Anzio, Italy, the Allied against the German 10. and 14.Armies. Part Five
February 17 1944
Against stubborn enemy resistance on the ground and in the air, it was possible during night and day attacks to penetrate the enemy main line of resistance, and to win initial positions for further attacks on February 18. Today, the enemy’s artillery fire and air bombardment was the heaviest since his landing on the beachhead. He made continuous raids in waves of 30 to 40 planes throughout the day, attacking troops, artillery positions, and rear areas. The estimated Allied ammunition expenditure is 22.000 rounds.
The 4.Fallschirmjäger-Division advanced to the Appolonia area, 1500 meters west of Cle Buon Riposo, and in the evening it took the wooded area around Hill 67, 2000 meters northeast of Cle La Cogna and the northwest part of the Fossi di Buon Riposo sector, 1500 meters north of Cle La Congna. The 65.Infantry-Division overcame stubborn enemy resistance and tank supported counterattacks, especially against the right flank. It captured a part of the defense system of Cle Buon Riposo.
After previous unsuccessful attacks, the stubbornly defended strong point of Cle Carrocetello southwest of Aprilia was taken by frontal attack during the night of Februady 17 to 18. In the afternoon, continued attacks enabled the 3.Panzer-Grenadier-Division to push further south and to cross the Carrocetello Creek 2500 meters south of Aprilia. The 725.Grenadier-Regiment (715.Infantry-Division), overcame strong enemy resistance and advanced to Piscina Tombola and to approximately 2000 meters northeast of Pta Campo di Carno. The 114.Jager-Division took fortified Hill 61, 1500 meters southeast of Aprilia, by storm and broke into the northern edge of the Macchia della Ficoccia Forest. It held its gains against heavy, tank supported, enemy counterattacks.
Our attack in the sector of the Panzer-Division Herman Goering was stopped, after the road fork 250 meters northeast of Colle del Pozzo was taken. The enemy put up a stubborn resistance from well fortified positions, supported by heavy weapons and tanks. There was increased sniper activity. Our antiaircraft defense was effective. 13 enemy planes were shot down. Enemy planes dropped bombs on Tiger tank dummies in the sector of the Panzer-Division Herman Goering. The morale of unseasoned troops was affected by the unusually heavy artillery fire. The initially poor fighting qualities of the Infantry Demonstration Regiment have improved.
The Commander in Chief Southwest issued the following order :
On the first day of attack our artillery expended much ammunition. This large expenditure is not in proportion to our supply. The ammunition must be utilized to clear the way for our infantry by destroying enemy pockets of resistance. The infantry must make use of our artillery fire and the fire of its own heavy weapons in order to gain ground. It appears that fighting on the beachhead will last for several more days and we cannot expend ammunition on secondary targets.
Orders of the 14.Army for further attacks :
Although the 3.Panzer-Grenadier-Division and the 715.Infantry-Division were able to penetrate deeply the enemy’s battle positions, our attacks have not produced the anticipated results. Our task is to commit the second wave, whereby the initial penetration in the sector of the LXXVI Panzer-Corps is to be expanded into a breakthrough, which will carry our forces to Nettuno. To accomplish this, the 26.Panzer-Division and the 29.Panzer-Grenadier-Division will be attached to the LXXVI Panzer-Corps.
During the night of February 17 to 18 the forces previously committed will continue the attack. All commanders are advised that the battle of the Nettuno beachhead has reached its critical stage, that our troops must advance and pursue the enemy under all circumstances. Only a complete elimination of the beachhead ends our mission.
During the night of February 17 to 18, the 1.Fallschirmjäger-Corps will insure the protection of the right flank of the LXXVI Panzer-Corps, even if the Fallschimjäger-Corps’ right flank will have to be weakened for this purpose and will advance to Highway 82 during the night. The LXXVI Panzer-Corps will continue the attack, with the divisions now committed, to gain as much ground as possible to the south by the morning of February 18. The Panzer-Division Herman Goering will pin down the enemy along its entire front. The push to the south will be resumed by 0400; the east flank of the 1.Fallschirmjäger-Corps and the west flank of the Panzer-Division Herman Goering participating. In the sector of the LXXVI Panzer-Corps, the 26.Panzer-Division and the 29.Panzer-Grenadier-Division will be brought up during the night.
The units will be ready to launch the breakthrough towards Nettuno before dawn; they will move into the positions of the 3.Panzer-Grenadier-Division and the 715.Infantry-Division during the night. It is most important that the east flank of the Corps be protected from enemy tank supported counterattacks. The 1.Bn, 4.Panzer-Regiment (Panther) will remain in reserve. This battalion will be prepared for defense against a tank attack from the general direction of Torro di Padigliano.
The success of the past two days would have been much greater is the terrain conditions had permitted the deployment of tanks as planned. But as the tanks had to keep to the roads, the burden of the fight fell on the infantry. The infantry overcame enemy strongholds and pockets of resistance, but sustained heavy losses. Enemy resistance weakened rapidly at points where tanks or assault guns could support the infantry. Enemy artillery fire was mainly responsible for the high casualties of our infantry.
The strength of our infantry had already been weakened from continuous fighting. The combat strength of infantry battalions was approximately 120 to 150 men. Enemy aircraft did not excessively harass the infantry as his planes chose for their targets isolated houses or settlements, which were avoided by the infantry. However, enemy air action against our supply lines and artillery positions was very successful. For example, one well equipped antiaircraft unit, assigned to the 715.Infantry-Division, was not able to participate fully in the attack as enemy artillery and aircraft had inflicted heavy losses on troops and guns shortly after that start of the attack. The enemy fired a great number of white phosphorous shells, especially during the night. These shells did no produce actual damage, but they affected the morale of the troops. Once the men became accustomed to the phosphorous shells, they feared the high explosive shells more as is caused higher casualties and inflicted more serious wounds.
The 9th Royal Fusiliers Regiment (UK) is in the sector north of Casale Vecchio, 1000 meters northwest of Cle La Cogna. East of it is the 8th Royal Fusiliers. Adjacent to the south of Cle Buon Riposo if the 7th Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry Regiment. They relieved the 2nd Foresters a few days ago. The 167th Infantry Brigade, previously in the Garigliano sector, landed in Nettuno on February 14 and 15, and was immediately put into action. The brigade is to be supported by elements of the 81st Tank Destroyer Battalion of the 1st Infantry Division (UK).
This was learned from prisoners of war. The 2/157th Infantry Regiment (45th Infantry Division US) is in the area southwest of the railroad station at Carroceto. The 2/179th Infantry Regiment, is near the road junction 5000 meters east of Cle Carroceto. Easy Co, 2/7th Infantry Regiment is in the area 800 meters west of Ponte Rotto. Flash ranging located six enemy batteries. Active naval traffic and disembarkation in the harbor of Anzio have been observed. Two cruisers and three destroyers lie off the beachhead and shelled Littoria around noon. Eleven large and approximately 20 small naval vessels were outside Anzio harbor. A new landing point was observed 1000 meters northwest of Le Grottaccia. The heavy losses of the day are expected to have weakened the enemy. However, continued resistance can be expected along the entire front.
German losses (less 29.Pzr-Gren-Div and 725.Inf-Div) : 222 killed; 635 wounded; 35 missing.
Allied losses : 571 prisoners (245 American, 326 British); 19 airplanes shot down (13 by antiaircraft, 6 by fighters); 17 tanks destroyed; 4 heavy antitank guns destroyed; several vehicles were set afire.
February 18 1944
Continuing our attack, the initial penetrations were enlarged in depth and width. However, no decisive breakthrough was achieved. Strong Allied counterattacks were halted by the 1.Fallschirmjäger-Corps and the LXXVI Panzer-Corps. In the sector of the 1-Fallschirmjäger-Corps, the wooded area east of Hill 67, 2000 meters west of Cle Buon Riposo, was cleared of the enemy.
Along the 65.Infantry-Division boundary, the enemy attacked, supported by tanks, after an artillery and mortar barrage, and seized Hill 63, 1000 meters southwest of Cle Buon Riposo. A further attack was halted. The 65.Infantry-Division seized Hill 79, 1000 meters southwest of Cle Buon Riposo, and Hill 79, 1500 meters southeast of Cle Buon Riposo.
In the area of the LXXVI Panzer-Corps, both the 26.Panzer-Division and the 29.Panzer-Grenadier-Division were committed for the first time. After 0400, they fought along with the 3.Panzer-Grenadier-Division in the attack toward the south. A line just north of Highway 82 was reached by the 29.Panzer-Grenadier-Division. Strong enemy resistance was overcome at Cle l‘Ovilo, 1000 meters east of Cantoniora, and at the foot of Hills 73 and 69, 1200 meters northeast of Cle l‘Ovilo. The 715.Infantry-Division will be relieved from the area southeast of Aprilia and designated as Corps Reserve.
By order of 14.Army, this division is earmarked as reinforcements of the assault troops. The 114.Jager-Division fought through the south edge of the Macchia della Ficoccia Wood, 2000 meters southeast of Aprilia. After overcoming stubborn enemy resistance, they established a bridgehead over the canal. This position was held against heavy counterattacks. The 1028.Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment seized the enemy strong point at Rosatelli, but due to heavy artillery and mortar fire, the left assault group remained in the valley south of Spaccassassi.
In the morning, 14.Army reported to Army Group C that it required stronger fighter support to aid in the attack, and also increase the confidence of the troops. Our plans remain unchanged. New attacks toward the south are to reach the wooded area south of Aprilia. The 1.Bn of the 4.Panzer-Regiment (Panther) will remain in Army reserve. One battalion of the 362.Infantry-Division, employed as coastal defense, will be attached to the Panzer-Division Herman Goering. This will enable the latter division to form assault units, and to attach them to the western flank. It is the intention of the Army to detach similar forces from the 362.Infantry-Division for the same purpose. The 1027.Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment will be withdrawn from coastal defense, south of the mouth of the Tiber, and be employed on the left flank of 1.Fallschirmjäger-Corps.
On February 17, the following units were identified on either side of the Aprilia – Anzio Highway :
1/157th Infantry Regiment
2/157th Infantry Regiment
2/179th Infantry Regiment (adjoining the 157th Infantry Regiment on the east).
On February 15, the 2/157th Infantry Regiment relieved elements of the 1st Infantry Division (UK). The antitank company of the 179th Infantry Regiment was observed on the highway 1000 meters northeast of Fta Campo di Carno. During the last few days colored troops were engaged in bitter close combat at the Mussolini Canal. We expect the enemy was to try to avoid a breakthrough in the highway to Nettuno by withdrawing all available forces from the less threatened sectors and by committing newly arrived troops. It is assumed that more tank-supported counterattacks will be made. Positions still held north of the wooded area will be stubbornly defended in order to protect artillery emplacements. It may be assumed that enemy forces echeloned in depth are to be found particularly on Highway 82, and between the highway and the northern edge of the woods at Rosco di Padigliono. Local counterattacks may be expected, especially against the flanks of our assault groups. Heavy enemy losses are no indication that enemy resistance will diminish.
German losses (less 29.Pzr-Gren-Div, 114.Jäger-Div and 715.Inf-Div) : 63 killed; 350 wounded; 21 missing.
Allied losses : 364 prisoners (293 American, mostly from 179th Infantry Regiment and 2/180th Infantry Regiment); 14 tanks (4 Shermans) destroyed; 1 antitank gun destroyed; 4 airplanes downed by antiaircraft fire; 2 ammunition carriers set afire; 2 personnel carriers set afire.
Captured : 4 Sherman tanks; 2 antiaircraft guns; 17 machine guns; 1 mortar; 1 bazooka with rockets; 30 rifles; 12 automatic pistols; 1 antitank rifle.
February 19 1944
During the day, strong enemy counterattacks, supported by tanks, forced partial withdrawal from newly gained positions. Heavy enemy artillery fire resulted in great losses and halted the attack of the 65.Infantry-Division at Cle Buon Riposo. However, the 65.Infantry-Division’s left flank advanced towards the south and in a simultaneous attack from the east by parts of the LXXVI Panzer-Corps, the strong point Cle Buon Riposo was encircled. During heavy night fighting, the bridgehead at the forest Macchia della Ficoccia, 2000 meters southeast of Aprilia, was enlarged. But in the afternoon, enemy counterattacks, launched with tank support, forced back the 114.Jäger-Division into the northern part of the forest. The division suffered considerable losses in men and material.
The village of Cle l‘Ovilo, 1000 meters east of Cantoniora, was captured by combat patrols of the 26.Panzer-Division and 29.Panzer-Grenadier-Division. It was lost again during an enemy tank attack in the evening. Assault troops of the 29.Panzer-Grenadier-Division crossed Highway 82 in a front 500 meters wide. The right flank of the Panzer-Division Herman Goering, attacking Collo del Pozzo, 2000 meters west of Cle Carano, was stopped in front of the enemy positions by concentrated defensive fire. The left flank occupied two hills northeast of Collo del Pozzo.
The 1028.Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment is attached to the 715.Infantry-Division. This division was stationed in the region southeast of Aprilia as Corps Reserve. It will now take over the left sector of the LXXVI Panzer-Corps, adjacent to the 114.Jäger-Division as of 0800, February 20. The enemy continued to place concentrated fire on the main line of resistance and interrupted supply lines by heavy harassing fire. During our attack Allied artillery fired barrages irrespective of their own main line of resistance. The increased fire of enemy artillery and the continuous air raids by bombers and fighter-bombers leads to the conclusion that the enemy intends to hold the positions on Highway 82. During the morning, 14.Army informed Army Group by phone that a shift in the main effort to the east would require vast preparations, and would be advantageous to the enemy.
Therefore, we intend to destroy enemy forces isolated in the region of Cle Buon Riposo by a converging attack from all sides, and to consolidate the situation on the eastern flank of the LXXVI Panzer-Corps (114.Jäger-Division). All forces available will attack along highway Cle Carroceto – Torro di Padigliono. Occupation of Highway 82 by surprise attacks will be attempted in the sectors of the LXXVI Panzer-Corps, 3.Panzer-Grenadier-Division and 26.Panzer-Division. After clearing the situation on both flanks of the attack group, Army intends to initiate, as soon as possible, a decisive southwesterly attack, in the sector of the 29.Panzer-Grenadier-Division.
The 26.Panzer-Division will be made available for employment in the new offensive sector in the directions of Torro di Padigliono as soon as the situation on the western flank has been cleared up. The 362.Infantry-Division, which has been transferred to the coast defense sector Cecina – mouth of the Tiber, to replace the Panzer-Division Herman Goering, will be used for attacks in the sector of the LXXVI Panzer-Corps. The former sector of the 362.Infantry-Division will be taken over by the newly activated 92.Infantry-Division, whose present strength is 4242 men.
The 954.Grenadier-Regiment of the 362.Infantry-Division (Army Group C Reserve) will be transferred from the area of Pescara to an area south of Rome. The 2.Bn, 1027.Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment, and the Regimental Staff, until now employed in the coast defense sector Cecina – mouth of the Tiber, have been attached to the 65.Infantry-Division. The 140.Grenadier-Regiment of the 65.Infantry-Division, at present attached to the 10.Army, will return to its division by March 15. The combat strength of the 65.Infantry-Division is 26 officers and 871 enlisted men.
The following new units have been identified :
3/180th Infantry Regiment, is located in the area east and northeast of Macchia della Ficoccia; 514th Company, Royal Army Service Corps of the 50th Infantry Division (UK) is near the highway in the region of Campo di Carno.
The enemy artillery fired 30.000 rounds on February 19. Our attacks have confused the enemy and also brought about emergency situations in some of his units. The enemy command has reportedly called upon isolated and dangerously placed units to hold their positions, by promising reinforcements. Having determined the main direction of our attack, the enemy probably will concentrate all available forces in the region south of Aprilia to intercept the attack at the wood of Padigliono. As the territory north of the wood has been lost, the enemy lacks observation posts. In addition, the loss of the northern edges of the forest has endangered his artillery positions. Stubborn opposition from key positions at the crossroad at Campo di Carno and Fta Padigliono, and the traffic centers of Torro di Padiglione and Le Ferrioro is expected. Increased counterattacks, supported by tanks, against our flanks, and especially southwest of Spaccassassi are imminent. It is estimated that large parts of the enemy’s infantry and tank reserves were committed in today’s counterattack, vis. the 1st Infantry Division (UK) and 1st Armored Division (US).
German losses (less 4.Fall-Div, 3.Pzr-Gren-Div and 114.Jäger-Div) : 48 killed; 167 wounded and 25 missing.
Allied losses : 83 prisoners; 1 tank destroyed.
February 20 1944
As a result of our attack from the west, the enemy was completely surrounded at Cle Buon Riposo and a defensive front toward the south was established. During the day an enemy tank attack was repelled. The 3.Panzer-Grenadier-Division seized the eastern edge of the Campo di Carno, the southwest edge of the Gorgo Fosso di Caronto, 700 meters northwest of Cantoniera, and moved up to a line 600 meters north of the crossroads of Cantoniora. The battalions of the 29.Panzer-Grenadier-Division (3. and 1.Bns, 15.Gren-Regt), which had crossed Highway 82 east of Fta Campo di Carno the day before, were either wiped out or were dispersed. The 114.Jäger-Division, in another attack from the northwest, seized the southern edge of the Macchia della Ficoccia forest, 3000 meters southwest of Aprilia. An enemy counterattack towards Cle Posatelli was repulsed.
We aim to destroy the enemy troops surrounded in the area of Buon Riposo, and to prevent a breakthrough from the southwest designed to assist these encircled troops. To avoid losses, the 14.Army ordered that the Panther tanks, brought up to clear the pockets of Buon Riposo, be used only as armored artillery. In order to straighten the main line of resistance, on the eastern flank of the LXXVI Panzer-Corps, an attack will be launched as early as possible on February 21 to seize the enemy strong points at Cle Biadaretto, 2000 meters north of Cle Torro di Padigliono and Cle Carano.
During our attempt to clear the pocket at Cle Buon Riposo, the enemy bombarded his own positions with heavy artillery fire. His troops were protected against this as they had taken shelter in the cabos of the ravines to be found in that terrain. Our own fire could not reach them. Our units lost many radio sets due to the heavy enemy artillery shells, the concussion of which destroyed the tubes. It has become very difficult to evacuate the wounded. All ambulances, including the armored ones, have been lost. It is necessary to use assault guns and Tiger tanks for the evacuation.
By early morning of February 23, 2 battalions of the 15.Panzer-Grenadier-Division, previously employed on the Cassino front, will be attached to the 29.Panzer-Grenadier-Division. The remaining elements of the 736.Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment, 715.Infantry-Division, i.e., 2 officers, 25 noncommissioned officers and 158 enlisted men, were assigned to the combat team of the 726.Grenadier-Regiment.
According to reliable sources, the 6th Armored Infantry Regiment of the 1st Armored Division (US), with attached tanks, is the sector of the 157th Infantry Regiment. One of the battalions of the 6th Regiment is employed west of the Aprilia – Nettuno Highway and two battalions east of it. The Commanding Officer of the 1st King’s Shropshire Light Infantry is Lt Col Carclass, and Commanding officer of the Service Co, 1st King’s Shropshire Light Infantry is Maj Mussab; Maj Brook commands Charlie Co, 1st London Irish Rifles. On February 19, the enemy supplied his surrounded troops at Cle Buon Riposo by air. Air reconnaissance reports show active disembarkations in the Anzio – Nettuno harbor.
German losses (less 114.Jäger-Div and 15.Motorized-Gren-Regt) : 61 dead; 211 wounded.
Total losses from February 16 to 20 1944 : (dead, wounded and missing) 5389 men.
Allied losses : 62 prisoners (53 British, 9 American); 1 tank put out of commission and according to prisoner of war reports, the enemy lost many heavy infantry weapons.
XXVIII – February 21 1944
In the evening of February 20, preceded by heavy artillery fire, the enemy reportedly attacked along the entire sector of the 29.Panzer-Grenadier-Division, and pushed back the left flank to a position some 2000 meters northwest of Torro di Padiglione. There, a German counterattack during the early morning hours regained the formerly held positions at the Fosso della Vallicoletto, 3000 meters west of Torro di Padiglione. At 0430, the 715.Infantry-Division attacked to seize Cle Biadarotto, 2000 meters north of Torro di Padiglione, and Cle Carano. Heavy defense fire from the enemy stopped the attack.
At 1730, after the enemy lines had been subjected to artillery fire and fighter-bomber attack, another attack was attempted, but sue to strong enemy defenses, the objective could not be reached. Enemy assaults in company strength, supported by tanks, were repulsed by the 114.Jäger-Division. Concentrated artillery fire destroyed enemy infantry and tank positions. Long-range artillery shelled the Anzio harbor, disembarkation points southeast of Nettuno, and supply depots. Antiaircraft artillery played an important role in the destruction of supply routes. The enemy fighter-bombers were less active than during the previous days. The Panzer-Division Herman Goering, which is to be employed in the Spaccassassi sector for offensive operations, was relieved at 1200 by the 362.Infantry-Division. The Kampfgruppe von Corvin, consisting of 1.Bn, 2.Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment (Herman Goering Division); 2.Bn, 1.Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment (Herman Goering Division); and the Panzer-Recon-Battalion (Herman Goering Division), was attached to the 715.Infantry-Division. Our aims are :
(1) Destruction of enemy positions at Cle Buon Riposo by the morning of February 22.
(2) Immediate relief of the forces of the 3.Panzer-Grenadier-Division west of the Aprilia – Nettuno Highway by the 1.Fallschirmjäger-Corps. Before the morning of February 25, the 3.Panzer-Grenadier-Division will relieve the 26.Panzer-Division and parts of the flank of the 29.Panzer-Grenadier-Division. The 26.Panzer-Division will be shifted to the area north of Cle Tro Spaccassi before dawn on February 26.
(3) Seizure of the Collo del Pozzo, 2000 meters west of the Cle Carano by the western flank of the 362.Infantry-Division about February 24.
The 1/504th Parachute Infantry Regiment (US) is employed in the sector Fosso Fornal del Bove west of Collo del Pozzo. American Infantry is on the right flank; on the left are additional paratroopers. Increased naval activity was observed in the harbor of Anzio – Nettuno. Aerial reconnaissance indicates the presence of 8 merchant ships – approximate tonnage, 10.000 to 15.000 tons each, 2 medium transports, one cruiser and 7 destroyers.
German losses : 85 killed; 236 wounded; 8 missing.
Allied losses : 4 tanks destroyed; 1 tank rendered immobile; 1 radio station captured.
February 22 1944
The attack to destroy the enemy pocket at Cle Buon Riposo did not succeed. Under heavy enemy barrage, the troops had to fight in difficult terrain with deep ravines. Up to the present, 150 prisoners have been brought in. In the morning, and again in the afternoon, the 715.-Inf-Div attacked Cle Biadaretto, 2 km north of Cle di Padiglione, and the Cle Carano hills. However, due to the enemy’s defensive fire, these attacks were halted short of their objectives. At 1900, the 3.-Pzr-Gren-Div took over the sector formerly occupied by the 26.-Pzr-Div. The 67.-Pzr-Gren-Regt (26.-Pzr-Div) was attached to the 3.-Pzr-Gren-Div. To complete the mission successfully, the 14. Armee requested the Commander in Chief Southwest to strengthen it with one complete division ready for combat service, possibly a mountain division for greater mobility in wooded areas; one heavy mortar and one medium howitzer battalion; one engineer assault battalion; and additional portable radio sets, of which the Army has a shortage of 468. We intend to shorten the main line of resistance on the east flank of the LXXVI Panzer Corps by seizing the Biadaretto and Carno hills, as well as destroy as quickly as possible all enemy units still in the area of Cle Buon Riposo, in order to relieve units of the 3.-Pzr-Gren-Div in the area west of the highway. After the 3.-Pzr-Gren-Div has taken over the present sector of the 26.-Pzr-Div and parts of the western flank of the 29.-Pzr-Gren-Div, it will be attached to the I Parachute Corps. When fighting has ceased in the area of Biadaretto, the remaining units of the 715.-Inf-Div will be withdrawn in order to take over the sector of two battalions on the eastern flank of the 362.-Inf-Div. All forces committed south of the area will be attached to the 715.-Inf-Div. On or about February 26 the Army plans a breakthrough to the Mussolini Canal, from the north, crossing a general line from Pte della Crocetta to Isola Bella. Units to participate in this attack will be :
Panzer Division Herman Goering
The attack will be made from the west flank of the 362.Infantry-Division. If this action meets with success, the Army intends to push on to the lower Spaccassassi Creek. The two battalions of the 15.Panzer-Grenadier-Division (earmarked for the 29.Panzer-Grenadier-Division) which are at present in transit, will be held in reserve in the are west of Velletri. After the 29.-Panzer-Grenadier-Division has been withdrawn from its present front sector, it will be used either for the attack against Fosso di Spaccassassi and to roll up the enemy lines southwest of Cisterna from the west, or to make a surprise attack from north of the area of Borgo Podgora against the enemy units fighting in the area of Isola Bella.
Experience has shown that the enemy reacts every quickly to the regrouping of our forces. It is, therefore, imperative that the regrouping be concealed, and it is of particular importance that the enemy be engaged along the entire line by continuous raids. These raids will have the secondary purpose of improving the local front. By means of all types of deceptive measures, the enemy must be misled as to the actual assembly area of the assault divisions. To aid this deception further, 1.Fallschirmjäger-Corps will erect dummy tanks in the area around Adrea.
By order of Adolf Hitler, tank assaults in small groups will be made prior to the attack from the south of the area of Borgo Podgora in the direction of the Mussolini Canal. The tanks of the Panzer-Division Herman Goering, used for this purpose, will return to their division shortly before the attack begins. The objective of this attack is to push back the beachhead in the sector of LXXVI Panzer-Corps toward the general line from Fosso di Leschione to Fosso di Spaccassassi up to the point where it joins the Mussolini Canal, 1500 meters west of Borgo Podgora.
The 2nd Co, 7th Queens (169th Brigade, 56th Infantry Division UK) located in Fosso della Bottaccia, 1000 meters northwest of Fta Campo di Carno, has been identified by 16 prisoners of war. Presence of the entire brigade is confirmed by captured documents. the 1st Bn, Irish Guards 24th Brigade, is located 150 meters southeast of Puntoni, 1000 meters northwest of Cantoniera. During the night of February 21 to 22 the 1st Irish Guards came from south of Campo di Carno to this new area, and relieved an unidentified American unit. Three days before, the 3rd Co received 30 replacements from supply troops of the battalion. The 1st Co, reduced to 38 men, was absorbed by the 3rd Co. The 1st Scots Guards and the 5th Grenadier Guards 24th Brigade, were committed in the night of February 21 to 22, according to prisoners of war. Reliable sources report the enemy expects an impending attack near Campo di Carno and to the east.
German losses : 86 killed; 252 wounded; 84 missing.
Allied losses : 265 prisoners (75 from Cle Buon Riposo); 5 tanks destroyed; 1 self-propelled antitank gun destroyed; 2 tanks put out of commission.
Captured : 1 antitank gun; 11 machine guns; 1 mortar; 1 antitank rifle; 1 bazooka.
February 23 1944
After brief artillery preparatory fire, the 65.Infantry-Division renewed its attack at 0530, against the encircled enemy at Cle Buon Riposo. Supported by self-propelled guns, we succeeded in penetrating the enemy’s defensive system, and occupied the houses at Cle Buon Riposo. With the exception of enemy remnants we cleared out the valley. Two enemy relief attacks, in battalion strength from the south, were repulsed after heavy fighting. Our artillery shelled infantry and artillery targets, and supported the attack on Cle Buon Riposo with blocking fired towards the south.
During the night of February 22 to 23, the 725.Grenadier-Regiment, 715.Infantry-Division, was relieved by the 2 battalions of the 1028.Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment, and transferred to Fosso Presciano, 4000 meters northeast of Campoleone as reserve. Kampfgruppe von Corvin, which had been attached to the 715.Infantry-Division on February 21, was now placed under the command of the 114.Jäger-Division. At 1200, the 362.Infantry-Division was attached to the LXXVI Panzer-Corps.
According to prisoners, the 509th Parachute Battalion (US) is now located 1500 meters north of the Collo del Pozzo, 2000 meters west of Cle Carano. The battalion is attached to the 3rd Infantry Division (US). On its right is the 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division; and on its left the 180th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division (US). According to interrogation of prisoners of war and captured documents, the 167th Infantry Brigade and 169th Infantry Brigade landed on February 11 and February 19, respectively. For the past week, the boundary between the English and American sectors ran along the Aprilia – Anzio Highway. Reliable sources report that the Royal Scot Greys Armored Battalion is in the area east of the highway. Counterattacks from the area southwest of Aprilia, strongly supported by armor, are to be expected. Reliable sources report that part of the enemy armored forces are assembled in this area.
German losses (less 3.-Pzr-Gren-Div, 9.-Pzr-Gren-Regt and 1027.-Pzr-Gren-Regt) : 33 killed; 184 wounded; 8 missing.
Allied losses : 402 prisoners (majority from 2/57th IR and 2/7th Queen’s Own); 1 tank put out of commission.
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