Our final day of the tour would continue our tour of the Anzio area, the American Cemetery at Nettuno and the Third Infantry Division monument at the Anzio landing beach. We'll follow the route of the advance to Rome where we'll see the Villa Torlonia, Mussolini's private residence, the site of the Via Rasella partisan attack and the Fosse Ardeatine, site of a horrendous reprisal massacre.
|On this site, the Commanding Generals, of the U.S. 6th Corps made their residence. No place in in the Anzio area was out of range of German artillery. Consequently, most day to day life was conducted in shelters.|
|Rob, Dave, Tony and Mary stand in front of the site of the 6th Corps Headquarters in Nettuno.|
|The tablet was erected for the 45th anniversary of the landings. Constant German shelling created a fully subterranean existance throughout the Anzio area. From the foxholes at the front to the hospital at Anzio, no one could spend much time above ground and remain healthy.|
|Tony shows a picture of the port of Anzio during the stalemate. Despite constant shelling, the flow of supplies to the front was unceasing.|
|We now drove to the site of the Third Infantry Division monument, in the vicinity of the Anzio landing beach. The beach itself is about one mile beyond the fence, which cordons off the area as a private reserve of the Italian Army. The beach landing itself was not heavily opposed, Kesselring's usual strategy was to not to anticipate where a landing would take place and build static defenses, but rush counterattacking forces to the site when the landing occured. The hell of Anzio occured after the 3rd reached their front line positions.|
|From 22 January to 23 May 1944, the 3rd manned positions between Isola Bella and Cisterna, standing fast through numerous crushing counteroffenses. After the endless, bloody stalemate, the 3rd began their third and most devastating attack on Cisterna and finally took it. They pressed on to Velletri and Valmontone in the Alban Hills and amidst enemy action, lost over 100 men in a tragic "Friendly Fire" attack by U.S. Air Force fighters. After the capture of Rome, the 3rd was led to believe they would garrison the city until the end of the war. This happy rumor evaporated as they soon began amphibious training for their next target - Southern France. The 3rd, after combat in North Africa, Sicily, the Volturno and the Mignano Gap would fight through France, Germany and receive the VE day stand down order in Saltzburg, Austria.|