22 January – 5 June 1944

WW2 - Battle of Anzio

Following the landings at Salerno the Allies advanced over the Volturno and Garigliano rivers in the autumn of 1943, also taking Naples. The Germans meanwhile had constructed the Gustav Line defences from coast to coast across Italy and Allied forces faltered against this at Cassino.

The Facts

  • Date: 22 January – 5 June 1944
  • Location: Anzio and Nettuno
Countries Involved
United Kingdom
United States
Italian Social Republic
Countries Commanders
Harold Alexander
Mark W. Clark
John P. Lucas
Lucian K. Truscott
Albert Kesselring
Eberhard von Mackensen
Number of Casualties
Around 43,000 Around 40,000

Battle result: Allied victory

A plan was made to bypass the Gustav Line with Operation Shingle, the landings at Anzio on 22nd January 1944. A joint American-British force was put ashore with orders to advance on Rome. However, the American commander Major General John P. Lucas, was over-cautious and Allied troops were quickly contained at Anzio by the Germans. What was meant to be a rapid advance turned into a five-month siege and in the end the breakout at Cassino in May 1944 saved Anzio when it should have been the other way round. The fighting at Anzio was very much like the First World War, with British troops holding massive dry river beds called The Wadis in systems of foxholes and even trenches.

Operation Shingle - US troops landing in Anzio

Operation Shingle - US troops landing in Anzio

Learn more about this battle on the following Leger Battlefield tour

Sign up for FREE email offers