Anzio Beachhead – World War II 50th Anniversary Commemorative Edition




Anzio Beachhead, fourteenth in the series of studies of particular combat operations, is the story of how VI Corps of the American Fifth Army seized and held a strategic position far to the rear of the main fighting front, in the Italian campaign of 1944. Since VI Corps included British as well as American Units, and the high command in Italy was in British rather than American hands, the battle to maintain the Anzio beachhead was an Allied rather than an exclusively American operation. Essentially, this narrative of Anzio is confined to the first six weeks of bitter struggle to hold the beachhead against German attacks designed to drive the Allied forces from their foothold into the sea, a period which ended on 3 March. Thereafter, until the Allied break out offensive of May, the Anzio beachhead was a relatively static front. Then the beachhead forces spearheaded the break out that led to the capture of Rome. Only a sketch of this final and decisive phase of the Anzio operation is included in this narrative.

This study is based upon a first narrative by Capt. John Bowditch, III, prepared in the field from military records and from notes and interviews recorded during and after the operation.  The original manuscript has been revised and extended with the help of additional information, including that obtained from enemy records.