To see a big picture .

Click on the thumbnail in the story.

To see my blog of WW2 and Occupation

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Chapter 9: Anzio

Click on picture to see a full page picture

Bill went through the whole 4 months of Anzio. Except for the Colmar Pocket which is almost as bad or was perhaps as bad because it happened during the terrible winter when the battle of the Bulge was going on. We don't hear a lot about the Colmar pocket though.

Bill tried to choke himself to death! This illustrates how exhausted you can get. A few nights after the landing at Anzio Bill woke up from a deep sleep and felt a hand around his neck. He was panic stricken believing a German had him by the throat. Then he recognized that it was his own hand on his throat. His arm had gone to sleep and his hand was against his throat. Talk about relief.

Sleeping where the pigs slept.
Usually the radio truck for the battalion is somewhat behind the front lines. At Anzio the front lines were just a couple miles away and the battalion radio truck, ran by Bill, was just next to one of the gun batteries. They slept in a pig pin. Actually after they cleaned it up.

The Anzio battle has been told many times so except for Bills comments about the war I wont go over it again. He told how they could not go around in the daylight except for when they might be behind a building such as the pigpen. The assaults of the Germans came close to pushing the Americans into the sea. So close that at one time they were issued incendiary grenades to destroy the trucks if it came to that. But they held and went on to break out of the beachhead later.
Here are some pictures of foxholes on Anzio

Virginia, Bills girlfriend sent him a small camera and the pictures on this page are from that camera. The poor quality is due to the fact that these are copies of pictures that had been copied before. They never reproduce well. So far we don't have the original

Would you like to have an idea of what these guys were going through? The next time it is cold misearble and snowing about 20 degrees go camping. Sleeping in a hole in the ground. You wont have anyone shooting at you so the experience wont be what they went through of course but camping out in these conditions might make you more appreciative of their experience.

After the Colmar pocket in the Vosges mountains they broke out and begain the march through Germany.