Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Thursday, January 22, 2015

22 January 1944 A.D. Amphib-Landings at Anzio, Italy—US 5th Army

22 January 1944 A.D. Amphib-Landings at Anzio, Italy—US 5th Army

Editors. “1944U.S. troops under Major General John P. Lucas make an amphibious landing behind German lines at Anzio, Italy, just south of Rome.” This Day in U.S. Military History. N.d.  Accessed 21 Jan 2015.

1944U.S. troops under Major General John P. Lucas make an amphibious landing behind German lines at Anzio, Italy, just south of Rome. Following the successful Allied landings at Calabria, Taranto, and Salerno in early September 1943 and the unconditional surrender of Italy that same month, German forces begun a slow, fighting withdrawal to the north and settled into the ‘Gustav Line’, a formidable and sophisticated defensive belt of interlocking positions on the high ground along the peninsula’s narrowest point. Between October 1943 and January 1944 the Allies launched numerous costly attacks against well-entrenched enemy forces at this line. Becasue of this, the Allies initiated a larger assault south of Rome that could outflank the Gustav Line: Operation SHINGLE. During the early morning hours of 22 January 1944, troops of the Fifth Army swarmed ashore on a fifteen-mile stretch of Italian beach near the prewar resort towns of Anzio and Nettuno. The landings were carried out so flawlessly and German resistance was so light that British and American units gained their first day’s objectives by noon. More to the east the key to defeating the Gustav line lay in the small town of Cassino lying on the river Rapido dominated by the historic Benedictine monastery atop the 1,693 foot massif of Monte Cassino itself. Only after four months with three battles the mountain only fell into Allied hands on May 18th. At Anzio, Allied troops only were able to break out around May 25th. Rome was entered by Clark’s Fifth Army on the 4th June. The Anzio Campaign was controversial, the operation clearly failed in its immediate objectives of outflanking the Gustav Line, restoring mobility to the Italian campaign, and speeding the capture of Rome. Allied forces were quickly pinned down and contained within a small beachhead, and they were effectively rendered incapable of conducting any sort of major offensive action for four months pending the advance of Fifth Army forces to the south. Anzio failed to be the panacea the Allies sought. As General Lucas steadfastly maintained that under the circumstances the small Anzio force accomplished all that could have been realistically expected. Lucas’ critics charge, however, that a more aggressive and imaginative commander, such as a Patton or Truscott, could have obtained the desired goals by an immediate, bold offensive from the beachhead. Lucas was overly cautious, spent valuable time digging in, and allowed the Germans to prepare countermeasures to ensure that an operation conceived as a daring Allied offensive behind enemy lines became a long, costly campaign of attrition. Yet the campaign did accomplish several goals. The presence of a significant Allied force behind the German Gustav Line, uncomfortably close to Rome, represented a constant threat. The Germans could not ignore Anzio and were forced into a response, thereby surrendering the initiative in Italy to the Allies. The 135,000 troops of the Fourteenth Army surrounding Anzio could not be moved elsewhere, nor could they be used to make the already formidable Gustav Line virtually impregnable. The Anzio beachhead thus guaranteed that the already steady drain of scarce German troop reserves, equipment, and materiel would continue unabated, ultimately enabling the 15th Army Group to break through in the south. But the success was costly.

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