If I know that the enemy can be attacked and that my troops are capable of attacking him, but do not realize that because of the conformation of the ground I should not attack, my chance of victory is but half.
SUN TZU, The Art of War
Stalemate Along the Caesar Line
On the afternoon of 24 May General Clark asked General Truscott, "Have you considered changing the direction of your attack to the northwest--toward Rome?"
General Truscott, whose attention was still focused on Valmontone and Highway 6, replied that he had, but only in the event that Mackensen shifted a significant part of the still formidable I Parachute Corps from the Alban Hills into the Valmontone Gap. Since such a concentration might delay the VI Corps long enough to allow the Germans to slip through Valmontone, Truscott thought that under those circumstances "an attack to the northwest might be the best way to cut off the enemy withdrawal north of the Alban Hills." To meet such a contingency, his staff had kept plan TURTLE current--an attack to the northwest directly toward Rome.1
Clark's question was for Truscott the first indication since the meeting at Army headquarters a few days before the breakout offensive began that the Fifth Army commander was still seriously considering modification of Operation BUFFALO. Although Clark said nothing further at the moment, Truscott was puzzled over Clark's apparent desire to tinker with an operation that seemed to be moving rapidly to a successful conclusion.2
In spite of Truscott's confidence in the operation, Clark continued to question the validity of what he considered to be Alexander's strategic concept. Seeing the attack toward Valmontone as simply the result of a "long-standing . . . preconceived idea" promoted by Alexander's chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Sir John Harding, General Clark believed it was "based upon the false premise that if Highway 6 were cut at Valmontone a German army would be annihilated." The many alternate roads leading northward out of the Sacco-Liri valley, he believed, would enable the Tenth Army to bypass a trap at Valmontone. Clark became more and more convinced that instead of continuing a major effort toward Valmontone and Highway 6, he should be driving straight for Rome.3
Clark's conviction was strengthened by his estimate of the enemy's dispositions. According to G-2 reports, remnants
AERIAL VIEW OF VALMONTONE AND HIGHWAY 6
of the 362d Division had withdrawn from Cisterna into the sector between Velletri and Valmontone, and Kesselring had ordered the Hermann Goering Division into the Valmontone Gap. General Clark also suspected that Mackensen would shift units from the Fourteenth Army's right flank toward Valmontone, and would thereby significantly thin out the I Parachute Corps' defense in the Alban Hills. Earlier German actions along the Gustav Line, where forces had been transferred from the mountains in order to buttress defenses athwart natural routes of advance, tended to support his reasoning.4
Even if the VI Corps managed to break through to Valmontone--which Clark saw as unlikely in view of the reported enemy build-up there--Clark concluded that the lengthening line of communications extending from Anzio toward Valmontone would become increasingly vulnerable to German forces in the Alban Hills. Without further staff discussion on the subject, Clark decided to modify Operation BUFFALO significantly
and turn the bulk of Truscott's corps northwestward into the Alban Hills.5
On 25 May Clark directed his G-3, General Brann, to inform General Truscott of the new objective. "We will capture Rome," Clark said confidently, ". . . it is just a matter of time."6
Visiting his subordinate commanders on the morning of 25 May, and unaware of the impending change in plan, Truscott was pleased with what he saw. The 1st Armored Division was within four miles of Velletri. The 3d Division was closing in on Cori. Frederick's 1st Special Service Force was nearing the summit of Monte Arrestino on the VI Corps' right flank. All shared Truscott's confidence that by the following morning the VI Corps "would be astride the German line of withdrawal through Valmontone."7
Returning to his command post about noon, Truscott found General Brann waiting for him. "The Boss wants you to leave the 3d Infantry Division and the Special Force to block Highway 6," Brann said, "and mount that assault you discussed with him to the northwest as soon as you can."8
Truscott was dumbfounded. There was as yet no indication, he protested, that the enemy had significantly weakened his defenses in the Alban Hills. That was, he insisted, the only condition that would justify modifying BUFFALO. Nor, unlike Clark, did Truscott have evidence of an important enemy build-up in the Valmontone area, except for an identification of reconnaissance elements of the Hermann Goering Division. This was no time, the corps commander argued, to shift the main effort of his attack to the northwest toward the I Parachute Corps where the enemy was still strong. The offensive should continue instead with "maximum power into the Valmontone Gap to insure destruction of the German Army."9
When Truscott said he wanted to talk with Clark before abandoning BUFFALO, Brann said that was impossible. The Army commander had left the beachhead and was out of reach of radio. There was no point arguing; the "Boss" had said attack to the northwest and that was an order. Truscott told his staff to prepare to implement the order.10
Later that afternoon, apparently disturbed that his protest might indicate an unwillingness to pursue the new course, Truscott called Brann and expressed enthusiasm for the new plan. "I feel very strongly that we should do this thing. We should do it tomorrow. May not be able to get it organized before noon. I have preparations going on . . ."11 Yet despite that turnabout, Truscott actually believed Clark's decision to be basically wrong. He determined nevertheless to carry it out wholeheartedly, and he intended for his division commanders to do the same.12
Shifting the Attack
25-26 May 1944
The test came shortly before midnight when Truscott met with his commanders in the VI Corps command post to tell them of the change. It was a gloomy gathering, for rumors of the change had already reached the divisions. Although Truscott presented the new plan with zeal, he failed to change the prevailing mood. Generals Harmon and O'Daniel were especially bitter, for they deemed they were on the threshold of success. The decision was unjustifiable, they argued, because their divisions would soon be astride Highway 6 and in possession of Valmontone from which they could make a rapid advance along the highway to Rome.13
Without minimizing the problems inherent in the change in direction, Truscott eloquently defended Clark's concept. The German Tenth Army's retreat from the southern front and Kesselring's shift of reserves from the north, Truscott declared, had led Clark to believe that "in the Valmontone Gap the going will grow increasingly more difficult." Nor would cutting Highway 6 guarantee destruction of the Tenth Army, for the German troops could withdraw over alternate routes. Although Truscott conceded that Allied forces would eventually have to break through the defenses at Valmontone, he endorsed Clark's theory that an attack northwestward into the Alban Hills would enable the Fifth Army to outflank those defenses and open the road to Rome more quickly. "It is," Truscott said stoutly, "an idea with which I am heartily in accord."14
The VI Corps, General Truscott announced, was to attack the next day on a three-mile front with two divisions abreast, the 34th and the 45th, to occupy a general line between Campoleone and Lanuvio, respectively four and eight miles west of Velletri. Since the divisions were to attack on a relatively narrow front and in some depth, the attack would be powerful and capable of punching a hole in the last enemy defenses south of Rome.15 (Map VI)
Those defenses, Truscott continued, were manned by Schlemm's I Parachute Corps--composed of the 4th Parachute, the 65th Infantry, and the 3d Panzer Grenadier Divisions, significantly weakened, Truscott's G-2 had assured him, by shifts to reinforce the Cisterna and Valmontone sectors. Elements of the 334th Infantry Division had also been identified, and an additional battalion of paratroopers could be expected; otherwise, between Velletri and Campoleone to the southwest there was only a "hodgepodge of units," much like those encountered when the corps had first landed at Anzio. Moreover, the 362d Division, which had defended the Cisterna sector, was believed to be virtually destroyed, and the 715th Division had been severely hurt.16
This latter estimate was reasonably accurate. Yet the analysts overlooked the fact that even though the I Parachute Corps lacked many tanks, assault guns, and antitank pieces, the corps' three divisions still represented a strong
and as yet uncommitted force, well entrenched in the only completed portion of the Caesar Line.
Moreover, the situation labeled a "hodgepodge of units" prevailed not to the southwest of Velletri, but more nearly described that on the sector around Valmontone. Even as the U.S. VI Corps began to shift its main attack from the northeast to the northwest, General O'Daniel's reinforced 3d Division continued to push toward Valmontone and Highway 6. That development so disturbed Field Marshal Kesselring that he abandoned all plans for reinforcing the Tenth Army. Instead he began to send everything he could lay his hands on--a rocket launcher unit from the 334th Division, an infantry regiment from the 90th Division, and an antiaircraft artillery battery--toward Valmontone and Highway 6 to reinforce the Fourteenth Army's left wing, and to cover the Tenth Army's right flank.17 Until division-sized reinforcements might arrive, these forces were indeed a hodgepodge of units, and through most of the 27th were all that stood between Truscott's VI Corps and its original objective.
By shifting the direction of the VI Corps offensive, Clark had of course altered Operation BUFFALO significantly, but he had not completely buried it.18 A force sizable enough to justify Kesselring's concern continued in the direction of Highway 6 and Valmontone. While General O'Daniel's 3d Division made up the bulk of this force, it also included Frederick's 1st Special Service Force, operating on the right flank, as well as Howze's armored task force on the left. Operation BUFFALO had been downgraded to a secondary operation, and, if the enemy could bring in sufficient force in time, might become essentially defensive rather than offensive.19 To be sure, Clark planned eventually to augment O'Daniel's force with Keyes' II Corps after it had completed its task in the mountains to the south, but it was questionable whether this augmentation could be made in time to accomplish Operation BUFFALO's strategic objective.
Led by a battalion of the 15th Infantry, the 3d Division at first encountered little opposition. It was a mild May day and, since the enemy had seemingly vanished, the troops began to react to the balmy weather, so much that an irate division staff officer was prompted to upbraid his counterpart on the staff of the offending regiment. "Today your troops up there seem[ed] to be relaxing without helmets, arms . . . picking daisies, and enjoying the spring air. What do you think--that the war is over?"20
The vernal interlude was rudely shattered that afternoon when a flight of American fighter-bombers, mistaking the 3d Division's columns for fleeing enemy troops, attacked without warning. About five P-40's first bombed the columns, then returned to strafe the scattered infantrymen. As the planes disappeared in the distance, they left
behind over a hundred men killed or wounded and a number of vehicles destroyed, including several loaded with ammunition.21
The tragic mistake was especially costly to smaller units, such as the 10th Field Artillery Battalion. Two battery commanders were killed and a third battery commander, the communications officer, the assistant S-2, and the antitank officer wounded.22 Even as the units were caring for their casualties, other Allied aircraft bombed Cori, which had been in American hands since early morning. It took engineers five hours to clear a path through rubble blocking the main road in the town.23
The mistaken bombing prompted the division commander, General O'Daniel, to substitute the 7th Infantry for the 15th Infantry and to send the 30th Infantry to cover the flanks. One battalion of the 30th Infantry moved northwestward from Giulianello to screen the left and a second marched eastward from Giulianello to screen the right. Following a narrow twisting road toward the village of Rocca Massima, the second battalion surprised and captured the village's garrison, a German infantry company. Meanwhile, the 7th Infantry passed through the 15th and continued on toward Artena, where after dark the regiment halted in hills southwest of the town.24
Screening the 3d Division's left flank, Colonel Howze's task force advanced that afternoon far beyond Giulianello, and as darkness approached one tank company came to a halt within 800 yards of Highway 6, not far from Labico, a village about two miles northwest of Valmontone. When the tanks approached the highway, enemy antitank fire destroyed three and forced the remainder to fall back into cover.25
Despite the setback, General O'Daniel was markedly encouraged by the progress on the 26th. That evening he observed to the VI Corps commander, "This area is very soft . . . . I'm convinced we could go into Rome, if we had more stuff up here."26 Truscott shared O'Daniel's optimism and urged him to occupy the Artena-Valmontone area and cut the highway before daybreak. Willing to give O'Daniel an additional tank battalion to do the job, Truscott reminded him, "Highway 6 must be . . . cut and the gap between Artena and the Alban Hills must be kept closed."27
In giving vent to such optimism and ambition, neither O'Daniel nor Truscott was affording sufficient weight to a disturbing portent that had developed in late afternoon as the 7th Infantry approached Artena. The German troops pushed back by the men of the 7th Infantry were from the reconnaissance battalion of the Hermann Goering Division. General O'Daniel displayed a more realistic interpretation of the implication in that intelligence when in the evening he told Colonel Howze to
withdraw his tank company near Highway 6 at Labico and tie the company in with the task force's main position along the railroad west of Artena.
Nevertheless, even if the presence of the enemy reconnaissance battalion did presage early commitment of the entire Hermann Goering Division, a chance still remained that the reinforced 3d Division might yet get to Valmontone ahead of the German reinforcements and, as Truscott had urged, close "the gap between Artena and the Alban Hills." If that could be accomplished, Operation BUFFALO's original goal might be partially achieved despite General Clark's decision to shift the VI Corps' main effort northward into the Alban Hills.
Presence of the enemy reconnaissance battalion did indeed indicate that Field Marshal Kesselring was planning to commit the Hermann Goering Division at Valmontone, although except for the reconnaissance battalion, he intended waiting until the entire division arrived before committing the rest of the division. Yet that would be difficult to do, for, hard hit by Allied aircraft en route, units of the division, often without much of their heavy equipment, trickled in. Alarmed at the pace of the American advance, the division commander, Generalmajor Wilhelm Schmalz, took it on his own to reinforce the reconnaissance battalion with the other units as they arrived.
When word of what was happening reached army group headquarters, Kesselring sent a sharply worded order to disengage the division immediately and hold it in an assembly area north of Valmontone. The order reached General Schmalz on the morning of the 27th. Convinced that if he followed the order the Americans would quickly cut Highway 6, General Schmalz ignored it. Kesselring, he believed, was unaware of the true situation and, once he understood it, would endorse Schmalz's decision.28
In the meantime, Kesselring apparently came to the same conclusion, for later in the morning he removed all restrictions on commitment of the Hermann Goering Division. The Fourteenth Army commander, General von Mackensen, then ordered Schmalz to counterattack at noon. Although Schmalz had issued such an order, he found American artillery fire so punishing and the ground over which the attack had to move so exposed that he later postponed the attack until 1930, hopeful that gathering darkness would enhance the chance of success. Unfortunately for Schmalz's plan notification of delay failed to reach all units.29
That development explains why the Germans launched a virtually suicidal counterattack that afternoon. Shortly after noon, Colonel Howze's outposts along the railroad west of Artena reported what seemed to be enemy infantry advancing through the wheat fields in full view of the American positions. Doubting that the Germans would actually be so foolhardy, the men in the outposts asked if they might possibly be Americans. "Hell, no, shoot them up!" Colonel Howze himself bellowed into the phone. Leaving his command post, the task force commander raced forward in his jeep "to get in on the
show." When he reached his front line, Howze could scarcely believe his eyes, " . . . the jerries walking and crawling through the wheat on the hillsides only 1,500 yards away." Here was the long-expected Hermann Goering Division "coming in to face us." Howze's tanks opened fire with devastating results. Gazing out over the carnage, Howze mused, "Why over the hills in daylight? . . . another mystery."30
The remainder of the Hermann Goering Division attacked at 1930, striking hard at Task Force Howze's left flank. Slipping through a wooded area on the left and firing from the shelter of the trees, a German self-propelled gun destroyed two of Howze's tanks. At the same time, accurate artillery fire hit the American positions, falling primarily on men of the 1st Battalion, 6th Armored Infantry, and perilously close to Howze's command post. Even as the infantrymen sought cover, a "terrific pounding of 155's"--short rounds from their own supporting guns--hit their positions. As if to compound the confusion, a group of 160 replacements arrived just as the bombardment began. Bewildered and frightened, the men flung themselves to the ground; over half of them were killed or wounded. The infantry battalion commander and all three of his artillery observers exposed themselves selflessly at the radio transmitter in futile efforts to halt the American fire, but they were killed during the barrage. Taking advantage of the artillery fire and confusion among the Americans, Schmalz's troops penetrated the 6th Armored Infantry's lines, but the surviving infantry halted them short of a breakthrough.
Under the circumstances, Colonel Howze decided to refuse his embattled left by withdrawing the company holding the flank. After night came the company pulled back about 1,500 yards, while the supporting artillery--the U.S. 91st Armored Field Artillery Battalion and the British 24th Royal Artillery Field Regiment--hurled salvo after salvo beyond the lines. In the face of that fire, the Germans desisted. Early the following morning Howze sent his infantry back into the abandoned positions.
In the meantime, the 15th Infantry early on the 27th had again taken the lead in the attack on Artena. Although the regiment entered the town by 0900, the men were unable to clear the last resistance until late afternoon, about three hours before the German strike against Task Force Howze. The surviving Germans in Artena withdrew a mile north to the Artena railroad station where they hastily constructed field fortifications blocking the way to Valmontone--only a tempting mile and a half away.31
Although the Hermann Goering Division's counterattack had failed to hold the ground gained on the 27th, and the Americans had taken Artena, the Germans had thrown O'Daniel's force sufficiently off balance to force a postponement of the drive toward Valmontone and Highway 6. Relieving Task Force Howze, the 7th Infantry attacked through the day of the 28th advancing over the same grain fields through which the Germans had attacked on the
27th--but gained only a few hundred yards before coming to a halt in the face of heavy enemy fire.32
Late on the 28th the 1st Battalion, 6th Armored Infantry, followed the next day by the 91st Armored Field Artillery, withdrew from the task force and returned to the 1st Armored Division, then preparing to join the drive on Rome through the Alban Hills. The remainder of Howze's task force then reverted to 3d Division reserve. By noon on the 29th General O'Daniel's troops held a line across the Valmontone corridor from the northeastern corner of the Alban Hills east to the Lepini Mountains. The right was held by General Frederick's 1st Special Service Force, the center of the line by the 7th, and the left by the 30th Infantry, with the 15th Infantry in reserve. The 91st Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron had moved up on the right to patrol the hills between the 1st Special Service Force and the FEC, advancing through the Lepini Mountains toward Colleferro, some five miles east of Artena.33
At this point General Clark decided to halt the drive toward Valmontone briefly until General O'Daniel's troops could be reinforced, for, in his words, "Valmontone and the high ground to the north and to the west is so strongly held and in the enemy's main defense position that to send one division to the north alone would meet with disaster."34 General Clark gave yet another reason for his decision. The thrust toward Valmontone had exposed the VI Corps' right flank, and an enemy division--the 715th--was facing it. As it turned out that decision, in reality, constituted no threat, for its remnants were even then desperately attempting to escape northward before being trapped between the Americans and the French.
In General Juin's corps, operating on the Fifth Army's right flank across the northwestern slopes of the Lepini Mountains, Clark had a strong force which, if used boldly, might be able to cut the enemy's LOC--Highway 6-- several miles east of Valmontone. Recognizing this opportunity, and faced with the very real prospect of being pinched out of line by the U.S. VI Corps and the Eighth Army, Juin proposed on 28 May that his corps debouch from the mountains into the Sacco valley. Thus would the French outflank the enemy east of Valmontone then drive toward Tivoli in the Sabine Hills east of Rome. Alexander, unlike Clark, did not favor such a maneuver, and forbade the French to cross the Sacco River.35
General Alexander objected mainly because he wanted to keep Highway 6 clear for the approaching Canadian Corps on the Eighth Army's left wing. Yet the Canadians, after taking Ceprano on the 27th and on the following day pushing on to the outskirts of Arce some forty miles southeast of Valmontone, would not reach Frosinone until the 31st. Meanwhile Juin sent his corps over the northern and northwestern
slopes of the Lepini Mountains toward a junction with the U.S. VI Corps near Artena. The 4th Moroccan Mountain Division then relieved the U.S. 88th Infantry Division on a sector extending westward to Sezze. Alexander's concern for keeping Highway 6 free for Leese's army was obviously overly sanguine, for it was evident to both Clark and Juin that it would be some time before the Eighth Army drew abreast.36
Yet reinforcement of the diluted drive on Valmontone was destined to come from another quarter. On 25 May General Keyes' II Corps had made contact with the VI Corps near Sezze about twelve miles southeast of Cisterna. As for the FEC, denied permission to strike out directly for Ferentino and Highway 6, it would continue in a northeasterly direction through the Lepini Mountains along the axis of the Carpineto Romano-Colle Ferro road which connects with Highway 6 five miles east of Valmontone. Once the French had reached that point Clark hoped to persuade Alexander to shift the interarmy boundary northward to allow Juin and his corps to cover the Fifth Army's right flank north of the highway as that army's II Corps advanced toward Rome along Highway 6 west of Valmontone.37
Meanwhile, back in London, Prime Minister Churchill, whose strategic concepts bore most heavily upon the unfolding campaign in Italy, fretted over the daily situation maps in the Cabinet War Room. As he saw it, unless the Americans soon captured Valmontone and cut Highway 6, the Tenth Army might elude the trap the Anzio offensive had been designed to spring. Whether that strategic grand design rested upon military realities or upon ministerial fancy, Churchill cabled Alexander on 28 May urging him to move sufficient armor "up to the northernmost spearhead directed against the Valmontone-Frosinone road [Highway 6] . . . "To that Churchill added: "a cop [in the English school boy slang, to capture or nab a ball as in cricket] is much more important than Rome . . . the cop is the one thing that matters."38 Later the same day the Prime Minister expressed his growing concern in yet another cable, which said in part: " . . . the glory of this battle . . . will be measured, not by the capture of Rome or the junction with the bridgehead [Anzio beachhead], but by the number of German divisions cut off. I am sure," the British leader reminded his commander in Italy, "that you will have revolved all this in your mind, and perhaps have already acted in this way. Nevertheless, I feel that I ought to tell you that it is the cop that counts."39
Alexander sought, apparently in vain, to put his Prime Minister's mind at ease, but Clark's earlier decision to divert the bulk of Truscott's VI Corps to the northwest had already taken the matter out of Alexander's (and Churchill's) hands. Years later Churchill would observe: " . . . the Hermann Goering Division . . . got to Valmontone first. The single American division sent by General Clark was stopped short of it
and the escape road [Highway 6] remained open. That was very unfortunate."40
"The most direct route to Rome"
In line with the shift of emphasis away from Valmontone toward Rome, General Truscott had planned to implement Clark's order by attacking with Ryder's 34th and Eagles' 45th Divisions on a three-mile front southwest of Velletri, to the Campoleone station. On the left, Eagles' division was to advance toward the railroad station, while Ryder's division on the right approached Lanuvio. Harmon's 1st Armored Division was to maintain pressure against Velletri until relieved by Walker's 36th Division, then in corps reserve. Instead of relieving the 3d Division north of Cisterna, as originally planned, the 36th Division was to replace the armor so as to free it for exploitation of any enemy soft spots uncovered between Lanuvio and the Campoleone station.
Throughout the night of 25 May American infantrymen moved by truck or on foot over the roads southwest of Cisterna into assembly areas in preparation for the offensive. "Considering the congested area and restricted road net," the corps commander later observed, "a more complicated plan would be difficult to conceive." When it became apparent early on the 26th that the units would be unable to reach their lines of departure before daylight, General Truscott delayed the attack an hour, until 1000, then another hour to 1100.41
During the morning army headquarters confirmed General Clark's oral orders of the previous day. The reason given was that "the overwhelming success of the current battle makes it possible to continue Operation BUFFALO with powerful forces and to launch a new attack along the most direct route to Rome."42
Soon afterward, General Alexander visited the Fifth Army rear headquarters where General Gruenther, Clark's chief of staff, briefly explained the new plan. Alexander agreed that it seemed to be a good one. He also inquired whether Clark intended to continue his drive toward Valmontone. Gruenther assured him that Clark "had the situation thoroughly in mind, and that he could depend upon [Clark] to execute a vigorous plan with all the push in the world."43
Whether Alexander was satisfied with the answer or whether he chose, in view of the limitations peculiar to this multinational command, to accept it with his usual good grace made little difference, for he had been presented with a fait accompli. The bulk of the U.S. VI Corps had already launched a new offensive across the southern slopes of the Alban Hills--in General Clark's words, "the gateway to Rome."
While the two British divisions demonstrated west of the Anzio-Albano road in order to hold the Germans on that front, and the 1st Armored Division increased its pressure against Velletri, 228 guns began a 30-minute preparatory barrage at 1030, and the 34th and 45th Divisions prepared to jump
off.44 Attacking at 1100 with two regiments abreast through rolling wheatfields east of Aprilia, a road junction ten miles north of Anzio, the 45th Division encountered flanking automatic weapons fire from the direction of Aprilia, which lay in the British sector. For two hours the fire pinned down the troops, until a company of tanks came forward to silence the enemy guns. By nightfall the division had advanced a mile and a half and had netted some 170 enemy prisoners, including a battalion commander and three members of his staff. The day's action cost the 45th Division a total of 225 casualties, of whom 2 were killed, 203 wounded, and 20 missing.45
On the right the 34th Division advanced along the axis of the old Via Appia until its troops too were stopped by heavy machine gun fire. Supporting artillery fire eventually silenced the enemy guns, so that at the end of the day, the 34th Division was also about a mile and a half beyond its line of departure. The division paid for that modest success with a total of 118 casualties, of which 21 were killed and 94 wounded.46
Both divisions were within two miles of their respective objectives, the Campoleone railroad station and Lanuvio, yet co-ordination between the two units had left much to be desired. Unfamiliar terrain and a virtually sleepless night of rapid marches from one sector to another help to explain it. Because of the lack of co-ordination, a wide gap had opened along the Cisterna-Campoleone-Rome railroad, the interdivision boundary. In spite of efforts of reconnaissance companies from both divisions to close the gap, scattered and bypassed enemy detachments continued to harass the inner flanks of the divisions for the next two days.
The next morning both divisions renewed their efforts; but unknown to the Americans, the enemy had withdrawn during the night behind a screen of automatic weapons, backed by roving tanks and self-propelled guns. At 0615, behind a 15-minute artillery preparation, the 45th Division attacked with two regiments forward. Not until early afternoon did any significant resistance develop. This came from a covey of German tanks located in a small woods beyond the Spaccasassi Canal, a southward-flowing drainage canal a thousand yards west of Carano. Armor supporting the attack quickly came forward, crossed the creek, and forced the Germans to withdraw. As darkness fell, the infantry joined the tanks and dug in for the night beyond the creek.
The 34th Division also attacked on a two-regiment front. All went well until enemy guns located along a low ridge, extending from the Presciano Canal in
the west to the Prefetti Canal in the east, broke up the assault. No sooner had the attack failed than the Germans launched a tank-supported counterattack. After beating back the enemy force, the Americans settled down for the night at the foot of the ridge.
After two days of fighting, the main body of the VI Corps still was almost two miles short of Campoleone railroad station and the town of Lanuvio, the immediate objectives. Yet in spite of the slow progress, Truscott still believed the enemy front to be weakly held and alerted General Harmon to assemble his armor for an attack through the 45th Division's lines on the 29th. Walker's 36th Division had already relieved the armored division south of Velletri.
Truscott Commits His Armor
During the night of 28 May General Harmon assembled his armored division behind the VI Corps' left wing to exploit what appeared to the corps commander to be a potentially soft spot in the enemy's defenses opposite the 45th Division. The terrain there seemed to be favorable for the use of armor. To give Harmon a more extensive road net, Truscott, after co-ordinating with Fifth Army headquarters, shifted the corps' boundary slightly to the left into the British sector. At the same time, General Ryder's 34th Division, now screened on its right by the 36th Division, was to try once more to break through at Lanuvio, while General Eagles' 45th Division was to regroup and follow in the wake of Harmon's armor. That night General Eagles sent the 179th Infantry into the line east of the Albano road to screen the armored division's preparations, and General Ryder prepared to launch the 135th Infantry, less one battalion, in a renewed attack against Lanuvio in the morning.
Before dawn on the 29th the 1st Armored Division moved to a line of departure about 1,200 yards south of Campoleone station, and at 1530 the division attacked. On its left was CCB, supported by the 180th Infantry, and on the right, CCA, supported by the 3d Battalion, 6th Armored Infantry. Offshore a French cruiser lent additional support, its guns firing at targets in the vicinity of Albano. To a staff officer of the 180th Infantry observing Harmon's armored units as they rolled forward, the attack "looked like a corps review."47
During the morning the armored units advanced easily against light resistance. CCB quickly cleared a rear guard from the Campoleone station and then continued northward along the sides of several scrub-covered gullies. After crossing the Albano road, CCA also wheeled northward. Early that afternoon, as the armor approached the outpost positions of the Caesar Line, opposition increased sharply. Heavy fire from enemy armor and artillery smashed against CCA's front and right flank, while at close range small detachments of enemy infantry armed with Panzerfausts harassed the American tanks. The tanks, nevertheless, continued to advance, too far in fact, for they bypassed many strongpoints that held up the infantry. That happened, for example, when men of the 180th Infantry tried to follow CCB's tanks into Campoleone station; enemy automatic
TANKS OF 1ST ARMORED DIVISION ASSEMBLING FOR ATTACK NEAR LANUVIO
weapons and artillery fire halted the accompanying foot soldiers.48 In CCA's zone a tank-supported counterattack stopped the 2d Battalion, 6th Armored Infantry, and forced the battalion to fall back almost two miles, to a line a mile north of Campoleone station, there to hold for the night. Thus the enemy broke up the close partnership between infantry and armor that was vital in operations of this kind.
The capture of the station seemed to be all that Harmon's armored division had to show for its efforts on the 29th, which cost the division 133 casualties: 21 killed, 107 wounded, and 5 missing. In addition, enemy antitank fire destroyed 21 M-4 and 16 M-5 tanks. Unlike tanks damaged earlier by mines west of Cisterna, those hit by enemy guns and Panzerfausts were generally a total loss.49
The German Situation
In reality, the 1st Armored Division had accomplished more than was suggested
by the numerous burned-out hulks north of the Campoleone station. The attack had actually penetrated the 65th Division's center northeast of the railroad to a depth of almost two miles on a 1,500-yard front. Early that afternoon Mackensen had informed Kesselring that the division was in a precarious situation. Casualties were severe--over 400 killed and 150 taken prisoner--and there remained only six assault guns, a Tiger tank, and a few heavy antitank guns with which to repel further attacks by an entire U.S. armored division. All that Kesselring could do to help was to attach the remaining antiaircraft artillery from army group reserve to the I Parachute Corps. That reserve amounted to about fourteen batteries, all of which were to concentrate solely on antitank fire. At the same time, the army group commander ordered all available engineers to lay antitank mine fields in the path of the American armor.50
Meanwhile, Mackensen had begun to round up additional antitank weapons, ordering the 334th Division to send its antitank guns to the I Parachute Corps sector at once. Mackensen also transferred to the corps the assault battalion of the army group weapons school as well as some antitank weapons from the 92d Division, still in army group reserve. Yet few of these reinforcements managed to arrive on the 29th. Until they did the 65th Division had to rely for support upon a battalion of the 11th Parachute Regiment, backed up by several 88-mm. antiaircraft guns.51
In spite of directives from both OKW and Field Marshal Kesselring to the effect that the Caesar line had to be held at all costs, and not sharing Army Group C's belief that Valmontone remained the focus of the U.S. Fifth Army's efforts, Mackensen had quietly directed the I Parachute Corps to reconnoiter a switch position just southeast of the Tiber. The reconnaissance was not, however, to include the city of Rome, for Mackensen hoped eventually to use Rome as a screen behind which his forces might retire to the north.52
Although the presence of three U.S. divisions in the attack against the Fourteenth Army's right wing west of Velletri since noon on the 26th was known to Field Marshal Kesselring, only on the 28th did he begin to have misgivings that the American thrust toward Valmontone was the main effort and the attack toward the Alban Hills no more than a feint. The next day intercepted radio messages and front line reports identified the U.S. 1st Armored Division on the Albano-Lanuvio front. Only then did Kesselring conclude that the offensive toward Valmontone had become a secondary effort.53
Infantry Against Lanuvio
The new direction taken by the VI Corps' offensive had come as no surprise to General von Mackensen, the Fourteenth Army commander, for he had always assumed that the forces in the Anzio beachhead would eventually
move in that direction. He had accordingly arranged his defense to the detriment of the Cisterna sector of his front but to the advantage of the Caesar Line against which General Truscott's forces were now moving.54
Although unfinished, the Caesar Line could cause an attacking force some trouble. Behind it numerous self-propelled guns ranged the roads, firing repeated volleys before moving to escape the inevitable counterbattery fires. South of Lanuvio and opposite the 34th Division were two particularly challenging enemy strongpoints, San Gennaro Hill and Villa Crocetta, on the crest of Hill 209. Before them was a series of fire trenches five to six feet deep with machine guns and mortars covering every route of approach. Barbed wire fronted the trenches. Even to draw within striking distance of these formidable obstacles the American infantrymen would first have to cross open wheat fields, then attack up steep slopes in the face of heavy fire.55
On the morning of the 29th the 34th Division's 168th Infantry prepared to assault those positions. At dawn, behind a 30-minute artillery barrage directed mainly at the fire trenches and wire, the 1st and 2d battalions attacked, the former passing through the 3d Battalion, which was to remain in reserve. Two hours later Ryder observed that the assault had gone "pretty well on the left, slow on the right."56
What had held up the right were three enemy tanks and a self-propelled gun on San Gennaro Hill. Fire from those weapons halted an attack from the southeast by the 2d Battalion's Company E, but the battalion's other two companies, unaware that Company E was pinned down, continued to struggle up the western slope of the objective. Reaching the railroad (the Velletri-Rome line) that crosses the forward slopes of Hill 209 and San Gennaro Hill, Company F turned eastward and, taking advantage of the shelter afforded by the railroad embankment, soon gained the crest of San Gennaro Hill. To the west and somewhat behind Company F, Company G moved cautiously along a dirt road just south of the railroad.57
Both companies at that point had dangerously exposed flanks. At 1445 some men from Company F straggled into Company G's area, saying that they had been driven from the San Gennaro Hill by a counterattack coming from vineyards on the eastern slope. At the same time, enemy fire from the rear began to hit Company G. The men nevertheless hurried forward to reinforce their companions on San Gennaro Hill. Sprinting through a hail of hand grenades and bursts of small arms fire, the men of Company G soon gained the crest, but before they could dig in properly on the exposed hilltop, heavy enemy mortar fire forced both Companies F and G to withdraw. The survivors of the two companies fought their way back down the hill through groups of infiltrating enemy soldiers. Shortly before dark the exhausted infantrymen reached the same gully in which they had spent the previous night. There they met the first arrivals
of the 3d Battalion, coming to relieve them. Because the men were tired and the hour late, the battalion commanders decided not to attempt to retake the hill that night.58
Meanwhile, on the left of the regimental sector, the 1st Battalion had attacked the enemy defending the Villa Crocetta, about 1,200 yards southwest of San Gennaro Hill. Crawling through the grainfields on the forward slopes of Hills 203 and 216, the Americans reached a shallow ravine a few hundred yards southeast of the villa. When the men left the ravine to make the final assault, enemy machine gun and mortar fire drove them back and held them there. Prevented by enemy fire from either continuing the assault or withdrawing from the ravine, the troops had to wait until three tanks and four tank destroyers came forward to screen their withdrawal into a new assembly area, where they prepared to renew their assault that afternoon.59
Shortly before the attack on Villa Crocetta was to resume, General Truscott phoned the 34th Division command post to express his impatience with the delay in taking the division's objectives--San Gennaro Hill and the Villa Crocetta: General Ryder was forward with one of his regiments. When Ryder returned, the corps commander told a division staff officer, "tell him to crack this Lanuvio. It's holding up the whole thing."60
In resuming the attack early that afternoon, the 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry, was to try to envelop Villa Crocetta with tank-supported infantry. Before Companies A and C began a frontal assault, Company B with accompanying tanks was to swing left of the Villa Crocetta as far as Hill 203 before turning right to envelop the objective from the west. The appearance of the supporting armor on Hill 209 directly behind Villa Crocetta was to be the signal for Companies A and C to begin their attack from the southeast.61
The enveloping company moved out as planned and quickly secured Hill 203. Leaving a contingent of six men there, the company, still accompanied by tanks, moved down a slope on the right, crossed a shallow gully, and rather than envelop Villa Crocetta by taking Hill 209, actually overran the villa, forcing the enemy to flee.62
Unknown to General Ryder, the penetration at Villa Crocetta and the earlier abortive thrust on San Gennaro Hill had hit the Germans at a critical point, along the boundary between the 3d Panzer Grenadier and the 362d Infantry Divisions. Unless quickly contained, the thrusts might develop into a breakthrough of the Caesar Line southeast of Lanuvio. To forestall such a blow, Schlemm, the I Parachute Corps commander, ordered the 3d Panzer Grenadier Division, the stronger of the two German units, to counterattack both American forces, the one which had taken Villa Crocetta and the one which had taken San Gennaro Hill but which, apparently without German awareness, it had abandoned in the face of heavy mortar fire.63
Spearheaded by a rifle company, supported by four self-propelled guns, the counterattack overwhelmed the six men on Hill 203 and carried the Germans to a point from which they could fire on the rear of Company B at Villa Crocetta. Concerned lest they be cut off, the men of Company B withdrew to the original line of departure at the base of the hill. Having failed to observe the tanks, either at Villa Crocetta or on the original objective of Hill 209, Companies A and C had not begun their scheduled frontal attack on the villa. By nightfall the 168th Infantry's 1st Battalion was back to where the men had started from that morning. As if to add a final full measure to a day filled with frustration and disappointment, Anzio Annie, as the troops had nicknamed the German 280-mm. guns that for long had harassed the beachhead, fired sixteen harassing rounds before retiring. Meanwhile the two-division British force, its left flank resting on the coast, had followed up the German withdrawal and had kept abreast of the 45th and 1st Armored Divisions on the right but had exerted little pressure on the enemy.64
On the German side, General von Mackensen was pleased with the I Parachute Corps' defense; early that evening he notified Kesselring that Schlemm's counterattacks had eliminated both American penetrations, and that the Caesar Line remained firmly in German hands. The local German commanders attributed their success in part to a delay on the part of the Americans in occupying and securing captured firing trenches and a failure to hold reserves in close supporting positions.65
In spite of the American setbacks between Campoleone and Lanuvio the VI Corps had made some gains from the 26th through the 29th. Yet in almost every case, the gains had been largely the result of voluntary German withdrawals. As Allied pressure mounted, the I Parachute Corps, pivoting on Velletri, had swung slowly back like a great gate toward high ground and the prepared positions of the Caesar Line. It appeared to Truscott at this point that the gate had been slammed shut against the Alban Hills. As night fell on the 29th the VI Corps' attempt to break through the Caesar Line on the most direct route to Rome seemed halted at every point.
The 1st Armored Division's Attack Reinforced
In spite of three days of frustrations General Truscott still counted on the fire power of General Harmon's armored division to blast open that gate. But to do it both men agreed that the 1st Armored Division had to have more infantry support. CCB was therefore reinforced with the 1st Battalion, 6th Armored Infantry, and CCA with the 2d Battalion, 135th Infantry. CCA also received the tanks of the 1st Armored Regiment's 2d Battalion.66 Thus reinforced,
the armored division returned to the attack at 0630 on the 30th. Yet it soon became evident that the enemy had also taken advantage of the lull to garner strength, so much so that the reinforcing units even had to fight their way forward to join the armored units they were to support. The morning's operations again produced only negligible gains.
Harmon tried again in mid-afternoon with an artillery preparation followed by attacks by both combat commands. In CCA's sector well-sited enemy antitank guns and self-propelled artillery fired on every tank that moved. Under cover of this fire enemy infantry armed with Panzerfausts again slipped in to destroy several tanks. Beyond the Campoleone station, CCB's tanks and their supporting infantry managed to stay together and advance as far as the Campoleone Canal (Fosso di Campoleone), a little over a mile away, but they could go no farther. Again the armor had achieved no breakthrough, and the division's casualties the second day were even heavier than on the first--28 killed, 167 wounded, 16 missing. Equipment losses were less but still heavy: 23 tanks destroyed and several others damaged.
On the right of the armored division General Ryder's 34th Division also resumed its efforts on the 30th to break the Caesar Line in the vicinity of Lanuvio. Once again the infantry followed a heavy artillery preparation up the San Gennaro Ridge toward the battered Villa Crocetta. This time two of the six supporting tank destroyers reached the crest of Hill 209 behind the villa, but enemy fire destroyed one and the other, after almost overrunning an enemy fire trench, withdrew amid a shower of hand grenades. The infantry briefly gained Hill 203 just below the Villa Crocetta only to be forced back by heavy mortar and machine gun fire.67
The only gains made on the 30th were by the British as they crossed the Moletta River, on the far left flank. After repulsing a brief counterattack, they occupied Ardea, a road junction about two miles beyond the river. Yet again this advance was a result of German withdrawal into the Caesar Line.
By nightfall on 30 May there emerged from the intricate patterns of blue and red lines and unit symbols on the situation maps of every commander from corps to company one grim fact: General von Mackensen had succeeded in slamming shut the gate on the VI Corps' drive to Rome over the southwestern flanks of the Alban Hills. Clark himself telephoned Truscott and his commanders to express his keen disappointment with their efforts.68
Yet the total Fifth Army situation was less bleak than it appeared on the VI Corps front. For the past five days the U.S. II Corps and the French Expeditionary Corps, opposed only by the rear guards of the XIV Panzer Corps, had been moving through the Lepini Mountains toward the Valmontone corridor. By nightfall on the 30th the 85th Division had reached the former Anzio beachhead area, and the 88th Division, at this point under control of the IV Corps, had reached Sezze, about thirteen miles southeast of Cisterna. Two days before, at General Clark's direction
General Keyes, the II Corps commander, had turned control of his corps zone and the 88th Division over to General Crittenberger's IV Corps for mopping up operations in the Lepini Mountains and, by early afternoon on the 29th, had assumed command of General O'Daniel's reinforced 3d Infantry Division in the vicinity of Artena. For the next three days the 88th Division mopped up scattered enemy units in the southwestern half of the Lepini Mountains while awaiting relief by elements of the FEC. Meanwhile, since the 25th, the French had been advancing along two axes: the 4th Moroccan Mountain Division up the Amaseno-Carpineto road to clear the northeastern half of the Lepini Mountains, and the 2d Moroccan Infantry Division south of the Sacco River. By the 30th both columns were headed toward Colleferro, a junction with the American forces, and relief of the U.S. IV Corps in the Lepini Mountains.69
Under those circumstances General Clark had grounds for believing that "one or two more days of all-out attack" in the Lanuvio-Campoleone sector, combined with a new operation being planned by the 36th Division northeast of Velletri, "might crack the whole German position in the Alban Hills area . . . . If I don't crack this position in three or four days," Clark observed, "I may have to reorganize, wait for the 8th Army and go at it with a coordinated attack by both armies . . . . "70 To the Fifth Army commander that was an unacceptable alternative.
It was hardly a likely alternative in any case, for the Eighth Army's 1st Canadian Corps, after clearing Ceprano on the 27th, had been experiencing considerable difficulty in advancing astride Highway 6 toward the road junction of Frosinone, some ten miles to the northwest. One thousand yards south of Ceprano a 120-foot bridge had collapsed on the 28th just as the engineers were about to declare it operational. For the next twenty-four hours the 5th Canadian Armoured Division, assembled along the highway to exploit Ceprano's fall, waited idly while the engineers hurriedly constructed a new bridge across the upper Liri. On the 30th the armored division finally crossed the river and resumed the advance. As the tanks moved beyond Ceprano, the terrain became increasingly hilly, and ahead lay several tributaries of the Sacco, each a formidable obstacle to armor. The Germans had destroyed every bridge over the river and covered each crossing site with artillery and mines. Under those circumstances, Lt. Gen. E. L. M. Burns, the Canadian corps commander, brought forward the Canadian 1st Infantry Division to lead the way. By the evening of the 30th the forward elements of the Canadian infantry were within sight of Frosinone, yet still about twenty-five miles southeast of Valmontone.71
To the Canadian right a strong rear guard held up the British 13 Corps' 6th Armoured and 78th Infantry Divisions south of Arce, on the 27th, but on the 28th the impasse was broken when the 8th Indian Division made a wide flanking
maneuver through the mountains north and northeast of Arce and that night forced the Germans to yield their strong defensive positions. The next day the Indians occupied Arce without opposition and began a cautious advance along Highway 82 toward Sora. Enemy artillery, demolitions, and a narrow, winding mountain road would all combine to slow down the Indians for the next few days. Meanwhile,the British 78th Division turned to the northwest and advanced north of and parallel to Highway 6 to cover and eventually pull abreast of the right flank of the Canadian corps as the Canadians led the Eighth Army toward Frosinone.72
1. Truscott, Command Missions, p. 374; Interv, author with Gen Truscott, 1 Mar 62, CMH.
2. Interv, author with Gen Truscott, 1 Mar 62, in CMH files; Ltr, Gen Truscott to CMH, 3 Nov 1961, in CMH files.
3. Clark Diary, 26 May 44.
4. Fifth Army G-2 Jnl, May 44.
5. Interv, Mathews with Lt Col T. J. Conway, 27 Jun 50.
6. Fifth Army G-3 Jnl, May 44; Clark Diary, 25 May 44.
7. Truscott, Command Missions, pp. 374-75.
8. VI Corps G-3 Jnl, 25-27 May 44, entry 251740B May 44.
9. Truscott, Command Missions, pp. 375-76.
11. VI Corps G-3 Jnl, 25-27 May 44, entry 251740B.
12. Interv, author with Truscott, Mar 62, CMH.
13. VI Corps Division Commanders' Meeting, 25 May 44.
14. Ibid.; Interv, author with Gen Truscott, Mar 62, CMH.
15. VI Corps Division Commanders' Meeting, 25 May 44.
17. Greiner and Schramm, eds., OKW/WFSt, KTB, IV(1), pp. 493-94.
18. See, Mathews, "The Drive on Rome," in Command Decisions, p. 360.
20. 3d Inf Div G-3 Jnl, 270300B May 44, Cobra 3 to Si3, 30th Inf.
21. Fifth Army History, Part V, pp. 120-22; Taggert, ed., History of the Third Infantry Division in World War II, p. 173; 3d Div G-3 Jnl, 261955B May 44.
22. 3d Div G-3 Jnl, 261955B May 44; 10th FA Bn Opns Rpt, May 44.
23. 10th FA Bn Opns Rpt, May 44.
24. 3d Div G-3 Jnl, 26 May 44.
25. Col Hamilton Howze, MS "The Rome Operation" (hereafter cited as Howze MS).
26. VI Corps G-3 Jnl, 26-28 May 44.
27. VI Corps G-3 Jnl; 263310B May 44.
28. MS # C-087b (Schmalz and Bergengruen), Einsatz der Division Hermann Goering in Italien, 26 Mai-5 Juin 44, CMH.
30. Howze MS. Unless otherwise cited, the following is based upon this source.
31. VI Corps G-3 Jnl, 270900 and 271610 May 44.
32. Taggert, ed., History of the Third Infantry Division in World War II, pp. 175-76.
33. Fifth Army G-3 Jnl, 27-28 May 44; Msg, Brann to Gruenther, 28 May 44; Fifth Army History, Part V, pp. 121-22.
34. Clark Diary, 30 May 44.
35. Pierre Le Goyet, La Participation Française à la Campagne d'Italie, 194344 (Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1969), pp. 124-25: Juin, La Campagne d'Italie, pp. 132-35.
37. Clark Diary, 26 and 28 May 44; Clark, Calculated Risk, pp. 356-61.
38. Winston S. Churchill, "The Second World War" series, Closing the Ring (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1951), p. 607.
41. Truscott, Command Missions, pp. 375-76; VI Corps G-3 Jnl, 25-27 May 44.
42. Fifth Army OI 24, 26 May 44.
43. Clark, Calculated Risk, pp. 357-58.
44. Stone buildings concealing enemy guns and command installations were targets for the 240-mm. howitzers and 155-mm. guns. Even four battalions of 90-mm. antiaircraft guns opened fire against terrestrial targets. See Fifth Army History, Part V, p. 123.
45. 45th Div Opns Rpt, May 44; Fifth Army History, Part V, pp. 123-24; 45th Div G-3 Jnl, 2622250B and 270350B May 44; Analysis of Battle Casualty Reports, U.S. Fifth Army, June 45.
46. Although the artillery had played the primary role in destroying the enemy guns, the action of 1st Lt Beryl R. Newman (133d Infantry), who single-handedly silenced three enemy machine guns, killed 2 enemy, wounded 2, and took 11 prisoners, had much to do with it. For this Lieutenant Newman received the Medal of Honor. See 34th Div Rpt of Opns, May 44, and U.S. Fifth Army Battle Casualty Rpts, Jun 45.
47. 45th Div G-3 Jnl, 291030B May 44; VI Corps G-3 Jnl, 290920B May 44.
48. 1st Armd Div AAR, May 44; 180th Inf Opns Rpt, May 44.
49. 6th Armd Inf AAR, May 44; Fifth Army Battle Casualties, 10 Jun 45.
50. MS # R-50 (Bailey).
52. Befehl, OB AOK 14, Ia Nr. 2164/44 g. Kdos, 28 May 44, in AOK 14, Ia KTB Nr. 3, Anl. 742a, 1-31 May 44, AOK 14, Doc. Nr. 5909/3.
53. Ibid.; AOK 14, G-2 Rpt, Ic Nr. 1002/44 geh. Kdos, 28 May 44, in AOK 14 Ic Rpts, 1 Apr-30 Jun 44, AOK 14 Doc. Nr. 5902/2; AOK 14, G-2 Rpt, Ic Nr. 2357/44, 29 May 44, in AOK 14, Ic Morgen-u, Tagesmeldungen, 1 Apr-30 Jun 44, AOK 14 Doc. Nr. 59092/4.
54. MS # R-50 (Bailey).
55. Fifth Army History, Part V, p. 127.
56. VI Corps G-3 Jnl, 290820B May 44.
57. VI Corps G-3 Jnl, 28-29 May 44; Fifth Army History, Part V, pp. 127-28.
59. VI Corps G-3 Jnl, 290900B May 44; Fifth Army History, Part V, p. 128.
60. VI Corps G-3 Jnl, 291205B May 44.
61. Fifth Army History, Part V, p. 128.
62. Ibid., p. 129.
63. MS # R-50 (Bailey).
64. Fifth Army History, Part V, p. 129; MS # R-50 (Bailey). The action on the 29th was highlighted by the example and sacrifice of Capt. William Wylie Galt (168th Infantry) who personally killed forty of the enemy before falling mortally wounded over the machine gun he had manned atop an armored tank destroyer. He was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously.
65. MS # R-50 (Bailey).
66. 1st Armd Div AAR, May 44; Fifth Army G-3 Jnl, The Advance on Rome. Unless otherwise cited the following section is based upon these references.
67. 34th Div G-3, Jnl, May 44; VI Corps G-3 Jnl, 28-30 May 44.
68. Clark Diary, 30 May 44.
69. Fifth Army History, Part V, pp. 134-37.
70. Clark Diary, 30 May 44.
71. Operations of British, Indian, and Dominion Forces in Italy, Part II, Sec. B; Nicholson, The Canadians in Italy, pp. 439-46.
72. Nicholson, The Canadians in Italy, pp. 439-46.