The World at War s01e13 Episode Script

Tough Old Gut: Italy (November 1942 - June 1944)

Certain time, Winston Churchill the Stalin said: "The Mediterranean is the lower abdomen soft of the crocodile".
Churchill and its General staff British had the certainty of that to attack the Europe starting for Italy, it would go to shorten the war.
The Americans not they were vain, preferring to concentrate itself in a blow decisive for the Channel.
With reluctance, the British had accepted to join it the way of Rome.
The World in War Courage and Determination Italy November of 1942 - June of 1944 November of 1942.
Eleven months after Pearl Harbor, the American army was prepared for the first meeting with the Wehrmacht.
Torch operation:code name for the landings allies in the French colonies of North of Africa:Morocco and Algeria.
They had found little resistance of the French forces of Vichy.
The French command quickly it breached with the government of Pétain e the troops had become part of the armies allies.
The American general, Dwight D.
Eisenhower she was the supreme commander.
The authors of the American plans they were not favorable to the operation, but president Roosevelt he was determined to place the army in action against Hitler, in 1942.
The attack to the Germans in Tunisia it was the second better thing after the second front in the Europe.
In Casablanca, two months before the landings, a group of high was congregated British and American officers.
The Russians were not gifts, but all knew that they had that to make some thing to free the Red Army of the pressure the one that was subject.
The Churchills and the Roosevelts had that to decide what to make to follow.
At the beginning of 1943, British and Americans were installed well in the North of Africa.
Hitler had ordered reinforcements to the forces of Rommel in Tunisia, but with 8º British Army coming close itself come to the east, the African coast to be of the Allies was a time question until all.
What to make later? We have to admit that it had one enormous difference between the two sides, on which it would be future strategy of the war.
The British, the heads of the British General staff, Churchill, they were all the favor of the future of the campaign to pass for Italy, reaching the lower abdomen, the weak side of the Germans, moving themselves for top and finishing for if joining the Russians.
The Americans had an accurately opposing idea.
They thought that the only way to win Germany was to take the way shortest until the o its center, crossing the Canal, e to advance until the areas of the Ruhr and the Sarre, the great industrial areas, thus destroying the forces German.
The British, commanded for Sir Alan Brooke, of the General staff, they had come the Casablanca definitive to take its opinion ahead.
They had obtained what they wanted.
The Americans, under the command of general Marshal, had been vain of that the next objective it would be the invasion of Sicily, what it would lead, waited they, to the surrender of Italy.
Thus, main the second front it was postponed plus one year.
However, at the time, the great notice of the conference of Casablanca it was an unexpected announcement of the American president.
Mr.
Roosevelt started saying that, when he was new, the great figure of the army American she was general Grant, that it had sent an order saying that it would not accept nothing beyond the unconditional surrender, e that these were, in the truth, the conditions that the Allies, or United Nations, they wanted to present its enemies.
Later it continued as if it did not understand the importance of the declaration that it had made.
Mr.
Churchill seemed sufficiently surpreso with this e I think that Mr.
Churchill felt that it would not be the best way to present the position of the Allies to the enemy.
However, as it said at the time and later, it was an enthusiastic follower of Mr.
Roosevelt and he agreed.
After the colloquy, Roosevelt it appeared with its another identity, of commander-head of the American Armed Forces.
If this American army, determined and confident, it had crossed the Atlantic waiting to take everything to the front, very soon they would lose the illusions, of cruel form.
In a surprise it has attacked through Throat of Kasserine, in Tunisia, Rommel inflicted the army American one of the worse defeats.
The Afrika Korps was too much equipped well and experienced for the American tanks little armed and with minor to be able of fire.
The moral of the inexperienced young Americans sufficiently were reached.
Many had been made prisoners.
This made with that the troops they faced the fact of that it would go to be a long war e he lasts and the Germans were very good.
The armies never learn with other armies; they have to learn for itself proper.
E many of the used tactics disastrously in Kasserine, they were the ones that the British army it uses, also disastrously, two years before, in the Desert Occidental person, having later given up.
I find that it helped our army.
It made also them to discover, because the British had come of the north they had really helped and them, that this would go to be one cooperation effort, that we could not make alone.
E also made with that the soldier normal if it accustomed to the fact of that it would go to have one battle followed of the other.
But it lacked to force the Rommel to explore the victory.
The Allies, under command of Alexander, they had regrouped e, in 10 days, they had reconquered the Throat.
The Germans in Tunisia they were surrounded.
The blockade ally of the coast, aerial marine and, it became impossible evacuation on a large scale.
To the south, one patrols advanced of 8º Army it was joined 2º American battalion.
The trap was closed.
Two allied, separate forces for mountains and deserts, they had been joined for the final onslaught on the German positions in Africa.
The armies allies, very superior in number, they had impelled the enemy, now without Rommel, that had been defecated, through mountains of Tunisia in direction to the sea.
The allied Air Force it had the total control.
In seven days, everything had finished.
Finally, the Afrika Korps it did not see advantage in fighting until the o last man.
They had surrendered in groups.
The General unfortunate person von Armin, successor of Rommel, also one surrendered with all its officers.
Almost 125 a thousand men prisoners had been made, a comparable victory to the one of Stalingrado.
A great impulse for the British and the Mediterranean campaign.
Sicily, as the waked up one in Casablanca, it was the next point.
But two months after German collapse in Tunisia, British and Americans had started to disembark troops in Sicily.
The British were commanded for Montgomery; the Americans, for general Patton; the first time that two self-centered ones partilhavam a campaign.
British Army was 8º that it faced the worse German resistance.
To the left, the troops of Patton they had crossed Sicily with style.
They had found useful allies in the Mafia e in familiar bows between the civil population.
I find that the situation it was facilitated by the fact almost not to have sicilianos that they did not have bows in U.
S.
A.
The landings in Sicily, that they had brought the war for its country, they had convinced many the Italians that its cause was lost.
To deliver itself, if possible for regiment, the first objective became of the Italian Armed Forces.
The bombings allies Rome they had constituted another argument to leave the war.
Benito Mussolini, Il Duce during 20 years, it was defeated in its proper one Great Advice Fascist.
In 25 of July, it was removed of the power.
The king Victor Emanuel approved aged Badoglio marshal as head of the government.
Badoglio declared public that the war would go to continue, but it initiated private negotiations with the Allies for the surrender.
Now Sicily, in the end of only some weeks, she was almost all at the hands of the Allies.
Of this time, it would not have a great one German number of prisoners.
The German evacuation, for the Strait of Messina, was very successful.
The majority of the troops of Wehrmacht ran away for the continent; until the last dog of guard.
General Patton won Montgomery in the race for Messina.
The Allies had disembarked in Sicily without knowing for where they would go to follow.
With the one perspective fast Italian collapse, the British wanted to attack the continent.
The Americans had agreed with an limited campaign, but they had insisted that the operation Overlord, the invasion of Normandy, it must have priority of resources.
A private envoy, the General Castellano, was ordered by Badoglio to discover where conditions Italy could join the Allies.
But the Allies alone they wanted the surrender of Italy e had refused to show invasion plans the Castellano, in part, because they did not want that the Italians knew as its forces were limited.
Everything what we could say to General Castellano it was this: We will say two or three hours before happening, so that it can give all the assistance to the British, to the allied operations.
Finally, in 3 of September, these conditions had been signed.
In this day, the Allies had invaded.
Montgomery passed the Strait of Messina and attacked the tip of Italy, but it did not find resistance.
The Germans had northward IDO to face the one threat landing in the coast more to the north.
The Italians wanted a landing to safeguard Rome of one it has attacked German, but this impossible age.
The point more to the north that Allies had found to be able to disembark it was not close to Rome, but in Salerno, where the aerial covering allied, coming of Sicily, could arrive.
The operation had been mounted quickly, to take off left of confusion in Italy.
The forces commanded for American general Mark Clark badly they were prepared for what they had that to make.
In the way, the troops had heard one message of General Eisenhower.
The Armed Forces of the government Italian had surrendered without restrictions.
As commander-head ally, I granted an armistice military.
The armistice was signed for my representative e for the representative of Badoglio Marshal e becomes effective to leave of this moment.
The surrender of its allies it did not surprise Hitler.
Already it had ordered reinforcements northward of Italy.
Here, the Italians had been quickly disarmed, with a plan ironically call "Operation Axle".
At this time, Hitler not yet had determined where to support the line.
The Germans had entered in Rome, finding the capital without government.
Badoglio and its ministers had prevented the risk of execution by firing-squad for treason, entering in its cars and running away.
To the south of Rome, the force of invasion of Clark was come close to beaches.
Salerno.
When it is entered of boat, we see mountains, that they surround in them, and the straits that we have to pass.
The enemy would be back in observing.
The Germans were ready, to the wait.
To the end of 48 hours, the Germans they had launched a strong counterattack.
The situation in the beach one became so precarious, that Clark asked for plans for an eventual escape.
But with air support massive maritime e, the invaders of Salerno they had obtained to remain itself.
After one week of combats violent, the Germans if had removed.
The support of the Air Force was necessary stops saving in them in Salerno.
Of all the battles of General Einsenhower, this is that one where we arrive more close to one it defeats tactics.
I never had doubts of that operation was a complete success.
They had commanded them that we were e there that we took the bridge.
We made.
They had commanded them that we took the port of Naples.
We made in three weeks.
So far, all good.
At least, great part of the south of Italy was at the hands of the Allies.
Naples was despaired with food lack.
It had riots because of bread.
It lacked the water.
It had an epidemic of tifo.
The advance continued, but to the front it was well line of the German resistance.
The commanders allies had waited that Hitler withdrew more.
Instead of this, encouraged for almost the victory in Salerno, it had determined to fight here, in mountains to the south of Rome.
The undesirable Mussolini it came back to appear.
It was taken off of its hiding place for a group of German rescue taken e the Hitler.
The Führer was frightened for it to appear, but it thought that still it could be useful to give courage to the fascists in busy Italy for Germany.
The German forces in Italy they were commanded by Kesselring, one of the defense commanders more apt of the war.
Kesselring had much its favor.
The mountainous chain that Italy covers almost all it compelled the Allies to advance for coastal plains.
The Germans only could flanquear with amphibious landings.
But the groups of landing they were fixed in Normandy.
To the measure that went northward for the defensive positions prepared, the troops of Kesselring had destroyed the only lines of communication.
In the cities, the Germans had left traps.
Thus it was Naples.
They were well trained troops.
Determined and commanded well.
E liked to say that they were homogeneous.
The same nationality, the same weapons and the ammunition had all.
They ate the same food.
They believed God the same.
E we.
I had with me some could not eat this, others did not eat that, e some did not fight to sixth others, in another day of the week.
E the British with its weapons of infantry e with the artillery completely different of ours, they could not be moved of front for front, easily, as the Germans.
Winter.
The commander ally General Alexander and its comrades they faced the difficult reality of the strategy of the Mediterranean.
fast advances through the desert, it only obtained to advance ones hundreds of meters per day.
In mountains, 5º Army of Clark also was imprisoned in the mud.
They had ordered them rubber boots after rain having motionless, e who was in this business it found millions in the roads, therefore we did not obtain to walk with them.
It was impossible to cross the mud.
This was not sunny Italy of the brochures of trips.
A man of the infantry alone would leave of mountains if they were to search.
Therefore, until it was desirable to be wounded.
Horrible time, difficult land, determined German resistance.
For the troops in the mud, this not it corresponded to the vision of Churchill.
I am seeing it, leant over on the map, in persuasivo way, pointing for the vulnerable Mediterranean.
After arriving, I thought many times that were well more difficult of what it had made in them to believe.
Before the 1943 end, the Allies attacked the line of Winter of Kesselring.
Alexander had 11 divisions, Kesselring 9, with more 8 of reserve.
It had that to fight itself for each small village of mountains.
In December, 36ª division American wanted to enter in San Pietro.
The majority of our combats it was in Italy.
Tomavamos position, we cavavamos and we ficavamos there.
It wants to say, we we went off against them and they against us.
E only when they were ready to leave, it is that we avançavamos.
After 10, the Americans had 10 days taken San Pietro, with many decreases.
In each unit, it had a division of register of sepultures, whose work was to collect corpses.
If somebody was badly buried, them they exhumed it, or if they saw fallen bodies, they apanhavam them, they placed them in sheets e piled up them in trucks, taking it stops them a temporary cemetary.
I believe that it had embedded people four or five times, what, in the truth, it is lamentable.
I always found that it had to be left the people where they were.
Certain time, Mussolini it says the Italian people: The war becomes noblemen those that they have the courage of facing.
In Tehran, November of 1943, Roosevelt and Stalin the Churchills had opposed it e had marked, finally, the date for the landing in France: May of 1944.
Italy started to be secondary.
But after Tehran, Churchill opposed to accept the impasse in Italy.
It contacted Roosevelt e convinced to loan it to it forces for a new amphibious landing.
The plan had two phases.
First, 5º Army of Mark Clark attacked the Germans in Casino, it pushed its forces for south e depleted the reserves to them.
Later, the amphibious troops attacked, for detrás of the lines in Anzio, but 35 km to the south of Rome.
In Casino, the Germans they had kept a strategical position.
They saw everything what it was moved in the valley in low.
in 20 of January.
Its troops not they had received reinforcements; they had cold, were wet and exaustos.
The attack failed disastrously.
But the second phase of the plan it advanced two days later: the attack the Anzio.
I entered in Salerno with insufficient troops, no commander has that he finds that must have e was determined, being the commander, or commander-head, entering in Anzio it would be to enter with force.
We enter with a division entire and two terços of another one, what he was total inadequate, but it is as soon as the things they happen in the war.
We make what they order in them or they arrange another person.
The Germans waited one landing, but did not know where.
The possible beaches did not have troops enough to cover all.
The force of Anzio not it found resistance.
It swims.
One or another shot at a distance, but more nothing.
E when the dawn arrived, we had obtained the total surprise.
Minutes later, it appeared an car in the road, zigzagging.
He was full of glad Germans that they had passed the night in Rome e was coming back at any cost.
They did not want to believe that they had been captured.
"The Kleins Kamerad" said e hugged me.
Finally we also arrest, them.
E was thus the landing, a complete surprise.
The attack was consolidated, in the way of a hair-raising calm.
After de Salerno, seemed incredible not to have German reply.
Perhaps it was the hour of an offensive lightning, to the way it General Patton, in direction to the doors of Rome.
But the American commander in Anzio it was not a Patton.
General Lucas was a cautious man, that it believed that the beach it had of being consolidated, before following for the interior.
Alexander was not opposed.
In London, Churchill one complained bitterly: I thought that we had released a brave cat in the Albanos Mounts, instead of this, we have a whale run aground in the beach.
It had only two battalions e some coastal batteries very old, in the coast, for defense.
If the Americans had.
perceived the situation, they could have fond Rome in the night of the landing.
General Lucas could have it fact, but if it would have found with one smashing force would defeat that it.
It does not have doubt of that it would have been defeated.
Thus, we had that entrenching in them in the biggest possible perimeter e to wait for the offensive one that it arrived.
Unprepared Apanhado for Alexander, as was frequent, Kesselring if recouped fast.
Defied for the requirement of Hitler to eliminate abcesso of Anzio, its force used all in the counterattack.
If Anzio was eliminated, perhaps the Allies thought well on crossing the Channel.
The units of the Allies who if they had spread from beaches, they had been jammed by force of the German attack.
I know that it had a unit that simply it caught the things, it folded the coats and it was delivered.
They did not aguentavam more and they were young.
They had never seen a thing of these and I do not censure them.
Two battalions of rangers Americans had been captured e obliged to parade, of form humilhante, for the streets of Rome.
The beach alone could be relieved by the south, breaching the German defensive line, that it passed for mount monastery Casino.
Stuck very above of the valley, a comment rank could here see everything the kilometers.
The Allies thought, wrong, that the monastery is fortified.
All we thought and we believed, the involved troops in that front, that Casino, the monastery of Casino, he was used for ends military for the Germans.
Being this the case, it is part of my military philosophy and many other people, not to set troops fighting without giving the support all to them physicist and possible material, for giving possibilities to them to be successful.
In 15 of February of 1944, more than 200 bombers allies the rubbles had reduced the monastery.
The aerial attacks and in ground had been badly coordinate, giving time to the Germans of if hiding in rubbles, an ideal covering for defense.
The Gustav Line was strengthened.
In Anzio, Kesselring it launched 10 German divisions against the four divisions half e of the Allies.
Hitler waited that Anzio was the overturn in the luck of Germany.
It promised that the unit that he obtained to pass it would have the honor to escort the prisoners allies in Berlin.
Waves of German infantry they had been ordered for there.
They had come for a lunar landscape, destroyed tanks, esburacados, abandoned jeeps throughout the roads e, until today, I do not understand the German tactics.
It had one hour where we saw them to leave the lines, as in the old films of the Battle of the Somme e falling when they were apanhados for our machine guns.
The offensive German lasted four days.
In the end, the allied superiority in heavy weapons marked the difference.
Finally, they had been debtors to withdraw.
The Germans if had removed, but the Allies not they had force to advance.
It was an impasse.
Later, we had that to dig trenches e Anzio became a system of trenches of the First War.
They were attacked with bombs and mortars, they had that to patrol the trenches e, for enthusiastic times, officers they ordered soldiers to sairem to discover who it was to our front e to attack the trench.
He seemed something left a film.
The two fronts were moved away but some meters.
It had soldiers cleaning one machine gun, it had disassembled, e was an Irishan there call Tommy M'Gough, that it looked at for top and it said: "My God" he was to search the weapon it tried to put the pipe, but it was placing in contrast.
Clearly that I was looking at.
I said:"All good, Tommy.
" It was agachado and.
It spoke well English and it said:"Where it is the Fred? "and I said:"He was himself.
" I said:"It is all good.
What you have?" "Meat of pig and limões.
" Clearly that I gave a can to it of cow meat.
E we are speaking with it on the position and the war.
It came of a place next to Emden, he was not? Emden and, at the time, this city already had been bombed many times.
I said:"Already he was bombed, already he is prepared.
" "Not", it said, "comes of one city close to Emden.
I am well.
" E in showed photos to them of the woman, that it directed trams in Emden.
I said:"Because he does not order yourself? He is maluco.
Pods not to earn.
" "Not", it said, "Germany will not be won.
" "We go to even lose everything to arrive at the deep one,"said it, e later in juntamo to the British and Americans against Russia.
" Later, it was even so.
Never more the vi.
It must have been relieved in the following day.
In the hour of the meal, the cooks cried out:"They join themselves".
We went with the cans to search the food.
Before arriving at the kitchen, the Germans had ordered one, one of the great ones, e, automatically, we soon we jogavamos in them in the soil.
We were accustomed.
We walked agachados.
They called, if we walked thus "corcunda of Anzio".
We syntonized the radios that we did not have to hear, in the Voice of the Sallie.
The Sallie lived in Rome e was an excellent one.
Well, she seemed the woman more wonderful and sexy of the world.
E was always ordering messages to the troops.
It said:"Olá, olá.
" The women think that the more low to speak, more sexy they seem, e it had the register more low of all the women.
It said:"Olá, says the Sallie, because to see they do not come me?" "Fox soldier, remembers it of yesterday at night, he stepped on a mine.
Horrible things, the mines.
" We were hearing Fox soldier bawling most of the night.
"They are not as Fox soldier, they come to see the Sallie.
" We heard a boom and there they came the propaganda pamphlets that said: "The Americans ask for loaned its women.
They are if amusing sufficient in old England.
" It had a drawing of a naked woman being hugged for an American, or an American putting the necktie, while it dressed the stockings.
WHILE YOU ARE IT ARE In Casino, the Allies they kept the pressure.
Its objective age to be slow maximum of German troops there.
One third attempt of to conquer the destroyed monastery it started with a bombing bulk on the city of Casino.
They had come 500 airplanes, with the word of code "Bradman it plays tomorrow".
Between the destroyed places, it was the headquarters of 8º British Army.
Of new, the coordination had me of the forces in air and the ground.
After the bombing, the Germans they had left the hiding place e already was again in position when the New-zealanders had attacked.
The defenders German were one force of the elite of parachutists.
It was fought of house in house, room the room, bilge the bilge.
The New$zealanders The Germans still if they kept firm.
Three assaults to the Mount Casino, three bloody failures.
The commanders allies had discovered that, to conquer the mountain, they had that to jam the defenders with numerical superiority.
They had strengthened massive They had also used a scheme, making the Germans to think that they prepared another landing amphibian to the north of Rome.
The Germans had weakened the defenses to be prepared.
May, the Allies exceeded Germans in three for one, Casino.
After a barrage fire of 2 a thousand weapons, the monastery fell.
The Polish troops had been first to reach the ruins, where they had hoisted the national flag.
The eyes of the captured Germans they counted the history of its capital punishment.
The Germans if removed now precipitadamente.
Kesselring declared Rome an open city e tried to regroup itself to the north of the capital.
In 25 of May, the front of Casino it was joined the force in the beach of Anzio.
The plan of Alexander was that Clark cut the German withdrawal.
Instead of this, Clark served itself of everything to arrive Rome.
It was determined to arrive there before all.
E arrived.
In the night of 4 of June of 1944, the first allied troops they had entered in the city.
The Romans, who had supported the side made a mistake, they paid the price now.
The Roman triumph of Clark it had short life.
Kesselring obtained to regroup itself.
Another one was arriving Italian winter.
E in less of 48h, the world turned over for another one palco the war: the beaches of Normandy.