Operation SHINGLE and Major General John P. Lucas   [open pdf - 1MB]

"Operation SHINGLE, the World War II amphibious turning movement at Anzio, placed VI Corps of the Allied 5th Army seventy miles behind the German Gustav Line defenses in central Italy. The operation's objective of cutting German lines of communication and thereby turning German defenses on the Gustav Line would force a German retreat that would liberate Rome was a failure. The American commander, Major General John P. Lucas, has been frequently maligned for failing to use greater initiative in quickly seizing the Alban Hills as soon as the Allies landed at Anzio. The assault on his military skills is not justified. Had General Lucas seized the Alban Hills, as the plan intended, he would likely have lost his entire Corps to German counterattack. This paper addresses the strategic and operational facets of the plan to seize the Alban Hills. General Lucas was probably not the best choice to lead the Anzio landing. Nevertheless, he took what would prove the best course of action to deal with the circumstances in which he found himself and VI Corps at Anzio."

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