The Allied air forces and navies continued to batter enemy targets, although during an air attack by Dornier Do 217 K-2 bombers armed with Fritz X radio-controlled glide bombs, Warspite was hit and disabled, which required her to be towed to Malta for repair. He had already therefore ordered General Traugott Herr's LXXVI Panzer Corps to pull back from engagement with the Eighth Army, leaving only 29th Panzergrenadier Division's 15th Panzergrenadier Regiment in the 'toe' of Italy. 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. [23], On 4 September, the British 5th Infantry Division reached Bagnara Calabra, linked up with 1st Special Reconnaissance Squadron (which arrived by sea) and drove the 3rd Battalion, 15th Panzergrenadier Regiment from its position. Fallschirmjäger-Division), was deployed toward Taranto. The Allied invasion of Italy was the Allied amphibious landing on mainland Italy that took place on 3 September 1943 during the early stages of the Italian Campaign of World War II. 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,[8] anticipating a defense by both German and Italian forces. On 9 September, he decided to halt his formations in order to reorganise before pushing on but General Alexander replied on 10 September that "It is of the utmost importance that you maintain pressure upon the Germans so that they cannot remove forces from your front and concentrate them against Avalanche". This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. Samuel Eliot Morison, Sicily-Salerno-Anzio (1954). [44], The Allies fought to expand their beachhead for three days while the Germans defended stubbornly to mask the build-up of their reinforcements for a counter-offensive. If anyone is able to assist in any way, or just point me in the direction of a starting point / resources, I would be very grateful. 2 (Army) Commando and No. 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 arrival of the British battleships HMS Warspite and Valiant, with 38 cm (15 in) guns, off the beaches provided the Allied troops with a morale boost, although Valiant was not required to shoot and Warspite's 29 rounds were awe-inspiring but a minor contribution to the 2,592 naval rounds fired that day. USS Philadelphia and Savannah focused their 15 cm (6 in) guns on concentrations of German tanks, beginning a barrage of naval shells which would total eleven-thousand tons before the Salerno beachhead was secured.[37]. By the end of the first day the Fifth Army, although it had not gained all its objectives, had made a promising start: the British X Corps' two assault divisions had pushed between 8 and 11 km (5 and 7 mi) inland and the special forces had advanced north across the Sorrento Peninsula and were looking down on the Plain of Naples. [31], The British X Corps, composed of the British 46th and 56th Infantry Divisions and a light infantry force of U.S. Army Rangers and British Commandos of Brigadier Robert "Lucky" Laycock's 2nd Special Service Brigade, experienced mixed reactions to its landings. [28], Operation Avalanche–the main invasion at Salerno by the American Fifth Army under Lieutenant General Mark Clark–began on 9 September 1943, and in order to secure surprise, it was decided to assault without preliminary naval or aerial bombardment. [32] German observers on Monte Soprano directed fire onto the landing craft. Minesweepers cleared an inshore channel shortly after 09:00; so by late morning destroyers could steam within 91 m (100 yd) of the shoreline to shell German positions on Monte Soprano. The Dőrnemann group was just east of Salerno (and therefore were opposite Major General John Hawkesworth's British 46th Infantry Division when it landed), the Stempel battle group was between Pontecagnano and Battipaglia (and so faced Major General Douglas Graham's British 56th Infantry Division), the Holtey battle group was in a reserve role at Persano on the Sele river which formed the corps boundary between Lieutenant General Richard McCreery's British X Corps and Major General Ernest Dawley's U.S. VI Corps, while the von Doering battle group responsible for the Albanella to Rutino sector was 6 km (4 mi) south-east of Ogliastro, somewhat south of the U.S. 36th Division's beaches. By 8 September, Kesselring had concentrated Heinrich von Vietinghoff's 10th Army, ready to make a rapid response to any Allied landing. It would consist of the U.S. Fifth 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 82nd Airborne Division in reserve, a total of eight divisions and two brigade-sized units. Salerno War Cemetery contains 1,846 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, 107 of them unidentified. On 3 September 1943, the British Eighth Army's XIII Corps, commanded by Lieutenant-General Miles Dempsey and composed of the 1st Canadian and British 5th Infantry Divisions, launched Operation Baytown under General Bernard Montgomery's direction. The first echelon of the British 1st Airborne Division arrived on four British cruisers, a U.S. cruiser, and the British fast minelayer HMS Abdiel. 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. [66] In the end, the Germans, aware of the limited time available to deal with the Salerno landings because of the inevitable arrival in due course of the Eighth Army, were obliged to make hurried and uncoordinated attempts to force a quick decision[64] and had failed to break through Allied lines and exploit the gains in the face of total Allied air superiority and artillery and naval gunfire support. Stones were sent from all the major conflict sites: Berlin, London, Dresden, Warsaw, Montecassino, El Alamein, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki. On 14 September and the following night Tedder ordered every available aircraft to support the Fifth Army, including the strategic bomber force. While the Herman Göring battle groups attacked the northern flank of the beachhead, the main attack was on the boundary between the two Allied Corps which ran roughly from Battipaglia to the sea, with the greatest weight due to fall on the VI Corps side[51] On the morning of 13 September elements of Major General Walker's 36th Division attacked and captured Altavilla in the high ground some 14 km (9 mi) behind Paestum, but a counterattack forced them to withdraw as darkness fell. On 5 September the allies flew above Soveria Mannelli (central Calabria) and bombed all along the downstream area of the town, where Nazis bases and warehouses stood. A Travel Guide Recommendation . The 45th Division consolidated at the Sele - Calore position while the 36th Division was on the high ground on the seaward side of the La Caso stream (which flowed into the Calore). Hi all. Albert Kesselring and his staff did not believe the Calabria landings would be the main Allied point of attack, the Salerno region or possibly even north of Rome being more logical. [41], Eighty-five Allied vessels were hit by German bombs off Salerno. The flagship called thirty "red alerts" over a period of 36 hours in response to 450 Luftwaffe sorties. Taylor's judgment was that the operation would be a trap and he advised cancellation, which occurred late on the afternoon of 8 September after pathfinders had already taken off aboard their troop carrier aircraft. Over 1,000 tons of bombs were dropped during the daylight hours. The naval task force of warships, merchant ships and landing craft totaling 627 vessels came under the command of Vice Admiral Henry K. S. W. C. Pack, Operation Husky: The Allied Invasion of … They then surrounded Mount Vesuvius and prepared to advance on Naples. By 12 September, X Corps had taken a defensive posture because every battalion was committed and there were no reserves available to form an attack. The stubborn initial resistance by 16th Panzer Division's battlegroups and the Germans' ability to reinforce them by land more quickly than the Allies could land follow-up forces by sea or air had almost tipped the battle. He recommended breaking off the battle, pivoting on Salerno to form a defensive line, preparatory to a withdrawal on 18/19 September. [60], The Allied bomber effort continued on 15 September, although slightly less intensively than the previous day, as did the naval bombardment. With the Salerno beachhead secure, the Fifth Army began its attack northwest towards Naples on 19 September. The U.S. 82nd Airborne Division, after suffering serious casualties near Altavilla, was shifted to British X Corps, joining the U.S. Army Rangers and the British 23rd Armoured Brigade on the Sorrento Peninsula to flank the German defenses at Nocera Inferiore, Sant'Antonio Abate, and Angri, which the British 46th Infantry Division attacked. [64], On 16 September, von Vietinghoff reported to Kesselring that the Allied air and naval superiority were decisive and that he had not the power to neutralize it. This was at first expanded to include the entire division, including an amphibious landing by the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment, then deemed logistically unsupportable and reduced to a two-battalion drop at Capua to block the highway there. However, in the opinion of historian Carlo D'Este, Clark "mistakenly believed he had saved the Allied invasion by his leadership, when in fact it was precisely his inexperience that precipitated most of the problems the invasion force faced."[69]. By 11 September the ports of Bari and Brindisi, still under Italian control, were occupied. The Fifth Army planners had concentrated the main weight of its forces in X Corps on its left wing, in line with its major objective of advancing on Naples. Though further south, Salerno was chosen due to its calmer surf conditions, proximity to Allied air bases, and the existing road network beyond the beaches. Get answers to your questions about Salerno, Hotels near Stazione Marittima di Salerno, Hotels near Museo Diocesano San Matteo di Salerno, Hotels near Museo Archeologico Provinciale di Salerno. With such short notice to create plans, Operation Slapstick was soon nicknamed Operation Bedlam. The entire Fifth Army, now consisting of five American and three British divisions, reached the line of the Volturno River on 6 October. Fortunately, the urban area was barely damaged. Lieutenant General Mark W. 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