Battle of San Pietro

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Yank_Lurker, Jan 4, 2009.

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  1. I'm reading Atkinson's "The Day of Battle" about the US Army in the Italian Campaign. During his narrative of the fight for the town of San Pietro, he mentions that one Captain John Huston of the US Army Signal Corps got his camera crew to lug their equipment up onto a hill overlooking the town, and filmed the fight. I did a search on Youtube, and sure enough, Huston's documentary is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2R3ARj2DwRw&feature=related



    It's a pretty good documentary, by one of the legends of Hollywood, filmed only 2 years after he directed "The Maltese Falcon".



    Yes, those are Italians you see in at least one scene. The 1st Italian Motorized Group attempted to take Mt. Lungo in their first action on the Allied side, and were repulsed with heavy losses.



    For those of you familiar with Ernie Pyle's famous article, The Death of Captain Waskow Captain Henry Waskow was killed on Hill 1205, shown in the documentary.
     
  2. Yank_Lurker – "I'm reading Atkinson's "The Day of Battle" about the US Army in the Italian Campaign. During his narrative of the fight for the town of San Pietro, he mentions that one Captain John Huston of the US Army Signal Corps got his camera crew to lug their equipment up onto a hill overlooking the town, and filmed the fight. I did a search on Youtube”

    Actually the DVD, ‘The Battle of San Pietro’ is not hard to find with a Google, and on such as the likes of eBay – and if you persist and are prepared to wait a bit, quite cheap.

    ”Yes, those are Italians you see in at least one scene. The 1st Italian Motorized Group attempted to take Mt. Lungo in their first action on the Allied side, and were repulsed with heavy losses.”

    My God, shock horror! Unfortunately the film, as to be expected, covers mostly the US involvement with narrative aimed at home (and war time) consumption. Ergo, more historical film footage than providing an overall historical document. The Italian involvement did mark their ‘first’ official and formal action, and, considering the endemic degree of unfavourable opinion of the Italians born out of typical 1930’s public ignorance of other countries and lack of accurately reported political circumstances - and of course the wholly predictable and inevitable propaganda re ‘turned against their former ally’, ‘inferior soldiers’, ‘will surrender rather than fight’ and ‘changed sides when losing’ - quite significant.

    The Italians expended themselves against very well prepared positions which subsequently were not ‘overrun’, but rather pounded to oblivion causing the Germans to withdraw remaining forces to fight again on the next line. This of course is totally in keeping with German strategy in this campaign. Couple of observations; 1. After the onslaught the original San Pietro was abandoned and a new San Pietro built several miles away. 2. The Italians moved into forward positions overnight. Unfortunately this volunteer force were so keen to get at the Germans, they chose to shout taunts at them during the night about the following day? So, when the balloon went up, the Germans knew where they were coming from and what was happening. :roll:

    No.9