|German WWII "Pill Box" Anzio, Italy, 1997, above three photos.
The top photo is from "After The Battle" magazine, Number 52, 1986, showing German WWII sea-borne defenses being
eliminated in 1976. The lower two photos, were taken by QuestMasters Museum in May 1997. These photos show the same
German WWII "Pill Box" that was converted into a memorial to "Universal Peace", by the Lions-Club of Anzio-Nettuno, Italy.
|THE BATTLE OF ANZIO
|QUESTMASTERS ARCHEOLOGY WORK:
|Signal Corps Photo SC190735 Cisterna, Italy, 1944, above left photo.
This Signal Corps Photo SC190735, via National Archives College Park, Maryland, May 25th 1944, MM-5-44-5780, Fifth Army,
Cisterna Area, Italy, "A street scene in Cisterna showing total wreckage, after the town's capture. On the right is a U.S. tank
(M-5 "Stuart" with camouflage paint scheme), which provided covering fire for infantrymen during the assault." Photo by
Bonnard, 163rd Signal Photo Company.
Signal Corps Photo SC190736 Cisterna, Italy, 1944, above right photo.
This Signal Corps Photo SC190736, via National Archives College Park, Maryland, May 25th 1944, MM-5-44-5792-2, Cisterna,
Italy, "3rd Division troops take Cisterna. Dead German (Soldier) lies along railroad which was strong point in taking Cisterna.
Cisterna sign in the background." Photo by 163rd Signal Photo Company by Lt. Don Brinn.
|British WWII Mortar Shell Cases, Anzio, Italy, 1997, above two photos.
These British WWII Mortar Shell Cases were found and photographed by QuestMasters Museum in May 1997. The cases were
found at a construction site on the Anzio beachhead, and were unearthed during the digging of a building foundation.
|Signal Corps Photo SC188119 Anzio, Italy, 1944, above photo.
This Signal Corps Photo SC188119, via National Archives College Park, Maryland, March 3rd 1944 MM-5-44-1939, Anzio Italy,
shows "Captain Russell M. Comrie, Fargo, North Dakota, Anti-Tank Company, 15th Infantry Regiment (3rd Infantry Division),
operating a 4-barrel anti-aircraft gun (German Flakvierling 38) 20mm captured from the Germans." Photo by Lapidus, 163rd
Signal Photo Company.
|German WWII Trailer, Anzio, Italy, 1997, above photo.
This trailer was photographed by QuestMasters Museum in June 1997 in Anzio, Italy. The trailer appears to be German WWII
made, although very similar to the U.S. WWII 1-ton "Ben Hur" trailer. It is shown here being used by an Italian civilian as a work
trailer with modifications.
|U.S. 60mm and 81mm Mortar Shell and Fins, above photo.
These U.S. WWII Mortar Shells were found and recovered by QuestMasters Museum in Anzio, Italy, in 1997. These are U.S.
60mm M49A2 HE (inert) mortar shell with fuze removed, top of photo, and a U.S. WWII 81mm M43A1 HE Mortar Fin Assembly,
bottom of photo.
|Signal Corps Photo SC190737 Cisterna, Italy, 1944, above left photo.
This Signal Corps Photo SC190737, via National Archives College Park, Maryland, "The railroad station, almost. A photo of the
Cisterna railroad station, showing results of Allied fire. Fifth Army, May 25th 1944. 3rd Division troops take Cisterna."
Signal Corps Photo SC190738 Cisterna, Italy, 1944, above right photo.
This Signal Corps Photo SC190738, via National Archives College Park, Maryland, May 25th 1944, MM-5-44-5793-1, Cisterna,
Italy, "3rd Division troops take Cisterna. German prisoners being searched." Photo by 163rd Signal Photo Company, Lt. Don
|Between 1997 and 1999, QuestMasters Museum conducted WWII archaeological work in Anzio, Italy. Anzio
played a significant role and five-month long battle, in the Allied advance through central Italy. This advance
was crucial for the capturing and liberation of Rome, Italy, from German occupation.
|The Battle of Anzio:
The Battle of Anzio was a battle of the Italian Campaign of World War II that took place from January 22nd 1944, beginning with
the Allied amphibious landing known as "Operation Shingle" to June 5, 1944, ending with the capture of Rome.
The operation was initially commanded by Major General John P. Lucas, of the U.S. Army, commanding U.S. VI Corps with the
intention being to outflank German forces at the Winter Line and enable an attack on Rome.
The success of an amphibious landing at that location, in a basin consisting substantially of reclaimed marshland and
surrounded by mountains, depended on the element of surprise and the swiftness with which the invaders could build up
strength and move inland relative to the reaction time and strength of the defenders. Any delay could result in the occupation
of the mountains by the defenders and the consequent entrapment of the invaders. Lieutenant General Mark W. Clark,
commander of the U.S. Fifth Army, understood that risk, but he did not pass on his appreciation of the situation to his
subordinate, General Lucas, who preferred to take time to entrench against an expected counterattack. The initial landing
achieved complete surprise. However, Lucas, who had little confidence in the operation as planned, failed to capitalize on the
element of surprise and delayed his advance until he judged his position was sufficiently consolidated and he had sufficient
While Lucas consolidated, Field Marshal Albert Kesselring, the German commander in the Italian theatre, moved every unit he
could spare into a defensive ring around the beachhead. His artillery units had a clear view of every Allied position. The
Germans also stopped the drainage pumps and flooded the reclaimed marsh with salt water, planning to entrap the Allies and
destroy them by epidemic. For weeks, a rain of shells fell on the beach, the marsh, the harbor, and on anything else
observable from the hills, with little distinction between forward and rear positions.
After a month of heavy but inconclusive fighting, Lucas was relieved and sent home. His replacement was Major General
Lucian Truscott, who had previously commanded the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division. The Allies broke out in May. But, instead of
striking inland to cut lines of communication of the German Tenth Army's units fighting at Monte Cassino, Truscott, on Clark's
orders, reluctantly turned his forces north-west towards Rome, which was captured on June 4, 1944. As a result, the forces of
the German Tenth Army fighting at Cassino were able to withdraw and rejoin the rest of Kesselring's forces north of Rome,
regroup, and make a fighting withdrawal to his next major prepared defensive position on the Gothic Line.
Rome was liberated on June 4th 1944, two days before the amphibious landings at Normandy, France, June 6th 1944.
|CISTERNA, ITALY, 17 MILES INLAND FROM ANZIO:
|WWII Trailer, Latina, Italy, 1998, above photo.
This trailer was photographed by QuestMasters Museum in February 1998 in Latina, Italy, 16 miles inland east of Anzio. This
trailer was made from the wheels of German artillery guns after WWII. The wheels on the left end appear from to be from a
German WWII Pak 40 anti-tank gun. It was very common after WWII to re-use military material from the battlefield for use on
farms and for it to be visible still in use late in the 20th century.
|WWII Ammunition, Buon Ripposo Ridge, Italy, 1998, above two photos.
In 1998, QuestMasters Museum conducted WWII archeology work on the Buon Ripposo Ridge, Italy, 13 miles inland from Anzio,
near the town of Aprilia, Italy. QuestMasters Museum found and recovered, shown above, fired and unfired cartridges of
German, British and American WWII manufacture. Some of the casing were cut with a saw, which may have been the result of
post-battle trench art manufacture. Many of the cartridges were found in cloth and steel belts.