Salerno Article
#1

Friends,

This is a good article concerning lessons learned from the Salerno landings. It was written right after the war and published in the Marine Corps Gazette by Gen H. M. "Howlin' Mad" Smith. It's amazing to me how little the average Joe knows about the war in the Med during WWII. This article gives a clear indication how close this invasion came to failure in the days after the initial landings. Even the disastrous Operation Neptune landings (at least at Omaha Beach) were not in question after the first day. Three cheers to you who were there! You were not done any favors by the powers that be that planned these invasions. It was the fortitude and resourcefulness of the individual soldier/Marine that won the war. The more I learn about WWII, the more I am appalled by the decisions of the upper echelons of leadership.

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#2

Capt. O; Just finished reading the Salerno article. Eventho I was there I read things

that I didn't know about and some things that were not mentioned. Of course I

was just in a small section of Salerno, (1 Co. of the 34th Divn.) The 36th made the

assault and the Germans were waiting with tanks. and they almost pushed the

36 back to shore but the 151st Field Artly. of the 34th Divn. was attached to the

36th. and they stopped the counter attack of the Germans by lowering their

guns to fire level almost point blank. Also the 100th Bn. is not mentioned.

the ranger Bns. were Col. Darby's Rangers. And the 34th made the Volturno

river crossings. THANKS to the help of the Combat Engineers.

If you have the book "DOGFACES WHO SMILED THROUGH TEARS", Read from

page 312 to 349. Thea auther of the book was there. I did learn some things

I wasn't aware of in the above article. Roque Riojas (1st Bn. 135th Inf. Regt.34th D)

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#3

An interesting Salerno story I read about in Salerno: a Military Fiasco follows: A medic stumbled out of his landing craft after a several hour ship-to-shore movement. As he to looked to one side he spotted a German machine gunner. The machine gunner pointed to his helmet and then his arm then to the medic (who wore the standard red crosses in the places where the German had indicated on his own uniform.) The German indicated to him to hit the deck; when he did so the gunner began to mow down the troops that were all around the craft. The German was hit shortly there after by some sort of round and was blown apart.

I think it is interesting how when it comes down to following the "rules" of war it often comes down to individual actions of single soldiers. If I check that book out again from the library again I will see if I can't post the word for word acount if I can find it (it's a big book.)

Maj Todd O. USMC, Retired
Grandson of LTC John O'Brien
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#4

Capt.O--This is just as a question.. I wonder how come a Marine Gen. wrote about

the Salerno landing. He must have read articles by some British writers.

There were no Marines in the ETO. Just wondered. Roque,(Rocky)

Name, Rocky comes from the fact that white boys couldn't pronounce

Roque until one said Rocky and told them call me Rocky from now on.

ROWKEH OR ROWKEY :armata_PDT_19::armata_PDT_19:

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#5

Being from Texas I don't have much of a problem with Spanish. It would have been different if you were in the 90th I guess.

 

Why Gen Smith wrote this I'm not sure. He had his fair share of amphibious experience in the Pacific but maybe there was a need for a European article in the Gazette.

 

And there were a few Marines in the OSS who parachuted into France. Check this out. By and large, you are right, of course. WWII is the example I give to people that ask what the difference between the Marines and Army is. The Marines are more objective oriented: here's your island, go get it from the bad guys. The army is more suited for protracted land campaigns: bludgeon your way onto the beach and go as far east as you can. Of course that still didn't stop us from bloodying the nose of the Hun in WWI!

Maj Todd O. USMC, Retired
Grandson of LTC John O'Brien
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#6

Being from Texas I don't have much of a problem with Spanish. It would have been different if you were in the 90th I guess.

 

Why Gen Smith wrote this I'm not sure. He had his fair share of amphibious experience in the Pacific but maybe there was a need for a European article in the Gazette.

 

And there were a few Marines in the OSS who parachuted into France. Check this out. By and large, you are right, of course. WWII is the example I give to people that ask what the difference between the Marines and Army is. The Marines are more objective oriented: here's your island, go get it from the bad guys. The army is more suited for protracted land campaigns: bludgeon your way onto the beach and go as far east as you can. Of course that still didn't stop us from bloodying the nose of the Hun in WWI!

 

Don't know where the 90th was, I was with the 34th. And it was the southern boys

that had the trouble. Anyway CptO. we're on thesame track--Who said--

FULLSTEAM AHEAD ! DAMN THE TORPEDOES.

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#7

Without jumping on Google, I believe that was John Paul Jones; torpedoes being the common day term for naval mines at the time. The 90th infantry division was a guard unit out of Texas and Oklahoma. They were the "Tough Hombres" for T and O of their respective states (at least the 'O' sound in the case of "hombre".) I first heard of them in a WWII magazine article detailing who a handful of fallhirmjager troops kicked their behinds in the fight for the bocage.

 

I see know that I was all screwed up with your quote. The actual individual for whom that quote was attributed was David Glasgow Farragut.

Maj Todd O. USMC, Retired
Grandson of LTC John O'Brien
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#8

Hey! I made corporal!! Good thing too, I haven't been a PFC since November of 1995!

Maj Todd O. USMC, Retired
Grandson of LTC John O'Brien
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#9

Hey! I made corporal!! Good thing too, I haven't been a PFC since November of 1995!

 

 

YOUR'E COMMIN- UP IN THE RANKS, JEST KEEP POSTIN--!!!!!!!!! Rocky :

 

I THOUGHT THE 36th I.D. WAS THE ONLY TEXAS DIVN.

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