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Encyclopedia > Allied invasion of Italy
Invasion of Italy
Part of World War II

Troops and vehicles being landed under shell fire during the invasion of mainland Italy at Salerno, September 1943.
Date 3 September 194316 September 1943
Location Salerno, Calabria & Taranto, Italy
Result Allied victory
Combatants
 United Kingdom
Flag of the United States United States
Canada
India
Flag of Nazi Germany Germany
Flag of Italy Italy
Commanders
Harold Alexander
Bernard Montgomery
Flag of the United States Mark Wayne Clark
Flag of Nazi Germany Albert Kesselring
Flag of Nazi Germany Heinrich von Vietinghoff
Strength
190,000 100,000
Casualties
2,009 killed
7,050 wounded
3,501 missing
3,500 casualties

The Allied invasion of Italy, was the Allied invasion of mainland Italy in September 1943, by General Harold Alexander's 15th Army Group (comprising Mark Clark's U.S. Fifth Army and Bernard Montgomery's British Eighth Army). The operation followed the successful invasion of Sicily during the Italian Campaign. The main invasion force landed around Salerno on the western coast in Operation Avalanche, while two supporting operations took place in Calabria (Operation Baytown) and Taranto (Operation Slapstick). Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (740x615, 85 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Allied invasion of Italy Italian Campaign (World War II) ... is the 246th day of the year (247th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link will display full 1943 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... // 1400 - Owain Glyndŵr declared Prince of Wales by his followers. ... Year 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link will display full 1943 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Salerno is a town in Campania, south-western Italy, the capital of the province of the same name. ... Cliffside dwellings in Tropea. ... Taranto is a coastal city in Apulia, southern Italy. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom. ... Image File history File links US_flag_48_stars. ... Image File history File links Canadian_Red_Ensign. ... Image File history File links Imperial-India-Blue-Ensign. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany_1933. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Italy_(1861-1946)_crowned. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom. ... Field Marshal Harold Rupert Leofric George Alexander, 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis (December 10, 1891 - June 16, 1969) was a British military commander and Field Marshal, notably during World War II as the commander of the 15th Army Group. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom. ... Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, KG, GCB, DSO, PC (17 November 1887 – 24 March 1976) was a British Army officer, often referred to as Monty. He successfully commanded Allied forces at the Battle of El Alamein, a major turning point in World War II, and... Image File history File links US_flag_48_stars. ... Mark Wayne Clark was an American general during World War II and the Korean War. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany_1933. ... Albrecht von Kesselring (August 8, 1881 - July 16, 1960) was a Generalfeldmarschall during World War II. One of the most respected and skillful generals of Nazi Germany, he was nicknamed Smiling Albert or Smiling Kesselring. At least one source claims that Kesselring was born on August 8, 1881 [1]. However... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany_1933. ... Heinrich von Vietinghoff, during World War II, was a General of the German Wehrmacht who commanded the German 10th Army in Italy. ... Artillery being landed during the invasion of mainland Italy at Salerno, September 1943. ... Combatants  United States United Kingdom  Canada Free French Nazi Germany Italy Commanders Dwight D. Eisenhower Harold Alexander Bernard Montgomery George S. Patton, Jr. ... The Armistice with Italy is an armistice that occurred on September 8, 1943, during World War II. It was signed by Italy and the Allied armed forces, who were occupying the southern half of the country at the time. ... The Volturno Line was a German defensive position in Italy during World War II. The line ran from Termoli in the east, along the Biferno River through the Apennine Mountains to the Volturno River in the west. ... During World War II, the Barbara Line was a series of German military fortifications in Italy, some ten to twenty miles south of the Gustav Line, and a similar distance north of the Volturno Line. ... The Bernhardt Line (or Reinhard Line) was a German defensive line in Italy during World War II. Unlike most of the other defensive lines it did not run all the way across Italy, but was merely a bulge in the Gustav Line in the region of Monte Cassino, enclosing the... Combatants United Kingdom United States Poland New Zealand Canada Free France India and others Germany Commanders Harold Alexander Mark Clark Oliver Leese Albert Kesselring Heinrich von Vietinghoff Frido von Senger Strength 105,000 80,000 Casualties 54,000 20,000 The Battle of Monte Cassino (also known as the Battle... Combatants United States, United Kingdom Germany Commanders Harold Alexander Mark W. Clark John P. Lucas Lucian Truscott Albert Kesselring Eberhard von Mackensen Strength 22 Jan 1944: 36,000 soldiers and 2,300 vehicles End May:150,000 soldiers and 1,500 guns 22 Jan 1944: 20,000 soldiers End May... Allied advance to and beyond the Trasimene Line, 1944 The Trasimene Line was a German defensive line during the Italian Campaign of World War II. It was also sometimes known as the Albert Line. ... German defensive positions in Northern Italy 1944 370th Infantry Regiment walking toward the mountains at north of Prato - April 1945 The Gothic Line, also known as Linea Gotica, formed Field Marshal Albert Kesselrings last major line of defence in the final stages of World War II along the summits... Combatants  United Kingdom United States Poland New Zealand India South Africa Brazil and others Germany Commanders Mark Clark Richard McCreery Lucian Truscott Heinrich von Vietinghoff Traugott Herr Joachim Lemelsen Strength U.S. 5th Army British 8th Army German 10th Army German 14th Army The Spring 1945 offensive in Italy was... A representation of the changes in territory controlled by Allies and Axis powers over the course of the war. ... Field Marshal Harold Rupert Leofric George Alexander, 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis (December 10, 1891 - June 16, 1969) was a British military commander and Field Marshal, notably during World War II as the commander of the 15th Army Group. ... (Redirected from 15th Army Group) The British/American 15th Army Group was an important unit in World War II. It was activated in 1943 in Algiers, North Africa, to plan the invasion of Sicily. ... Mark Wayne Clark was an American general during World War II and the Korean War. ... The Fifth United States Army was a field army of the United States Army. ... Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, KG, GCB, DSO, PC (17 November 1887 – 24 March 1976) was a British Army officer, often referred to as Monty. He successfully commanded Allied forces at the Battle of El Alamein, a major turning point in World War II, and... The Eighth Army was one of the best-known formations in World War II, fighting in the campaigns in North Africa and Italy. ... Combatants  United States United Kingdom  Canada Free French Nazi Germany Italy Commanders Dwight D. Eisenhower Harold Alexander Bernard Montgomery George S. Patton, Jr. ... Artillery being landed during the invasion of mainland Italy at Salerno, September 1943. ... Salerno is a town in Campania, south-western Italy, the capital of the province of the same name. ... Cliffside dwellings in Tropea. ... Taranto is a coastal city in Apulia, southern Italy. ... Operation Slapstick was a part of the Allied invasion of Italy during World War II on 9 September 1943. ...

Contents

Background

Allied strategy

Following the defeat of the Axis Powers in North Africa, there was disagreement between the Allies as to what the next step should be. Winston Churchill in particular wanted to invade Italy, which he called the "underbelly of Europe" (commonly misquoted as "soft underbelly"). Popular support in Italy for the war was declining, and he believed an invasion would remove Italy, and thus the influence of the Regia Marina in the Mediterranean Sea, opening it to Allied traffic. This would make it much easier to supply Allied forces in the Middle East and Far East, and increase British and American supplies to the Soviet Union. In addition, it would tie down German forces, keeping them away from the planned invasion of Normandy - Operation Overlord. This article is about the independent states that comprised the Axis powers. ... During World War II, the North African Campaign, also known as the Desert War, took place in the North African desert from September 13, 1940 to May 13, 1943. ... “Churchill” redirects here. ... The Italian Regia Marina (literally: Royal Navy) dates from the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861 after Italian unification. ... Composite satellite image of the Mediterranean Sea. ... A map showing countries commonly considered to be part of the Middle East The Middle East is a region comprising the lands around the southern and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Sea, a territory that extends from the eastern Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf. ... The far east as a cultural block includes East Asia, Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia and South Asia. ... Combatants United States United Kingdom Canada Free France Poland Germany Commanders Dwight Eisenhower (Supreme Allied Commander) Bernard Montgomery (land) Bertram Ramsay (sea) Trafford Leigh-Mallory (air) Omar Bradley (U.S. 1st Army) Miles Dempsey (UK 2nd Army) Harry Crerar (Canadian 1st Army) Gerd von Rundstedt (OB WEST) Erwin Rommel (Heeresgruppe...


However, General George Marshall and much of the American staff wanted to undertake no operations that might delay the Normandy invasion. When it became clear that Operation Overlord could not be undertaken in 1943, it was agreed forces in North Africa should be used to invade Sicily, with no commitment made to any follow-up operations. For other persons named George Marshall, see George Marshall (disambiguation). ...


Joint Allied Forces Headquarters AFHQ were operationally responsible for all Allied land forces in the Mediterranean theatre, and it was they who planned and commanded the invasion of Sicily and the Italian mainland. Allied Forces Headquarters was the headquarters that controlled all Allied forces in the Mediterranean theatre from late 1943 to the end of the war. ... This pages deals with the United States militarys Mediterranean Theater of Operations. ...


The Allied invasion of Sicily in July 1943, codenamed Operation Husky, was highly successful, although many of the Axis forces there were allowed to avoid capture and escape to the mainland. More importantly a coup deposed Benito Mussolini as head of the Italian government, which then began approaching the Allies to make peace. It was believed a quick invasion of Italy might hasten an Italian surrender and produce quick military victories over the German troops that could be trapped fighting in a hostile country. However, Italian (and more so German) resistance proved relatively strong, and fighting in Italy continued even after the fall of Berlin. In addition, the invasion left the Allies in a position of supplying food and supplies to conquered territory, a burden which would otherwise have fallen on Germany. As well, Italy occupied by a hostile German army would have created additional problems for the German Commander-in-Chief Albrecht von Kesselring.[1] Combatants  United States United Kingdom  Canada Free French Nazi Germany Italy Commanders Dwight D. Eisenhower Harold Alexander Bernard Montgomery George S. Patton, Jr. ... A coup détat, or simply a coup, is the sudden overthrow of a government, usually done by a small group that just replaces the top power figures. ... Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini (July 29, 1883 – April 28, 1945) was the prime minister of Italy from 1922 until 1943, when he was overthrown. ... Combatants Soviet Union Poland Nazi Germany Commanders 1st Belorussian Front – Georgiy Zhukov 2nd Belorussian Front – Konstantin Rokossovskiy 1st Ukrainian Front – Ivan Konev Army Group Vistula – Gotthard Heinrici then Kurt von Tippelskirch[2] Army Group Centre – Ferdinand Schörner Berlin Defense Area – Helmuth Reymann then Helmuth Weidling #[3] Strength 2,500... Albrecht von Kesselring (August 8, 1881 - July 16, 1960) was a Generalfeldmarschall during World War II. One of the most respected and skillful generals of Nazi Germany, he was nicknamed Smiling Albert or Smiling Kesselring. At least one source claims that Kesselring was born on August 8, 1881 [1]. However...


Plan

Map of the Invasion of Italy.
Map of the Invasion of Italy.

Prior to Sicily, Allied plans envisioned crossing the Strait of Messina, a limited invasion in the "instep" area (Taranto), and advancing up the toe of Italy, anticipating a defense by both German and Italian forces. The deposing of Mussolini and fall of the Fascisti made a more ambitious plan feasible, and the Allies decided to supplement the crossing of the Eight Army with a seizure of the port of Naples. They had a choice of two landing areas: one at the Volturno River basin and the other at Salerno, both at the range limits of Allied fighters based in Sicily. Salerno was chosen because it was closer to air bases, experienced better surf conditions for landing, allowed transport ships to anchor closer to the beaches, had narrower beaches for the rapid construction of exit roads, and had an excellent pre-existing road net behind the beaches. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (658x789, 87 KB) Description: Map of the allied Invasion of Italy, 1943 Source: http://www. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (658x789, 87 KB) Description: Map of the allied Invasion of Italy, 1943 Source: http://www. ... Benito Mussolini created a fascist state through the use of propaganda, total control of the media and disassembly of the working democratic government. ...


Operation Baytown was the preliminary step in the plan in which the British Eighth Army under General Bernard Montgomery would depart from the port of Messina on Sicily, to cross the Straits of Messina and land near the tip of Calabria (the "toe" of Italy), on 3 September 1943. The short distance from Sicily meant landing craft could launch from there directly rather than be carried by ship. The British 5th Infantry Division would land on the north side of the "toe" while the 1st Canadian Infantry Division would land at Cape Spartivento on the south side. British General Bernard Montgomery was strongly opposed to Operation Baytown because he predicted it would be a waste of effort since it assumed the Germans would give battle in Calabria; if they failed to do so, the diversion would not work, and the only effect of the operation would be to place the Eighth Army 300 miles (550 km) south of the main landing at Salerno. He was proved correct; after Operation Baytown the Eighth Army marched 300 miles north to the Salerno area against no opposition other than engineer obstacles. The Eighth Army was one of the best-known formations in World War II, fighting in the campaigns in North Africa and Italy. ... Bernard Law Montgomery Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein (November 17, 1887 - March 24, 1976) was a British military officer during World War II often referred to as Monty. ... Messina, Italy Strait of Messina, Italy. ... Sicily ( in Italian and Sicilian) is an autonomous region of Italy and the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, with an area of 25,708 km² (9,926 sq. ... Satellite photo of the Strait of Messina, taken June 2002. ... Cliffside dwellings in Tropea. ... is the 246th day of the year (247th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link will display full 1943 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Landing craft Rapière LCU 1656 departs USS Bataan (LHD-5) well deck during Hurricane Katrina relief operations. ... The British 5th Infantry Division was established in 1906 and has been active for most of the period since, including World War I and World War II. // The 5th Division was a permanently established Regular Army division that was amongst the first to be sent to France at the outbreak... List of military divisions — List of Canadian divisions in WWII The Canadian 1st Infantry Division was formed at the outbreak of World War I in August 1914. ... Bernard Law Montgomery Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein (November 17, 1887 - March 24, 1976) was a British military officer during World War II often referred to as Monty. ... Salerno is a town in Campania, south-western Italy, the capital of the province of the same name. ...


Plans for the use of airborne forces took several forms, all of which were cancelled. The initial plan to land airborne forces near Salerno in gliders as part of Operation Avalanche gave way to Operation Grant, in which they would seize and hold crossings over the Volturno River. This was deemed logistically unsupportable and replaced tentatively by Operation Grant II, a drop of the 82nd Airborne Division on airfields near Rome. Because of the distance from the Allied beachheads at Salerno, this required the active cooperation of Italian forces, and 82nd Airborne Assistant Division Commander Brig. Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor was spirited into Rome to negotiate. Taylor's judgment was that the operation would be a trap and he advised cancellation, which occurred September 8. The 82nd Airborne Division of the United States Army is an elite airborne infantry division and was constituted in the National Army as the 82nd Division on March 5, 1917, and was organized on March 25, 1917, at Camp Gordon, Georgia. ... Nickname: Motto: SPQR: Senatus Populusque Romanus Location of the city of Rome (yellow) within the Province of Rome (red) and region of Lazio (grey) Coordinates: Region Lazio Province Province of Rome Founded 21 April 753 BC Government  - Mayor Walter Veltroni Area  - City 1,285 km²  (580 sq mi)  - Urban 5... General Maxwell Davenport Taylor (August 26, 1901 – April 19, 1987) was an American soldier and diplomat of the mid-20th century. ... is the 251st day of the year (252nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


The main landings (Operation Avalanche) were scheduled to take place one week later on 9 September, during which the main force would land around Salerno on the western coast. It would consist of the Fifth United States Army under Lieutenant-General Mark W. Clark, comprising the U.S. VI Corps under Major-General Ernest J. Dawley, the British X Corps under Lieutenant-General Richard McCreery, with the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division in reserve, a total of eight divisions and two brigade-sized units. Its primary objectives were to seize the port of Naples to ensure resupply, and to cut across to the east coast, trapping Axis troops further south. The British 1st Airborne Division would be landed by sea near Taranto, on the "heel" of Italy in Operation Slapstick, as a diversion for Salerno. Their task was to capture the port and several nearby airfields and link with the Eighth Army before pressing north to join the Fifth Army near Foggia. is the 252nd day of the year (253rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Fifth United States Army was a field army of the United States Army. ... Mark Wayne Clark (May 1, 1896 - April 17, 1984) was an American general during World War II and the Korean War. ... The VI Corps took part in some of the most high profile operations in World War II. Constituted in the Organized Reserves in 1921, it was allotted to the Regular Army in 1933 and activated on 1 August 1940 at Fort Sheridan, Illinois. ... The X Corps was a British Army formation in World War I and was later reformed in 1942 during the North African campaign of World War II as part of the Eighth Army. ... General Sir Richard McCreery, GCB, KBE, DSO, MC (1898-1967), was a career soldier, who was Chief of Staff to Field Marshal Harold Alexander, 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis, at the time of the Second Battle of El Alamein and later commanded the British Eighth Army in Northern Italy during... The 82nd Airborne Division of the United States Army is an elite airborne infantry division and was constituted in the National Army as the 82nd Division on March 5, 1917, and was organized on March 25, 1917, at Camp Gordon, Georgia. ... For other uses see, Naples (disambiguation) and Napoli (disambiguation) Location of the city of Naples (red dot) within Italy. ... The British 1st Airborne Division was a military unit that fought in World War II. It suffered terrible casualties, especially in Operation Market Garden. ... Taranto is a coastal city in Apulia, southern Italy. ... Operation Slapstick was a part of the Allied invasion of Italy during World War II on 9 September 1943. ... The Villa Comunale (Municipal Park) of Foggia. ...


The plan was daring but flawed; The 5th Army would be landing on a very broad 35-mile front, using only three assault divisions, and the two Corps were widely-separated both in distance and by a river. Furthermore, the terrain was highly favorable to the defender. A US Army Ranger force under Colonel William O. Darby consisting of three US Ranger battalions and two British Commando units was tasked with holding the mountain passes leading to Naples, but no plan existed for linking the Ranger force up with X Corps' follow-up units. Finally, although tactical surprise was unlikely, Clark ordered no naval preparatory bombardment take place, despite experience in the Pacific Theatre demonstrating it was necessary.[2] William Darby William Orlando Darby (9 February 1911 - 30 April 1945) was a brigadier general in the United States Army during World War II. Darby led the famous Darbys Rangers which evolved into the US Army Rangers. ... The Pacific Theater of Operations (PTO) is the term used in the United States for all military activity in the Pacific Ocean and the countries bordering it, in World War II. Pacific War is a more common name, around the world, for the broader conflict between the Allies and Japan...


Six German divisions were positioned to cover possible landing sites on the western coast of Italy from Rome to the toe, including the Hermann Goering Panzer Division, 26th and 16th Panzer Divisions, the 15th and 29th Panzergrenadier Divisions, and the 2nd Fallschirmjäger (Parachute) Division. Heinrich von Vietinghoff, the German Tenth Army commander, specifically positioned the 16th Panzer Division in the hills above the Salerno plain. Polizeiabteilung z. ... 23rd Infantry Division 26th Panzer Division The German 23rd Infantry Division was a military unit operational during World War II. It was organized along standard lines for a German infantry division, and relied on leg and horse mobility. ... 16th Infantry Division 16th Motorized Infantry Division Windhund 16th Panzergrenadier Division Windhund 16th Panzer Division 116th Panzer Division Windhund Created as 16th Infantry Division in 1935. ... Panzer IV Ausf. ... 33rd Infantry Division 15th Panzer Division 15th Panzergrenadier Division // This unit was created as the 33rd Infantry Division in 1936, and mobilized in 1939, but it did not take part in the invasion of Poland. ... Created as the 29th Infantry Division in the fall of 1936, and upgraded to 29th Motorized Infantry Division in the fall of 1937. ... This article needs cleanup. ... The German 2nd Parachute Division is a German military parachute-landing Division that fought during World War II. In German, a division of paratroopers was termed a Fallschirmjäger Division. ... Fallschirmjäger Fallschirmjäger photo taken from The Hague, Bezuidenhout during the invasion of the Low Countries, morning of May 10, 1940   (often rendered Fallschirmjager in English; from German Fallschirm parachute and Jäger, a term for light infantry; literally hunter; ranger) are German paratroopers. ... Heinrich von Vietinghoff, during World War II, was a General of the German Wehrmacht who commanded the German 10th Army in Italy. ... The German Tenth Army (German: ) was a World War II field army. ...


Operation Avalanche was planned under the name Top Hat and supported by a deception plan Operation Boardman, a false threat of an Allied invasion of the Balkans. During World War II, Operation Boardman was the deception operation that supported the Avalanche invasion at Salerno, Italy. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...


Battle

Operations in southern Italy

US General Mark Wayne Clark on board USS Ancon during the landings at Salerno, Italy, 12 September 1943.
US General Mark Wayne Clark on board USS Ancon during the landings at Salerno, Italy, 12 September 1943.
The 370th Regiment advances through Prato, Italy.
The 370th Regiment advances through Prato, Italy.

In Operation Baytown on 3 September 1943, the first troops ashore on the mainland were the British Eighth Army, which included British and Canadian troops, under General Bernard Montgomery. Opposition to the landings was light; the Italian units surrendered almost immediately, leaving a single German regiment to defend 17 miles (27 km) of coast. Albert Kesselring and his staff did not believe the Calabria landings were the main Allied attack, the Salerno region or possibly even north of Rome being the more logical points of attack. He therefore ordered General Traugott Herr's LXXVI Panzer Corps to pull back from engagement with 8th Army and delay them with demolition of bridges. Thus Montgomery's objections to the operation were proved correct: the Eighth Army could not tie down German units that refused battle, and the main obstacle to their advance was the terrain and German demolitions of roads and bridges. By 8 September, Kesselring had concentrated Heinrich von Vietinghoff's 10th Army, ready to make a rapid response to any Allied landing.[3] Image File history File links Download high resolution version (600x765, 54 KB) Photo #: 80-G-87335 Lieutenant General Mark W. Clark, U.S. Army, Commanding General, Fifth Army On board USS Ancon (AGC-4) during the landings at Salerno, Italy, 12 September 1943. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (600x765, 54 KB) Photo #: 80-G-87335 Lieutenant General Mark W. Clark, U.S. Army, Commanding General, Fifth Army On board USS Ancon (AGC-4) during the landings at Salerno, Italy, 12 September 1943. ... Mark Wayne Clark was an American general during World War II and the Korean War. ... USS Ancon (ACG-4) was launched on 24 September 1938 at Quincy, Mass. ... is the 255th day of the year (256th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link will display full 1943 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 495 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (1125 × 1361 pixel, file size: 345 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Moving up through Prato, Italy, men of the 370th Infantry Regiment, have yet to climb the mountain which lies ahead. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 495 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (1125 × 1361 pixel, file size: 345 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Moving up through Prato, Italy, men of the 370th Infantry Regiment, have yet to climb the mountain which lies ahead. ... For other uses, see Prato (disambiguation). ... is the 246th day of the year (247th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link will display full 1943 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Bernard Law Montgomery Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein (November 17, 1887 - March 24, 1976) was a British military officer during World War II often referred to as Monty. ... Albrecht von Kesselring (August 8, 1881 - July 16, 1960) was a Generalfeldmarschall during World War II. One of the most respected and skillful generals of Nazi Germany, he was nicknamed Smiling Albert or Smiling Kesselring. At least one source claims that Kesselring was born on August 8, 1881 [1]. However... is the 251st day of the year (252nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Heinrich von Vietinghoff, during World War II, was a General of the German Wehrmacht who commanded the German 10th Army in Italy. ...


On 8 September, before the main invasion, the surrender of Italy to the Allies was announced. Italian units ceased combat, and the Navy sailed to Allied ports to surrender. However the German forces in Italy were prepared for such an eventuality and moved to disarm Italian units and occupy important defensive positions. is the 251st day of the year (252nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Armistice with Italy is an armistice that occurred on September 8, 1943, during World War II. It was signed by Italy and the Allied armed forces, who were occupying the southern half of the country at the time. ...


Operation Slapstick commenced on 9 September, during which the British 1st Airborne Division was landed at Taranto, an important naval base. Since the Italians surrendered the previous day and since few German forces were in the area, the British troops were landed directly into the port from warships rather than carrying out an amphibious assault. Resistance was slight, and the town and ports were captured almost immediately and quickly secured with few losses. is the 252nd day of the year (253rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Salerno landings

Operation Avalanche - the main invasion at Salerno by the United States Fifth Army - began on 9 September, and in order to secure surprise, the decision had been taken to assault without preliminary naval or aerial bombardment. Tactical surprise was however not achieved, as the naval commanders had predicted. As the first wave of the U.S. 36th Infantry Division approached the shore at Paestum a loudspeaker from the landing area proclaimed in English: "Come on in and give up. We have you covered." The Allied troops attacked nonetheless. is the 252nd day of the year (253rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The 36th Infantry Division—also known as the Fighting 36th, the Lone Star Division, the Panther Division, or the Texas Division—is an infantry division of the United States Army National Guard. ...


X Corps, composed of the British 46th and 56th Divisions and a light infantry force of U.S. Rangers and Royal Marine Commandos, experienced mixed reactions to its landings. The Rangers were unopposed and seized their mountain pass objectives. The Commandos came ashore against light resistance and captured the city of Salerno quickly. The two infantry divisions, however, met determined resistance and had to fight their way ashore with the help of naval bombardments. The depth and intensity of German resistance forced British commanders to concentrate their forces, rather than driving for a linkup with the Americans to the south. // The British 46th (North Midland) Division was a 1st Line Territorial Army division. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with 56th (1/1st London) Division. ... Official force name 75th Ranger Regiment Rangers Other names Airborne Rangers Army Rangers Task Force Ranger U.S. Army Rangers Branch U.S. Army Chain of Command USASOC Description Special Operations Force, rapidly deployable light infantry force. ... The Corps of Royal Marines, usually just known as the Royal Marines (RM), are the United Kingdoms amphibious forces and a core component of the countrys Rapid Reaction Force. ... The British Commandos were first formed by the Army in June 1940 during World War II as a well-armed but non-regimental raider force employing unconventional and irregular tactics to assault, disrupt and reconnoitre the enemy in mainland Europe and Scandinavia. ...


At Paestum, the Germans had established artillery and machine-gun posts and dispersed tanks through the landing zones that made progress difficult. The 36th Division had not been in combat before, and despite being slow to organize, the beach areas were successfully taken. Around 07:00 a concerted counterattack was made by the 16th Panzer division. It caused heavy casualties but was beaten off with naval gunfire support. To the south, the 1st Battalion of the division's 141st Infantry Regiment, was pinned down in an all day battle and out of radio contact. Paestum is the classical Roman name of a major Graeco-Roman city in the Campania region of Italy. ...


Because the British and American beachheads were still separated by a five mile gap, all of which was in the area assigned to the two British divisions, the Corps boundaries were re-drawn to facilitate X Corps' operations, assigning most of the unsecured area to VI Corps. The two forces linked up by the end of day two and occupied 35-45 miles (55-70 km) of coast line to a depth of six or seven miles (10-12 km).


German counterattacks

During 12 September-14 September, the Germans began a concerted counterattack with parts of six divisions of motorised troops, hoping to throw the Salerno beachhead into the sea before it could link with the British 8th Army. Heavy casualties were inflicted; the American troops especially were too thinly spread to be able to resist concentrated attacks. The entire 2nd Battalion 143rd Infantry of the 36th Division was trapped between German tank thrusts and virtually destroyed. is the 255th day of the year (256th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 257th day of the year (258th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... A beachhead is a military term used to describe the line created when a unit (by sea) reaches a beach, and begins to defend that area of beach, while other reinforcements (hopefully) help out, until a unit large enough to begin advancing has arrived. ...


On the left of the VI Corps, where the U.S. 45th Infantry Division had landed and moved into the line to fill the area formerly assigned to 10 Corps, German Panzer units made significant gains. On 13 September, the right of the 45th Division gave way, driving a salient between the two American divisions where the Sele River and Calore Lucano river merged. The German armored attack, approximately 4 miles from the forward supply dumps on the beachhead, was stopped by artillery, naval gunfire, and a makeshift infantry position manned by artillerymen. Insignia of the 45th Infantry Division The 45th Infantry Division was a unit of the United States Army in World War II. // Pre-World War II Activated: In 1924 as a National Guard Division in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. ... is the 256th day of the year (257th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Sele is a river in southwestern Italy. ... The Calore or Calore Lucano or Calore Salernitano is a river in southwestern Italy. ...


The forward units of both divisions were withdrawn behind the T. La Caso (river) to reduce the length of defensive lines. The new perimeter was held with the assistance of the 82nd Airborne Division. Two battalions (1,800 paratroops) of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment jumped on the night of 13 September inside the beachhead and moved immediately into the line on the right of VI Corps. The next night, with the crisis passed, the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment also parachuted into the beachhead and reinforced the 504th. The 325th Glider Infantry Regiment, reinforced by the 3rd Battalion 504th PIR, landed by sea on 15 September. It has been suggested that 504 PIR World War Two Campaign Details be merged into this article or section. ... is the 256th day of the year (257th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment (505th PIR) is one of three infantry regiments of the 82nd Airborne Division of the United States Army. ... Lineage for the 1st Battalion - 325th Infantry Regiment Constituted 5 August 1917 in the National Army as Company A, 325th Infantry, an element of the 82d Division Organized 1 September 1917 at Camp Gordon, Georgia Demobilized 18 May 1919 at Camp Upton, New York Reconstituted 24 June 1921 in the... is the 258th day of the year (259th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


With strong naval gunfire support, and well-served by Fifth Army's artillery, the reinforced and reorganized infantry units defeated all German attempts on 14 September to find a weak spot in the lines. German losses, particularly in tanks, were severe. German probes continued on 15 September, but when it became clear early on 16 September that the Allies were too strong and well-positioned to be displaced, von Vietinghoff ordered 10th Army to withdraw to the north, covered by skilled delaying actions. Patrols in both Allied corps areas on 17 September found that the Germans had broken contact everywhere on the beachhead, and after re-securing all objectives on 18 September, Fifth Army began its advance north. is the 257th day of the year (258th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 258th day of the year (259th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... // 1400 - Owain Glyndŵr declared Prince of Wales by his followers. ... is the 260th day of the year (261st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 261st day of the year (262nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


General Mark W. Clark was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the second-highest U.S. award for valor in combat, for his front-line leadership during this crisis. He was frequently seen in the most forward positions encouraging the troops. However, in the opinion of historian Carlo D'Este, Clark's poor planning of the operation caused the crisis in the first place. Clark himself blamed the slowness of the Eighth Army for the beachhead crisis, for which there was at least some validity. On 9 September, the day of the landings, Montgomery had stopped his advance for two days to give Eighth Army a rest. Mark Wayne Clark (May 1, 1896 - April 17, 1984) was an American general during World War II and the Korean War. ... The Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) is the second highest military decoration of the United States Army, awarded for extreme gallantry and risk of life in actual combat with an armed enemy force. ... is the 252nd day of the year (253rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


The Salerno battle was also the site of the Salerno Mutiny instigated by about 600 men of the British X Corps, who on 16 September refused assignment to new units as replacements. They had previously understood that they would be returning to their own units from which they had been separated during the fighting in the North African Campaign, mainly because they had been wounded. Eventually the corps commander, McCreery, persuaded most of the men to follow their orders. The NCOs who led the mutiny were sentenced to death but were eventually allowed to rejoin units and the sentence was not carried out. The Salerno Mutiny was a mutiny by about 600 men of the British X Corps, who on September 16, 1943 refused assignment to new units as replacements during the Allied invasion of Italy. ... // 1400 - Owain Glyndŵr declared Prince of Wales by his followers. ... During World War II, the North African Campaign, also known as the Desert War, took place in the North African desert from September 13, 1940 to May 13, 1943. ... A non-commissioned officer (sometimes noncommissioned officer), also known as an NCO or noncom, is a non-commissioned member of an armed force who has been given authority by a commissioned officer. ...


Further Allied advances

With the Salerno beachhead secure, the Fifth Army began its attack northwest towards Naples on 19 September. The 82nd Airborne, after suffering serious casualties near Altavilla Silentina, was shifted to X Corps, joining the Rangers and the British 23rd Armoured Brigade on the Sorrento Peninsula to flank the German defenses at Nocera, which the 46th (North Midland) Division attacked. The 7th Armoured Division, passing through the 46th Division, was assigned the task of taking Naples, while the newly landed U.S. 3rd Infantry Division took Acerno on 22 September and Avellino on 28 September. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1160x796, 756 KB) khfgxdkhjgfbnsdkghj File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Barbara Line Bernhardt Line Winter Line Allied invasion of Italy Volturno Line Adolf Hitler Line Roman switch... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1160x796, 756 KB) khfgxdkhjgfbnsdkghj File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Barbara Line Bernhardt Line Winter Line Allied invasion of Italy Volturno Line Adolf Hitler Line Roman switch... The Winter Line was a series of German military fortifications in Italy, constructed during World War II by Organisation Todt. ... is the 262nd day of the year (263rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Altavilla Silentina is a town of the Province of Salerno, in the Campania Region, just 70 miles south of Naples. ... A Second World War British Territorial Army Brigade. ... Nocera Umbra (Latin Nuceria Camellaria) is a town in the province of Perugia, Italy, 12 miles by rail north by east of Foligno, at an altitude of 520 m (1706 ft. ... // The British 46th (North Midland) Division was a 1st Line Territorial Army division. ... Composed of regular British Army units, the famous Desert Rats division was originally formed as the Mobile Division or Mobile Force (Egypt) and was one of two training commands used by the British before World War II to develop armoured warfare techniques. ... Shoulder sleeve patch of the United States Army 3d Infantry Division (Mechanized). ... Acerno, is a town and commune in the province of Salerno (Campania, southern Italy). ... is the 265th day of the year (266th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Avellino is a town and comune, capital of the province of Avellino in the Campania region of southern Italy. ... is the 271st day of the year (272nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


The 8th Army had been making good progress from the "toe" in the face of German engineer actions and linked with the 1st Airborne Division on the Adriatic coast. It united the left of its front with the Fifth Army's right on 16 September and advancing up the Adriatic coast captured the airfields near Foggia on 27 September. Foggia was a major Allied objective because the large airfield complex there would give the Allied air forces the ability to strike new targets in France, Germany and the Balkans. A satellite image of the Adriatic Sea. ... // 1400 - Owain Glyndŵr declared Prince of Wales by his followers. ... is the 270th day of the year (271st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Squadron A of the King's Dragoon Guards entered Naples on 1 October and the entire Fifth Army, now consisting of three British and five U.S. divisions, reached the line of the Volturno River on 6 October. This provided a natural defensive barrier, securing Naples, the Campainian Plain and the vital airfields on it from German counterattack. Meanwhile, on the Adriatic coast, the British 8th Army had advanced to a line from Campobasso to Larino and Termoli on the Biferno river. The 1st Kings Dragoon Guards was a cavalry regiment in the British Army. ... is the 274th day of the year (275th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Volturno (ancient Latin name Volturnus, from volvere, to roll) is a river in south-central Italy. ... is the 279th day of the year (280th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Campobasso is the capital city of the Molise region in Italy. ... Larino is a town (it. ... Termoli is a medium-sized town on the Adriatic coast of Italy, in the province of Campobasso, region of Molise. ...


Aftermath

The German 10th Army had come close to defeating the Salerno beachhead. Despite using six divisions of tanks and mechanzed infantry, the German attacks had not had sufficient forces to both break through Allied lines and exploit the gains in the face of Allied artillery and naval gunfire support. The Allies had been fortunate that at this time Adolf Hitler had sided with the view of his Army Group commander in Northern Italy, Field Marshall Erwin Rommel, and decided that defending Italy south of Rome was not a strategic priority. As a result, the Army Group Commander in southern Italy, Field Marshall Albert Kesselring had been forbidden to call upon reserves from the northern Army Group. Hitler redirects here. ... Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel ( ) (15 November 1891 – 14 October 1944) was one of the most famous German field marshals of World War II. He was the commander of the Deutsches Afrika Korps and also became known by the nickname “The Desert Fox” (Wüstenfuchs,  ) for the skillful military campaigns he...


The subsequent success of the 10th Army in inflicting heavy casualties, and Kesselring's strategic arguments, led Hitler to agree that the Allies should be kept away from German borders and prevented from gaining the oil resources of the Balkans. On 6 November[4] Hitler withdrew Rommel to oversee the build-up of defenses in northern France and gave Kesselring command of the whole of Italy with a remit to keep Rome in German hands for as long as possible. is the 310th day of the year (311th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


By early October, the whole of southern Italy was in Allied hands, and the Allied armies stood facing the Volturno Line, the first of a series of prepared defensive lines running across Italy from which the Germans chose to fight delaying actions, giving ground slowly and buying time to complete their preparation of the Winter Line, their strongest defensive line south of Rome. The next stage of the Italian Campaign became for the Allied armies a grinding and attritional slog against skillful, determined and well prepared defenses in terrain and weather conditions which favoured defense and hampered the Allied advantages in mechanised equipment and air superiority. It took until mid-January 1944 to fight through the Volturno, Barbara and Bernhardt lines to reach the Gustav Line, the backbone of the Winter Line defenses, setting the scene for the four battles of Monte Cassino which took place between January and May 1944. The Volturno Line was a German defensive position in Italy during World War II. The line ran from Termoli in the east, along the Biferno River through the Apennine Mountains to the Volturno River in the west. ... The Winter Line was a series of German military fortifications in Italy, constructed during World War II by Organisation Todt. ... Artillery being landed during the invasion of mainland Italy at Salerno, September 1943. ... The Volturno Line was a German defensive position in Italy during World War II. The line ran from Termoli in the east, along the Biferno River through the Apennine Mountains to the Volturno River in the west. ... During World War II, the Barbara Line was a series of German military fortifications in Italy, some ten to twenty miles south of the Gustav Line, and a similar distance north of the Volturno Line. ... The Bernhardt Line (or Reinhard Line) was a German defensive line in Italy during World War II. Unlike most of the other defensive lines it did not run all the way across Italy, but was merely a bulge in the Gustav Line in the region of Monte Cassino, enclosing the... The Winter Line was a series of German military fortifications in Italy, constructed during World War II by Organisation Todt. ... Combatants United Kingdom United States Poland New Zealand Canada Free France India and others Germany Commanders Harold Alexander Mark Clark Oliver Leese Albert Kesselring Heinrich von Vietinghoff Frido von Senger Strength 105,000 80,000 Casualties 54,000 20,000 The Battle of Monte Cassino (also known as the Battle...


See also

Artillery being landed during the invasion of mainland Italy at Salerno, September 1943. ... This page is intended to serve as a focal point for studying Italian military history during the WWII-era. ... Animation of the WWII European Theatre. ...

Footnotes

  1. ^ John Grigg, 1943:The Victory that Never Was
  2. ^ Grigg
  3. ^ Lloyd Clark, Anzio, p20
  4. ^ Orgill, The Gothic Line, p5

References

  • Clark, Lloyd (2006). Anzio. Headline Publishing Group, London. ISBN 0 7553 1420 1. 
  • D'Este, Carlo (1991). Fatal Decision: Anzio and the Battle for Rome. ISBN 0-06-092148-X. 
  • Fifth Army Historical Section (1944). CMH Online bookshelves: Salerno American Operations From the Beaches to the Volturno 9 September - 6 October 1943. Washington: US Army Center of Military History. CMH Pub 100-7. 
  • Grigg, John (1982). 1943: The Victory that Never Was. Kensington Pub Corp. ISBN 0-8217-1596-8. 
  • Muhm, Gerhard (1993). La Tattica tedesca nella Campagna d'Italia, in Linea Gotica avanposto dei Balcani, (Hrsg.) (in Italian). Roma: Amedeo Montemaggi - Edizioni Civitas. 
  • Muhm, Gerhard. German Tactics in the Italian Campaign (in English).
  • Orgill, Douglas (1967). The Gothic Line (The Autumn Campaign in Italy 1944). London: Heinemann. 
  • Smith, Col. Kenneth V. (1944). CMH Online bookshelves: WWII Campaigns, Naples-Foggia 9 September 1943-21 January 1944. Washington: US Army Center of Military History. CMH Pub 72-17. 

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
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It could also act as a precursor to the invasion of Italy, although this was not agreed by the Allies at the time of the invasion, the Americans in particular resisting commitment to any operation which might conceivably delay the invasion of France.
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