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!lank aWicks Wl:n: being n:puIsed by"the lIIO$I. inlense din:ct and indin:ct fin: everCTlCOWllCred by 3d Infanlry Division f<Jn%S.H Altxking UIIilS weredwmeled into IriU :cones by cleverly emplaced win: obiitxln and


Iht5c cngagemc.. an:u,

5Upportln& Amencan IlInks and mechatli1.ed vchkles Wl:1ll syslematicallydeslroytd by well..cCWICc31ed aml armor weapons. When dismoumc4 infantrymen al LCmpitd to bn:ach Ilxing obstacles and cn:lle an es cape roule, lhey were eliminated by machloc suns and direcl-fire a"illery, As a resull. ten hoUri ancr crossing the l.D Ihc division's lwu supponing allackl

had advmeed TO farther than 4.000 mele...

AI 1200 1st Ranger Bitllalion iICf1t the followin, transmission to the Rcgimenl'¥command pO$t : HIOurJ fon::ehasbc:en badly shotup and issunoundcd...Enemy

link, and self.prop:llcd g\lR5 are


IIC," Momenl5later, It.:: inevilllbleOCClined: Isolated 1Il10 small ,roup! by imense Gcnnan nl1:, surviving Ranscrs bepn to surrender. Oflhc main Illlck's 161- m;m lnfiltmlon fon:e, only SiK n:tumed to friendly lines. The others wen: either killed or captured. (3 I)

for the nut

hours American units

CtIntlnued 10 bailer against Cisterna's !eemingJy im

peroclrablc de

Afier being ben11y1'(:lnron:ed by

diviSion n:liCIVCS and the 3d Banalion, ISth Infantry Reglmcnl.the4th RanscrBanaiinn succeeded In Itxh· Ing lhe IOwn of Famlnamon.a, about tWO mIle, southl southwe.u of <"stcrna. Critically weakened by UICn, sivc Ios5n: suffered over the WI IWO daysofaxnbat, Lhc 4th l:Iaualion WD /10 Ionier I combai·dfetUv.:: unit. While ildjaant American unilS secured Lhcir hard·foughl gains. the 4th 8all3lion's survivOTl pulled back loward the LD and began guarding Allied lineli of axnmunicalion. FJJewbere along the 3d Divldon's fronl, further om:nsive actions cunalled and sub9i:quenlly n:placc:d by COfISOlidatiun and hasly resupply, Lale in the afternoon of I February, wilh their alt.lck objectives still IWO miles to the norul and IlOMIIo'CSt. ArMrican unilS began 10 pltp.:!n: fur I Germancounter.tnack. AILhoogh foughl wilh incred ible br.tvery ;and dc:tenninatiOl'1, the Cisterna operation



The 3d Divisioo WD not

in its unsuccessful

attempt 10 b!1:aI; outofthe Anriobei1lChhc'd. A1on&: VI Corps' other attack uis. Allied forca wert: ",-pulsed

by Sliff rnc:rny resiSl.1na: and stl.!led by misenbk:: ground oondilinns. (33) Immersed in I SCI 0( thk k

mud. attacklllJ annor WIS unable ID maneuver 1C!05S the balllo:fieid. As a result. British infantry unilll wcn: fon:1ld 10 attack withoul the SIIppon of the U.S. 1st


Annon:d Division. By tlteend M30 Janu;u-y ;llIacking elemr;nlS had gained c.tly approKim;Ncly one: mile of rnc:my kTrilDry. Two d.)'$' laICrthe attack ground to I o::xnplctc halt along the railroad ITXks soul.heasl of CampD1eoht> nearly 10.000 meten; south of the pI;umcd march objective.

Dy ildhc:ring 10 basic principlesofw3l'hn:, Ameri

Cln commandcB could

.voi(led the tragic flil·

un:sof30JiUluarythrough I February. Aflerseizing the Initiative during lhe Anlia invaSion the VI Corps commander, Maj. Gen. John P. Lucas, was n:luctantto CKp.and the beochhcad T3pidly atld .iCil',C key and decl·

terrain. Such limidity en.bled Gennan Army ID recover from their initial shock: and, subse·

quently, heavily 10 n:;nforce lite lOWn or Cisterna di Uttoria. Consc:qu<:nlly, an objective tJw initially was only lighlly dc:fcnde4 bc:o;:ame ulllilainable dc:spile an inICIlSI: dc:libcrace .tlack, Mon: Impon;mt, \hi; initi3live of offensive action was WncIoncd. Ameri can soldien wen: farcalto fighl and die in a b.1ttle tJw

should nevcr lutvc been fought,

After failing to capitllli1'c on his initial General Luca, al30 fai led In plan properly for VI Corps' bn:akout from tlte Am.l() beachhead. racing a numerically equivalcnt enemy, the VI Corps com·

mmdcr splil his fOTCC$lnlo twO

clements nnhcr

t.han concentrating his romNt power at a single deci sive poin!. Sud!. strateGY prevenICd Allied fo=s from enjoyinl: loc.al r. rc superinrity and IllSICiid led w ildvances inw murderous nrc. Without Lhc ;Wilily ID

supprtSS mcnt5 co

uld not

VI CotpS' subordi..-c de, and rapidly became iso

lated and surrounded, <Jor'ltt this oU\nn:d, previously df«live unilS wen: systematically CUI 10 pieces by highly efficient Gcnnan dercnoJers.

The VI Corpscomm;mdcrs wen: not alone in their violation ofma.u. During Lhc .IUlck on Cisterna the 3d Infantry DivIsion foughl alOlI!: I seven·mile fmnt and

aucmp«:d III seIze

ovcr five miles inside

enemy defensive positions. (34) Across such a large offensive sector lhc Ameliean .UlIoCk could have succ:eeded only under conditions lhat lhc b.1ltkfield did not e:thibil- light enemy n;:sistanct:. TItus. by spcuding its limited fin:power and personnel across five Independent 3IID roulCS, tlte division did not jXlS.<;t:SS lhc requisite mass .-.ecessary 10 dc:fnl lhc cno:my's uICnsive use ofooncltIC $I1UCtures md dug in pMitions. (35) To mIke m,ucrs worse, this lIawed llIC1icai plan bellan w unfold, Ihick cloud cover and Stcady r.tin throughoul!he baIlie prevenllld AUilld

airtraft from offKuinll reverses on the ground.

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