Dock Facilities Wrecked By Germans; Ancona Is Seized by Poles

From the July 20, 1944 edition of Stars and Stripes:

Two prize Italian seaports—Leghorn on the Tyrrhenian Sea and Ancona on the Adriatic—were captured by the Allies yesterday.

American Fifth Army troops took Leghorn, third largest port in Italy, without major opposition in the city itself after one of the stiffest fights in the campaign, while a Polish force of the Eighth Army took Ancona following a 75-mile advance in the last fortnight through a mountainous region.

With the Eighth Army’s capture of Montevarchi, about 24 miles southeast of Florence in the central sector, possession of the two port cities gave the Allied armies along the entire 130-mile length of the front a triple-threat shot at Kesselring’s Gothic Line along the north banks of the Arno River.


American GI’s take a break during a lull in the fighting in Italy

Port Heavily Smashed

Leghorn was reported to be more seriously smashed even than Naples. Its port installations, which in pre-war days handled upwards of 9,000 tons of shipping a day, were virtually destroyed. What was not damaged by Allied bombing was wrecked by the Germans before they abandoned it. The bridges that link Leghorn and the mainland also were destroyed.

With a population of well over 100,000, Leghorn has one of the biggest ship-building yards in Italy.

The Germans also carried out extensive demolition of Ancona’s harbor installations. Work of repairing the port has already begun. Polish spearheads beyond Ancona had reached the Adriatic coast three miles west of the city and were reported within two miles of the river Esino.

Morocco Radio reported that the administration of Rome and the Rome area would be taken over by the Italian government on Aug, 15, after Col. Charles Poletti, the U.S. administrator, moved to newly-liberated regions.

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