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Italy 1943 - 1945:

US Infantry Divisions

Although the Italian campaign was not seen as a priority for the United States, which saw the campaign in North West Europe as the over-riding priority in defeating Germany, a total of nine American infantry divisions saw active service in Italy. These nine divisions were not all deployed to Italy at the same time, with a maximum of six on active service in Italy at the end of the war.

The 36 U.S. Infantry Division and 45 U.S. Infantry Division (which had seen active service in Sicily) landed at Salerno on 9 and 10 September 1943 under command of U.S. VI Corps. They were joined on 18 September 1943 by the 3 U.S. Infantry Division (which had also seen active service in Sicily). This corps captured Naples, but was then pulled out of the line to prepare to land at Anzio.

DOWNLOADABLE DOCUMENTS (pdfs)

» 3 U.S. Infantry Division (1943-44)
» 10 U.S. Mountain Division (1944-45)
» 34 U.S. Infantry Division (1943-45)
» 36 U.S. Infantry Division (1943-44)
» 45 U.S. Infantry Division (1943-44)
» 85 U.S. Infantry Division (1944-45)
» 88 U.S. Infantry Division (1944-45)
» 91 U.S. Infantry Division (1944-45)
» 92 U.S. Infantry Division (1944-45)

By January 1944, the U.S. 5 Army had been formed, and the U.S. II Corps was now operational. The U.S. II Corps, comprising the 34 U.S. Infantry Division and 36 U.S. Infantry Division (together with a Combat Command from 1 Armored Division) took part in the battle to cross the Rapido River, and very nearly captured Monte Cassino after a very brave but costly period of fighting.

The U.S. VI Corps landed at Anzio on 22 January 1944, with the 3 U.S. Infantry Division and 45 U.S. Infantry Division under command. The U.S. II Corps continued to fight up the western coast of Italy. After the fall of Rome, the U.S. VI Corps was withdrawn from Italy to land in Southern France, taking with it the 3 U.S. Infantry Division, 36 U.S. Infantry Division and 45 U.S. Infantry Division. In mid 1944, four new American infantry divisions arrived in Italy. These were the 85 U.S. Infantry Division, 88 U.S. Infantry Division, 91 U.S. Infantry Division and 92 U.S. Infantry Division. All four joined the U.S. 5 Army, and took part in the battle for the ‘Gothic Line’.

The last American formation to arrive in Italy was the 10 U.S. Mountain Division, a specialist formation that arrived in December 1944. It took part in the final battle of the Italian campaign.

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