Salerno - heroic assault by untested troops
9th September 1943: The US landings on the Italian mainland do not achieve the surprise hoped for - but a determined assault overcomes the defences
The landings at Reggio had given the Allied a foothold on the Italian mainland but they were not immediately threatening the Germans. Landings further up the coast at Salerno were expected to provoke a stiff opposition.
Voluntarily exposing himself to the fire of a machine gun located along the rock wall, which sprayed the ground so close to him that he was splattered with dirt and rocks and splinters from the impact of the bullets, Sgt. Logan killed the first three Germans as they came through a gap in the wall.
This attack was a combined operation with British and U.S. forces. The British went in under the cover of strong bombardment from the offshore battleships and cruisers. The US forces, landing on beaches further south, attempted an element of surprise - and landed without a preliminary bombardment.
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