January 22, 1944. The sun is shining, and there is a quiet wind blowing across the beach of Anzio. The quiet unsettling for it is the silence before the storm. In the following couple of days the aforementioned beach will be covered by upwards of 30,000 allied troops. This beach will also see some of the bloodiest fighting of the entire war in the next few months. The final months along the Gustav Line had come to a stalemate because Albert Kesselring, the German commander, was stopping any attempts by the Allies to advance at Cassino, causing a stalemate between the two factions. This is what set off the series of events at Anzio. Anzio is often not the first name that is synonymous with the thought of WWII. Despite its obscurity Anzio was a turning point that allowed the allies to breach the Gustav Line allowing the capture of Rome. The battle of Anzio in its entirety can be seen as a escalation of flaws from operation shingle, then the invasion, finally corrected in the breakout.
Trapped in a deadlock with the Germans on the Gustav Line, Sir Alexander, the commander in charge of the allied forces on the Gustav Line, needed a diversion. It was then that the Allies devised the strategy called Operation Shingle which was “one of the most ill-conceived operations of the war.”(Battle of Anzio). The operation was named shingle because it would peel away the Germans like removing the shingles of roof. The concept was that a large attack in the south, where Anzio is located, would draw the diminishing German forces away from the Gustav Line. This would allow Sir Alexander to break through the line to Rome. From Alexander’s perspective, if he could capture the Alban Hills which lie northeast of Anzio, This strategy would stop the Ger...
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