Synopses & Reviews
Anzio was one of the greatest battles of World War IIa desperate gamble to land a large amphibious force behind German lines in Italy in the hope that the war could be shortened by capturing Rome. It also turned out to be one of the bloodiest battles in U.S. military history. Allied forces quickly found themselves trapped on the beachhead, forced to endure unimaginable hardships, and subjected to four months of constant German attacks.While the Germans decimated most of the Allied units at Anzio, they threw their strongest efforts against one American divisionthe 45th Infantry Division. The 45th was a National Guard unit made up of citizen soldiers” from the Southwest, including thousands of Native Americans.Through sheer determination and against overwhelming odds, the 45th Division Thunderbirds” saved the beachhead at Anzio from annihilation, just as they had done at Salerno six months earlier, breaking the back of the German onslaught. Eight members of the 45thincluding the first three Native Americans so honoredearned the Congressional Medal of Honor for the divisions 511 days of combat.From Italy, the 45th went on to blaze a distinguished path through France and Germany, suffering some of the heaviest casualty rates of any U.S. Army unit in World War II. And in the wars final days, the 45th Infantry Division liberated the notorious Dachau concentration camp, resulting in a controversial incident in which Nazi camp guards were executed by outraged American soldiersa shocking story told here in complete detail for the first time.Based on extensive research into archives, photos, letters, diaries, previously classified official records, and scores of personal interviews with surviving veterans of the 45th, The Rock of Anzio is written with an immediacy that puts the reader right onto the battlefield and shows us war through the eyes of ordinary men called upon to perform extraordinary deeds.
An intimate account of the U.S. Armys 45th division in World War II, from the beachhead at Anzio to the liberation of Dachau.
About the Author
Pulitzer Prize-nominated author Flint Whitlock is a former U.S. Army officer who served on active duty from 1965 to 1970, including a tour in Vietnam. He has been a military historian since 1986 and is the author of Soldiers on Skis, The Rock of Anzio, and The Fighting First. He is a regular contributor to World War II magazine and WW II History magazine. He is the president of the newly formed Colorado Military History Museum, Inc. He lives in Denver, Colorado.