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#281 DwightPruitt

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 1625 PM

Yes, but most were simply monthly summaries and many have not been retained. Casualties on the 22nd would have been suffered to artilery fire, air attack or mines. Several LST were damaged in the air attacks, I expect that is where your man was hit, the supply scheme was innovative and simple, QM trucks were combat loaded on LST, driven off to designated points, unloaded and then run back onto the LST which returned to Naples.
Probably during FISCHFANG, the major German counterattack (by all or part of 4. FJD, 65. ID, 715. ID, 114. JgD, 3. PzGD, 29. PzGD, 26. PzD, HG PzD) of 14 February-1 March. BTW, it is probable that if such an attack had struck VI Corps over-extended along an ARDEA-CAMPOLEONE-CISTERNA-VALMONTONE line (some 29-30 miles long) defended by three infantry divisions and an armored combat command, the outcome likely wouldn't have been pretty.

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Rich, thank you very much. I've been trying to find out something on the 3374th for about five years with no luck. I'll do some digging on the LST's and see what I can come up with. Thanks again.
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#282 Rich

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 1630 PM

Falling off a cargo net is resistance?  Land mines?  Me thinks you overplay the resistance a mite.  I guess the German reinforcements met resistance as the 8th was bombing the rail lines in Germany?  Right.  In any event I specifically mentioned 3rd ID.


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"?

I also have a rather telling account from one of the Paratroopers here.  He mentions a lot of firing in the initial attack with casualities.  Unfortunately none of the firing was German.

Mines, air attack and artillery fire all constitute resistance, yet you continue to insist there was "no" resistance.

The invasion force went ashore in Italy.  Troops in Greece, France, and Germany are a significant distance from Italy.


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? Which means that it is irrelevent home many troops were landed by VI Corps and when? :rolleyes:

But let's have a race.  I'll take a a tank on the beach at Anzio.  Cisterna is the destination.  You can have a tank in Greece, France, or Germany.  Your choice.  Let's race.  Overestimating the distance to Cisterna I can be there in less than 1/2 hour at 25mpg.  Let's see how you do with your forces in Greece, France, Germany.

Oh, I see, you view war as a motor sport? :lol:

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!

Do you really think it will matter very much if you get there first? :lol:

Why do you keep going to the 24th?  25th?  I was under the impression that the invasion was on the 22nd.  Oh, wait, your dealing with troops in Greece, France, Germany.  It took time to get there.


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.

Fine Rich, let's call it 20 ok?  Am I as far off as your Rome is 62km and the hills are 45km? Naw, Hotel Roma in Anzio says Rome is 51km from their door.  :lol:

You must be speedreading - and missing a lot of important information. 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. And I should have doublechecked and corrected my post. Rome is 38.55 driving miles away from Anzio (according to Mapquest :D ). 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?

Doesn't change the point that nobody is going to get there if they don't try.  Were you unable to understand the concept that the 3rd dug in? Remember in the post above where the 3rd ID "dug in" awaiting the counter attack?  It never came.


How do you advance 3 miles or more while "digging in"?

Those German troops being sent that you are so fond of finding on the 25th and 26th?  Remember I said they might have been a result of the lack of movement by Lucas?

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."

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.

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).

So just exactly what is your obssesion with the 22nd and Cisterna?

We're not discussing whether Anzio was a good idea or not.  We're discussing Lucas's performance there.  If he was so bothered by the invasion he should have passed.  He didn't.  His diary is filled with doom and gloom.


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. :) 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. 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. :)

Find all the units you want from the 25th to Xmas of 1944.  All too late.  The 22nd, 23rd, and 24th were the days to move.  Specifically the 22nd and 23rd.  They didn't anticipate the suprise would be so complete and enemy caught so unprepared.  Lucas dug in.  Kesselring reacted.

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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.
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#283 FormerBlue

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 2019 PM

[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.
[/quote]
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]
:lol: 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.

[quote]
Which means that it is irrelevent home many troops were landed by VI Corps and when? :rolleyes:
Oh, I see, you view war as a motor sport? :lol:
[/quote]
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.

[quote]
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!
[/quote]
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? :lol: [/quote]
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? :P

[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.

[quote]
And I should have doublechecked and corrected my post. Rome is 38.55 driving miles away from Anzio (according to Mapquest :D ). 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?
[/quote]
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."
[/quote]
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.

[quote]
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.
[/quote]
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).
[/quote]
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. :) [/quote]
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. :) [/quote]
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.

[quote]
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.
[/quote]
Neither Kesselring nor Westphal are in agreement with you.
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#284 KingSargent

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 2022 PM

Exactly. Light patrolling and advances to straighten lines. That was the 2nd day's action. As I said in the previous post, Cisterna is 6ish miles from the beach. Why not grab it?

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Possibly because that would leave 1 1/2 divisions (3rd US, one Bde Grp of 1 British, misc Ranger types and paras) with at least a 12 mile front (24 miles by Rich's data) with German mobile reserves already sighted and on the way.

They might have "grabbed" Cisterna, but their line would have been stretched very thin. IMHO there would be about 90% probability that the "grabbers" would be cut off.
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#285 FormerBlue

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 2115 PM

Possibly because that would leave 1 1/2 divisions (3rd US, one Bde Grp of 1 British, misc Ranger types and paras) with at least a 12 mile front (24 miles by Rich's data) with German mobile reserves already sighted and on the way.

They might have "grabbed" Cisterna, but their line would have been stretched very thin.  IMHO there would be about 90% probability that the "grabbers" would be cut off.

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There is a map:
http://www.45thdivis...29Jan44_map.htm

Cisterna, from what I can see, is at 60 meters elevation. Right behind it the rise to 80 and then 200 meters is shown. Grabbing Cisterna would have cut off highway 7. It would have also resulted in foxholes not being in the marshes. Not insignificant when one considers digging in. They were hitting water at about 12" in a lot of places. Not much of a foxhole. 4 months they sat in that water. How many casualities did that cause?

The 45th and the 1st Armor were in reserve. They were on the way to help man that line.
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#286 KingSargent

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 2135 PM

There is a map:
http://www.45thdivis...29Jan44_map.htm

Cisterna, from what I can see, is at 60 meters elevation.  Right behind it the rise to 80 and then 200 meters is shown.  Grabbing Cisterna would have cut off highway 7.  It would have also resulted in foxholes not being in the marshes.  Not insignificant when one considers digging in.  They were hitting water at about 12" in a lot of places.  Not much of a foxhole.  4 months they sat in that water.  How many casualities did that cause?

The 45th and the 1st Armor were in reserve.  They were on the way to help man that line.

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Yes, but they weren't there yet, were they? There is really no guarantee that they will arrive; lots of things could have delayed their transit - German bombing, weather, the Germans laying aerial minefields off the beach and landings....
The people who "grab" Cisterna aren't going to have to worry about wet foxholes, they'll be in graves or POW camps if they get too far ahead of themselves.

If Lucas had had three divisions on the beach on the 22nd, he probably would have gone for Cisterna. As it was the Allies were trying to get Seven League Boots on a shoestring budget. Far from being more audacious Anzio shouldn't have been tried at all unless they could get the forces to land at once.
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#287 Rich

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 2304 PM

[quote name='FormerBlue' date='Fri 2 Sep 2005 0119']
Why not list the medical units?[/quote]

Huh?

[quote]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: [/quote]

Uh, why? They are the same figures I quoted and are taken from the VI Corps AAR. US casualties were 10 KIA, 87 WIA and 38 MIA, British casualties were 3 KIA, 10 WIA and 6 MIA.

[quote]:lol: 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? [/quote]

I see you missed the point, yet again. :rolleyes: Got any idea just where CCB 1st AD and the 45th ID you mention later are?

[quote]One battalion "forming" and a couple of companies are going to stop two divisions? [/quote]

II/Panzergrenadier Regiment 71 wasn't "forming" it had been reformed in March 1943 as part of the recreated "Stalingrad" units, but it had been fighting in Italy with 29. Panzergrenadier Division since September 1943. It was assigned to coastal defense, along with the other units that were there and withdrew more or less intact as a unit, later making contact with Aufklarungs Abteilung 129 near Borgo Piave where they set up a blocking line.

[quote] There is a heck of a lot more than a "battalion-odd of infantry" if 90% of all combat units were put ashore. [/quote]

They were ashore - by evening, but if you want to assemble a motorized or reasonably mobile force by noon (its winter remember, gets dark early) you are essentially restricted to the vehicles of one tank company, one TD company and one infantry division reconnaissance troop, all organic and attached trucks were fully loaded with supplies to dump in what was esentially a RO-RO operation, which was the only way they could guarantee enough logistical support to cover the fores ashore for the first few days. Because of one other major problem - remember Naples and the water intervening between it and Anzio-Nettuno? Weathermen could - at best - promise a two-day good weather window for the landing, which meant a high probability that one the fleet returned for the next load (45th ID, CCB 1st AD and more supplies), they didn't know if it would return in 48-hours, 72-hours - or a week.

So you have perhaps 100 tactical vehicles for your drive to Cisterna, which still ignores Campoleone (and Velletri, Valmontone, Frosinone, and all the rest, which you so lovingly ignore).

[quote]"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:[/quote]

My fault, I was going from the G-3 Journal, which can tend to be a bit telegraphic. The wording is that "36th Engr C Regt debarked 24 Jan, assembled vic F9119." But the AAR also reports them as clearing the beaches and later the harbor at Anzio during 22 January, and also many other references make clear that is what happened, but I didn't notice they were still given as 24 January in my writeup. I suspect that the writer of the G-3 Journal may have been being too precise, either the HQ of the 36th ECR was established ashore on 24 January or he counted them as not being "ashore" until they terminated operations on the beaches and harbors.

[quote]Sorry for the digression, the ECRs are a favorite with me. [/quote]

Believe me, I understand, we all have our little obssesions. :D

[quote]Um, actually the bulk of the troops south of Rome were in fact committed. [/quote]

Um, actually, they were not. The 3. Panzergrenadier Division was still out of the line, except for Panzergrenadier Regiment 104, which was not committed at Anzio. HG was also completely out of the line except for minor detachments. 29. and 90. Panzergrenadier, minus elements, had been assembled for a proposed counterattack on X Corps on the Garigliano, whiah was called off when the invasion began (and also because it was obvious that X Corps, like II Corps and the 36th ID, had stalled by the evening of 21 January.

[quote]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? [/quote]

No, actually the troops "in Rome" (4. FJD) were extemporaneosly motorized (behilfesmassiges motorisierte, a wonderful German term that bascially means they stole every possible vehicle in Rome. But 3. Panzergrenadier wasn't at Rome, it was assembled in the vicinity of Valmontone, about the same distance from Campoleaone and Cisterna as the Allied beaches. And their trucks weren't packed with supplies, well at least their Pkw weren't, and weren't on board ships, needing to be unloaded over a beach. And neither was HG, they were at Frosinone, only slightly further away.

[quote]Westphal wasn't impressed:[/quote]

Yep, German generals always say they could have done it better. :D

[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. [/quote]

You truly like to deny reality don't you? The objective was explicit, it was Clark who was vague in his "instructions" which pretty much took all freedom of action away from Lucas. In effect he said, I know the force is inadequate, but I want you to seize an impossible objective too far inland, oh, but don't stick your neck out.

[quote]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.
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]

Funny, all I get is a "URL Not Found"? Where pray tell in "Anzio" do they say they are? It's a pretty big place now and a lot of the outlying B&B's and hotels on the beaches have Anzio addresses when they are actually kilometers away. Try getting directions from Mapquest for Rome to Anzio, 38.55 miles by the shortest driving route.

BTW, the gist of FO #20 was for a "Corps attack on 30 January to seize the high ground in the vicinity of COLLI LAZIALI, block the highway leading southeast out of ROME and prepare to continue the advance on ROME. The 3rd Division, with the Rnagers and Paratroops, was to attack on the morning of 30 January, capture VELLETRI and consolidate the surrounding area, then seize ALBANO and GENZANO and the surrounding high ground and prepare to advance north. The 1st Armored Division, less Combat Command "B" (sorry, I think I keep referring to it as CCB, it was actually the division minus, not the other way around) was to advance along the ANZIO-ALBANO Road, seize high ground southwest of MARINO and continue northward to cut the roads leading east and southeast from ROME. The 45th Division, less the 179th RCT, was to prepare to attack to the north and east on Corps order.

[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]

Yes. Do you have any other? Or any other sources for your assumptions?

On the 22nd the 2nd Brigade Group moved north towards the Moletta to establish the corps left, the 24th Guards Brigade Group landed late and cleared Padiglione Wood, the Ranger Force cleared Anzio-Nettuno, and the 3rd Division advanced north, northeast and east, securing the corps right flank by seizing the line of the canal and blowing bridges. In effect, because of the beach problems, only the 3rd Division would have been available for an advance on Cisterna on 22 January, perhaps they could have gotten there. So your alternative is to leave one divisions stuck at Anzio-Nettuno and put another in Cisterna, 10 miles away. What then? Who secures the roads from Terracina and Latina that are then open for an advance by 29. and 90. PzGD? Or even better, let 3. PzGD hit Cisterna from the northwest, while HG attacks from the northeat and a task force from 29. and 90. PzGD from the east and southeast, with such a juicy target I doubt the Germans could have resisted, and they were pretty good at concentric attacks like that.

[quote]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. [/quote]

I take it you mean the 29. and 90. Panzergrenadier Divisions? Okay, look up the 14. AOK war diary, as I mentioned its available in translation on the net. Or I suppose I could buty a digital camera, take some shots of the microfilm copies of the orginals I have and post them here for you, just to satisfy your doubts. Or perhaps you might simply realize that Westphal and Kesselring were writing years after the events, without benefit of referring to those documents and accept that I am telling you the truth? Both for instance appear to forget that in the war diary it is remarked that on the 23rd (IIRC, it's late, I'm supposed to leave for vacation in the morning, and I'm too tired to walk to the next room and recheck the date) it was decided to hold the 29. and 90. in place instead of sending them against the beachhead because the immediate threat had receeded and sufficiant forces had arrived to match the Allied buildup. Odd that they didn't remember of course, since Kesselring was giving the order and Westphal was giving the advice?

Sorry, but It's late and I'm tired of repeating things you simply choose to ignore. I may review this when I get back from vacation, but doubt I'll waste my time.
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#288 JWB

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Posted 02 September 2005 - 0225 AM

What is this obsession with Cisterna?

How many men did Heeren have at the beach-head by mid-day J22?
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