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Operation Shingle

Operation Shingle (January 22, 1944), during World War II, involved an Allied naval assault against Axis forces in the area of Anzio and Nettuno[?], Italy. The operation was commanded by General John P. Lucas and was intended to outflank German forces of the Gustav Line and enable an attack on Rome.

Table of contents

The Plan

Planners argued that if Generalfeldmarschall Kesselring pulled troops out of the Gustav Line to defend against the Allied assault, then Allied forces would be able to break through the line; the planners felt that if Kesselring did not pull troops out of the Gustav Line, then Operation Shingle would threaten to capture Rome and cut off the German units defending the Gustav Line. Should Germany have adequate reinforcements available to defend both Rome and the Gustav Line, the Allies felt that the operation would be a success in engaging forces which could otherwise be committed on another front[?]. The operation was disbanded on December 18, 1943, however, it was later reselected and executed.

Operations Overlord and Dragoon

Operation Shingle made use of many of the same naval assets as were using during Operations Overlord and Dragoon. Initially Shingle was to release these assets to Overlord by January 15. However, this being deemed problematic, President Roosevelt granted permission for the craft to remain until February 5.

Allied Force Composition

Allied forces in this attack consisted of 5 cruisers, 24 destroyers, 238 landing craft[?], 62+ other ships, 40,000 soldiers, and 5,000+ vehicles.

The attack consisted of three groups:

British Force

This force attacked the coast ~10km north of Anzio.

Northwestern US Force

This force attacked the port of Anzio. There had been plans to use the 504th Parachute Infantry Battalion[?] in an airborne attack north of Anzio, however these plans were scrapped.

Southwestern US Force

This force attacked the coast ~6km east of Anzio.

Other Forces

In the days preceding the naval assault, allied units along the Gustav Line began to attack. Meanwhile, the French Expeditionary Corps[?] launched an attack to seize the flanks of the Liri Valley[?]. During the same period, the US II Corps attempted to cross the Rapido.

Initial Landings

Although resistance had been expected, as seen at Salerno during 1942, the initial landings were essentially unopposed, with the exception of Luftwaffe strafing[?] runs. A few days prior to the attack, Lucas had written, "Unless we can get what we want, the operation becomes such a desperate undertaking that it should not be attempted. The operation has a strong odor of Gallipoli and apparently the same amateur is still on the coach's bench." By midnight, 36,000 soldiers and 3,200 vehicles had landed on the beaches. 13 Allied troops were killed, and 97 wounded. ~200 Germans had been taken as POWs. The 1st Division penetrated ~3km inland, the Rangers captured Anzio's port, the 509th PIB captured Nettuno, and the 3rd Division penetrated ~5km inland. General Lucas had his troops build up their supplies and forces, in response to which Winston Churchill said, "I had hoped we were hurtling a wildcat into the shore, but all we got was a stranded whale."

Kesselring's Response

Kesselring was informed of the landings at ~0300, on the 22nd. At 0500 he ordered the 4th Fallschirmjäger[?] and replacement units of the Hermann Göring Division[?] to defend the roads leading from Anzio to the Alban Hills. In addition he requested that OKW send reinforcements from France, Yugoslavia, and Germany. Later that morning he would order Generaloberst von Mackensen[?] (14th Armee[?]) and General von Vietinghoff (10th Armee[?] - Gustav Line) to send him additional reinforcements.

Battles of Operation Shingle

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