Advance to the Gothic Line
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseImmediately after the capture of Rome, Italy on 4 Jun 1944, the Allies pushed north, with US VI Corps advancing along Highway 1, US II Corps advancing toward Viterbo, British XIII Corps advancing toward Terni and Perugia, and British V Corps advancing up the coast of the Adriatic Sea. Meanwhile, German troops executed a successful delay action campaign, falling back to the Trasimene Line, which was to serve as a temporary defensive line while the main Gothic Line further north was being strengthened. Troops of German 10th Army under Heinrich von Vietinghoff and German 14th Army under Joachim Lemelsen held the positions on the Trasimene Line. During the northward advance, the four Allied corps, already exhausted from continuous action, were substituted by US IV Corps, French Expeditionary Corps, British X Corps, and Polish II Corps, in the same order as previously stated. Although this brought fresh troops to the front, this large substitution that took place throughout the month of Jun 1944 caused some delay in the progress. Most of the strongpoints on this line were either lost or given up by the Germans by early Jul 1944.
ww2dbaseAs soon as Allied troops broke through on the eastern end of the Trasimene Line, Polish II Corps under Wladyslaw Anders was given the task of capturing the port city of Ancona on the eastern coast of Italy in an effort to ease the logistic situation for the troops on the coast of the Adriatic Sea. British troops were assigned under Anders to serve in supporting roles. Polish troops reached the Chienti River on 21 Jun 1944 and were immediately involved in heavy fighting for the remainder of the month. They reached Ancona in mid-Jul 1944, and the after two days of fighting, Polish and British troops outflanked the German defensive positions, and the city was captured on 18 Jul.
ww2dbaseAlso during the month of Jul 1944, on the western coast of Italy, Allied troops penetrated the Arno Line which ran along the Arno River from the coast to the Arezzo area. Like the Trasimene Line, it was meant to give the Germans more time to fortify the Gothic Line, which, by this time, had been renamed the Green Line.
Last Major Update: Mar 2013
Advance to the Gothic Line Timeline
|6 Jun 1944||French troops captured Tivoli, Italy.|
|7 Jun 1944||US troops captured Civitavecchia, Italy.|
|8 Jun 1944||US Fifth Army captured Civita Castellana, Italy.|
|14 Jun 1944||Allied troops captured Orvieto, Italy.|
|16 Jun 1944||British Eighth Army captured Foligno and Spoleto, Italy.|
|17 Jun 1944||British XIII Corps engaged in heavy fighting with German forces at CittÃ della Pieve, Italy.|
|18 Jun 1944||British troops captured Assisi, Italy.|
|20 Jun 1944||British troops captured Perugia, Italy.|
|21 Jun 1944||British XIII Corps engaged in heavy fighting with German forces at San Fatucchio, Italy. Further east, Polish II Corps reached the Chienti River.|
|24 Jun 1944||Troops of British XIII Corps linked up with Indian troops of British X Corps in Italy.|
|27 Jun 1944||Troops of French Expeditionary Corps arrived at the Orcia River west of Lake Trasimene in Italy.|
|1 Jul 1944||US IV Corps crossed the Cecina River near Livorno, Italy.|
|2 Jul 1944||Germans evacuated Siena, Italy.|
|3 Jul 1944||French Expeditionary Corps captured Siena, Italy.|
|6 Jul 1944||British Eighth Army captured Osimo, Italy.|
|9 Jul 1944||The British The North Staffordshire Regiment captured the fortified village of Malan, Italy. Facing dug-in Tiger tanks, the Staffords suffer 25% casualties in the battle.|
|15 Jul 1944||Two divisions of the British 8th Army attacked Arezzo, Italy.|
|16 Jul 1944||Troops of the British 8th Army captured Arezzo, Italy while troops of the British XIII Corps crossed the Arno River.|
|17 Jul 1944||Allied troops attacked toward Ancona, Italy, with Polish armored units capturing Monte della Crescia and Casenuove, and supporting British units capturing Montecchio and Croce di San Vincenzo.|
|18 Jul 1944||As Polish II Corps advanced toward Ancona, Italy, it captured Agugliano, Chiaravalle, and finally the port city itself by 1430 hours. Meanwhile, troops of US IV Corps began an attack on Leghorn. In the air, US Fifteenth Air Force attacked various German positions throughout the country.|
|19 Jul 1944||US 34th Division captured Livorno, Italy. The Germans set up about 25,000 booby traps as they evacuated the city.|
|22 Jul 1944||In Italy, American troops entered the outskirts of Pisa while troops of from both the 8th and 5th armies advanced to within 15 miles of Florence; the towns of Castelfiorentino and Tavernelle were occupied and Polish troops in the Adriatic area pressed northwards from Ancona.|
|23 Jul 1944||US 34th Division captured Pisa, Italy.|
|4 Aug 1944||Germans evacuated Florence, Italy.|
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