THE ALLIED ARMIES from 6 October to 15 November had won an area twenty to sixty miles in depth across the Italian peninsula (Map No. 29, opposite page). On the east the Eighth Army had parelleled the Fifth Army's advance on the west, against similar enemy delaying and rearguard action. Both Fifth and Eighth Armies had reached the outer defenses of the German Winter Line and now paused for a well-earned rest before renewing the attack. The second phase in the Italian campaign was ended. Rain and mud and cold nights, long marches, and hard fighting over country often so rugged that only foot troops and mules could get through had not stopped the relentless drive northward.

Within six weeks, Fifth Army troops had driven the Germans back to the Volturno, had executed a difficult river crossing in the face of a well-entrenched enemy, had gone on to cross the river a second and a third time, and had forced Kesselring's hard-pressed army back into the chain of mountains which formed his next strong defensive position (Map No. 30, inside back cover). Whether fighting across rivers, through valleys, or up steep mountain slopes, our men had everywhere proved their ability to defeat Hitler's vaunted master race.

The victories of the Fifth Army were not won without a grievous expenditure of American lives. The total battle casualties of the army from 7 October to 15 November were 9,693. American units suffered 6,846 casualties, of which 1,360 were killed, 5,189 wounded, and 297 missing in action. Casualties by divisions were 2,699 for the 3d Division, 1,658 for the 34th, and 1,370 for the 45th. The heaviest losses


in U. S. VI Corps occurred on 13 October and 4 November, the days during which the first and third Volturno crossings were made. The first assault cost VI Corps 545 men, while 493 casualties were incurred in the last. British 10 Corps had a total Of 2,847 battle casualties, of which 443 were killed, 2,007 wounded, and 397 missing. Nonbattle casualties during the period were about equal to battle losses.

The losses inflicted on the enemy cannot be estimated with accuracy. A total Of 1,994 enemy prisoners fell into the hands of the Fifth Army during the period from 1 October to 15 November. VI Corps accounted for 1,617 of these, while 10 Corps took 377. The enemy order

MAP NO. 29

Map No. 29: Allied Gains, 6 October-15 November 1943


of battle remained somewhat confused during the period, but nearly all prisoners reported that heavy casualties had been suffered by their units, some of which had been reduced to half strength. The constant pressure was taking a steady toll of Kesselring's troops. In the

past six weeks, Fifth Army had done more than win a sizeable portion of the road to Rome. By forcing the German high command to put more and more divisions into Italy, it had made an important contribution to the destruction of Hitler's military machine.

Photo: Fifth Army Insignia
Fifth Army
Photo: VI Corps Insignia
VI Corps
Photo: 3d Division Insignia
3d Division
Photo: 34th Division Insignia
34th Division
Photo: 45th Division Insignia
45th Division
Photo: 82d Airborne Division Insignia
82d Airborne Division
Photo: 10 Corps Insignia
10 Corps
Photo: 56th Division Insignia
56th Division
Photo: 46th Division Insignia
46th Division
Photo: 7 Armoured Division Insignia
7 Armoured Division
Insignia of U.S. Ranger Battalions, 23 Armoured Brigade, and 201 Guards Brigade not shown.


page created 17 September 2001

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