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 Anzio 1944 Minimize

 The landing At Anzio Minimize


The Landing at Anzio 

January-24 May 1944

For Churchill the Anzio landing should be a powerful attack that allowed the allies to break out from the dead point in Cassino and the Gustav line. But one month after the attack the situation was the same, and the road to Rome was still closed for the allies but in that month one of the bloodiest batlles of ww2 was fought.

The battle of Anzio begun on January 22 1944 with the landing of 36,000 men under the command of general Lucas. The germans were totally surprised. Kesselring, the german commander, hadn't any reserves to face the attack. He gathered all the disperse german units in the Rome zone and he ordered some troops in northern Italy to deploy defending the road to Rome. He also transformed some anti aircraft units into anti tank units and deployed them surrounding the allied beachead. Meanwhile he recalled from the Gustav line the recently deployed 3rd Panzergrenadier and Hermann Goering divisions (two tough german units). The situation for the allies was excellent but general Lucas didn't ordered the troops to attack until it was too late for an easy breakthrough, instead he prefered to consolidate the beachead first. This delay in the attack costed the allies a lot of casualties, when Lucas decided to attack his troops faced a rough german defense, and finally it meant the failure of all the operation.On January 30 1944 Lucas decided to attack, the american Rangers assaulted Cisterna di Latina and the British troops intended to take Campo Leone, both attacks were disastrous failures and the allies established defensive positions. On February 3 the germans launched an artillery bombardment to the british sector, then the troops assaulted the british positions isolating some british units. The british surrounded units escaped in a night withdrawal. During all the attack the british lost 1400 men.

Between February 7 and February 9 the germans launched an attack taking the city of Aprilia forcing the decimated britsh to withdraw to their last defenses. The 45th american division came to support the british and launched two failed attacks to recapture Aprilia in February 11 and 12.

After these attacks all the allied beachead was endagered, and the commanders in order to weaken the final german assault ordered massive air strikes and an attack to Cassino to sustract some german units from the Anzio zone. The germans brought reinforcements and concentrated in the Aprilia area for the attack. On February 16 the attack begun, the allies where forced to withdraw suffering heavy casualties. On February 17 the situtation was so critical that all the air forces available in Italy launched an attack on the Anzio zone to stop the german advance. But on February 18 and 19 the germans continued advancing and it seemed to the allies that the operations will end with a second Dunkirk. But a miracle happened and the germans begun to retreat. Then the British launched an assault on the german positions. After February 20 the situation remained static until May 1944 when the allies launched an offensive breaking the Gustav line, that ended with the capture of Rome on June 4 1944.

 ENEA Minimize


The Mediterranean dune is the true, eternal protagonist of the historical happenings of this coastal area south of Rome, often forgotten but favoured by hikers and tourists in search of lovely beaches. Views in which natural elements still prevail, along with history and the fascination of the myth of Aeneas. According to legend the hero landed here with his fellow-Trojans and later founded the ancient Lavinium, named after his wife Lavinia. According to the mythology outlined by Virgil in the Aeneid, Romulus and Remus were both descendants of Aeneas through their mother, and thus Aeneas was responsible for the founding of Rome.

Family and legendary descendants Aeneas (or Aineias, Αινείας) was a Trojan hero, the son of prince Anchises and the goddess Venus. The journey of Aeneas from Troy, which led to the founding of a city that would one day become Rome, is recounted in Virgil's Aeneid. He is considered an important figure in Greek and Roman legend and history. Aeneas is a character in Homer's Iliad and Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida.

The Julian family (Gens Julia) of Rome, whose most famous member was Julius Caesar, traced their lineage to Aeneas's son Ascanius and, in turn, to the goddess Venus.

The legendary kings of Britain also trace their family through a grandson of Aeneas, Brutus.

The Aeneid,  by Virgil Content of the 12 books









On 22nd January 1944  the British and American troops launched their unexpectedly successful surprise attack and landing on the Anzio beachhead. Because surprise was complete, the projected 12 percent casualty rate was held to less than 1 percent throughout the initial landing.

Operation Shingle was a joint Anglo-American landing, with the American forces under the command of the General Mark Clark. At H Hour 0200 on  22nd January, the landings began in three simultaneous assaults around Anzio and Nettuno. On the right, around Nettuno, the 3rd Division under Major General Lucian Truscott landed on X-Ray, Red and Green Beaches.

On Peter Beach, six miles northwest of Anzio, the 2 Brigade Group of the British 1 Division, commanded by Maj. Gen. W. R. C. Penney, would make the assault; the 2 Special Service Brigade of 9 and 43 Commandos would land with it and strike east to establish a road block on the main road leading from Anzio to Campoleone and Albano. All these forces would link up to seize and consolidate a beachhead centering on the port of Anzio.  On Peter Beach there were the majority of casualties because this Area was heavily mined by the Germans. 

Initial resistance was light with the key objectives quickly taken.  By the 24th January, a beachead had been established several kilometres inland but the hesitancy that followed the initial success of the landings enabled Kesselring time to regroup his defences. It was not long before several Panzer Divisions - including the elite Hermann Goring Division - were diverted to meet the Allied assault. The real battle for Anzio lay beyond the beaches, in the vicinity of the Padiglione Woods and the Alban Hills; along the labyrinth of main roads, back roads and farm tracks with names as typically diverse as Dead End Road and the Bowling Alley; astride the railway embankment and Mussolini Canal; in the wrecked streets of Aprilia, ominously nicknamed 'The Factory'. It would take almost five months of bitter fighting in difficult terrain before Rome was finally liberated. 

In the centre, Rangers  supported by paratroopers seized Yellow Beach adjacent to Anzio harbour with orders to seize the port and destroy any coastal defence batteries. 

 Peter Beach is today a Natural Reserve protected by WWF, known as Tor Caldara.



The medieval tower was built in the Middle Age to defend the area from the frequent incursions of Saracens and later from the Arabic Pirates.  In 1565 the tower was restored by Marco Colonna.

















The Natural Reserve has a surface area of approx 44 acres and it was created  by the Region Lazio in 1988.


This strip of wood with ilex trees and Mediterranean vegetation formerly extended along the whole coastline of the region. Characteristic thermal springs and water courses can be found in the area.


Tor Caldara Entrance to the Regional Natural Reserve


 FLORA: Vegetable species are the cork-oak, ilex, alder, strawberry tree, myrtle, and lentisk. The rare flowering fern is also present.


FAUNA: Among the mammals, wild rabbits, weasels, foxes. Among the birds of prey: tawny owl, owl, kestrel; other birds: wrens, woodcocks, turtledoves, quails, blue tits, bee-eaters. 




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