FIFTH, EIGHTH ARMIES GAIN FROM PO RIVER BRIDGEHEAD

Posted on January 26th, 2018 by:

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FIFTH, EIGHTH ARMIES GAIN FROM PO RIVER BRIDGEHEAD

From the April 26 Edition of Stars and Stripes (UP).–From a 50-mile bridgehead on the north bank of the Po River, Allied Fifth and Eighth Army troops today were driving toward Verona and the Brenner Pass, backdoor to Hitler’s Bavarian redoubt.

It became increasingly apparent as the Allies fanned out through the rolling Po Valley that the Nazi high command in Italy, already groggy from the loss of a third of its fighting strength, was trying desperately to pull as many troops as it could through the Alps. Enemy columns clogging the roads to the northeast were under constant attack from Allied aircraft, which have so far destroyed 4,000 vehicles and killed hundreds of Germans soldiers.

Objectives in the advance beyond the Po for troops sweeping into Lombardy and Venetta provinces from the bridgehead between Ferrara and Borgoforte included Mantua, Verona, Padua and Venice Verona, rail terminus at the foot of the Brenner Pass, is 25 miles beyond the river.

First major force across the Po was the U.S. Tenth Mountain Division, which covered 55 miles in two days and crossed against “remarkably fierce” enemy fire at a point where the river was 200 yards wide.

Remnants of five enemy divisions remain on the Po’s southern banks for 25 miles between captured Ferrara and Corbola, 18 miles from the Adriatic. Other thousands of Nazis and Fascist Italians were pocketed to the west but were rapidly being cleared out to swell the PW count far beyond the last official figure of 40,000.

Nisei infantrymen of the U.S. 442d Regimental Combat Team captured La Spezia, Italy’s greatest west coast naval base.



po valley 92nd division

Soldiers of the 92nd infantry Division marching in the Po Valley

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