Landing at Anzio

Despite the misgivings of the senior commanders, Operation Shingle moved forward on January 22, 1944, with the British 1st Infantry Division landing north of Anzio, the 6615th Ranger Force attacking the port, and the US 3rd Infantry Division landing south of the town. Coming ashore, Allied forces initially met little resistance and began moving inland. By midnight, 36,000 men had landed and secured a beachhead 2-3 miles deep. Rather than move quickly to strike at the German rear, Lucas began strengthening his perimeter. This inaction irritated Churchill and Alexander as it undercut the value of the operation.

Facing a superior enemy force, Lucas' caution was justified to a degree, however most agree that he should have attempted drive further inland. Informed of the Allied landings, Kesselring took immediate action by dispatching mobile reaction units to the area. In addition, he received the equivalent of six additional divisions from OKW (German High Command). Though he initially did not believe the landings could be contained, Lucas' inaction changed his mind and by January 24, he had 40,000 men in prepared defensive positions opposite the Allied lines.

The next day, Colonel General Eberhard von Mackensen was given command of the German defenses. Across the lines, Lucas was reinforced by the US 45th Infantry Division and US 1st Armored Division. On January 30, he launched a two-prong attack with the British attacking up the Via Anziate towards Campoleone while the US 3rd Infantry and Rangers assaulted Cisterna. In the fighting that resulted, the attack on Cisterna was repulsed, with the Rangers taking heavy losses, while the British gained ground up the Via Anziate but failed to take the town. As a result, an exposed salient was created in the lines