
Regular repeat of Tarawa huh?
Why not list the medical units?
52d Medical Battalion; the 93d, 95th, and 56th Evacuation Hospitals; the 33d Field Hospital, with the British 12th Field Transfusion Unit attached; the British 2d Casualty Clearing Station; the 549th Ambulance Company; and a detachment of the 2d Auxiliary Surgical Group.
[quote]Casualties were negligible, and so the medical plan was altered to give priority to combat troops and material.
Battalion aid stations went ashore with the combat units to which they were attached, and litter squads from the 52d Medical Battalion accompanied the 3d Division as well as the Rangers and paratroops. The beach collecting-clearing station of the corps medical battalion was not needed, however, and did not go ashore until twenty-four hours after the first landings. The 3d Division clearing station was not established until the afternoon of D plus1.
The few casualties that occurred in the early hours of the assault were held at battalion aid stations or carried direct to LST's equipped to care for them. Aside from these aid stations, the only medical installation ashore on D-day was the 2d Platoon of the 33d Field Hospital, which landed its personnel and attached surgical teams at 1330, received its equipment three hours later, and was ready to accept patients about 1800.
The hospital was set up on the beach southeast of Nettuno. [/quote]
They didn't even bother landing the medical units until D+1. Tarawa this isn't. Big shock. The Germans to be seen were "seen running" over the canal. In the opposite direction. This is how the advance "stalled?" Right Rich.
My casuality figures came from the Army:
"By midnight over 36,000 men and 3,200 vehicles, 90 percent of the invasion force, were ashore with casualties of 13 killed,
97 wounded, and 44 missing. During D-day Allied troops captured 227 German defenders." If you believe they are in error you might want to let them know:http://www.army.mil/...anzio/72-19.htm
[quote]Sorry, my fault, the 114th Jager Division came from the Balkans, not Greece. But then VI Corps came from Naples, by sea, a "significant distance" from Anzio-Nettuno, shouldn't the same "rule" you appear to be invoking still apply?[/quote]
The troops were landed starting at 0200 on the 22nd. They are not in Naples. It would have been a hell of a swim. Are you claiming they are in Naples on the 22nd? All objectives were attained by noon
Which means that it is irrelevent home many troops were landed by VI Corps and when?
Oh, I see, you view war as a motor sport?
Works for me. I guess you have no answer for the race from Anzio to Cisterna then? The 3rd ID was 3 miles inland by noon. Better hurry those units in France and Germany. I don't think giving them Porsches will work.
But okay, be my guess. Take the 17 M-4, 12 M-10, dozen-odd Daimlers and M-8 landed on 22 January. Take the battalion-odd of infantry you can probably mobiles. Now drive to Cisterna. Now greet the German reaction force as you drive there (Schwebbach, II/PzGrenRegt 71, 3. PzGrenDiv). Wave! Hope they let you write from the PW camp!
One battalion "forming" and a couple of companies are going to stop two divisions? There is a heck of a lot more than a "battalion-odd of infantry" if 90% of all combat units were put ashore. Heck the Rangers alone exceeded that. But heck, by those numbers I could hold off the German Ardennes offensive with just the 100th ID right? Ratio is about the same. Your landing data is in error btw. The 36th ECR was ashore on DDay, not D+1 (who exactly do you think prepared the beach for the LSTs to come in? The Rangers?). I'll take one of their dozers. That regiment alone is bigger than the German forces at Anzio. Trained as infantry too. But don't believe me, John Fallon, 36th ECR:
"The 36th landed with the first wave at Anzio and H Company of the 36th actually landed with the Rangers."
They landed with the Rangers because they were attached to them:
"All three Ranger units later fought in the bitter winter mountain fighting near San Pietro, Venafro and Cassino., Then after a short period of rest, reorganizing and recruiting new volunteers, the three Ranger Battalions, reinforced with the 509 Parachute Battalion, the 83rd Chemical Warfare, 4.2 Mortar Battalion and 36th Combat Engineers, were designated as the 6615 Ranger Force under the command of Darby who was finally promoted to Colonel.
This Force spearheaded the surprise night landings at the Port of Anzio, captured two gun batteries, seized the city and struck out to enlarge the beachhead before dawn -- a classic Ranger operation."
US Army history agrees.
"On the beach itself, the U.S. 36th Engineer Combat Regiment bulldozed exits, laid corduroy roads, cleared mines, and readied the port of Anzio to receive its first landing ship, tank (LST), an amphibious assault and supply ship, by the afternoon of D-day."
Sorry for the digression, the ECRs are a favorite with me. Thought you might want to correct your data. The entire regiment was landed on DDay.
[quote]Do you really think it will matter very much if you get there first?
Ah, so you at least understand that 2 divisions should have been able to take it before those troops in France and Germany could arrive. I see you are learning about travel time. Porsches break down?
[quote]And with troops south of Rome and in the Alban hills, all of them uncommitted and easy to move - they are essentially all motorized or mechanized. [/quote]
Um, actually the bulk of the troops south of Rome were in fact committed. Surely you haven't forgotten the Gustav line? That the 5th Army kicked off an offensive to draw German troops away from Anzio? But the troops in Rome. They are all motorized. Wonderful. So were the troops that started streaming ashore at 2AM. Need a picture of a truck coming ashore? Westphal wasn't impressed:
"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."
[quote]You must be speedreading - and missing a lot of important information. [/quote]
Didn't miss your 36ECR on D+1 so I'm not reading that fast am I?
[quote]Campoleone and Cisterna were not the objective, and they are not "in the hills" (foothills would be a better term). The objective was Valmontone-Frosinone, 25 kilometers further on.[/quote]
Here actually was the problem. The "objective" was vague so Lucas had freedom of action. Given the anticipated German resistance to the landing that might have sounded like a good idea at the time. When the realization sank in that that resistance wasn't forthcoming all bets were off. Lucas had freedom of action. His action was to dig in. Real close to the beach. Catch a few rays, have a beer, wait for those Germans in France and Germany to arrive for the party.
But I digress. Cisterna was to be "enveloped." I think actual order to Lucas would help confirm that. In any event his attack on the 29th was in fact a two prong affair with the seizure of Cisterna before heading off to the hills.
And I should have doublechecked and corrected my post. Rome is 38.55 driving miles away from Anzio (according to Mapquest
). Wait, that's 62 kilometers?
I also haven't had much success finding the website for the "Hotel Roma" in Anzio that claims it's 51 kilometers from their door?
I knew I should have bookmarked that darned place. Fine, let's check with Encarta:http://encarta.msn.c...7776/Anzio.html
51km. Same as that Hotel's page had claimed. They appeared to be more of a bed and breakfast really. Found that beach page in the same search. Regardless they are in agreement with Encarta so I must have had it right.
[quote]How do you advance 3 miles or more while "digging in"?[/quote]
Are you serious? Did you not read what I wrote? Advanced 3 miles, blew 4 bridges, dug in. You have Whitlock's book right?
[quote]Are you just as fond of ignoring the 3. Panzergrenadier Division and 4. Fallschirmjaeger Division, as well as the other minor units that did
arrive on the 22nd, and which were actually seen by aerial reconnaissance?
Try reading the 14. AOK war diary, it's available online in translation and discusses what the Germans thought at the time
rather than Kesselrings later remeberance or Blumenson's interpretation. It is slightly contradictory in parts, but it is also clear that although surprised, the contingency plan worked well. By the end of 22 January "the situation on the beachhead had improved greatly for the Germans" and "in the evening of 23 January clearly indicated that the Army Group Commander believed that the danger of a large-scale expansion of the beachhead was no longer imminent." By 24 January an assessment indicated that "the enemy did not have sufficent troops available on the beachhead for a large-scale attack."
Don't forget Westphal. So the commander and his chief of staff were both unaware of two divisions there? I'd like to see the documents for that.
Which was the fundamental problem, not some imagined lethargy or obssesion with digging in, there simply weren't enough troops to accomplish the mission as given by Clark - a fact that Clark more or less admitted - and which Patton in his advice to Lucas also alluded to.
The fundamental problem was weak orders to Lucas were used by him to act on his pessimism. Again, we are not debating if Italy or Anzio were good ideas. What we are debating is Lucas's command of the invasion. His pessimism directly affected advances. The 3rd had attained all objectives by noon. They dug in to defend against a counterattack. Surrendered the initiative. Lucas is not unclear in his diary. Entry after entry shows he was the wrong commander for bold action.
[quote]You see, reaching Cisterna on 22 January may have been possible, but it wasn't practicable, which is a more important consideration. Further, reaching Cisterna is only important if you also reach Campoleone and vice versa (otherwise anybody there is simply sticking their head into a hangman's noose, with the Germans hand on the trapdoor lever). But beyond that, even capturing Cisterna and Campoleone doesn't do anything, since they are in the foothills of the Lapini mountains and are themselves overlooked by higher ground. At the best, they impede slightly the flow of supplies to 29. and 90. Panzergrenadier Divisions, but they are really only a stepping stone to Velletri-Valmontone-Frosinone and there simply weren't enough troops or transport to get them there for such an operation in January (and the massive reinforcement for Diadem in the spring took weeks to accomplish).
But advancing does do something. By Kesselring's own statements the lack of action at the invasion surrendered the initiative to him. Per Blumenson's work Kesselring's staff had initially wanted to withdraw troops as the invasion made the roads untenable. When it became clear that the troops were parked at the beach they no longer presented that threat. Let's take worse case. Advance. If the German forces are able to react you can conduct a fighting retreat backwards. That would leave you in the position that they ended up fighting from. Better to start 40 or 50 kilometers from the beach than 10. As was they were almost pushed off. The Germans didn't have to advance far to hit the beach.
[quote]So just exactly what is your obssesion with the 22nd and Cisterna?[/quote]
Point being by the end of the 22nd it was obvious to the Germans that the invasion forces were surpisingly unaggressive. I said earlier, and I still wonder, what would have happened if they had gone for broke? Would that message caused a different reaction? The Germans seemed to be startled by the invasion until it became obvious the threat wasn't developing. What if it had?
[quote]Exactly, I think we all agree it was a bad idea and executed with insufficent force - well, King, Clark, Lucas, Patton, and I seem to agree at least.
Again, we are not debating whether Anzio was a good idea. Do you think Patton would have been so unaggressive? Lucas was. If you are handed a mission you try to carry it out as best you can. Or you decline it. Lucas picked the worse combination by accepting the task when he didn't have his heart in it. More than anyone he doomed it. Would Patton have succeeded? We'll never know. An aggressive commander wasn't placed in charge. Could the invasion have succeeded? Again, we don't know.
[quote]But given that and the strictures he was placed under by Clark, there is little else Lucas could have done except for things that would have threatened the loss of his entire command.[/quote]
Clark was vague. I don't blame him for that. Freedom of action is a good thing. Lucas was just not aggressive enough.
[quote] Nor do general officers regularly "pass" on assignments, like all good soldiers they salute and carry on, while filling their diaries with doom and gloom. Hell, I know if I knew what he did I would have been.
They can pass. Or they can at least "not take council of their fears." Lucas did neither. Anzio wasn't supposed to be a defensive operation. Overly cautious would have been an apt description. Should have dug up Patch.
Try again. There was sufficent force in place by the time the Allied forces could move off the beaches on 22 January to execute a delaying action, by the 23rd the chance of any Allied actions acheiving success with the forces available were nil. The delaying action was then executed until 30 January when the German defense hardened. VI Corps did not revert to the defense until 1 February when the major German counterattacks began, which quickly wrecked 1st Division and inflicted heavy casualties on the 3rd Division.
Neither Kesselring nor Westphal are in agreement with you.