By 13 September, all the immediately available reinforcements had arrived including additional elements from the 3rd Panzergrenadier Division which had been released by Generalfeldmarschall Kesselring from further north near Rome. The aim of Avalanche was to seize Naples and drive to the east coast to cut off enemy forces to the south. April: Communist policy announcement made in Salerno. At Paestum the Americans met stiff German resistance but succeeded in holding the beachhead until the next wave of troops arrived. By 11 September the ports of Bari and Brindisi, still under Italian control, were occupied. The Allied invasion of Italy took place September 3–16, 1943, during World War II (1939–1945). Although the Americans favored Napoleon's maxim that Italy, like a boot, should be entered from the top, the range limits of Allied fighter planes based in Sicily reduced Allied choices to two landing areas: one at the Volturno River basin and the other at Salerno. Planners chose Salerno, south-east of Naples, as the point where the main invasion force would land in Operation Avalanche. Merchant Shipping and the British Import Crisis", "Chapter 12: Hitler's Decision on the Defense of Italy", "12 Hitler's Decision on the Defense of Italy", "Campaign Summaries of World War 2: Italy and the Italian Campaign 1943–1945, including Sicily, Salerno & Anzio Landings", One of Many - Overview of 10 Corps operations at Salerno, Map of Europe during the Allied invasion of Italy (omniatlas.com), Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany, Rape during the Soviet occupation of Poland, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Allied_invasion_of_Italy&oldid=989940845, Battles of World War II involving the United States, Naval battles and operations of the European theatre of World War II, World War II operations and battles of the Italian Campaign, Military history of Canada during World War II, Battles and operations of World War II involving the United Kingdom, Amphibious operations involving the United States, Amphibious operations involving the United Kingdom, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from July 2009, Articles needing additional references from September 2017, All articles needing additional references, Wikipedia articles incorporating text from the United States Army Center of Military History, Italy articles missing geocoordinate data, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 21 November 2020, at 21:46. The new German 10th Army (10. The entire Fifth Army, now consisting of five American and three British divisions, reached the line of the Volturno River on 6 October. Responsibility for the initial landings fell to the British 46th and 56th Divisions to the north of the Sele River and the US 36th Infantry Division to the south. On 12th September the two Companies moved forward, making good progress until halted by heavy mortar fire. The U.S. Rangers met no opposition and with support from the guns of HMS Ledbury seized their mountain pass objectives while the Commandos, from No. The German forces in Italy were prepared for this and implemented Operation Achse to disarm Italian units and occupy important defensive positions. [32] German observers on Monte Soprano directed fire onto the landing craft. The Allied invasion of Italy was one of the more controversial campaigns of the Second First World. Although this meant surrendering Salerno, Kesselring planned to form a new defensive line, using Italy’s mountainous terrain to frustrate any future Allied advance. The Allied invasion of Sicily in July 1943, codenamed Operation Husky, was highly successful, although many of the Axis forces managed to avoid capture and escape to the mainland. However, even the arrival of the 1/4th on White Cross Hill could not prevent its capture by the Germans. However, both landings met little resistance as Kesselring pulled his troops back prior to the landings. Two battalions (roughly 1,300 paratroopers) of Colonel Reuben Tucker's 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR), after the cancellation of Giant II, had been assigned to execute the final version of Operation Giant I at Capua on the evening of 13 September. The Regimental History recounts one of the many displays of gallantry by the Hampshires, that of Sergeant A.R. The Italian peninsula resembles the shape of a high-heeled boot. When it became clear that no cross-channel invasion of occupied France could be undertaken in 1943, it was agreed to invade Sicily, with no commitment made to any follow-up operations. 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. [38] Neither side had gained the initiative. Sgt Minnigin led the defence of the village of San Nicola, on the 5th Battalion’s right flank, with just a handful of men. [10][11] Because the distance from the Allied beachheads precluded any substantial Allied support of the airborne troops, Brigadier General Maxwell D. Taylor, the acting assistant division commander (ADC) of the 82nd Airborne Division, was spirited into Rome to assess the willingness of Italian troops to cooperate with the Americans. )[17] The element of surprise was further limited by belated discovery of naval minefields off Salerno requiring landing craft to spend two hours traveling 19 km (12 mi) from the transports to the landing beaches. The navy protested that reversing the landing process would be impossible, since loading beached landing craft would make them heavier and unable to withdraw from the beach. On 8 September (before the main invasion), the surrender of Italy to the Allies was announced, first by General Eisenhower, then in the Badoglio Proclamation by the Italian government. The Allied troops attacked nonetheless. German losses, particularly in tanks, were severe. At first light units of No. The British 7th Armoured Division, passing through the 46th Division, was assigned the task of taking Naples, while the newly landed U.S. 3rd Infantry Division took Acerno on 22 September and Avellino on 28 September. On the left, meanwhile, a battle raged for the terraced hill of San Martino and the church perched on top. [17] Furthermore, the terrain was highly favorable to the defender. 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. Operation Avalanche, or the battle of Salerno (9-18 September 1943) was the main part of the Allied invasion of the Italian mainland, and saw a joint Anglo-American force land in the Gulf of Salerno, where it had to fight off a severe German counterattack before the position was fully secured.. [5] The discussion continued through the Trident Conference in Washington in May but it was not until late July, after the course of the Sicilian campaign had become clear and with the fall of Benito Mussolini, the Italian Prime Minister and fascist leader, that the Joint Chiefs of Staff instructed General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO), to go ahead at the earliest possible date.[6]. [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. The Brigade was then to capture the hills overlooking the Salerno road allowing 138th Brigade, following through behind, to capture Salerno itself. Units, short of transport and subjected to other delays, arrived piecemeal and were formed into ad hoc battle groups for immediate action. [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. Joseph Stalin, the Premier of the Soviet Union, had been pressing Churchill and Roosevelt to open a "second front" in Europe, which would lessen the German Army's focus on the Eastern Front, where the bulk of its forces were fighting in the largest armed conflict in history against the Soviet Red Army. The 128th (Hampshire) Brigade – comprising the 2nd, 1/4th and 5th Battalions – was one of three assault brigades of X Corps at Salerno. The 5th Battalion was badly mauled as it attempted to regroup after becoming dispersed during the landings. 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. Hills overlooking the Salerno road allowing 138th Brigade, following through behind, to capture the above... 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