X hits on this document

236 views

0 shares

0 downloads

0 comments

13 / 44

Cisterna di Littoria A Brave Yet Futile EtTort

Anthon y J. Abilti

This uS/ly WOII the Cemcr', /990 Military lfisfDrJ

Writillg COIIIfSl.

diminish ilS upaclty 10 defend haly's northern and cenll'lIl coastline.

hy

pnx::c:ding

IITlphibiouslSSIult of cell...1lul y with

On 30 JIUVJJry 1944, Gcnnan forces

the

M 15th Ranger force (ProvIsional) outside !he small It.tlian \Own of Ci'5tCm.1 eli L1nari•. This tJ1lg)t loss of approximately niroc: hundred highly tr.1ined iIOldlers ....as the dim:! re5111t ofqlJ(':Stionabk tactical decisions by IICnior American leaders. Spco;:irocally.1hc: TC$pCC tiveoommandersoflhe U.S. Army VI Corps and 3d In· fantry Division violated the fundamental principles of offensiv<: ..:tion. mass. mel surprise.

a majunouthem offengivc, Allied fullXs OOIIld canOy degr.1llc Gennany'save ralL ClpabiIilY10 defend

the haLian peninsula.

TIle

recogoi«d this

and,

thereby. lderulrocd Lhcir potcllial VIIlnel'llbility 10

amphibious l5S3ull.

a result, significant planning

time and material resoun:cs wen: devoted to Haly's OOlISlal defcnse. Although Gennan Intelligence could not fOTtcast an c_act future landing slle. it did desig

To n:oognile the lessoRS of CiSlema dl uUoria,

nate fivc likely areas.

five SCCloB-ct'ntered

one

lim

Itll1'5 Pftvalling strategic

and opcrationalsctling. ARcr the

Allioo in·

vasion gfSalemolheGcnnanlligt\ command ordered lIS to conduct bloody delaying llCtiOll$ across JOU1hc:m IUJy's mountain regions. (1) This defensive tactic provlded the Gcnn<U'l Army with time and sub sequcnUy enabled the fg niIlcaLion and manning of the GUSlav/Bcmtwd Line. (2) lJy nrty Noycm!x.. nine eno:my divisions occupied this Slr.uegic mountain position, while another division was located between AlI1.1o and Rome. (3) n..:se fon:es wc:recommandOO

by the

Tclllll Army and t;ui<N to prevent fur

:unund Rome, Germ.. Llvomo. Rimini·R.avenna, and lsula-weresubsoqllenlly fonilied and reinforced ,,"'iih available fO=5,

S h o n a g c s o f I n _ c o o n t r y p c r s o M I I : 1 s i g n i l i c a n u y

degraded 1hc: Germans'

10 man coastal de

fensive

(S) In fact, to effectively \'OITlh.11 an

Allied ;unph ibioUs landinll, n:i nforce!llC1llS wou kI havc 10 be di.,.,..chc:4 from adjaa:J1t thcalCn anti Gc:nnany

itself. Recognizing this, the

lIigtl Command

issued dClailed I;Of1lingency plans 10 sevcral major commands. (6) These plans dcsigrwed reinfom"i units, spocilicd primary and ahem:uc relnfonxmcnt

ther Allied JlCnetr.1tlon8 of Italy's 5O\lthem fn:m1.

mute!, and provl(!cd for at) emergency

and r.lil

Ttlltlt Mmy's n:.<:pOnSibili\y inclu.ded the dcfrnsc of Rome and all poim1ial amphibiOll$ toiles IIOUth of /"iombioo and PUno OvitarlOVa. To defend ccnl.r.\l

and r1Qrthem hal y. 8(\diliunal

units were su

_

relNir capacity_ Addiliooally. to diminish the time between invuiOll nnlifiCllion and suhf,equcnt deploy ment oflroops and eqUipment. only combat forces and essential sc,.."ic(: support troops WQUld be disp;uchcd

lioncd nonh of Ihc Tt:"q, Army. These LrOOp:I were under lhecommand oflht FowfluII,h Army and COII_ sisted of nine divisioll5-only tWO of ....hich wen: QUaliliN forcombM . FoartulllllArmy's missionwas 10 cl'lIdielle panlun activity within iUi zone. eslablish

to

areas.

Opposing 1he Gcnn:tl1 fnrces ....as lht Allied 15th Anny Group, consisting of the: Amcric;m fifth Ann y on Iht: we§( m;j lhe Briti5ll Eighth Annyonthe CUI. (7)

TIlroughnullhc wintet months of 1943

fortes

strong points for

securily. and tJain and relit

had

their way across Italy's VUI

_

them

units for deployment to other operat1orW. areas.

Army GrOlql C commandOO !helle tWO and controlled allintenhcatcr oper;tliolU. (4)

10 Ihc event of a major ADied orrcnsivt' along Ihc $<)Uthcm front. Fourtumlt Army wl5dim:ted imme diately 10 dispatCh fresh to Telllh Army's opera tional area. Sueh. transfer would n:dIlCC Ihc Four ltellth A"",,'s .vailable troop Sln:ng\h and. COI'\'Ie-

mnunlain ranges and appn)K:hcd !he Gennans' main ddcmlv<: .rea. During this perlud Gennan defense! and COUnICI'lItl3Cks "'cre hic:hly effective, .s Allied progress was slow II best. Bytarly January IhcAllics had finally reached the: Gustav Liroc:, To the west. !he Amcrican fifth Army occupied Ihc heights ahove the Gari&liano mel Rapido rivCB. Dirc:ctly xross their

lly Monte ClISSillQ and the nanow mountain

"

Document info
Document views236
Page views236
Page last viewedSun Dec 04 10:12:36 UTC 2016
Pages44
Paragraphs2505
Words27607

Comments