World War Two: Sicily (2-15) Dissolution of the Rome-Berlin Axis-Contacting the Allies

Badoglio’s First Moves: About 1700, 25 July, the Italian monarch summoned Marshal Badoglio, informed him of his appointment as Head of Government, and handed him the list of his cabinet members-civil servants without party connection or support that the sovereign and the Duke of Acquarone had selected. As Head of Government, Badoglio was to be responsible for civil functions only. Victor Emmanuel III resumed the supreme command of the Italian armed forces, a power that Mussolini had exercised since 11 June 1940. Ambrosio was to continue as chief of Comando Supremo, Roatta as chief of the Army General Staff, Superesercito.

 Badoglio accepted the situation and the conditions, including two proclamations already drafted, which the marshal issued over his own signature and communicated through the press and radio. The first announced Badoglio’s appointment and assured Italy and the world that “The war continues.” The second proclamation warned the Italian people, the Fascist organization, and other political parties against agitating the government with precipitate demands for wholesale political changes or for peace.

 [N15-1 Badoglio, Memorie e documenti, p. 71. Badoglio] 

[N15-2 It Processo Carboni-Roatta: L’ Armistizio e la di/esa di Roma nella sentenza del Tribunale Militare (Estratto della “Rivista Penale,” Maggio-Giugno 1949) (Rome: Societa Editrice Temi), p. 9 (cited hereafter as It Processo Carboni-Roatta).] 

The first learned later that Vittorio Emanuele Orlando, Italian Premier during World War I, had assisted in drafting the proclamations. was a clear, official announcement of the continued vitality of the treaty of alliance with Germany. Though the Badoglio government dissolved the Fascist party and began to incorporate the Fascist militia gradually into the Regular Army, the government was non-Fascist rather than anti-Fascist. The change of regime seemed to mark the first step toward a restoration of constitutional government, but the actual basis of Badoglio’s powers was in the Fascist constitutional. The King had been careful to maintain his role as a constitutional monarch, accepting Mussolini’s resignation and appointing Badoglio his successor as Capo del Governo, with all the powers of that office created by the Fascist laws of 1925 and 1926. But Badoglio refused to take any action without the explicit authorization of the King. In actuality, Italy reverted to absolute monarchy. At Badoglio’s insistence, whatever civil power he exercised was to be construed as a direct emanation of the King’s will. Whatever military commands and directives Ambrosio issued were in accordance with the King’s direct wishes.

 Relieved of the Fascist burden, the country seethed with political excitement and with the expectation of immediate peace. To check the unrest, Roatta transferred control of four divisions from himself to the Minister of War, Generale di Brigata in Riserva Antonio Sorice, who moved two from the interior of Italy to Turin and two from France to Milan. Eventually, Sorice controlled five divisions, all to be used for maintaining public order and therefore not available for defense against attack by either the Allies or the Germans.

[N15-3 Comando Supremo, I Reparto, Operazioni: Regio Esercito-Quadro di battaglia alia data del 1 luglio 1943; Quadro di battaglia alia data del 1 agosto 1943, IT 10 a-h; Roatta, Otto milioni, pp. 263-64; Rossi, Come arrivammo, pp. 94, 174-75, 404; Zanussi, Guerra e catastrote, II, 54.]

 While awaiting the return to Italy of Raffaele Guariglia, Ambassador to Turkey, who was to become Minister of Foreign Affairs, Badoglio took charge of foreign policy. In accordance with the King’s wishes, the immediate aim was to avoid conflict with the Germans. Badoglio wished to end the war, jointly with the Germans if possible. At the least, he was to try to secure German consent to a dissolution of the Pact of Steel.

[N15-4 MS #P-058, Project 46, 1 Feb-8 Sep 43, Question II; Rossi, Come arrivammo, p. 199; Roatta, Otto milioni, p. 291; Badoglio, Memorie e documenti, pp. 84-85; Rintelen, Mussolini als Bundesgenosse, p. 224.] 

At the carabinieri barracks where he spent his first night in captivity after his forced resignation, Mussolini received a note from Badoglio. The measures taken toward him, Badoglio explained, were in the interest of his personal safety, for a plot had been discovered against his life. M ussolini replied, thanking Badoglio for his consideration. He would make no difficulties, he added, but would, rather, cooperate to the fullest extent. Expressing satisfaction over the decision to continue the war, he wished Badoglio well in his task of serving the King, “whose loyal servant I remain.”

[N15-5 Badoglio, Memorie e documenti, p. 72; Mussolini, Storia di un anno, p. 20.]

 Immediately after the Feltre conference, Hitler and the OKW had felt reassured over the situation in Italy. The Italian High Command had promised to commit four additional Italian divisions in the south: one in Sicily, two in Puglia, and one in Calabria. On 22 July, Hitler had released the 29th Panzer Grenadier Division for employment on Sicily. That same day, Ambrosio had accepted the conditions laid down by Keitel at Feltre and had formally requested two additional German divisions. Field Marshal Rommel, who had been designated to command Army Group B in the ALARICH plan, was on 21 July removed from this assignment and sent to Salonika to take command of German troops in Greece. The warning orders for operations ALARICH and KONSTANTIN were suspended. 

[N15-6 OKW/WFSt, KTB, I.-3I.VIl.43, 25 Jul 43; Rommel, Private KTB, entry 22 Jul 43.]

On 23 July, Hitler issued orders in accordance with Ambrosio’s request alerting the 305th and 76th Infantry Divisions for movement from France to southern Italy. Hitler entertained no suspicion whatsoever that his friend Mussolini might secretly be searching for contact with the Western Powers. General von Rintelen did report, however, that Comando Supremo had little confidence that Sicily could be held and, on 24 July, he indicated that tension in Italy had increased rather than diminished as a result of the Feltre conference.

 [N15-7 MS #C-093 (Warlimont), pp. 40-41.]

News of the political change in Italy came as a surprise to the Germans. The first reports to reach Berlin on 25 July were not alarming. They indicated merely that the Fascist old guard had brought about the convocation of the Grand Council to urge the Duce to take more energetic measures against defeatism. Not until the next day did the Germans learn that Ciano and Grandi had led a revolt, that Mussolini had resigned, and that the King had appointed Badoglio in his place. [N15-8]

 Hitler could not believe that Mussolini had resigned voluntarily. He was sure that force had been used, and he felt that the convocation of the Grand Council had been a show carefully prepared by the King and Badoglio. He feared that these two, who in his opinion had been sabotaging the war all along, might already have done away with his friend. Hitler’s first impulse was to strike with lightning speed-seize Rome with the 3rd Panzer Grenadier Division (located near Lake Bolsena 35 miles north of the city), and the 2nd Parachute Division (to be air-transported from France to the Rome area); kidnap the King, the Heir Apparent, Badoglio, and the cabinet ministers; and discover and liberate Mussolini as the only means of rejuvenating the Fascist party. So extreme was Hitler’s anger and apprehension that he thought even of seizing the Vatican and the Pope. Goebbels and Ribbentrop, after lengthy argument, persuaded Hitler to drop this extreme measure. [N15-9]

 [N15-8 Goebbels Diaries, p. 403, entry 25 Jul 43. Ambassador von Mackensen’s early reports

did not reveal the full extent of the crisis, and he was bitterly criticized by Ribbentrop, Minister of Foreign Affairs. See MS #C-o I 3 (Kesselring), p. 5· {N15-9} Goebbels Diaries, pp. 407-409.]

The main issue was whether to act at once in Italy with the forces available or to make more careful preparations that involved delay. Hitler favored immediate action, even if improvised, in order to capture the Badoglio government before it could consolidate its power. A quick, bold stroke, he believed, would restore the prestige of Fascism.

 Rommel and others advocated caution. They feared that German moves would invite the Allies to establish themselves on the Italian mainland and that a blow against the King would turn the Italian officer corps against the Germans. Since Rommel concurred in the general belief that Mussolini’s overthrow had been carefully prepared, and since he believed that the new government had already approached the Allies with an offer of peace, Rommel thought it best to retire from Sicily, Sardinia, and southern Italy, but to hold northern Italy. He recommended that Kesselring withdraw his forces and consolidate with Rommel’s forces in the north, where all would come under Rommel’s command.

[N15-10 Min of Confs 14, IS, and 16, 25 and 26 Jul 43, in Min of Hitler Confs.]

 The first German orders prompted by Mussolini’s overthrow were issued on the night of 26 July. The general framework and outline of Plan ALARICH were at hand but the German reaction to the new situation in Italy had a large measure of improvisation. Field Marshal von Rundstedt, OB WEST, was ordered to move two divisions toward the Italian border: the 305th Infantry Division toward Nice, and the 44th Infantry Division toward the Brenner Pass. He was to carry out two operations which had formed integral parts of the ALARICH plan: KOPENHAGEN, the seizure of the Mount Cenis pass; and SIEGFRIED, the occupation of the southern coast of France in the area of the Italian Fourth Army. Field Marshal Rommel was recalled from Salonika to command Army Group B, with headquarters in Munich. Meanwhile, Ambassador von Mackensen, Field Marshal Kesselring, and General von Rintelen were instructed to learn all they could regarding the intentions of the new government.

[N15-11 OKW/WFSt, KTB, I. VIl-3 I. VII.43, 26 Jul 43; Rommel, Private KTB, entries for 25-28 Jul 43.]

 Plans against Italy began to develop at once in three main stages. First, Army Group B was to occupy north Italy. Behind the two initial divisions dispatched toward Italy, Rundstedt was to move up four more divisions from France. The II SS Panzer Corps, comprising two SS panzer divisions, was to be withdrawn from the Eastern Front to become part of Rommel’s new command. Second, Generaloberst Kurt Student was to fly to Rome, take operational control of the 3rd Panzer Grenadier and 2nd Parachute Divisions, seize the capital and the leading political personalities, and liberate Mussolini.

 Captain Otto Skorzeny, personally selected by Hitler, was to have the special mission of locating and liberating the Duce. Because earlier ALARICH planning had designated Student to occupy the Alpine passes with his XI Flieger Korps (1st and 2nd Parachute Divisions), OKW assigned this task to General der Gebirgstruppen Valentin Feurstein, who was to use troops stationed at the Mountain Training School in Mittenwald, fifteen miles north of Innsbruck. Third, as soon as all was in readiness for the stroke planned against the Italian Government, Rommel was to take command of all German forces in north Italy. Kesselring was then to withdraw the German troops from the Italian islands and from south Italy and consolidate his forces with Rommel’s command in the north. At that time, Kesselring’s command in Italy would come to an end.

 In connection with the third step, Hitler’s headquarters dispatched a naval officer to Frascati to explain Kesselring’s role in the plan. Kesselring was to halt all movements of additional troops to Sicily; prepare to evacuate all air units from Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica, destroying, if necessary, their heavy equipment; concentrate in assembly areas the 16th and 26th Panzer Divisions and that part of the 29th Panzer Grenadier Division still on the Italian mainland, suspending thereby further movements to the south; alert the 3rd Panzer Grenadier and 2nd Parachute Divisions (the latter upon its arrival near Rome) to their mission; be ready to take over all the antiaircraft defenses in Italy, repossessing the flak material furnished Italian units; and send transport aircraft to France to carry the 2nd Parachute Division to Italy.

[N15-12: 0KW/WFSt, KTB, 1-31. VII. 43, 26 Jul43] 

Kesselring took a different view of the situation from that of OKW. Optimistic by temperament and inclined to trust those with whom he worked, he had called on Badoglio on 26 July, accompanied by the German Ambassador, Mackensen. Badoglio assured the Germans that he had known nothing of the movement against Mussolini until he was summoned by the King to take office. He had insisted, Badoglio continued, on maintaining the alliance with Germany as a condition of taking office, and his proclamation made clear that the war would continue. When the Germans expressed some curiosity as to Mussolini’s fate, Badoglio showed Mussolini’s letter as proof not only of his personal safety but also of his intention to do nothing to oppose the new regime. 

When Kesselring turned the conversation to military matters and said it was necessary to overcome the sense of fatigue among Italian troops and to eliminate certain impediments to the military effort raised by the civil administration, Badoglio declared he would do everything he could to improve the co-operation of Italian civil officials. Problems of morale, however, concerned the military, and Badoglio urged Kesselring to take up the problem directly with Ambrosio, chief of Comando Supremo. 

Kesselring and Rintelen called on Ambrosio, who assured them that the political change had no effect on military operations. Like Badoglio, Ambrosio emphasized Italy’s determination to continue in the war on the side of her ally. As to improving Italian troop morale, Ambrosio observed that this was not an easy matter, it would take time. Kesselring reminded Ambrosio that Hitler at Feltre had promised to send all the reinforcements Germany could spare, and he urged measures to restore the sense of comradeship between Italian and German troops.

[N15-13 Rintelen, Mussolini als Bundesgenosse, pp. 224-25; OKW/WFSt, KTB, I.-3I.VII.43, 26 Jul 43; Min, Colloquio a Palazzo Vidoni, Roma, 26 luglio 1943, IT 3037.] 

Badoglio’s and Ambrosio’s declarations conformed with the King’s basic policy to avoid a unilateral breach of the alliance by Italy, and to take no action that would bring Italians into conflict with Germans. These assurances were not altogether dishonest. Kesselring, on his side, appreciated the Italian participation in the war. He respected Ambrosio and Roatta. Accepting the Italian statements in good faith, he bent his efforts toward maintaining the alliance.

[N15-14 Westphal, Heer in Fesseln, p. 224; MS #T-2, K I (Kesselring), pp. 6-7; Eugenio Dallmann,Roma Nazista (Milan: Longanesi & Co., 1949), p. 138.] 

Though Goebbels cynically wrote that “Kesselring fell for a well-staged show,” Kesselring felt that more was to be gained by exploiting the current willingness of the Italian Government to co-operate than by precipitating a crisis that might lead to collapse and chaos. After receiving the instructions brought personally by the naval officer, Kesselring reported to OKW his belief that the Fascist party had lost out because of its own weakness and lack of leadership and that no support could be expected from it. He thought that the measures planned by Student and Skorzeny could be executed, but not without care and consequent delay. Action against the Italian forces guarding Rome would completely alienate, he felt, all who still bore some good will toward Germany. Furthermore, an armed struggle in the Rome area would disrupt all traffic to the south, halt the movement of supplies and reinforcements, and expose the German forces in Sicily and southern Italy to the danger of being cut off. In the interest of these troops at least, he urged, the Germans should exploit the willingness of the Italian Government to receive additional German units. In contrast with Rommel’s estimate, Kesselring believed that he could, if reinforced, defend all of Italy and the Balkans, and he recommended this course of action to Hitler. 

[N15-15 OKW/WFSt, KTB, 1.-31.VII.43, 27 Jul 43;MS #C-O!3 (Kesselring), p. 13.]

Kesselring’s representations had an effect. On 28 July, OKW suspended Student’s mission, ordering him instead merely to be ready to seize the Italian Government and liberate Mussolini. [N15-16] Student and Skorzeny [N15-17] were by then at Frascati, and the first lift of the 2nd Parachute Division arrived that day at Pratica di Mare, an airfield not far from Frascati. Roatta was curious about the sudden arrival of German paratroopers, but he accepted with seeming good grace Kesselring’s explanation-they were reinforcements for the 1st Parachute Division in Sicily. While the Germans thus set the stage for Hitler’s coup-kidnapping the Italian Government-Skorzeny threw himself wholeheartedly into the mission of finding Mussolini. Dazzled by the honor of having been summoned to Hitler’s headquarters, Skorzeny had fallen under Hitler’s spell. Mussolini, the Führer had said, was the last of the Romans and his only true friend. He would go to any length to save him from being turned over to the Allies. Skorzeny vowed to be worthy of Hitler’s trust.

[N15-16: 0KW/WFSt, KTB, I.-3I.VlI.43, 28 Jul 43]

 [N15-17 Otto Skorzeny, Geheimkommando Skorzeny (Hamburg: Hansa Verlag Josef Toth, 1950), pp. 100-101. For additional material on Skorzeny see Extract From Revised Notes 1 on The German Intelligence Services, VFZI34, copy 23, 6 Dec 44, Source M.I.-6, AFHQ reel 365F, and Hq U:S. Forces European Theater, Interrogation Center, Consolidated Intelligence Report (CIR) 4, 23 Jul 45, sub: The German Sabotage Service. unprocessed files, NARS.]

 Meanwhile, on 27 July, Badoglio formulated his plan for a joint peace effort and presented it to the King, who authorized it as official policy. Badoglio then sent a telegram to Hitler proposing a meeting on Italian soil between the King and the Führer. His purpose was to explain candidly the need for a joint peace before the Axis bargaining power was diluted by divergent diplomatic courses.

 [N15-18 Badoglio, Memorie e documenti, pp. 84-85. ID Simoni, Berlino, Ambasciata, pp. 377-78; Interv, Smyth with Marras, 20 Dec 48.]

 Because Alfieri, the Italian Ambassador at Berlin, had come to Rome to attend the meeting of the Grand Council, where he had voted against M ussolini, and had not returned to his post, the Italian Military Attache at Berlin, Generale di Corpo d’ Armata Efisio Marras, received instructions to fly to the Führer’s headquarters to reinforce the request for a conference. Without knowledge of Badoglio’s intentions, Marras did not know whether Badoglio was trying to secure a joint Italo-German peace move, though the idea was not excluded. According to his instructions, Marras was to establish contact with Hitler on behalf of the new Italian Government, read a copy of Mussolini’s letter indicating his continuing loyalty to the King, propose a meeting of the heads of state, and indicate the Italian desire to withdraw the Italian Fourth Army from southern France to Italy.

The same day that Marras was getting ready to visit Hitler, 29 July, Kesselring was in conference with the Führer. There Kesselring reinforced his argument in favor of maintaining correct relations with the Badoglio government-at least until the Germans could introduce additional German divisions into Italy peaceably. On the surface at least, Hitler accepted Kesselring’s program.

He instructed Kesselring to direct all his dealings with Comando Supremo toward securing the movement of the maximum number of German troops into northern Italy. Actually, however, Hitler was using Kesselring, Rintelen, and Mackensen-the “Italophiles” as they were called In OKW-to allay Italian suspicions and to keep Badoglio in the alliance while OKW made ready to take drastic action.[ N15-20] Though all reports from Kesselring and Mackensen, and from Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, intelligence chief, as well, gave credence to the solemn declarations of loyalty to the Axis by the King, Badoglio, Ambrosio, and Roatta, the reports made little impression on Hitler. He was certain that the Italian Government was planning “treason.” A transatlantic conversation between President Roosevelt and Mr. Churchill intercepted by Germany on 29 July confirmed Hitler’s suspicions that negotiations between Italy and the Allies were under way, even though the conversation indicated no more than an expectation of receiving Italian overtures. [N15-21]

[N15-20: OKW/WFSt, KTB, I.-3I.VII.43, 29 Jul43; MS #C-093 (Warlimont), p. 79; MS #C-013 (Kesselring), p. 12.]

[N15-21: 0KW/WFSt, KTB, I.-3 I. V1Lt3, 29 Jul 4::\”. MS #C-093 (Warlimont), page 84, mistakenly gives credence to this alleged proof.]

Hitler received Marras at his headquarters on the morning of 30 July. Marras felt that Hitler suspected him of being Badoglio’s “torpedo” with the job of rubbing out the Führer. For while Marras delivered Badoglio’s message, he was conscious that Jodl, General Major Rudolf Schmundt, and Ambassador Walter Hewel were facing him from three different points in the room, each with his hand on a revolver in his pocket. Marras remained rigid, not even venturing to make a move for his handkerchief. Hitler, who appeared calm, criticized the sudden Italian political change in the midst of war, and asked why a military attaché should be drawn into a political matter. Accepting Badoglio’s declaration that the war would continue, Hitler saw no immediate need for a conference with the King or Badoglio, particularly because of the recent meeting with Mussolini at Feltre. Hitler suggested rather that the ministers of foreign affairs and the chiefs of staff might examine the situation from the standpoint of continuing the war. 

He made no direct reply to the proposed withdrawal of the Italian Army from southern France. He admitted that it might be useful at a later date for him to confer with the King and Badoglio, in which case the Heir Apparent-Prince Humbert-ought also to be present. [N15-22] Marras submitted his report to Badoglio on I August, and on the same day a telegram arrived from Hitler proposing a conference of foreign ministers and chiefs of staff at Tarvis, just across the border from Italy, on the 5th or 6th of August. Badoglio accepted Hitler’s proposal. [N15-23] Hitler refused to confer on Italian soil or to leave Germany because he feared an attempt on his life. He proposed, instead, the meeting of second echelon officials in order to avoid a discussion of what Badoglio and others considered the fundamental issue: whether or not to make peace with the Allies. Badoglio, hoping for a frank talk with Hitler in the near future, declined to initiate any approach to the Western Allies until the Germans had clearly revealed their intentions.

 [N15-22 Simoni, Berlino, Ambasciata, pp. 379-86; Tnterv, Smyth with Marras, 20 Dec 48.]

 [N15-23 Badoglio, Memorie e documenti, p. 96; Simoni. Berlino, Ambasciata, p. 387.]

By then, 1 August, OKW had a completely formulated plan, code-named ACHSE, to meet the possibility of an Italian double cross. Like ALARICH, drawn up in the latter part of May in anticipation of political change in Italy, ACHSE was based on the premise of Italian defection. Upon receipt of the code word, German units in Italy were to take over the country by force.24

[N15-24 English translation of two telegrams, 0KW/WFSt, Nrs. 661747 and 661747/43 g.k.chefs., both dated 1 Aug 43 and signed by Keitel, in ONI, Führer Directives, 1942-1945 pp. 87-88; OKW/WFSt, KlBj 1.-31 Jul.43, 1 Aug 43; MS #C-093 (Warlimont), pp. 87-90.]

Events occurring on the Italian frontier during the last days of July seemed to indicate that the ACHSE button might be pushed at any moment. 

Friction Along the Alps In accordance with OKW instructions issued during the night of 26 July, Rundstedt started to move the 305th Infantry Division from the interior of France toward Nice and the 44th Infantry Division toward the Brenner Pass. At the border, transportation was to be arranged with Italian authorities on the assumption that the divisions were destined for southern Italy in accordance with agreements concluded with Comando Supremo. 

When on 27 July the leading elements of the 30Sth Infantry Division reached Nice, which was in the area controlled by the Italian Fourth Army, they learned that Comando Supremo objected to further movement into Italy because of a shortage of railway transportation. Comando Supremo refused to provide transportation on the following day, and on 29 July the Italians informed OKW that the 305th Infantry Division would have to wait at least several days before transportation could be made available to move it to southern Italy. 

Comando Supremo at least had a good excuse and perhaps a legitimate reason. Roatta, who as chief of Superesercito had operational control over all the ground forces, German and Italian, in Italy (except those Italian troops moved to the large cities to restrain civil disturbances), conferred with Kesselring on 28 July and reaffirmed that he wanted two more German divisions in the defense of southern Italy. But he explained that railway traffic was particularly congested because of the dispatch of an Italian division northward to check civilian unrest in Milan, Turin, and Bologna. German movements had to be halted temporarily, Roatta said, otherwise situations might occur wherein German troops would find Italian forces unexpectedly blocking their way. Roatta hoped to overcome the traffic problem by prohibiting all civilian travel, and proposed that half the train space be allocated for Italian movements, half for German. Kesselring seemed placated. 

On 29 July, Mussolini’s birthday, while a rumor swept Rome that the Germans were preparing to seize the Italian capital, while Ambassador von Mackensen brought greetings to Mussolini with inquiries as to his whereabouts, and while Kesselring carried a handsome set of the works of Nietzsche as a present from Hitler to Mussolini and asked to deliver it personally, the Italian Ministry of War received three alanning telegrams from Generale di Corpo d’ Annata Alessandro Gloria, commander of the XXXV Corps at Bolzano, forty miles south of the Brenner Pass. Gloria reported German troops assembling in the German Tyrol and at least one group moving on foot toward the Brenner Pass.

[N15-27 Rpt, Admiral Canaris, Chef Ausland Abwehr, OKW/WFSt, KTB, 1-31.VII.43, 31 Jul 43; Simoni, Berlino, Ambasciata, pp. 376-377, 386; Bonomi, Diario, pp. 46-48; Telgs, Comandante XXXV Corpo d’Armata Nos. 414, 454, 472/OP., to Ministero Guerra Gabinetto, 29 Jul 43, IT 102.]

 While the Italians politely frustrated Mackensen’s and Kesselring’s attempts to discover Mussolini’s whereabouts, Comando Supremo prepared to resist the Germans on two fronts-to ward off a surprise attack against Rome and to oppose the incursion of unwanted German reinforcements into Italian territory. Summoning Roatta, Ambrosio informed him that providing for the defense of Rome against a possible German coup d’etat had priority over protecting the coast against the threat of Allied landings. He also told Roatta to oppose the movement of German units across the frontier, except those specifically requested or permitted by Comando Supremo. 

For the first mission, Roatta constituted a command called the Army Corps of Rome (the 12th (Sassari) Infantry Division, elements of the 21st (Granatieri) Infantry Division, police forces, African police troops, and depot units) under Generale di Corpo d’ Armata Alberto Barbieri to provide for the internal security of the city and to reinforce General Carboni, who a week earlier had been placed in command of the Motorized Corps (the Piave Division, the Ariete Armored Division, the remainder of the Granatieri Division, and the 131st (Centauro) Division) in the outer defenses of the city. To augment the defenses of Rome still further, Roatta had the XVII Corps move the 103rd (Piacenza) Motorized Division to positions just south of the capital, leaving only two coastal divisions to guard the nearby shore area. [N15-28] For the second mission, Roatta on 30 July sent officer couriers to the Fourth Army in southern France, to the Second Army in Slovenia-Croatia-Dalmatia, and to the XXXV Corps in Bolzano, warning them to be ready to oppose by force unauthorized German incursions and directing them to place demolition charges along the railway lines to impede frontier crossings. [N15-290]

[N15-28 Comando Supremo, Operazioni, Regio Esercito: Quadro di battaglia alia data del Lagosto 1943, IT IO a-h; Roatta, Otto milioni, pp. 274, 294, 297-99; Zanussi, Guerra e catastrofe, II, 58; Rossi, Came arrivammo, p. 204; MS #P-058, Project 46, 1 Feb-8 Sep 43, Question 7.] 

[N15-29 Zanussi, Guerra e catastrofe, II, 56; Rossi, Come arrivammo, pp. 204-05; Roatta, Otto milioni, pp. 274-75. Comando Supremo informed OKW that Italian forces had been ordered to react vigorously to whatever violation or threat. See Comando Supremo, Appunta per il Ministero AfJari Esteri, 5 Aug. 43, IT 3030. Cf. Rommel, Private KTB, entry 29 Jul 43. 300KW/WFSt, KTB, 1-31.VII.43, 30 Jul 43.] 

The 26th Panzer Division, whose entry into Italy had been authorized earlier by the Comando Supremo, was not affected by these orders. About half of that division was already in southern Italy in accordance with the joint plans of Comando Supremo and OKW for the defense of the Italian peninsula.

The remaining parts of the division crossed the Brenner Pass without incident during the late afternoon and early evening of 30 July. These troops reported evidence of demolition charges planted by Italian troops and the impression that the Italian forces in the frontier area had been reinforced.

 Hitler was outraged by this seeming manifestation of Italian perfidy. He directed the divisions moving to Italy to carry out their orders even if bloodshed resulted. Specifically, he wanted an assault group of the 60th Panzer Grenadier Division to move to the head of the 305th Infantry Division column in the Nice area and to fight its way, if necessary, across the border into Italy. But since the movement of the assault group to Nice required two days, the Nice area remained quiet.

 The test came, instead, in the Brenner area. OKW instructed Kesselring to notify Comando Supremo that divisions authorized and scheduled to enter Italy such as the 26th Panzer Division-were still crossing the border; and that to avoid aggravating the railway congestion still further, the motorized elements of these divisions were planning to move by road. But Kesselring was not to tell Ambrosio that the 305th Infantry and the 44th Infantry Divisions, units not authorized to enter, had also been instructed to make a road march into Italy, an instruction passed along to these divisions the same day. Without awaiting the result of Kesselring’s discussions with the Italians, OKW directed OB WEST to begin moving the other divisions assigned to the Army Group B from France toward Italy.

 Shortly before midnight, 30 July, General Gloria, the XXXV Corps commander at Bolzano, received a message from General Feurstein who commanded the German Mittenwald Training School near Innsbruck. Feurstein said he was coming to Gloria’s headquarters the following morning to co-ordinate the arrival of certain troops. In accordance with the OKW-Comando Supremo agreement, F eurstein stated, German elements were reinforcing Italian garrisons along the Brenner railway line. Before replying, Gloria telephoned Rome for instructions. Ambrosio made the decision early the next day. He directed Roatta “to make certain that there enter into Italy only those elements authorized, that is, the remaining parts of the 26th Panzer Division and 30 antiaircraft batteries, and their 100-200 trucks.”  

When the leading elements of the German 44th Infantry Division reached the Brenner frontier on 31 July, Gloria refused to let them pass. Feurstein appeared at Gloria’s headquarters at 1000 and the two commanders conferred about an hour. Feurstein made two points. The 44th Infantry Division, he said, was to march from the Brenner Pass to Bolzano in three days on the basis of OKW-Comando Supremo agreements. Because the British were expected to bomb the Brenner railway line heavily in the near future, German antiaircraft batteries were to reinforce the protection of the pass. After a formal and polite discussion, Feurstein returned to Innsbruck, and Gloria reported a summary of the conversation to his immediate superior command, the Eighth Army, and to the Ministry of War in Rome. The report arrived in Roatta’s operations section before noon, and from there was transmitted to Ambrosio.

Ambrosio that afternoon addressed a sharp note to Rintelen. He pointed out that the 44th Infantry Division was scheduled to move to southern Italy, not to guard the railway lines in the north. He made it plain that the congested railroads would make it impossible to move the 44th and 305th Infantry Divisions for at least ten days. He requested Rintelen to wait until rail transportation was clear before moving the German divisions into Italy. 

Kesselring called on Badoglio later that afternoon to clarify the situation. When Badoglio explained that military questions were outside his competence, Kesselring went to Ambrosio. He urged that the common war aims of the Axis Powers ought to make it possible for the two German divisions to be permitted to continue their movements. Ambrosio refused, but after a lively exchange he agreed to meet again with Kesselring the next morning. Rintelen then requested OKW to suspend the movements of the two divisions pending the outcome of the Kesselring-Ambrosio conference. Rintelen was deeply distressed by the growing Italo-German conflict. He knew beyond all doubt that Badoglio considered the war lost, and he found himself in sympathy with this point of view and with Badoglio’s policy of seeking to end the war in conjunction with the Germans. 

Not only the Italians, Rintelen was well aware, but also certain high-ranking German officers and politicians recognized that the Axis had lost the war. Before the Feltre conference some of them had secretly voiced the hope that Mussolini would take the bull by the horns, that as Hitler’s equal he would bring up the subject which they, Hitler’s subordinates, dared not suggest-a compromise peace as the only way to save Europe from communism. Now they wished, and Rintelen with them, that Badoglio would speak the words to Hitler that Mussolini had not ventured to utter. 

Disturbed by Hitler’s suspicions that Badoglio was already trying to make peace with the Allies, Rintelen urged Kesselring to resign his command rather than execute orders to occupy Italy. Plans ALARICH and ACHSE not only involved a flagrant breach of faith but also constituted a danger for the German troops in the country. How could the war continue? For certainly the execution of the plans to occupy Italy would throw the Italians into the Allied camp. Speaking by telephone with Keitel on 31 July, Rintelen requested an appointment to report personally to the Führer his views on the Italian situation. Keitel agreed. Next day, while Rintelen prepared to fly to East Prussia to see Hitler, a further crisis occurred in Italo-German relations. Momentarily expecting Hitler to give the code word ACHSE, OKW instructed Feurstein to continue to march the 44th Infantry Division through the Brenner Pass into Italy.

 In Rome, Kesselring met with Ambrosio at 0930. Following OKW instructions, Kesselring made an impassioned plea that the 44th Infantry Division be allowed to proceed, a unit being sent, he emphasized, in accordance with Ambrosio’s promise of 22 July to defend Sicily to the utmost and in accordance with Ambrosio’s request of that same day for two additional German divisions for duty in southern Italy. Ambrosio turned a deaf ear. He insisted that the German division would have to wait at the frontier until railway transportation became available.

 Soon after the conference, Generale di Corpo d’ Armata Giuseppe De Stefanis, Roatta’s deputy, telephoned Gloria at Bolzano. Gloria was to advise Feurstein to consult with OKW on the result of the conference at Rome. Gloria was to oppose the movement of the 44th Infantry Division into Italy, and he was to tell Feurstein that an outbreak of armed strife would be Feurstein’s responsibility. Gloria telephoned this information to Feurstein. 

Feurstein called back at 1550. He said that he had received word from OKW at 1100. OKW indicated that an agreement had been reached in Rome to allow the entry of the 44th Infantry Division. Twenty minutes later Feurstein called again. He reiterated the information that Rome had agreed to permit the German division to march. If Gloria opposed its movement, Feurstein said, the responsibility for initiating armed conflict would fall on the Italians.

 Though the Italians were actually in the process of changing their minds, OKW’s information was probably premature. The main factor modifying Ambrosio’s blunt stand was Badoglio, who was in frequent contact throughout the day with the Comando Supremo chief. Badoglio insisted that Ambrosio avoid any action that would bring about an Italo-German batde. He needed time, Badoglio said, to carry out his basic policy: make the Germans realize Italy’s plight and the need for a common effort to terminate the war.

[N2-15-43 MS #P-058, Project 46, 1 Feb-8 Sep 43, Questions 8 and I I; Cf. Badoglio, Memorie Ii documenti, p. 96.]

Having learned of Rintelen’s intention to see the Führer, Badoglio asked Rintelen, as an old friend, to call on him before leaving Rome. Rintelen did so, at 1600, and Badoglio explained his position. Fascism, Badoglio said, had fallen of its own weight. As an old soldier he had obeyed the call of the King. Now he wanted to meet with Hitler, who had rebuffed him. “I have given my pledge to continue the war and I stand by my word as a soldier,” Badoglio declared. “But for this I need the trust of my ally; it will go bad for both of us if we do not cooperate.” Pointing out the serious military situation, the preponderance of Allied resources, particularly in the air, which the bombings of Hamburg and Rome had made quite clear, Badoglio said that the Germans and Italians had to “work together to bring the war to an honorable conclusion.” Would Rintelen, Badoglio asked, communicate this to Hitler?

[N2-15-44 Rintelen, Mussolini als Bundesgenosse, pp. 227-32. Rintelen dispatched a telegram outlining Badoglio’s views, a copy (Telg 3706 of 1 Aug 43) of which is in West!. Mittelmeer, Chefs. (H 22/290). pp. 91-93. The text as printed by Rintelen does not exactly agree with this copy which is the copy received from the German Foreign Office.]

 Rintelen readily accepted the mission entrusted to him by BadogIio. Immediately after this conversation, Rintelen went home and wrote down a summary of the discussion. He then consulted with Ernst von Weizsaecker, German Ambassador to the Holy See. Although both men could not completely exclude the possibility that Badoglio was acting merely to win time, they agreed that Badoglio’s wish to restore mutual confidence was probably genuine.

 By then, BadogIio had probably informed Ambrosio of his conversation with Rintelen, for at 1810, 1 August, Roatta’s operations chief, Generale di Brigata Umberto Utili, telephoned new instructions to General Gloria. Gloria was to permit the head of the 44th Infantry Division column to march to the nearest railway station and there await trains for further movement into Italy. Some train space would be provided on the following morning. But the division was not to march beyond Bolzano. The elements of the 26th Panzer Division, however, could proceed by road if they wished in order to rejoin the remainder of the division already in Italy. Less than three hours later, Gloria was conferring with Feurstein’s representative and making arrangements for the continued movement of the 44th Infantry Division into Italy by rail.

[N2-15-4646 Tel Conv, 1810, I Aug 43. and Tel Conv, 2230, I Aug 43, both in IT 120; Rommel, Private KTB, entry 1 Aug 43,]

 [N2-15-47 Telg No. 636/Op, XXXV Corps to Ministry of War, Rome, 1 Aug 43, IT 102. Italian memoirs after the war all state that the descent of German reinforcements over the frontiers began on 26 July [943 and without warning. See Badoglio, M emorie Ii documenti, p. 85; Roatta, Otto milioni, p. 272; Rossi, Come arrivammo, p. 88; Zanussi, Guerra e catastrote, II, 47; Castellano, Come firmai, p, 73; and Guariglia, Ricordi, p. 576. The date 26 July appears first to have been fixed for subsequent writers in the article: Lt. Colonel Mario Torsiello, “L’aggressicme germanica all’Italia nella sua lase preliminare (26 luglio-7 settembre 1943),” Rivista MilitaTe, I, vol. 4 (Rome, July, 1945). It is solemnly stated as a matter of court record in II Processo CaTboni-Roatta, p. 14. Actually, the only German troops entering Italy between 26 July and 1 August were parts of the 26th Panzer Division (the bulk of which was already in Italy) and parts of the 2nd Parachute Division (which came by air).]

 Thus it was that Army Group B made its initial penetration with Italian consent. It was seduction, not rape. [N2-15-47] As quickly as Hitler was successful in this test case, and while Badoglio was still hoping that Rintelen’s mission would bear fruit, Hitler directed Field Marshal Kesselring to announce that two panzer divisions would follow along the Brenner line, and that another infantry division would follow the 305th Infantry Division by way of Nice. To keep the passage clear for the other troops, the 44th Infantry Division held the sector of the railway line from Brennero to Bolzano. By 2 August the infiltration of Army Group B into northern Italy was in full swing, and the first lifts of the 2nd Parachute Division had arrived near Rome, a movement substantially completed after four days. Kesselring’s explanation to Roatta now was that the division was needed in that area because of the possibility of an Allied parachute attack.

A day later, 3 August, OKW transmitted through Kesselring a formal note to explain its haste in reinforcing the troops in Italy. The Germans had feared, OKW said, that the political change in Italy might encourage the Allies to use an estimated thirteen to fifteen available divisions in a landing on the Ligurian or north Adriatic coast. OKW therefore thought it prudent to provide for the security of all forces by moving divisions first into the north, then into the south.

 The 305th Infantry and 76th Infantry, under LXXXVII Corps, were to protect the Ligurian coast. The 94th Infantry, moving through the Mount Cenis pass, as well as the 1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler, the 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich, and the 65th Infantry were also to enter north Italy. OKW added that it was considering sending one or two additional armored divisions to Italy to form a reserve. It planned to reinforce the Mediterranean French coast defenses with the 715th Infantry and 60th Panzer Grenadier Division, plus two unspecified infantry divisions. All the details of co-ordination, OKW proposed, were to be settled at the conference scheduled for 6 August at Tarvis.

[N2-15-4949-0KWIWFSt, KTB, I.-3r.VIII.43, 3 Aug 43; Colloquio Generale Rossi-Generale Westphal, 1230, 3 Aug 43, Comando Supremo, Colloqui 1943, IT 104.]

 Though the Germans had not mentioned the 94th Infantry and 65th Infantry before, the Italians accepted the note without demur. They bent their efforts toward effecting such a distribution of the German divisions as to make for the least threat to Rome and to the principal northern bases of the fleet-La Spezia and Pola-and for the most appropriate dispositions to resist an Allied invasion of southern Italy. The crisis having passed, Ambrosio and Roatta faced the Germans with seeming good grace. Italo-German discussions on 3 August were friendly. Ambrosio agreed to provide transportation in the Brenner area. Roatta urged that German reinforcements be sent to the south as quickly as possible. Roatta also complained that some German troops behaved as though they believed that the Italians sympathized with the Allies, an attitude he found insulting to Italian honor. “Italy,” he declared, “is not thinking of changing course.”

 So far as Roatta knew, he had made an honest declaration. What he did not know was that attempts had already been initiated to make contact with the Allies. On the same day, Rintelen was personally delivering Badoglio’s message to Hitler, with Keitel and Jodl in attendance. After listening to Rintelen explain Badoglio’s position, Hitler exploded. “This is the biggest impudence in history. Does the man imagine that I will believe him?” “I have the impression,” Rintelen replied, “that he is honorably working for the establishment of trust.” Hitler brushed this aside, remarking that the Anglo-Americans had probably repulsed Badoglio’s effort to make peace and that Badoglio was therefore again seeking German support. After a brief discussion of the conference scheduled in a few days at Tarvis, Hitler dismissed Rintelen without a reply for Badoglio.

[N2-15-52 Rintelen, Mussolini als Bundesgenosse, pp. 233-34. A briefer statement by Rintelen is to be found in MS #T-Ia (Westphal et al.), Chapter II, page 23, where the interview with Hitler is dated the second rather than the third of August. OKHIAttachtf Abt., KTB I.III.43-3r.V. 44 (H27/s6) contains the entry that Rintelen met with the Führer on the Italian problem on 3 August 1943. Practically the same entry can be found in OKHIAttachtf Abt., Taetigkeitsberichte zum KTB, Feb. 43-IS Jun 44 (H27/s8).]

 Later that day Rintelen received some sympathy from General der Infanterie Kurt Zeitzler, an old friend in the headquarters and Chief of Staff of the German Army. Zeitzler knew that Hitler’s alleged proof of Badoglio’s negotiations with the Western Powers was not true. Rintelen also spoke with Keitel and Jodl and told them that fascism was dead, that Mussolini was a sick man, and that it was necessary to support the Badoglio government as a bulwark against communism. When Jodl mentioned this view to Hitler the next day, he was roundly cursed and abused. Rintelen, Hitler said, was a traitor.

 Rintelen had already returned to Rome, where he went directly to Kesselring’s headquarters at Frascati. Richthofen, the air commander, was somewhat surprised to see him; he had been doubtful that Hitler would allow Rintelen out of Germany.

 Badoglio felt that his hand had again been refused. His initial steps to bring about a joint peace move or to secure German understanding of the Italian situation had ended in failure. Badoglio nevertheless continued to hope that he might yet obtain German consent to a dissolution of the alliance and thereby exclude any action that might bring on Italo-German conflict.

[N2-15-54 On 24 August, Badoglio told Bonomi: “If the Germans would attack, the situation would have a solution. We cannot, by an act of our own will, separate ourselves from Germany to whom we are bound by a pact of alliance, but if attacked we shall resist and we will be able to turn for aid to our enemies of yesterday.” (Bonomi, Diario, p. 82).]

 As late as 3 September the German Naval Attaché in Rome reported: “In higher circles the opinion prevails that ever since he assumed office, Badoglio has been trying to bring the war to as favorable a conclusion as possible, but only with Germany’s consent, for Badoglio takes Italy’s honor as are Axis partner very seriously.” {ONI, translation German Naval Staff: Operations Division War Diary, pt. A, vol. 49 (September 1943), p. 37} 

The Italians, however, continued to work with the Germans to maintain the defense of Sicily and to prepare to oppose an invasion of the Italian mainland. At the same time they watched closely for a hostile German act against Rome and sought to make contact with the Allies. They were increasingly worried by the strangle-hold the Germans had on Italy. The locations of the new German divisions offered no protection to the south, where an Allied threat was real and acute. Rather, the Germans were in position to seize the Italian naval bases, to occupy the north, and to grab Rome.

[N2-15-55 Roatta gave a very clear and prophetic analysis in his memorandum, S.M.R.E., Ufficio di Capo di Stato Maggiore, N. 26/CSM di Prot., 4 Aug 43, IT 104; Cf. Roatta, Otto milioni,]

 The Italian Course is Changed

About the same time that the crisis of 29 July-1 August was being overcome by the decision of the Italian Government and High Command to accept unwanted German reinforcements, the assumption of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by Raffaele Guariglia gave a new impulse and a new direction to Italian foreign policy. Brought from his post as Ambassador to Turkey, Guariglia was uninformed on the true state of affairs in Italy and as a result had indulged in some daydreams and wishful thinking. He fancied that Mussolini, out of love for Italy, had recognized that he himself was the greatest obstacle in the way of an approach to the Allies, and had therefore made the sacrifice of removing himself from power in order to save Italy from total disaster.

 Perhaps, Guariglia thought, a secret understanding with both Germany and the Allies had preceded Mussolini’s resignation. Assuming that the first step of the Badoglio government would naturally be an approach to the Allies, he interpreted Badoglio’s proclamation of continuing the war merely as a method of gaining time. Before leaving Istanbul, Guariglia asked the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs to convey to the Allied representatives in Turkey Guariglia’s personal conviction that Italy had to change course as quickly as possible. Though he could make no commitment, he asked that the Allies have faith in Italy’s intentions and understanding of her plight. As an indication of their faith and understanding, he felt, the Allies should cease bombing Italian cities.  

After arriving in Rome late in the afternoon of 29 July, Guariglia took over his office, and then met with Badoglio. He agreed with Badoglio to limit knowledge of any negotiations for peace to the smallest circle of officials-the matter should not be discussed even in the Council of Ministers. But at this point he was rudely awakened from the dreams he had conjured up in Istanbul, for he found his position in the new Italian Government enormously prejudiced by certain stark facts: the war continued; there was no contact with the Allies. He learned also that his position had been prejudiced by Badoglio’s proposals to Germany through General Marras, and Badoglio’s acceptance of Hitler’s counterproposal of a meeting of foreign ministers, scheduled for 6 August. Scarcely had Guariglia taken his oath of office on 30 July when General Castellano presented himself and tendered a memorandum from Ambrosio, chief of Comando Supremo. Identifying Castellano as an intimate colleague who had played a certain role In the developments leading to Mussolini’s dismissal, Ambrosio’s note said that it was absolutely necessary for Italy to conclude an armistice with the Allies and that therefore immediate contact had to be made with the Western Powers.

 Guariglia tried to do so that very evening. In the greatest secrecy he visited the Papal Secretary of State and asked him to request the British Minister to the Holy See, Sir D’ Arcy Q. Osborne, to transmit a message to the British Government. Unfortunately, the British diplomatic code at the Holy See had been broken and was known to the Italians and the Germans. {The British minister received a new and safe cypher later that summer.} This ruled out that channel of communication. At about the same time, Franco Babuzzio Rizzo, a subordinate of Guariglia’s, was meeting with Harold Tittmann, assistant to Myron C. Taylor, Personal Representative of the President to His Holiness, the Pope. Rizzo wanted to get a message to the American Government. But the American office within the Vatican walls had no safe and speedy communication channel either. Though the American office could forward dispatches through Switzerland or Portugal in safety, this was a slow process.

 [N2-15-5858 Badoglio, M emorie e documenti, p. 96; Guariglia, Ricordi, pp. 586-87; Ltr, Osborne to Major Gen Orlando Ward, OCMH, 6 Jul 50; Ltr and IncIs, Tittmann to Ward, OCMH, 19 Jul] 

On the following day, 31 July, the crown council met at the Quirinal Palace. Guariglia vigorously advocated an immediate approach to the Allies for the purpose of concluding a separate armistice. He stated that he had already taken steps.

in that direction by speaking to the Turkish Foreign Minister and by approaching the Allied representatives to the Holy See. As he understood the situation, the decision to approach the Western Powers had already been made by the King some days ago. The crown council formally decided to separate Italy from the alliance with Germany and to seek an armistice with the Allies.

 [N2-15-59 Guariglia, Ricordi, pp. 585-86, 6 [gn; II Processo Carboni-Roatta,] 

Guariglia implemented this decision by securing approval from the King and Badoglio to send an emissary to Portugal. He chose the Marchese Blasco Lanza D’Ajeta, Counselor of the Italian Embassy at the Holy See, who through Ciano had been kept informed of the movement to overthrow Mussolini. D’ Ajeta spoke English, and was the godson of the wife of Sumner Welles, the American Under Secretary of State. Furthermore, he was of intermediate rank and his transfer from the Holy See would excite no German suspicion’s. Accordingly, the Foreign Office nominated D’ Ajeta Counselor of the Italian Legation at Lisbon. Guariglia had D’ Ajeta take along a large suitcase full of Foreign Office documents to keep them from falling into German hands. The gossip of polite circles in Rome promptly had it that D’Ajeta’s mission was to save the Countess Ciano’s jewels.

[N2-15-60 Guariglia, Ricordi, p. 587. Castellano (Come firmai, page 72) records that he knew of the D’ Ajeta mission but remains silent on whether he had any part in instigating the appointment. In any event, Castellano did not know the full scope of D’ Ajeta’s instructions.]

 D’ Ajeta received his instructions on 1 and 2 August from Guariglia, Castellano taking part in the second session. Sir D’ Arcy Osborne provided a letter introducing D’ Ajeta to his cousin, Sir Ronald Hugh Campbell, British Ambassador at Lisbon. D’ Ajeta was to make a full and candid explanation of the situation of the Italian Government, and point out that it was threatened internally by the Communists and by German occupation. He was to explain that the government wished to break with Germany, but that to do this the government needed help for its armed forces. He was to make it clear that he had no power to negotiate, but he was to suggest the desirability of military and political agreement by the Allies and the Italians in order to enable Italy to break with the Germans or turn against them. As a demonstration of faith, he was to inform the Allies of the German order of battle in Italy. Castellano carefully drilled D’ Ajeta on the name, strength, and location of each German unit in Italy and of those expected to enter the country, and D’Ajeta committed this information to memory.

D’ Ajeta flew to Lisbon on 3 August, and presented himself at once to Renato Prunas, the Italian Minister. He sent his note of introduction to Sir Ronald, and the British Ambassador requested and received from his own government authorization to receive the Italian emissary. The conference took place the following day. 

A trained diplomat, D’ Ajeta carefully carried out his instructions. After giving a candid and detailed exposition of the Italian situation, he urged the ambassador to inform the British and American Governments that Italy was most anxious to escape the German yoke and to withdraw from the conflict. He pleaded for understanding in London and Washington of Italy’s tragic situation: Italy, he said, was on the eve of a German military occupation. Besides the German divisions already in Italy, two more had begun to arrive from France on 2 August, bound for Turin, and about 200,000 German troops assembled around Innsbruck were occupying the Brenner Pass installations. 

Because Rome was in danger of immediate German seizure-an armored SS division with the most modern Tiger tanks was moving toward the capital-the King and the government had plans to escape to the island of Maddalena, off the coast of Sardinia. Some 300,000 Italian workmen were virtual hostages in Germany. After three years of warfare, Italy was on the verge of economic exhaustion. Italy, D’ Ajeta continued, wished to negotiate. Hungary and Rumania would probably follow suit.

 D’ Ajeta then gave the exact locations of the German divisions as of 2 August. He explained that Italian troops had been moved to protect Rome, thereby leaving the coast of central Italy practically undefended. To maintain its independence, the Italian Government was resolved to defend the capital against German attack, even though the only good division in the area was the reconstituted armored Ariete Division, which had only enough ammunition to furnish a total of eighty-eight shells for each of its guns. 

Emphasizing his lack of authority to negotiate, D’ Ajeta urged that his disclosure of the German order of battle be the starting point for synchronizing Italian help with the Allied political and military plans. He requested a cessation of propaganda attacks against the King and Badoglio, a halting of bombings against Italian cities. He asked that Britain and America not misinterpret the impending Italo-German conference at Tarvis. 

Ambassador Campbell listened attentively, asked several questions. D’ Ajeta warned that the German armed forces were numerous and powerful. Reports of serious cleavage between the Nazi party and the military command, he said, were to be discounted. Campbell explained that he had no instructions except to listen. His personal opinion was that the Allies had already determined their military plans and had clearly announced their political views in the unconditional surrender formula.

The Italian Government waited for an official reply to D’ Ajeta’s overture. None came. 

Meanwhile, on the day that D’ Ajeta had left Rome for Lisbon, Guariglia and Badoglio decided to send another emissary to make contact with the British Government. They directed Alberto Berio, former Counselor of the Embassy at Ankara, to fly immediately to Tangier, there to replace Badoglio’s son as Consul General. Berio’s real mission was to inform the British Consul that Italy was willing to negotiate. 

On the morning of 3 August, the day that D’ Ajeta reached Lisbon, Guariglia gave Berio his detailed instructions. Berio was to make known the fact that because the Italian Government was a prisoner of the Germans, it would be useless and damaging to the Allied cause to demand of Italy an immediate and public capitulation. The Allied armies should attack the Balkans in order to draw German troops away from Italy, thereby making it possible for the Italians to join the Allies in clearing the Italian peninsula of German forces. Finally, the Allied press campaign against the Badoglio government ought to continue in order to deceive the Germans. 

When Badoglio briefed Berio later that day, he added the point that the Allies would find it to their interest to aid the Italian Government maintain itself against the internal threat of communism. In this connection, the Allies should cease bombing Italian cities. The Marshal’s son, Mario, who was present, made an additional suggestion: the Allies should land in Italy as soon and as far north as possible.

 [N2-15-63 Alberto Berio, Missione segreta (Tangeri: Agosto 1943) (Milan: Enrico Dall’Oglio, 1947), pp. 34-42] 

In Tangier on 5 August, Berio at once made contact with Mr. Watkinson, temporarily in charge of the British Consulate. After carrying out his instructions, Berio wired Rome of his action and, like D’Ajeta in Lisbon, waited for an Allied reply.

[N2-15-64 Ibid., pp. 54-70. D’Ajeta later presented his own account of the mission in his defense at epuration proceedings. See Consiglio di Stato: Sezione speciale per l’epurazione, Memoria a svolgimento del ricorso del Consigliere di Legazione Blasco Lanza d’ Ajeta contra la decisione della Commissione per l’epurazione del personale dipendente dal Ministero degli AfJari Esteri (Rome: Tipografia Ferraiolo, 1946), pp. 79-81, 84-87; and Documenti prodotti a corredo della memorai del Consigliere di Legazione Blasco Lanza d’ Ajeta (Rome: Tipografia Ferraiolo, 1946), pp. 17-35.]

SOURCE: Sicily and the Surrender of Italy: BY; Lieutenant Colonel Albert Nutter Garland & Howard McGaw Smyth (United States Army Center of Military History)

World War Two: Sicily (2-14) Mussolini Overthrown-Planning mainland invasion


World War Two: Sicily (2-14) Mussolini Overthrown-Planning mainland invasion

Sardinia Versus the Mainland: The successful invasion of Sicily clarified strategic problems and enabled the Allies to tum from debate to decision. The Combined Chiefs of Staff at the TRIDENT Conference in May had directed General Eisenhower to knock Italy out of the war and contain the maximum number of German forces, but they had not told him how. Preparing to launch operations beyond the Sicilian Campaign, AFHQ had developed several outline plans: BUTTRESS, invasion of the Italian toe by the British 10 Corps; GOBLET, a thrust at the ball of the Italian foot by the British 5 Corps; BRIMSTONE, invasion of Sardinia; and FIREBRAND, invasion of Corsica. But a firm decision on the specific course of action to be taken was still lacking.

 [N14-1 Memo, G-g AFHQ for AFHQ CofS, 1 Jun 43, sub: Opns After HUSKY, 0100/I-C/5g4,1I; AFHQ Directive to Comdrs of Naval, Ground, and Air Forces, 5 Jun 43, 0100/12C/534.II. For details of planning the invasion of Italy prior to the evolvement of AVALANCHE, see Martin Blumenson, Salerno to Cassino, a volume in preparation for the series UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II. See also Matloff, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, 1934-1944, pp. 15 2- 61 , 245-46.] 

The four plans, Eisenhower had explained to Churchill during the Algiers meetings in June, pointed to two broad alternative courses. If the Axis resisted vigorously in Sicily, thereby forecasting high Italian morale and a bitter and protracted struggle for the Allies, then BRIMSTONE and FIREBRAND, insular operations, were preferable. Otherwise, operations on the Italian mainland were more promising. Despite Churchill’s articulate enthusiasm for the latter course, Eisenhower had made no commitment. He awaited the factual evidence to be furnished in Sicily.

 Meanwhile, the Americans and British continued to argue over strategy. The Americans remained intent on guaranteeing a cross-Channel attack in 1944 and also advocated operations in Burma. The British were still intrigued by Mediterranean opportunities. The crux of the argument hinged on resources. 

Conscious of theater requirements after Sicily, no matter what operations were launched, General Eisenhower on 29 June asked the Combined Chiefs whether two American convoys could be diverted to his command. He requested a total of 13 combat loaders (9 for personnel, 4 for cargo) for retention in the theater. He recommended retaining 15 American destroyers in the area. He forecast his need for 930 military government officers in case of rapid Italian collapse. He again sought assurance that 40 ships per month were to be allocated to meet civilian supply requirements in Italy. 

The Combined Chiefs made no Immediate commitment, for they too were awaiting the initial results of the Sicily invasion. Not until 15 July-five days after the invasion-did the Combined Staff Planners draft a proposed reply to Eisenhower’s requests, and they favored granting Eisenhower’s wishes. Still, the divergence of American and British views prevented acceptance. The U.S. planners called attention to requirements elsewhere in the world. The British planners saw “the potential results” in the Mediterranean “so great” as to make unthinkable denying Eisenhower the resources he wished.

Discussing their planners’ recommendations on 16 July, the CCS decided to defer action on Eisenhower’s requests for resources, even though the news from Sicily was good. At Admiral Leahy’s suggestion, the Combined Chiefs agreed to accept Eisenhower’s strategic concept (as embodied in AFHQ’s four outline plans,) but only “for planning purposes,” and at General Marshall’s suggestion, they informed Eisenhower of their interest in a direct landing at Naples in place of an invasion of Sardinia, “if the indications regarding Italian resistance should make the risks involved worthwhile.” 

Indications of crumbling Italian resistance continued to encourage the Allies. With increasing frequency, reports from Sicily made clear the advanced state of disintegration in the Italian Army. In contrast, German units were displaying “their traditional determination and skill,” probably stimulated, AFHQ guessed, by the “poor performance of their Allies.” Looking to the Italian mainland, AFHQ believed that the Germans would reinforce the Italians and prepare for a strong defense of the Italian heel because of its proximity to the Balkans. In contrast, AFHQ planners underestimated the importance of the toe, Calabria, to the Axis.

 The planners felt that the terrain was not suitable for employing large forces, supply routes were vulnerable to Allied air attack, the Germans would find air support of their ground troops almost impossible, and their forces in that area would be continually threatened by the possibility of successive Allied seaborne outflanking movements. AFHQ estimated that the Germans would elect to defend Italy south of Naples but would place only small forces in Calabria. 

Disintegrating Italian morale, the expectation of finding small enemy forces in Calabria, and the relatively light losses in landing craft during the invasion of Sicily prompted AFHQ to become somewhat bolder in its strategic thinking. Allied success achieved in Sicily as early as the first three days of operations gave rise to the hope that the British Eighth Army would sweep rapidly up the east coast to Messina, making unnecessary the commitment of the British 78th and 46th Infantry Divisions as planned. AFHQ decided to employ these divisions to gain lodgment in Calabria, and approved a plan called BAYTOWN, which was, in effect, an ad hoc BUTTRESS. This projected an assault on the tip of Calabria, in the Reggio area, five days after the capture of Messina, by a brigade of the British 13 Corps assisted by paratroopers and commandos. The 78th and 46th Divisions were then, soon afterward, to make an assault landing on the shore of the Gulf of Gioia. [N14-7] 

But the tenacious defense conducted by the Germans around Catania blocked the British sweep toward Messina, and in conformity with original plans the 78th Division was committed in Sicily. The formal BUTTRESS and GOBLET, plans to be executed by the British 10 and 5 Corps remained valid. [N14-8] 

In addition, AFHQ began seriously to consider alternative plans leading to a rapid build-up of forces in the Naples area-MUSTANG, a rapid overland drive from Calabria, and GANGWAY, a seaborne landing to reinforce those troops that had seized Naples after an overland advance. More important was Eisenhower’s directive to General Clark, the U.S. Fifth Army commander, on 16 July: if the Allies landed in the toe, Clark and his army were to be ready not only to invade Sardinia but also “to support Italian mainland operations through Naples.” [N14-9] 

[N14-7 Min of Third Weekly Exec Planning Sec, 14 Jul 43, item 22, job 61C, reel IS3C: Alexander, Allied Armies in Italy, vol. I, p. 10; Eisenhower, Italian Dispatch,]

 [N14-8 Eisenhower, Italian Dispatch, p. 10; Memo, AFHQ for multiple addressees, 2S J un 43, sub: Chain of Command for, and Channels of Communication for Mounting, Opns BRIMSTONE, BUTTRESS and GOBLET, OIOO/I2C/S34,II; Ltr, MIDEAST to AFHQ, IS Jul 43, sub: BUTTRESS and GOBLET Order of Battle, same file. Directive, CofS AFHQ to CG Fifth Army,] 

On 17 July, after meeting with his chief subordinates, Tedder, Alexander, and Cunningham, General Eisenhower came to a Major decision. He canceled the invasion of Sardinia in favor of operations on the Italian mainland, the best area for “achieving our object of forcing Italy out of the war and containing the maximum German forces.” Though the situation had not sufficiently crystallized to permit informing the CCS precisely how the mainland was to be attacked or even the dates on which operations might be undertaken, the commanders discussed, as suggested by the Combined Chiefs, the possibility of a direct amphibious assault on Naples. This appeared impractical for two reasons: Naples lay beyond the limit of effective land-based fighter support, and too few landing craft would be available for such an assault in addition to BUTTRESS and GOBLET. MUSKET, on the other hand, a plan to invade the heel near Taranto, now appeared feasible even though it had earlier been rejected. The unexpectedly light losses of landing craft in Sicily would compensate for the difficulty of furnishing air protection over the Taranto assault area. Eisenhower therefore instructed Clark to plan MUSKET as an alternative to GANGWAY, which was oriented on Naples. [N14-10] 

[N14-9 sub: Opns on Italian Mainland. 16 Jul 43. Fifth Army Reds, KCRC, Opn GANGWAY, cabinet 196, drawer 4.] 

[N14-10 Rcd of Mtg at La Marsa, 1430, 17 Jul 43, job 26A, reel 22SB; Telg, Eisenhower to CCS, NAF 26S, IS Jul 43, Salmon Files. S-B-I (NAF, I J un 43-3 I Dec 43): Directive, Major General J. F. M. Whiteley, DCofS AFHQ. to CG Fifth Army, sub: Opns on Italian Mainland, 22 Jul 43, printed in Alexander, Allied Armies in Italy, vol. 1. pp. 66-67. The outline plan for Operation MUSKET (AFHQ P/96 Final, 24 Jul 43) is found in job 10A, red 13C.]

The crucial aspect of this project was the great distance of the Bay of Naples from the airfields which the Allies would be able to use-those in Sicily and those in Calabria to be seized in the initial attack on the mainland. Auxiliary aircraft carriers were not feasible for reinforcing land-based fighters because they could not launch modern fighters. In contrast, the Axis air forces, able to use airfields around Naples and Taranto, would have an extreme advantage. The P-39’s (Airacobras) and P-40’s (Kittyhawks) had short ranges. The P-38’s (Lightnings) and A-36’s (Mustangs) had the required range but lacked other desired characteristics. Spitfires, the best of the available fighters, if equipped with auxiliary ninety-gallon gasoline tanks, could reach the target areas but would not be able to operate over Naples for long. Only one aircraft carrier was operating in the Mediterranean, and this could not furnish enough planes to adequately support an amphibious operation N14-11]

 Despite the problem of air cover, enthusiasm grew in Washington and London for a direct attack against the Naples area, with the American and British Chiefs united and drawn toward this bold course by the manifest weakness of Italian resistance. But the argument over the allotment of resources continued. The British wished to pour into an invasion of the Italian mainland everything that could be made available, the better to guarantee success. The Americans, while recognizing the opportunity for aggressive action, insisted on holding to the previous over-all decisions limiting Mediterranean resources so as to make possible operations in northwest Europe and the China-Burma-India Theater.[N14-12] 

[14-11 Notes on the Air Implications of an Assault on Italian Mainland-Naples Area, 25 Jul 43, printed in Alexander, Allied Armies in Italy, vol. I, pp. 68-71. See also Craven and Cate, eds., vol. II, Europe: TORCH to POINTBLANK, pp. 489-91]

 Reports on disintegrating Italian morale continued to come in. In Greece and the Balkans at least five instances came to Allied attention of Italian commanders who indirectly approached British representatives attached to the patriot forces in Greece and in Yugoslavia. Italian war-weariness and a desire to come to terms seemed quite obvious from such overtures as well as from negotiations which some Italian officers were conducting with Mihailovitch, the Yugoslav Partisan leader. The Germans, appreciating clearly the danger of defection, had begun to occupy vital areas formerly held exclusively by Italians, thereby hoping to stiffen such areas, particularly those vulnerable to invasion. As the Allies continued in their conquest of Sicily and as the collapse of Italy seemed to draw ever nearer, the Allies believed that the Italian troops in the Balkans would remain passive except to defend against guerrilla attack; the Germans, in contrast, would remain staunch. [N14-13]

[N14-12 CCS 268/3, sub: Post-HUSKY Opns North African Theater, Memo by the Representatives of British Chiefs of Staff, 19 Jul 43, ABC 384 Post-HUSKY (14 May 43), Sec. 3; Matloff, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, 1943-1944, pp. 158-60; Bryant, The Turn of The Tide, pp. 549-51.).]

[14-13 Telg, MIDEAST to TROOPERS, repeated to FREEDOM, sub: Enemy Morale in the Balkans, 1/83652, 19 Jul 43, job 24, reel 188D. Cf. Butcher, lily Three Years With Eisenhower, p. 274 (entry for 2 Aug 43]

 With the benefit of such intelligence, the CCS came to partial agreement. On 20 July they approved General Eisenhower’s decision to invade the Italian mainland, and then instructed him to extend his amphibious operations “northwards as shore-based fighter cover can be made effective.” [N14-14]

The British, however, were not satisfied. On the next day, 21 July, the British Chiefs wired their representatives in Washington that the “Italian will to continue the war may be within measurable distance of collapse.” They urged Immediate bold action, specifically an amphibious attack against Naples. A day later the British Chiefs went further. They provided a plan, code-named AVALANCHE, for such an invasion and suggested the last week of August as a favorable, if fleeting, moment. The prospect of success, they admitted, depended largely on the adequacy of air cover, and they proposed allotting Eisenhower four escort carriers and one large British carrier, plus about forty cargo vessels over and above the TRIDENT allocations. Until General Eisenhower indicated his requirements for an attack in the Naples area, the British Chiefs urged that orders be issued to stop the movement of forces away from the Mediterranean theater.[N14-15]

[N14-14 CCS 268/4, 20 Jul 43, sub: Post-HUSKY Opns North African Theater, Rpt by Combined Staff Planners, 20 Jul 43; Min, 97th Mtg JCS, 20 Jul 43, item 12; Telg, CCS to Eisenhower, FAN 169, 20 Jul 43, Salmon Files, S-B-I.]

[N14-15 CCS 268/6, 21 Jul 43, sub: Post-HUSKY Opns North African Theater, Memo by Representatives of British Chiefs of Staff; CCS 268/7, 22 Jul 43, sub: Post-HUSKY Opns North African Theater, Msg From British Chiefs of Staff.]

 The Americans did not consider additional resources necessary. AFHQ already had, they believed, sufficient means to take Naples, and, if not, “reasonable hazards could be accepted.” They therefore proposed that the CCS instruct Eisenhower to prepare a plan, as a matter of urgency, for such an invasion, but using only the resources already made available for operations beyond Sicily. This meant an assault in the strength of about four divisions, as compared with the seven mounted for Sicily.

 The British were “most disappointed.” The Sicilian Campaign, it seemed to them, was even stronger proof that Italy could be eliminated from the war. This, they believed, would increase the chances not only for a successful but a decisive cross Channel attack into northwest Europe. Italian defeat the British regarded as the best if not the essential preliminary to the earliest possible defeat of Germany. And AVALANCHE, if feasible, was the best and quickest way to knock Italy out of the war.

 By this time AFHQ had made a formal study of the possibility of landing in the Naples area. General Rooks, the AFHQ G-3, on 24 July suggested the beaches fronting the Gulf of Salerno as the most suitable for an initial assault. He proposed that Clark’s Fifth Army start planning the operation as an alternative to MUSKET, a landing near Taranto. He thought an assault force of about four divisions would be enough, if provision was made for rapid follow-up and buildup. He felt that the Allies should make their main effort and strike their first blow in Calabria, by means of BUTTRESS and GOBLET. If as the result of these operations the Allies held the toe of Italy by the beginning of October, they could go ahead AFHQ’s conservative and deliberate approach to an invasion of the Italian mainland changed radically because of a revolutionary event which occurred on the next day and launch an invasion in the Naples area at Salerno.

[N14-17 CCS 268/8, sub: Post-HUSKY Opns North African Theater, Memo by Representatives of British Chiefs of Staff, 24 Jul 43.]

[N14-18-AFHQ P/G8 (Final), 24 Jul 43. sub: Appreciation of an Amphibious Assault Against the Naples Area, job 10A. reel 13C.]

The Overthrow of Mussolini

Soon after the Italian delegation returned from the Feltre conference to Rome on 20 July, Mussolini told Ambrosio that he had decided to write a letter to Hitler to request termination of the alliance. Because Mussolini’s abject behavior at Feltre had dispelled Ambrosio’s last illusions that the Duce might break away from Germany, Ambrosio made a sharp rejoinder. The opportunity of the spoken word, Ambr6sio said, had been lost at Feltre. Declaring that he could no longer collaborate in a policy that jeopardized the fate of Italy, Ambrosio offered Mussolini his resignation. Mussolini refused to accept it and dismissed the chief of Comando Supremo from the room.

[N14-1919 MS #P-058. Projeet 46, 1 Feb-8 Sep 43, Question 4; Castellano, Come firmai, pp. 56-57; Badoglio, Memorie e dotumenti, p. 65. 263]

 At this time, arrangements began to take definite form in Comando Supremo for a coup d’etat against the Duce as the essential step for getting Italy out of the war. Yet in a curiously inconsistent policy, Ambrosio made arrangements with OKW to reinforce the troops in Sicily. Either on 21 or 22 July, the decision was made to fight the campaign in Sicily to the limit. Formal assurance was made to OKW and the request forwarded for two additional German divisions 

Comando Supremo promised to do all within its power to this end and Ambrosio asked that German coastal and antiaircraft artillery be shipped to the Messina Strait area immediately, and that the 29th Panzer Grenadier Division be transferred from Calabria to Sicily, [N14-20] The Germans replied on 22 July. The 29th Panzer Grenadier Division would immediately be sent to Sicily. [N14-21] Two days later, Ambrosio conferred with Kesselring on getting more German divisions. Kesselring named the 305th and 76th Infantry Divisions as available. Both were in France but ready for transportation to Italy. Roatta had already discussed their commitment with Kesselring; he planned to place one in Calabria, the other in Puglia. Thus, while some Italians intrigued to get rid of Mussolini and the German alliance, others-in some instances the same ones were permitting the Germans to tighten their military grip on Italy. 

[N14-20 Ltr, Ambrosio to RinteIen, Comando Supremo, Prot. N. 15112, 22 Jul 43, IT 3029, folder IV, an. 4bis. There is another copy in Operazioni in Sicilia dal 20 al 31 luglio 1943, Narrativa, Allegati, It 99b, an. 67 (hereafter referred to as IT 9gb). See also OKW/WFSt, KTB, I.-3I.VlI.43. 23 Jul 43.]

 [N14-21 Ltr, Lt. Colonel Jandl (on behalf of Rintelen), fa No. 0641143, Rome, 22 Jul 43, Comando Supremo, Proiezione vie comunicazione del Brennero, 1943, IT 102.]

 At the beginning of July 1943 there were still three distinct groups in Italy who were actively working and plotting for Mussolini’s overthrow: dissident Fascists; the anti-Fascist opposition; and the military conspiracy. The dissident Fascists were led by Count Ciano and Dino Grandi. They were in touch with the Duke of Acquarone (the King’s private secretary) and, through him, with the King. Their hope was to supplant Mussolini but to retain the Fascist system. 

The underground anti-Fascist parties were held together by Ivanoe Bonomi. Their minimum program was a complete overthrow of the Fascist system and an immediate return to the pre-Fascist, parliamentary system of government. General Castellano and the small group associated with him in Comando Supremo were, like the others, in frequent contact with Acquarone and waited only for the King to give the word. For this group, the questions of institutional changes were altogether secondary to the problem of terminating the war, but they wished the command of Italy’s armed forces restored to the King in accordance with the Statuto. All three groups thought alike with respect to the German alliance. Dino Grandi wished an immediate break of the alliance following Mussolini’s dismissal, and a simultaneous approach to Great Britain for a separate peace. Bonomi advocated overtures to the Allies as soon as the new government was formed. Castellano’s whole purpose in plotting against Mussolini was to permit Italy to make a quick and direct approach to the Western Powers to end the war.

Among the small groups who had access to the Royal Palace, it was known that the King was considering a change in the head of the government, but he had not yet definitely made up his mind. On 5 July he mentioned to his aide de camp, Generale di Divisione Paolo Puntoni, that Ambrosio was making preparations for the removal of Mussolini which would be followed by a military dictatorship headed by either Maresciallo d’ Italia Enrico Caviglia or Marshal Badoglio. The King was not happy about either choice: he did not trust Badoglio’s character; he thought that Caviglia in power would mean a revival of freemasonry and rapprochement with the Anglo-Americans. Victor Emmanuel did not want to overthrow fascism at one stroke: he wished for gradual changes only. He recognized that Badoglio had a certain following among the masses which would be useful if Mussolini were dismissed. The King remarked to Puntoni that Ambrosio was undertaking too much and was having too many contacts outside military circles. 

Alessandro Casati, an intimate of Bonomi, spoke with Acquarone on 12 July and learned that the King’s private secretary was a gradualist, opposed to approaching the Allies at the same time that Mussolini was removed from power. 

Hoping to get Badoglio to change Acquarone’s position, Casati and Bonomi had a long conversation with the marshal on 14 July. Badoglio agreed that denunciation of the alliance with Germany should immediately follow the formation of a new government. He agreed that the new government would need the support of all the anti-Fascist parties; Liberal, Christian Democrat, Socialist, Communist, Actionist, and Democracy of Labor. He agreed with Bonomi that the proper solution was a politico-military cabinet that would eliminate fascism and break with Germany. He agreed to become -the head of the prospective government and to name the military members of the cabinet while Bonomi selected the civil members and served as vice president. But he objected to Bonomi’s desire for Della Torretta as Foreign Minister, insisting instead on Raffaele Guariglia, Ambassador to Turkey. Bonomi acceded on this point after some heated argument.

 At an audience with the King on 15 July, Badoglio presented a proposal for a new government under himself and the inclusion of Bonomi and other politicians in the cabinet. The King seemed to be decidedly averse to the proposal. He said he did not want any politicians. 

The men whom Badoglio proposed were all old, the King said, and they would simply give the appearance of a return to the pre-Fascist system. Unwilling to admit that he was even thinking of moving against Mussolini, Victor Emmanuel remarked that prearranged coups had little chance of success, particularly in Italy where people were not accustomed to keeping secrets. He terminated the audience without coming to a decision. Two days later, when Badoglio discussed with Bonomi and Casati the royal reception of his idea, he was only lukewarm on the feasibility of forming a government based on party support. Either the King would accept the Badoglio-Bonomi proposal, said the marshal, or else he, Badoglio, would withdraw the suggestion, thereby letting everyone resume his liberty of action. Sometime during the next few days, he sent personal and unofficial representatives to Switzerland to inform the British Government that he desired to make contact with the Western Allies. 

On 18 July, Acquarone let it be known that the King was preparing to act against Mussolini but that he wanted the new cabinet to consist of nonpolitical civil servants. Bonomi was greatly alarmed. The mere dismissal of Mussolini would leave the problem of the war and the German alliance unsolved. Calling on Badoglio on 20 July, Casati and Bonomi learned that Badoglio had been won over to the course of gradualism favored by Acquarone and the King. To warn the sovereign that gradualism would not solve the pressing problems of breaking the alliance and getting out of the war, Bonomi and Casati on 22 July submitted a memorandum to Acquarone. The memorandum was prescient though without effect. It pointed out that Germany would have no doubt of Italy’s real intentions once Mussolini was eliminated from power; that a gradualist policy would give Germany time to prepare for action against a new Italian Government; that a cabinet of civil servants devoid of political tendencies would be viewed as an enemy by Fascists, yet would find no support in the anti-Fascist circles; that the Anglo-American coalition would not be favorably disposed to such a cabinet because it would lack men of guaranteed anti-Fascist reputations; that in choosing politicians representing the people the King would follow custom, but in appointing civil servants he would draw upon himself the responsibility for the policies of that cabinet. 

Badoglio had several conversations with Ambrosio, who brought him up to date on the military situation and who carefully explained that Italy’s position toward Germany excluded a unilateral Italian declaration of withdrawal from the war because Italy had insufficient forces to back up an immediate breach of the alliance. Badoglio cautioned Ambrosio to do nothing without the express approval of the King. But in one of their discussions attended by Acquarone, they agreed that two things were necessary for the good of the country : to arrest Mussolini and half a dozen leading Fascist officials; and to use the Regular Army to neutralize the force of the Fascist militia. Acquarone carefully reported this discussion to the King.

 On 20 July, under the impact of Mussolini’s failure at Feltre and of the American bombing of Rome, the King made up his mind to act. He told Puntoni : “It is necessary at all costs to make a change. The thing is not easy, however, for two reasons: first, our disastrous military situation, and second, the presence of the Germans in Italy.” Two days later Victor Emmanuel apparently tried to induce Mussolini to offer his resignation. 

[N14-27 Badoglio, Memorie e documenti, pp. 62-63, 7[, 76; Castellano, Come firmai, pp. 51-52; MS #P-058, Project 46, [ Feb-8 Sep 43, Question 6. Castellano (Come firmai, page 49) states that at this time the German reaction appeared less of a danger than that of the Fascists.]

 There was a long discussion between the Duce and the King who subsequently told Puntoni: I tried to make the Duce understand that now it is only his person, the target of enemy propaganda and the focal point of public opinion, which impedes an internal revival and which prevents a clear definition of our military situation. He did not understand and he did not wish to understand. It was as if I had spoken to the wind.

 Through Acquarone, the sovereign informed General Castellano that he had made up his mind to appoint Badoglio as Mussolini’s successor. All preparations for the change in regime would have to be completed within six or seven days. Acquarone said that Mussolini had an audience scheduled with the King for 26 July, and Castellano made plans to have the Duce arrested shortly after that event.

 Another critical step was to protect the new government against a reaction by the Fascist militia. Comando Supremo therefore moved the 10th (Piave) Motorized Infantry Division and the 135th (Ariete) Armored Division to the Rome area, both to constitute a special corps under General Carboni. An intimate of Count Ciano and at the same time of Castellano, Carboni was ambitious. Though he had at times been a difficult subordinate, he was strongly anti-German and pro-Ally. No measures were planned in advance against a possible German reaction. The King intended neither to create an Immediate rupture in the Axis alliance nor to make an immediate approach to the Western Powers.

 As for Badoglio, in deciding to accept the high office, he acted with a soldierly sense of duty toward his sovereign. Whatever course the King wished to follow, Badoglio made clear that he, Badoglio, would execute. If the King commanded continuance of the war in alliance with Germany, Badoglio would loyally carry out that policy. If the King directed an approach to the Allies, Badoglio would undertake that course. The responsibility, Badoglio also made clear, would remain with the King.

 Victor Emmanuel was not happy to have the responsibility placed on his royal person, and he almost regretted the imminent change. Things were much easier with Mussolini, he thought, who was very clever and who took responsibility upon himself. The appointment of Badoglio meant, not a return to pre-Fascist constitutional procedures, but a return to absolute monarchy. While Mussolini as Capo del Governo claimed for that office all the power he could grasp, Badoglio deliberately restricted himself to the role of the King’s executive secretary. 

[N14-30 Roatta, Otto milioni, pp. 262-63; Rossi,Come arrivammo, p. 204. For unfavorable comments on Carboni as a general officer, see Generale Comandante di Corpo d’Armata Carboni, Giacomo, IT 972; for his early friendship with Ciano and Castellano, see Castellano, Come firmai, pp. 22ff]. 

[N14-31 See the penetrating comments in Telg, Colonel Helfferich, Rome, Chef. Amt Ausland Abwehr, 22 or 23 Jul 43, OKW/Amtsgruppe Ausland, 19.IV.-I.XI.43 (OKW/IOoo.2).] 

Curiously enough, Mussolini himself helped set the stage for his overthrow. Early in July, Carlo Scorza, the new Fascist party secretary, had planned a series of mass meetings in the principal cities of Italy and invited leading Fascists to exhort the people to determined resistance. Largely at Dino Grandi’s instigation, quite a few party officials refused the invitation. Several of these men saw Mussolini on 17 July, expressed their dissatisfaction with the situation, and proposed convening the Grand Council of Fascism, which had not met for more than three years. Surprisingly enough, five days later, on 24 July, after returning from the Feltre conference, Mussolini called the Fascist Grand Council to a meeting on 24 July. 

Aware of the King’s intention to oust Mussolini, Grandi skillfully lined up a Majority of the council members against the Duce. He drew up a resolution calling for the King to resume command of the armed forces. Some members signed it in the belief that it would merely force Mussolini to relinquish the military power he had exercised since the beginning of the war. Grandi and others hoped that a Majority vote favoring his resolution would be taken as a lack of confidence in Mussolini’s leadership and would induce the King to replace Mussolini by a triumvirate: Grandi, Ciano, and Federzoni (president of the Royal Academy) . The Grand Council of 28 members met at 1700, Saturday, 24 July. The debate on Grandi’s resolution lasted almost nine hours. Around 0300, 25 July, Mussolini acceded to Grandi’s demand for a vote. Of the 28 members, many of whom had remained silent during the course of the debate, 19 voted with Grandi against Mussolini.

 Neither Mussolini nor Grandi immediately realized what had happened. The Grand Council meeting was but a sideshow designed to furnish an appropriate occasion, a constitutional crisis, for dismissing the Head of Government. When Mussolini saw the King after the fateful poll, he told the monarch that the Grand Council vote did not require his resignation. The King would not listen. Coldly he told Mussolini that he had to resign-Marshal Badoglio would take his place. On leaving the palace, Mussolini was unable to find his car. Accepting the help of a carabinieri officer, he was escorted into an ambulance and whisked away. Not until later did he realize that he was under arrest. 

Grandi hung around all day waiting to be called to an appointment in the new cabinet. Like Bonomi, he believed in making immediate contact with the Allies, and to this end he sought permission to leave for Spain at once. Grandi wished to talk to the British Ambassador at Madrid, Sir Samuel Hoare, whom Grandi had known when he was Mussolini’s Ambassador to London. But Grandi had already played the part deftly assigned to him by Acquarone, and Grandi cooled his heels in Rome. Not until several weeks passed did the new government permit Grandi to go to Madrid, but without instructions, credentials, or power. As it turned out, Grandi’s trip proved to be of value, but as a red herring, for the Germans, who were hot on Grandi’s trail, failed to pick up the scent of the official mission dispatched to make contact with the Allies.

[N14-34 “Count Dino Grandi Explains,” Life, vol. 18, NO.9 (February 26, 1945), pp. 81-82; Badoglio, Memorte e documenti, pp. 73-74, 82. {N14-35}” Mussolini, Storia di un anno, pp. di …. 18; Bonomi, Diario, pp. 30-32. {N14-36} Mussolini, Storia di un anno, pp. 19-20; Monelli, Roma 1943, pp. 188-94; Puntoni, Vittorio Emanuele III, pp. 143-45.] 

The meeting of the Fascist Grand Council on 24 July gave the Roman public a sense of the political crisis. When news of Mussolini’s dismissal raced through the city on 25 July, people embraced each other in joy, danced in the streets, and paraded in gratitude to the King. Mobs attacked Fascist party offices. Fascist symbols were torn down.

 With one stroke the House of Savoy had removed the great incubus that had brought Italy into the war on the losing side, and everyone expected the new government to bring about an immediate peace. Never was a people’s faith in royalty destined to be more bitterly disappointed. No one paid much attention to the Germans, who disappeared from public view.

Allied Reaction

The overthrow of Mussolini took the Allies by surprise. At the TRIDENT Conference the Americans had argued that the Allies might bring about the collapse of Italy without invading the Italian mainland. The conquest of Sicily and intensified aerial bombardment of the mainland, they believed, might be enough. The British felt that only an invasion of the Italian mainland would guarantee Italian surrender, and this course of action had become the basic Allied concept continuing ground force operations beyond Sicily in order to knock Italy out of the war.

 The U.S. Department of State had as yet scarcely discussed the peace terms to be imposed upon a vanquished Italy. On 26 July, if it had been necessary, the Allies would have found it impossible to state their basic terms for peace-aside from unconditional surrender. The Allies even lacked a set of armistice terms for an Italy offering to surrender.

 They had discussed this matter but without reaching agreement. The British had proposed a long and detailed list of conditions to be imposed upon a defeated Italy. The Americans had not concurred because the British list did not mean total surrender. They had instead proposed a series of diplomatic instruments to obtain unconditional surrender and allow the extension of Allied military government over the whole of Italian territory. Differences in ultimate objectives effectively hindered Anglo-American agreement. The Americans had no qualms about putting the House of Savoy into protective custody and undertaking the political reconstruction of the country. To the British, the prospect of another dynasty going into discard was too painful to contemplate. Transatlantic discussions were continuing without definite conclusions when the developments on the Tiber made a decision vital.

Contradictory crosscurrents further complicated the discussions. The troublesome Italian Fleet had aroused British passion for revenge, and Churchill’s and Eden’s bitter experiences with Mussolini made them endorse a complete Italian surrender. American feeling against Mussolini had never reached a boiling point; the U.S. Government had no wish to gain territory at Italian expense, and a significant element in the American electorate was of Italian descent or origin and could not be ignored. These factors exerted a moderating influence on U.S. policy. 

The Combined Chiefs of Staff held a special meeting on 26 July, the day after Mussolini’ s overthrow; greatly elated by the news, they reached a decision of some import. Though the Americans refused to alter their stand on resources for an attack on Naples, they did not object when the British added one heavy and four escort carriers to the Mediterranean resources. The CCS agreed to expedite the elimination of Italy from the war by authorizing Eisenhower to launch AVALANCHE at the earliest possible date and with the resources available to him. 

In Tunis, also heartened by word of Mussolini’s downfall, Eisenhower was meeting with his principal subordinates to review the new situation. They decided that promising conditions called for a bolder course of action. Upon receipt of the CCS directive authorizing an invasion in the Naples area, Eisenhower ordered Clark to draw detailed plans for executing AVALANCHE. He also instructed Clark to prepare one division to sail directly into Naples and seize the port in conjunction with an airborne operation. Sensing the prospects of securing a speedy capitulation of the Italian Government, Eisenhower looked forward to occupying rapidly key points on the Italian mainland with Italian consent. 

By this time, Allied intelligence reports of Italian morale in the battle for Sicily were caustic. One stated: For the most part the Italian field formations have not shown a standard of morale and battle determination very much higher than that of the coastal units whose performance was so lamentably low …. Sheer war weariness and a feeling of the hopelessness of Italy’s position have, however, obviously been more potent influences and these have moreover permeated the field army to a considerable degree, with the result that a sense of inferiority and futility has destroyed its zest and spirit. 

To exploit the new political situation and Italian war weariness, General Eisenhower decided to pull all the stops on the organ of psychological warfare. If he could, by offering a simple set of armistice terms, eliminate Italy as a belligerent, the Allies would be able to use Italian territory in the war against Germany. Therefore, Eisenhower asked CCS approval of a radio message he proposed to broadcast constantly to the Italian people. 

He wished to commend the Italians and the Royal House for ridding themselves of Mussolini; to assure them that they could have peace on honorable conditions; to promise Italy the advantages of the Atlantic Charter and the Four Freedoms and also a voice in the final negotiations for world peace; to suggest that if the King remained at war with the Allies much longer, British and American odium concentrated on Mussolini would be transferred to the monarch, thereby making an honorable surrender difficult. The radio broadcasts, Eisenhower proposed, should urge the King to make immediate contact with the Allied commander in chief.  

[N14-43, Salmon Files, 5-B-r; Directive, DCofS AFHQ to CG Fifth Army, sub: Opns on the Italian Mainland, 27 Jul 43, Personal Papers of Colonel Robert J, Wood, file Outline Plan, Operation AVALANCHE; Min of Exec Planning Mtg 5, 27 Jul 43, job 6rC, reel r83C. 41 AFHQ G-2 Weekly Intel Sum 48, 27 Jul 43, job g, reel 23A.]

Armistice terms

General Eisenhower also drafted a set of armistice terms:

  1. Immediate cessation of all hostile activity by the Italian armed forces with disarmament as dictated by the C-in-C, and a guarantee by the Italian Government that German forces now on the Italian mainland will immediately comply with all provisions of this document.
  2. All prisoners or internees of the United Nations to be immediately turned over to the C-in-C, and none of these may, from the beg-inning of these negotiations, be evacuated to Germany.
  3. Immediate transfer of the Italian fleet to such points as may be designated by the C-in-C Med., with details of disarmament and conduct to be prescribed by him.
  4. Immediate evacuation from all Italian territory of the German Air Force.
  5. Immediate beginning of the evacuation of German land forces from the Italian mainland on phase lines to be so prescribed by the Allied C-in-C that the evacuation from all Italy will be complete within one month. German forces in Sicily are not affected by this armistice and will either surrender unconditionally or will be destroyed.
  6. Immediate surrender of Corsica and of all Italian territory, both islands and mainland, to the Allies, for such use as operational bases and other purposes as the Allies may see fit.
  7. Immediate acknowledgment of the overriding authority of the Allied Commander-in-Chief to establish military government and with the unquestioned right to effect, through such agencies as he may set up, any changes in personnel that may seem to him desirable.
  8. Immediate guarantee of the free use by the Allies of all airfields and naval ports in Italian territory, regardless of the rate of evacuation of the Italian territory by the German forces. These ports and fields to be protected by Italian armed forces until the function is taken over by the Allies.
  9. Immediate withdrawal of Italian armed forces from all participation in the current war from whatever areas in which they may now be engaged.
  10. Guarantee by the Italian Government that if necessary it will employ all its available armed forces to insure prompt and exact compliance with all the provisions of this armistice.

General Eisenhower proposed that this set of terms serve as the basis for a CCS directive, and that it also be broadcast to Italy. Knowledge of the terms and the assurances therein of honorable conditions of peace, he believed, would make the Italian population force the government to sue for an armistice. He did not envisage the active co-operation of Italian troops in the war beyond the enforcement of German withdrawal from Italian soil, for he believed that “they would deem it completely dishonorable to attempt to turn definitely against their former allies and compel the surrender of German formations now III the mainland of Italy”. His terms were an attempt to meet an Italian request for armistice before an Allied invasion of the mainland, and he made no mention of unconditional surrender.

[N14-43, Capitulation of Italy, p. ‘4 (a bound file of copies of telegrams and other documents relating to the Italian surrender, assembled for Major General Walter B. Smith, Chief of Staff, AFHQ).]

 Neither did President Roosevelt urge the unconditional surrender formula when he heard the news of Mussolini’s downfall. Cabling Churchill immediately, he suggested that if the Italian Government made overtures for peace, the Allies ought to come as close to unconditional surrender as possible and then follow that capitulation with good treatment of the Italian people. Roosevelt thought it essential to gain the use of all Italian territory, the transportation system and airfields as well, for the further prosecution of the war against the Germans in the Balkans and elsewhere in Europe. He wished provision made for the surrender of Mussolini, “the head devil,” and his chief associates, and he asked the Prime Minister for his Views on the new situation.

 As Minister of Defense and with the approval of his War Cabinet, Mr. Churchill sent the President his proposals on how to deal with a defeated Italy. Considering it very likely that the dissolution of the Fascist system would soon follow Mussolini’s overthrow, Churchill expected the King and Badoglio to try to arrange a separate armistice with the Allies. In this case, he urged that every possible advantage be sought from the surrender to expedite the destruction of Hitler and Nazi Germany.

 The text of Churchill’s proposals reached AFHQ soon after Eisenhower had dispatched his draft of terms to the CCS. Both sets of terms were closely similar. Both required the use of all Italian territory; insisted on control of the Italian Fleet; stipulated the return of prisoners of war to prevent their transfer to Germany; demanded the withdrawal of the Italian armed forces from further participation in the war against the Allies; and assumed that the Italians on Italian soil would be able to enforce German compliance with the terms of surrender.

 There were some differences. Using phraseology originally suggested by Roosevelt, Churchill called for the surrender of Mussolini and the leading Fascists as war criminals. Churchill thought of gaining the active aid of Italy’s armed forces against the Germans. If the Italian Fleet and Army came under Allied control by the armistice, the Prime Minister apparently would have been willing to acquiesce in the retention of sovereignty by the Italian Government (the monarchy) on the mainland. Eisenhower, in contrast, wished not only the power to establish military government but also an overriding authority over the Italian Government with power to appoint and dismiss officials. 

Eisenhower on 27 July explained to the CCS why he preferred his own conditions to Churchill’s. He wished to have a simple set of terms that could be broadcast directly to the Italian people. Hope for an honorable peace among the population, he thought, would make it impossible for any government in Italy to remain in power if it declined to make peace. But he did not wish to ask Italy to turn against the Germans, for he doubted the existence of much “fury” among the Italian people. Requiring active aid against the Germans would be offering the Italians merely a change of sides, whereas the great desire of the Italian people, he felt, was to be finished with the war.

[N14-47 Telg 383, Prime Minister to President, 26 Jul 43, ABC 381 Italy-Arm-Surr (5-9-43), Sec I-A; a copy of this telegram, No. 4116, which was forwarded by General Devers (in England) to Eisenhower was received at AFHQ at 0850, 27 July 1943, Capitulation of Italy, p. 9; Churchill (Closing the Ring, pages 56-58) prints the whole message.]

 Eisenhower’s program of psychological warfare, designed to bring the Badoglio regime to prompt capitulation, came under close scrutiny and eventual change by the heads of the British and American Governments. On the same afternoon, 27 July, that Eisenhower renewed his recommendation for a simple set of terms, the Prime Minister, in the House of Commons, was making the first official public declaration in response to Mussolini’s downfall.

 Churchill said: We should let the Italians, to use a homely phrase, stew in their own juice for a bit, and hot up the fire to the utmost in order to accelerate the process, until we obtain from their Government, or whoever possesses the necessary authority, all our indispensable requirements for carrying on the war against our prime and capital foe, which is not Italy but Germany. It is the interest of Italy, and also the interest of the Allies, that the unconditional surrender of Italy be brought about wholesale and not piece meal.

[N14-48 Telg 4894, Eisenhower to Devers for Prime Minister, 27 Jul 43, Capitulation of Italy, p. 17. {N14-49} Onwards to Victory: War Speeches by the Right Hon. Winston S. Churchill, compiled by Charles Eade (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1944), pp. 186-87.]

As he explained to Eisenhower privately, Churchill saw “obvious dangers in trying to state armistice terms in an attractive, popular form to the enemy nation.” It was far better, he said, for all to be “cut and dried and that their Government should know our full demands and their maximum expectations.” On the following day, 28 July, President Roosevelt in a public address reiterated the strong stand to be taken with Italy. He said: Our terms for Italy are still the same as our terms to Germany and Japan-‘Unconditional Surrender.’ We will have no truck with Fascism in any way, shape, or manner. We will permit no vestige of Fascism to remain.

The arguments seemed to be a luxury in view of the immediate prospect of getting Italy to surrender, and General Marshall explained the difficulty involved. The British Government, he telegraphed Eisenhower, had the attitude that a surrender involved political and economic conditions as well as military stipulations. The British therefore viewed Eisenhower’s authority as limited to purely local surrenders. And the President agreed that the Allied commander should not fix general terms without the approval of both governments. 

Eisenhower replied by asking for a directive from both governments empowering him to state general terms. There might be, he wrote, a fleeting opportunity to gain all objectives. Most important, he felt, was the prospect of obtaining Italian co-operation in seizing vital ports and airfields. But he had to be able to speak precisely and authoritatively to the commander in chief of the Italian forces. If economic and political matters could be settled later, he might by the use of military terms alone be able to bring the campaign in the Mediterranean to a rapid conclusion, thus saving resources for operations elsewhere.

[N14-51 United States and Italy 1936-1946: Documentary Record, U.S. Department of State Publication 2669, European Series 17 (Washington, 1946), p. 45]

 At the same time, he sent a message to Mr. Churchill, explaining his request for a directive on a slightly different ground. Because he was conducting the war in the Mediterranean in accord with the CCS instruction to force Italy out of the war, he felt it his duty to take quick and full advantage of every opportunity. Meanwhile, the British Foreign Office on 27 July had informed the U.S. State Department that the British considered the King of Italy or Badoglio acceptable for the purpose of effecting surrender. What continued to be a problem was whether the surrendering authority should be permitted to continue in office.

 The Combined Civil Affairs Committee took up the surrender matter on 29 July, but was unable to reach a decision or to make any positive recommendations. The British representative urged that the earlier proposal, the lengthy draft of detailed conditions known as the Long Terms, be approved by both governments so that General Eisenhower could present civil as well as military terms. The Americans objected, as they had previously, on the ground that the Long Terms did not provide for unconditional surrender.  

On the same day, the British Defense Committee cabled its views to the CCS. Unconditional surrender, the British believed, had political and economic, as well as military, connotations. The armistice terms should therefore be comprehensive and inclusive. They recommended that General Eisenhower be authorized to accept a general surrender, but urged that the Long Terms be used as the surrender instrument. Considering it rather unlikely for the Italians to approach General Eisenhower directly, they anticipated as more probable an Italian bid for peace through the Vatican or some neutral state. The proposal to secure an initial surrender on the basis of military terms, this to be followed by agreement to economic and political terms, struck the British as faulty. What if the Italian Government refused to sign at the second stage? Precise terms were needed, and civil as well as military conditions would have to be included. And toward that end, the British planned in the near future to submit to the U.S. Government a comprehensive draft of terms in the expectation that the two Allied governments would reach agreement in plenty of time for AFHQ to conduct the actual negotiations.  

[N14-56 Min, 3rd Mtg CCS, 29 Jul 43, ABC 381 Italy-Arm-Surr (5-9-43) Sec I-A, item 6. {14-57:}Telg 4995, Foreign Minister Eden to Viscount Halifax (repeated to British Resident Minister, Algiers), 29 Jul 43; Telg 387, Churchill to Roosevelt, 29 Jul 43, both in OPD Misc Exec 2, item 5; Telg 4157, Churchill to Eisenhower. 29 Jul 43, Capitulation of Italy, pp. 43-44; Cf. Churchill, Closing the Ring, pp. 60-61.] 

At this juncture President Roosevelt, though concurring m the British view that the precise armistice terms should not be broadcast, urged that General Eisenhower’s recommended draft of surrender articles be accepted. [N14-58] He seemed mainly impressed by Eisenhower’s argument that great military gains would accrue at little cost if a simple set of terms of surrender could be used to secure the rapid elimination of Italy from the war. Thus, although he had publicly proclaimed his adherence to unconditional surrender, and although he had left the American members of the CCS with the impression that he was standing by that formula, he did not mention the phrase in his correspondence with Churchill Furthermore, he recognized that insisting on having Mussolini turned over as a war criminal might prejudice the primary objective of getting Italy quickly out of the war, and he did not recommend a modification of Eisenhower’s draft on this point.

 As Mr. Roosevelt explained to the press, he did not care with whom he dealt in Italy so long as that person-King, prime minister, or a mayor-was not a member of the Fascist government; so long as he could get the Italian troops to lay down their arms; and so long as he could prevent anarchy. At the same time, the President warned neutral nations against sheltering Axis war criminals.

[N14-58 The President stipulated one slight change dealing with the withdrawal of the German forces on the Italian mainland. Telg 330, Roosevelt to Churchill, 29 Jul 43, ABC 381 Italy-ArmSurr (5-9-43), Sec I-A.]

 Meanwhile, the British and American Governments had approved an emasculated version of Eisenhower’s draft message to be broadcast to the Italian people. References to the Atlantic Charter and to peace conditions were dropped. The return to Italy of Italian prisoners captured in Tunisia and Sicily was promised if all Allied prisoners held by the Italians were repatriated. On 29 July, therefore, AFHQ began to transmit the following broadcast to Italy: We commend the Italian people and the House of Savoy on ridding themselves of Mussolini, the man who involved them in war as the tool of Hitler, and brought them to the verge of disaster. The greatest obstacle which divided the Italian people from the United Nations has been removed by the Italians themselves. The only remaining obstacle on the road to peace is the German aggressor who is still on Italian soil.

 You want peace. You can have peace immediately, and peace under the honorable conditions which our governments have already offered you. We are coming to you as liberators. Your part is to cease immediately any assistance to the German military forces in your country. If you do this, we will rid you of the Germans and deliver you from the horrors of war. As you have already seen in Sicily, our occupation will be mild and beneficent. Your men will return to their normal life, and to their productive avocations and, provided all British and Allied prisoners now in your hands are restored safely to us, and not taken away to Germany, the hundreds of thousands of Italian prisoners captured by us in Tunisia and Sicily, will return to the countless Italian homes who long for them. The ancient liberties and traditions of your country will be restored.

 [N14-61 The revision and clearance with the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the broadcast to Italy can be traced in: Telg 327, Roosevelt to Churchill, 27 Jul 43,]

 The day this broadcast hit Italy, 29 July, Hitler was directing the new divisions for Rommel’s Army Group B to make their way across the borders into Italy through use of force if necessary. Roatta, chief of the Italian Army, was drafting instructions to commanders in northern Italy to mine the railways against German incursion. Guariglia, the new Foreign Minister, had just returned to Rome where rumors were current of an impending German descent upon the capital in force. In Sicily, where the U.S. Seventh and British Eighth Armies were pressing forward vigorously all along the line, Italian resistance had virtually collapsed. Throughout Italy the population expected Badoglio to bring about an end to the war. Though the Badoglio government beamed Eisenhower’s broadcast from publication, the message in mimeographed form quickly appeared on the streets of the principal cities, where it became the chief topic of discussion in street cars and cafes. According to one competent observer, the Allied broadcast was the straw that broke the camel’s back. 

As Churchill and Roosevelt clearly wished, the psychological warfare beamed to Italy from the Allied headquarters in Algiers was sharply differentiated from the problem of agreeing on suitable articles of capitulation. There was a difficult problem regarding armistice terms, General Marshall telegraphed General Eisenhower on the 28th, because the attitude of the British Government was that political and economic conditions were involved as well as strictly military stipulations. Meeting on 30 July, the British War Cabinet agreed to accept Eisenhower’s draft conditions for Italian capitulation, subject to several amendments.

[N14-Italy, pp. 20-21, 31, 46. The Italian text as received in Italy is printed in: Ministero degfiafjari Esteri, Il contributo itafiano nella Guerra contro fa Germania (Rome: Istituto Poligrafico Dello Stato, 1946), p. 1. See also Telg 324, Roosevelt to Churchill, 25 Jul 43, and Telg Roosevelt to Eisenhower, 28 Jul 43, both in OPD -00.6 Security (OCS Papers).]

 The British wished to omit all references to German forces and to add a stipulation that the Italians must do their best to deny to the Germans facilities useful to the Allies. They proposed to augment Eisenhower’s power by enabling him to order the Italian Government to take such administrative or other action as he might require-this in addition to his authority to establish military government. They wanted greater clarity in spelling out the power to prescribe demobilization, disarmament, and demilitarization. They wanted provision made for the surrender of Italian war criminals, and for the disposition of Italian merchant shipping.

 With these changes, the cabinet was willing to authorize Eisenhower’s terms as an emergency arrangement-if the Italians suddenly sued for peace and if military developments required immediate acceptance. If it turned out that the Allies had time to negotiate through diplomatic channels, the British desired the Americans to give careful consideration to the formal set of articles-the Long Terms-proposed earlier by the British.

 On the following day, the last day of July, the President and Prime Minister approved the short military terms. Nothing was to be said about war criminals, for Roosevelt believed that problem might better be taken up later. Churchill suggested two changes of wording for the sake of precision; emphasized his government’s agreement to the short terms only to meet an emergency situation; and revealed that London found puzzling Washington’s lack of reference to the original British terms, a comprehensive and more carefully worded version of the armistice terms. 

On the same day Churchill suggested to Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden that concluding an armistice with Italy in two stages-initially the short military terms, later the signature of the long terms might be a sound procedure. Even in the event of a diplomatic approach, Churchill felt, the military conditions might serve very well, for the short terms would be more easily understood by an Italian envoy. The British Foreign Office was not particularly receptive to Churchill’s thought. Eden preferred unconditional surrender. 

General Eisenhower now had, by the end of July, a draft of armistice terms ready for presentation to Badoglio if the latter should seek to get out of the war, as he was expected to do. But it was still not clear between London and Washington what should happen to the Italian Government after acceptance of the short terms. President Roosevelt studied the British draft of comprehensive terms, but he did not wish to use it. He wired this view to Churchill: that in the future he preferred to let Eisenhower act to meet situations as they might arise. A copy of this message was given to the American Joint Chiefs and to the British Joint Staff Mission for their guidance. At the same time, in deference to Churchill’s inquiries, President Roosevelt directed the Joint Chiefs to re-examine the British draft of the Long Terms. 

[N14-64 Telg, Roosevelt to Churchill, 31 Jul 43, ABC 381 Italy-Arm-Surr (5-9-43), sec. I-A, (copy to Eisenhower in Telg 3824, Marshall to Eisenhower, 31 Jul 43, Capitulation of Italy, pp. 59-60); Telg, Churchill to Roosevelt, as given in Telg 4222, Devers to Eisenhower, 31 Jul 43, Capitulation of Italy, pp. 66-67.]


On 3 August, the Joint Chiefs again studied the Long Terms, the British proposal which had first been considered in the Combined Chiefs of Staff meeting of 16 June. The Joint Chiefs submitted four objections to the British proposal: there was no statement or reference to unconditional surrender; it referred to the “Supreme Command of the United Nations,” a position which did not exist; the document did not deal with German troops in Italy; and it provided for implementation by a Control Commission under the authority of the United Nations, rather than by Eisenhower under the authority of the United States and British Governments through the Combined Chiefs of Staff. The Joint Chiefs expressed agreement with President Roosevelt’s view that Eisenhower be permitted to act to meet situations as they arose, using the terms already furnished him as he saw fit. They conceded that the British proposal, with appropriate amendments to meet U.S. objections, might serve a useful purpose for later phases of the Italian situation, since it did embrace in a single document many well-considered military, political, and economic conditions to be imposed on Italy.

[N14-66 Memorandum for General Marshall, Admiral King, and General Arnold, 2 Aug 43, sub: Surrender Terms, OPD Exec 2, item 5, tab 25 (copy in OPD 300.6 Security (OCS Papers).] 

The British Government now reintroduced its draft of the Long Terms, with changes of wording to meet the American objections, particularly in regard to unconditional surrender. At its fourth meeting, the Combined Civil Affairs Committee again considered terms for Italian surrender. The British members presented the British War Cabinet’s point of view: a comprehensive and all-inclusive statement of terms would be necessary in addition to the terms which General Eisenhower already possessed and they submitted the revised and amended British draft of the Long Terms for this purpose. The committee agreed that additional terms dealing with political and economic matters would be necessary at a later date. The American members pointed out that the short terms did not include any saving clause empowering General Eisenhower to impose the political as well as military conditions. The committee then recommended the inclusion of such a saving clause. No other decision was made. 

[N14-67 JCS Memo for President, 3 Aug 43, sub:Draft Instrument of Surrender of Italy, ABC 38 I Italy-Arm-Surr (5-9-43), sec. I-A. 68 Memo for rcd, Surrender Terms for Italy, n.d., Document A, n.d., ABC 381 Italy-Arm-Surr (5-9-43), sec. I-A. Document A is the revised version of CCS 258 with Article 30 filled out, and with the formula for unconditional surrender incorporated in the preamble. The Civil Affairs Division of the War Department and the Strategy and Policy Group of OPD made the suggestions for the rewording.]

On 6 August, the Combined Chiefs accepted the committee’s suggestion for a saving clause, and instructed General Eisenhower that if he employed the draft terms which he already had, he should make it clear that they were purely military and that other conditions, political, economic, and financial, would follow. 

Mussolini’s downfall, therefore, marked no turning point in Allied strategy. It merely hastened the decision to invade the Italian mainland, but it in no sense brought about the decision itself. At American insistence, operations in the Mediterranean beyond Sicily were to be limited-subordinate to the main effort to be launched later in northwest Europe. With his resources consequently curtailed, General Eisenhower was to find that the success or failure in the campaign after Sicily would depend not on the power marshalled in support of the invasion but rather on negotiations to eliminate Italy as a belligerent. The blow at the Italian mainland, originally conceived as a means of forcing the Italians to surrender, was to become contingent on first eliminating Italy from the war as the result of military diplomacy.

Rome: Open City

During the last few days of July, while working out the terms of military diplomacy to induce Italy to quit the war, while broadcasting to the Italian people a program of psychological warfare, and while expecting word from the Badoglio government on the prospect of peace, General Eisenhower had suspended heavy air raids on Italian cities. The lull coincidentally served another purpose. The Mediterranean Allied air forces had been operating at close to full capacity for a long time, and air commanders wished to give their crews a rest. 

On the first day of August, after conferring with Tedder, Eisenhower decided to resume air bombardments, particularly in the Naples area and on the railroad marshaling yards around Rome. Before doing so, he broadcast his intention a day earlier. Another Algiers radio broadcast on 2 August warned the Italian people of dire consequences if the Badoglio government made no move to end the war.

 The Allied air forces then bombed the Italian mainland. U.S. Flying Fortresses attacked Naples twice, night-flying British Wellingtons raided Naples three times during the first week of August. An operation planned against the Rome marshaling yards for 3 August was canceled at the last minute because AFHQ received word from the Combined Chiefs that the Italian Government had requested a statement of conditions necessary to recognize Rome as an open city.

 The Italian attempt to gain for Rome the status of an open city was the first diplomatic approach received by the Allies. The Initiative apparently had come from the Holy See, for on 31 July the Vatican received in response to its request, a written statement from the Italian Government that the decision had been made to declare Rome an open city. Transmitting this information, the Apostolic Delegate in Washington informed Sumner Welles, Under Secretary of State, on 2 August that the Papal Secretary of State wished to ascertain what conditions the Allies deemed necessary for regarding the Italian capital in this light. The State Department informed the British Government and General Marshall, and the latter advised Eisenhower, suggesting that air bombardment of Rome be halted for the moment. It was then that General Eisenhower canceled the bombardment planned for 3 August. Next day Eisenhower learned that he was free to attack airfields near Rome being used by Italians and Germans, but bad flying weather around the Italian capital caused him to cancel the mission.

 [N14-71 Telg W-6503, Eisenhower to Marshall, 4 Aug 43, and Telg 4115, Marshall to Eisenhower, 3 Aug 43, both in Smith Papers, box 4. See also Butcher, My Three Years With Eisenhower, pp. 382-83. Telgs W-6406 and W-6509, Eisenhower to Marshall, 3 and 4 Aug 43, and British Resident Minister in Algiers to Churchill, 4 Aug 43, Smith Papers, box 4; New York Times, August 3, 1943, p. I.]

[N14-73 Coles, USAAF Hist Study 37, pp. 163-64; Telgs W-6406 and W-6509, Eisenhower to Marshall, 3 and 4 Aug 43, and Telg W-6516/7711, AFHQto AGWAR, 4 Aug 43, all in OPD Exec 2, item 6; see also, Butcher, My Three Years With Eisenhower, pp. 378-79.] 

The War Department, meanwhile, on 2 August had submitted to the President and to the State Department a list of seven conditions considered essential for recognizing Rome as an open city. Churchill and his War Cabinet vigorously opposed such recognition. Apprehensive lest such a move be taken by the Allied public as an abandonment of the principle of unconditional surrender and as a willingness to make a patched-up peace with the Badoglio regime, Churchill also suspected that the Italian Government might be taking the first step toward trying to secure recognition of all of Italy as a neutral area so that the government could withdraw painlessly from the war. Believing that Allied troops would be in Rome within a few months, Churchill saw the city’s communication and airfield systems as a requirement for further advance up the Italian peninsula. 

[N14-74 Ltr 492/42, Archbishop Cicognani to Sumner Welles, 2 Aug 43, OPD Exec 2, item 6; Memo, Colonel Hammond for President, White 22, 2 Aug 43, OPD Exec 2, item 5; Memo, Sumner Welles for Marshall, 2 Aug 43, inclosing request from Apostolic Delegate; Memo, Marshall for Handy, 2 Aug 43, sub: Rome an Open City; Telg, Marshall to Eisenhower, FAN 181, 2 Aug 43; Memo, Colonel Hammond for President, White 25, 2 Aug 43; Memo, Col Hammond for Marshall, 3 Aug 43, all found in OPD 300.6 Security (OCS Papers)]

 Though agreeing with the Prime Minister’s objections, the JCS recommended that the President avoid making a direct denial to the Holy See’s request. In accordance with the suggestion, Mr. Sumner Welles on 5 August told the Apostolic Delegate that the matter was receiving the fullest consideration by the highest American authorities. He concluded: “I am instructed by the President to state that, in accordance with the accepted principles of international law and of pertinent international agreements, there is nothing to prevent the Italian Government from undertaking unilaterally to declare Rome an open city.”

[N14-7676 Memo, JCS for President, 5 Aug 43, and for General Hull, 19 Aug 43, both in OPD Exec 2, item 6; Telgs, Eisenhower to Marshall and Marshall to Eisenhower, Smith Papers, box 4.]

 The first diplomatic move made by Italy toward the Allies, tentative and tangential though it was, thus received an ad hoc reception that was rather cold. Without further communication, the Italian Government on 4 August formally declared Rome an open city. 

[N14-7r. Msg 403, Churchill to Roosevelt, 4 Aug 43, OPD Exec 2, item 6; Telg 401, Churchill to Roosevelt, 3 Aug 43, and Telg 402, Churchill to Roosevelt, 4 Aug 43, OPD 300.6 Security (OCS Papers). There were some reports of this plan in the press. See Associated Press dispatch of July 31, 1943, Berne, Switzerland, in New York Times, August 1, 1943, and article by Edwin L. James, p. E-3.]

 At first the CCS instructed Eisenhower to make no further air attacks against the Italian capital until its status could be clarified. But on the following day, 15 August, the CCS decided that the Allies should not commit themselves on the matter, and they thereby left Eisenhower free to bomb such military objectives in the Rome area as he judged necessary.

 [N14-77 CCS-G06, 14 Aug 43, Rome an Open City; Min, 108th Mtg CCS. 15 Aug 43, item II; Telg,CCS to Eisenhower, FAN 191, 14 Aug 43, and Telg, CCS to Eisenhower, FAN 194, 15 Aug 43,OPD Exec Il, item 6; Te1g 5309 Marshall to Eisenhower, 14 Aug 43. and Telg 1682, AFHQto KKAD, Quebec, 15 Aug 43, both in Smith-Papers, box 4.]

SOURCE: Sicily and the Surrender of Italy: BY; Lieutenant Colonel Albert Nutter Garland & Howard McGaw Smyth (United States Army Center of Military History)

World War Two: Sicily (2-15) Dissolution of the Rome-Berlin Axis-Contacting the Allies

World War Two: Sicily (2-13) Fellre Conference – Drive on Palermo

World War Two: Saipan (2-12) Victory-Island Secure 9 July 1944

Drive to Tanapag 1-2 July : With Death Valley cleared, Holland Smith was at last in a position to push his forces rapidly ahead and seal off the Japanese remaining in the northern neck of Saipan. On 1 July he established the next corps objective at a line (O-7) that cut across the base of this neck in an arc, at a distance from about 1,000 yards on the right to 6,000 yards on the left from the respective flanks of the corps front. Between line O-7 and the corps front, as of 1 July, lay the hill mass (Hills 221 and 112 meters) on which the Japanese had chosen to anchor their last defensive position across the island. The attack was to be made with the three divisions abreast in the same order as before, the main effort again to be in the center, in the zone of the 27th Division.

In the earlier phases of the fighting on Saipan, General Holland Smith had noted a tendency on the part of his infantry commanders to neglect the abundant artillery support available to them, and to rely too heavily on their own weapons. Too frequently, he believed, the front-line troops had failed to call for massed artillery fires before jumping off in attack. Moreover, even when artillery concentrations had been properly called for, they were often not followed promptly by tanks and infantry, and thus the whole effect of the artillery preparation was wasted. To correct this situation the corps commander specifically ordered: Massed artillery fires will be employed to support infantry attacks whenever practicable. Infantry will closely follow artillery concentrations and attack ruthlessly when the artillery lifts. Absence of tanks is no excuse for failure of infantry to press home the attack.

Even before the order calling for a quick thrust to Tanapag had been issued, the corps line had been pushed forward and straightened in preparation for the drive. In the center the 27th Division, on 1 July, registered a gain of about 400 yards on the right and 600 on the left against moderate opposition. On the right, the 4th Marine Division maintained its positions and sent patrols as far out as 1,500 yards in front of its line without establishing contact with the enemy.6 It was clear that the American troops called Hill 221 “Radar Hill.” On the American map, Hill 112 was located just southeast of Tarahoho.

Japanese were retreating to the north. Early on 1 July members of the 27th Division had seen a small body of Japanese lugging ammunition up one of the roads that led out of Death Valley. All morning long, a 4th Marine Division observation post atop Hill 700 reported, the Japanese had been retreating in groups of three or four, carrying their packs and equipment with them.

While these events were taking place on the right and in the center of the line, the 2nd Marine Division gained more yardage than on any other day since the landing. The strong line of resistance through Mount Tapotchau had been smashed. Over terrain that was far better suited to the employment of tanks than the cliffs and defiles of Tapotchau, the 8th Marines advanced 800 yards. On its left, the 6th Marines kept pace in spite of having to overcome several pockets of heavy resistance, and on the extreme left the 2nd Marines continued to patrol south of Garapan in preparation for the long-awaited push into the city itself, which was scheduled for 2 July.

On 2 July, the 4th Marine Division, which had spent most of its time during the past days resting and patrolling, plunged ahead for about 1,500 yards in its zone. Resistance was so light that the assault battalion of the 24th Marines suffered only one man wounded during the day. On the 4th Division’s immediate left, the 3rd Battalion, 165th Infantry, which had now been returned to the control of its parent division, maintained the same pace.

By 1400 Major Foery’s men had pushed ahead about 1,700 yards,10 leaving behind at about the same distance to their left rear the 3rd Battalion, 105th Infantry. This unit was held back by intense rifle and machine gun fire, leaving a deep re-entrant between the 3rd Battalion, 165th, on its right and the 106th Infantry on its left. The latter had succeeded in advancing about 1,000 yards after clearing out five enemy tanks emplaced as pillboxes. To close the gap, General Griner late in the afternoon ordered the 1st Battalion, 105th Infantry, which had been in regimental reserve, to make a wide end run around the regiment’s left flank, bypass the enemy strongpoint that was holding up the 3rd Battalion, 105th, and establish contact with the left flank of the 3rd Battalion, 165th. This the 1st Battalion did by 1800.

In the zone of the 2nd Marine Division, the two regiments on the right made good progress (800-1,200 yards) during the day in spite of rough terrain and the fact that the 8th Marines was temporarily disorganized when friendly artillery fire fell into its lines causing forty-five casualties. On the division left flank the 2nd Marines, after its prolonged wait before Garapan, was at last ordered to enter the city. As it did so, the devastating effect of the many days of artillery bombardment and naval shelling was revealed on all sides. Garapan was little more than a mass of rubble, and though there was some hostile rifle fire, the 2nd Marines quickly occupied the center of the town with the help of tanks and armored amphibians. To the immediate east the Japanese, entrenched on a hill overlooking the city, caused considerable trouble, but by nightfall enemy resistance had subsided, and the regiment dug in about 700 yards from its morning line of departure.

Under the mounting pressure of the American attack, the Japanese on the night of 2 July once more fell back to new positions. Six days earlier General Saito had decided to make his last stand along a line running from north of Garapan through Radar Hill and Hill 112 (meters) on to the coast. Now those troops able to do so were to retire to the new line. It was high time. Many of them had been so pressed for provisions that they were eating field grass and tree bark.

3-4 July

The axis of the drive to Tanapag Harbor now took a more northwesterly direction, with the main effort still in the center in the zone of the 27th Division. The Japanese were retreating rapidly and in a piecemeal manner. Saito’s plans for an orderly withdrawal to the north were obviously breaking down in the face of the gathering momentum of the attacking troops.

On the morning of 3 July the attack on the right got off to a slow start as a result of confusion shared by the 4th Marine Division and the 1st Battalion, 165th, as to the intentions of each. The Army unit was prepared to jump off on schedule at 0800, but held back because an air strike in front of the Marine division’s lines prohibited forward movement. After the strike the soldiers continued to hold, waiting for the marines to go forward. The latter made no move on the false assumption that the 1st Battalion, 165th, was waiting for the unit on its left to come abreast. This misunderstanding continued until 1100, when the Marine division and the Army battalion jumped off together.

The 4th Marine Division attacked in columns of battalions, with the 3rd Battalion, 23rd Marines, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines, and 1st Battalion, 24th Marines, in the assault from right to left. After a few hours of fairly unimpeded movement, the battalion on the right was pinned down by heavy machine gun, mortar, and rifle fire from well-concealed positions in caves and wooded recesses on Hill 721 and on a nose abutting south from it that the marines were later to dub “Fourth of July Hill.” Several attempts were made to penetrate the position by both frontal assault and envelopment, but each time the troops were so badly shot up that they were forced to retire. The approaches were heavily mined, and neither tanks nor self-propelled mounts could come in close. Finally, at 1715, after three hours of continuous fighting, the battalion pulled back 300 yards to safe positions and let the artillery take over. All night long howitzers of the 14th Marines pounded the strongpoint and kept it neutralized.

Daylight of 4 July revealed that the Japanese had either withdrawn during the night or been eliminated by the intense artillery fire, and by 1135 both Fourth of July Hill and Hill 721 were in American hands. Within another hour a battalion of the 23rd Marines had moved 800 yards to the northeast and had taken Hill 767 without opposition.18 Meanwhile, the other two regiments of the 4th Marine Division had kept abreast. The 25th tied in with the 23rd around Hill 767 on the night of 4 July, by which time most of the 24th Marines had been relieved by the 165th Infantry.

In the zone of the 27th Division, the 3rd Battalion of the 165th kept abreast of the marines on 3 July without meeting more than sporadic fire from the Japanese. To its left the 1st Battalion, 105th, moved even faster against negligible opposition and by 1410 reached its objective for the day—the high ground 2,000 yards east of Tanapag Harbor overlooking the plains of Tanapag.

The 106th Infantry on the division left jumped off on schedule and also reached the high ground north of Tanapag by late afternoon. Earlier in the morning the 1st Battalion had found a pocket of Japanese close to the division boundary line, but these men were quickly silenced by tanks and self-propelled mounts. Thereafter opposition was light. Meanwhile, to the rear of the front line the 3rd Battalion was mopping up a bypassed enemy position in the cliffs north of Tapotchau. While one company of the 8th Marines tried to get at the Japanese-infested caves from above, Company K, 106th, contained the enemy from the plain below. After this maneuver failed to produce results, artillery was called upon to lay down a concentration. This too accomplished nothing, and at nightfall the strongpoint was still in enemy hands.

In the early morning hours of 4 July a large group of Japanese, trying to escape to the north to join General Saito, stumbled into the command post of the 165th Infantry. After a brisk fire fight, twenty-seven of the enemy were killed including a number of officers, one of whom proved to be Colonel Ogawa, commanding officer of the 136th Infantry Regiment.

On his body Ogawa carried Saito’s withdrawal order of 2 July. Ogawa himself had ordered the remnants of his own regiment, now bypassed by the Americans, to commence their withdrawal at 2200 on the night of the 3rd. When he was killed, Ogawa was bound for his new command post, which he hoped to locate on a cliff about 500 meters east of Hill 221.

Ogawa was not merely in command of a decimated regiment, but of the entire Japanese left and thus one of the few key men remaining among the Japanese defenders. His death was a heavy blow to the already stunned and reeling enemy, but the circumstances of his death indicate that an even greater misfortune had befallen the Japanese. It is more than likely that many if not most of the units under Ogawa’s command behind the American lines never reached their assigned positions to the north. Thus the Japanese left flank, toward which the main drive of the American forces was now oriented, lay weakened, exposed, and almost leaderless.

The Fourth of July was to see the culmination of the 27th Division’s thrust to Tanapag Plain. On the right the 1st Battalion, 165th, jumped off at 0730 on schedule and, meeting almost no opposition, quickly pushed forward to the last low ridge line overlooking the Flores Point seaplane base. A heavy downpour, the first daylight rainfall of any severity since the landing on Saipan, mired the tanks, but it made little difference since there were no targets at which they could fire. The rest of the regiment failed to keep pace so, from 1030 until midafternoon when new orders were issued changing the direction of the attack, the men of the 1st Battalion rested atop the ridge and took pot shots at the Japanese milling in the coastal valley below.

In the center of the division line, the 1st Battalion, 105th, made rapid progress to a position just beyond the same ridge line, where it found a strongpoint manned by about three hundred enemy soldiers, with some machine guns. A called artillery barrage scattered the Japanese, and by 1600 most of the battalion had succeeded in reaching the beach. On the left, the two assault battalions of the 106th had an easier time in spite of the heavy undergrowth through which they had to push. By 1430 they made their way into the Flores Point seaplane base, where they were joined in mopping-up operations by the 8th Marines, To their rear the 3rd Battalion, 106th, spent most of the day finishing off the troublesome caves that had occupied it on the 3rd.

First, flame thrower teams went forward to destroy the ring of enemy machine gun positions that had been protecting the largest cave. Next, a public address system was brought up and interpreters broadcast pleas to the main body of Japanese to surrender. When this failed, the infantry resumed the attack and reduced the position. It yielded one wounded Japanese and fifty dead plus an unknown number sealed up in the smaller caves adjacent to the main position. It was the last Japanese strongpoint remaining on the slopes below Tapotchau.

In the zone of the 2nd Marine Division, by nightfall of 3 July the 6th Marines was still held up on the ridge line about 1,000 yards from the ocean shore, but the 2nd Marines had finished mopping up Garapan and had pocketed the small enemy garrison remaining on the tip of Mutcho Point. Next day, both regiments reached the shore line.

During most of the day the Japanese, under relentless pressure from the attackers, had been retreating steadily toward Saito’s last headquarters, the rallying point for the final desperate counterattack that would come two days later. The Japanese commander had set up his command post in the valley running south from the village of Makunsha—appropriately enough labeled “Paradise Valley” by the Americans and “Hell Valley” by the Japanese. A captured Japanese officer was later to describe in moving terms the miserable situation in which Saito and his staff found themselves: This area is generally called the Valley of Hell and we felt that this was an unpleasant hint and suggestion concerning our future. The intelligence which managed to reach me at this last place was all depressing. On 4 July, an enemy unit appeared on the other side of the valley and fired at us with heavy automatic weapons. At that time I felt we were entirely surrounded and had lost all hope.

General Saito was feeling very poorly because for several days he had neither eaten nor slept well and was overstrained. He was wearing a long beard and was a pitiful sight. That morning that very valley received intense bombardment (I don’t know whether it was naval gunfire or pursuing fire from artillery, but it was the second most intense bombardment I had been in). It was so fierce that I thought maybe the cave where the headquarters was would be buried. At this time the staff and Lieutenant Gen Saito received shrapnel wounds. I felt that the final hour was drawing near.

Change of Direction

As it became apparent that the drive to Tanapag Harbor could be successfully concluded on the 4th, General Holland Smith prepared plans for the last phase of the Saipan campaign. The direction of the drive would change to the northeast—toward Marpi Point and the remaining Japanese airfield, which bore the same name. Most of the 2nd Marine Division, which had by now been pinched out, was assigned to corps reserve. The final assault was to be conducted with the 4th Marine Division on the right, 27th Infantry Division on the left. To allow time for the necessary shifts, jump-off hour was set at noon, 5 July. General Griner was ordered to relieve the two left battalions of the 4th Marine Division. The division boundary line would now cut down the northern end of the island slightly west of the middle. Griner decided to commit the 165th Infantry on the right, the 105th on the left, the 106th going into reserve.

Late in the afternoon he ordered the 2nd and 3rd Battalions, 165th, to relieve the marines in that portion of the line now assigned to the Army division. In effecting this relief, contact with the 1st Battalion, 165th, on the regimental left was lost, so Griner ordered Colonel Bradt’s 3rd Battalion, 105th, to fill the gap. Unfortunately, Bradt’s orders were garbled in transmission and he moved to the left rather than to the right of the 1st Battalion, 165th. By this time night had fallen, and before the error could be rectified almost a hundred Japanese were able to infiltrate through the gap and harass the front-line troops throughout the night. The attacks were sporadic, however, and by morning the gap had been filled, and the enemy repulsed or destroyed.

5 July 4th Marine Division

On the right half of the corps line, General Schmidt placed the 25th Marines on the right and the 24th on the left, and ordered the 23rd to clean up the area between the designated line of departure and the division’s night positions before the division jumped off. The division launched its drive about 1330, an hour and a half late. The delay was largely because the 25th Marines, after being relieved by Army units in midmorning, had to move laterally about 2,500 yards to take position on the right of the line. Once they jumped off, the marines drove forward against very little resistance and by 1630 reached their objective for the day, the O-8a line, which was about 1,200 yards from the line of departure.

The rapid and almost uncontested progress was indicative of the total collapse of General Saito’s plans for establishing a final defense line across the entire northern neck of Saipan. The 4th Marine Division had overrun the whole left flank of the proposed line. The 136th Infantry Regiment should have contested this ground, but whatever remained of that unit was scattered and isolated behind the American lines, mostly in the area around Radar Hill. With the collapse of the enemy left, all that remained under Saito’s control was the Navy sector and a thin slice of the 135th Infantry’s area. These were in the zone of the 27th Division. Even there, the defense was disorganized and confused.

Japanese officers captured on the 5th revealed that their “front line units were mixed up, the communications were badly disorganized, . . . there was little or no organized resistance at the present time, no organized supply plan and very little artillery, if any, remaining.” Yet to the Japanese military mind, disorganization, lack of supplies, and lack of communications was no excuse for an abatement of effort. What the enemy lacked in the ordinary sinews of war he made up in determination. As the 27th Division began to probe into Saito’s last shattered defense line, the degree of that determination was made manifest.

27th Division

The newly designated line of departure for the 27th Division ran east from the beach just north of the village of Tanapag to a point just south of Hill 767. Facing this line from right to left were the 2nd Battalion, 165th Infantry, 3rd Battalion, 165th, 3rd Battalion, 105th, and 2nd Battalion, 105th. The terrain over which the division was to move was of two kinds. On the left in the zone of action of the 105th Infantry, the ground was a low, slightly rolling, coastal plain. The most important landmark on the plain was a large coconut grove about 600 yards east of Tanapag village.

The main coastal road ran along the beach and was paralleled by a small cane railroad. Just above Tanapag, at Road Junction 2, the coastal road was joined by a cross-island highway. Just to the east of the coconut grove, the highway made a U-shaped turn and from the north leg of the U, at Road Junction 64, another, smaller, road branched off, wound in a southeasterly direction through a canyon fifty to sixty feet deep, and came out into the hills below Hill 721, one of the two high points on the ridge that rose up from the plain in the center of the island.

The canyon, winding uncertainly between steep, cave-studded cliffs on either side, was soon to be called “Harakiri Gulch” by the men of the 27th. The floor of the gulch, never more than fifty yards wide, was covered with sparse undergrowth dotted with trees. In length, it ran about 400 yards. Lying athwart the main line of advance, the canyon was an ideal defensive position. From the west mouth of the gulch, running all way to the sea was a deep dry gully that also provided ideal cover for enemy movement.

K Company of the 165th Infantry drew first blood in the two-day fight for Harakiri Gulch. Soon after the jump-off, an advance patrol climbed down the south face of the canyon but received such inhospitable treatment from the Japanese below that the men climbed right back up again, dragging their wounded with them. Shortly thereafter two tanks started down into the gulch via the road to the west. Within a few minutes both were disabled by Japanese who darted out from the ditches and placed mines on them. Three more tanks from the same platoon appeared over the edge of the precipice in an attempt to rescue those below. After an hour and a half of maneuvering and firing, one of the stricken vehicles was recovered; the other had to be abandoned. For the rest of the afternoon Company K made repeated stabs into the gulch, but each failed. Self-propelled mounts were sent down the road point-blank fire from their 75-mm. and 105-mm. howitzers, but the infantrymen who followed found the going still too rough, and Captain Betts withdrew the company from the gulch and called for artillery. Along the southern rim the entire 3rd Battalion, 165th, dug in for the night, tying in on the right with the 2nd Battalion, 165th, which had seen no significant action during the day.

On the left of the 3rd Battalion, 165th, Company L of the 105th was stopped in its tracks by fire from the opposite side of Harakiri Gulch and made no effort to force an entry into the canyon. To its left Company K, 105th, tried to work its way into the coconut grove, but fire from the uplands on the right interdicted the area, mortally wounding Captain Bouchard. The new company commander, 1st Lieutenant Roger P. Peyre, then withdrew south of the grove. The 2nd Battalion, 105th, had spent the day working its way slowly along the shore line and the coastal plain north of Tanapag. It had mopped up a series of small pillboxes, most of them abandoned, and had discovered a live mine field directly in the path of its advance. By the end of the day it had not quite reached its scheduled line of departure, although the men had moved almost 800 yards through ground not previously reconnoitered.

6 July 4th Marine Division

Holland Smith’s orders for 6 July called for the 27th Division to jump off at 0700 in an effort to bring its line abreast of the marines on the right by 0900. Assuming this would be accomplished on time, the 4th Marine Division was to launch its attack at 0900, and the two divisions would continue to move abreast in a northeasterly direction toward the tip of the island, sweeping the remaining Japanese before them. An hour or two after the 27th Division had jumped off it became apparent to the corps commander that it was going to be impossible for it to keep pace with the marines. Consequently, at 0900 General Smith changed his plans and assigned new missions. The 27th Division was to reorient the direction of its attack from northeast to north, thus assuming responsibility for about 2,600 yards of coastal strip from just above Tanapag to just above Makunsha, as well as for the first high ground immediately inland from the beaches, Harakiri Gulch, and Paradise Valley. The entire remainder of the island northeast of this sector was to be taken over by the 4th Marine Division. Once the right flank of the Army division reached its objective on the west coast just above Makunsha, it would be pinched out.

To take over his newly expanded front, General Schmidt put all three of his Marine regiments into the line—25th, 24th, and 23rd Marines from right to left. Accompanied by thirteen tanks, the 25th Marines made fairly rapid progress north along the east coast of the island, mopping up isolated Japanese troops and civilians in the many caves and cliffs that bordered the ocean. In this work the 25th was assisted by naval vessels, whose flat trajectory fire was ideally suited to the coastal targets. By midafternoon Mount Petosukara was occupied, and the two assault battalions dug in for the night on either side of that elevation. Just before dark a group of from seven to eight hundred civilians came into the lines of the 25th and surrendered. Meanwhile, to the rear, the reserve battalion in mopping up a bypassed hill flushed a sizable covey of Japanese soldiers and killed sixty-one in a brief but lively fire fight.

In the division center, the 24th Marines registered a day’s gain of 1,400 to 1,800 yards against sporadic resistance. On the left, the 23rd Marines encountered considerably more difficulty. Having been in reserve in the morning when it received its orders, the unit had to march some 4,300 yards before reaching its line of departure. Jumping off at 1415, it soon came upon the cliff line that rimmed Paradise Valley on the east. Here, the regiment came under enemy fire from caves well concealed by dense underbrush. As the marines pushed down the slopes into the valley, hidden enemy machine guns and knee mortars opened up from the rear. With only an hour of daylight remaining, the regimental commander decided it was impossible to continue the attack, and at 1730 pulled his men back to establish defensive positions for the night on the high ground. There, the 23rd Marines tied in with portions of the 27th Division but was entirely out of contact with the 24th Marines on the right.

The Battle for Tanapag Plain

On the morning of 6 July the 27th Infantry Division was still on the near side of Harakiri Gulch and still short of its line of departure on the plain north of Tanapag village. On the line from right to left were Major Claire’s 2nd Battalion, 165th Infantry, Major Mahoney’s 1st Battalion, 165th, Colonel Bradt’s 3rd Battalion, 105th, and Major Edward McCarthy’s 2nd Battalion, 105th. The plan for the day, as revised by General Smith’s order of 0900, called for the 2nd Battalion, 165th, to push toward the coast above Makunsha by way of Paradise Valley. On its left the 1st Battalion, 165th, and the 3rd Battalion, 105th, were to rout the enemy still entrenched in Harakiri Gulch and then proceed northward. Finally, to the 2nd Battalion, 105th, was given the job of pushing up the coastal plain to a point just south of Makunsha.

On the right the division made no progress in the effort to push through Paradise Valley. Captain William J. Smith, commanding Company F, 165th Infantry, tried to force his way into the valley by the trail that ran along its floor, but the hail of fire that greeted this effort discouraged him and he withdrew his men. After a futile effort to rout the enemy with tanks and self-propelled mounts, the whole battalion fell back to the western base of Hill 767 and dug in for the night. The attack on Harakiri Gulch met with no more success. Jumping off about noon the 1st Battalion, 165th Infantry, attempted, as had the 3rd Battalion the day before, to assault the canyon frontally, moving perpendicularly to its axis. In the course of this effort the men of Company A witnessed an incident that was to give the name to the area. Following an intense ten-minute mortar preparation, the company proceeded slowly into the valley and was greeted by a series of explosions that forced the lead platoon to duck for cover.

When the fireworks had abated about fifteen minutes later, the men investigated a group of straw shacks located on the sides of the gulch in the path of their advance. In each of these they found groups of three or four Japanese soldiers who had committed suicide by pressing hand grenades to their abdomens. Altogether, about sixty of the enemy were discovered to have ended their lives in this fashion. Nevertheless, fire from the gulch below continued intermittently throughout the afternoon, and by evening Major Mahoney’s battalion abandoned all thought of further advance and dug in again on the rim overlooking the gorge.

On the western flank of the gulch, the 3rd Battalion, 105th Infantry, was equally unsuccessful. In this area, most of the burden of combat fell on Captain Robert J. Spaulding’s Company L. During the morning Spaulding made two separate attempts to get across the gulch. He ordered his 1st Platoon, on the right, to crawl down into a small tributary draw that branched off from the main gulch in a southwesterly direction. The platoon was to work down the draw to its mouth and there set up machine guns that could cover enemy positions on the floor of the gulch and fire into the caves on the opposite side. Under cover of this support, Spaulding proposed to send his 2nd Platoon over the near walls of the canyon, across the floor of the gulch, and up the opposite side. He also had at his disposal a skeleton platoon of four light tanks that he intended to send up the gulch along the trail that entered it from the east.

Company L moved off to the attack at 0700. The 1st Platoon crawled up over the ridge and down into the tributary ravine without drawing fire. Moving stealthily in single file along this narrow corridor, the platoon escaped detection and reached the corridor’s mouth. There, the men set up two light machine guns and began firing at the caves in the face of the opposite wall, only to be greeted by return fire from the disabled American tank that had been left in the gulch the day before and was now in the hands of the Japanese. Meanwhile, the four light tanks had arrived, and Spaulding ordered them to work up the trail that ran through the middle of the, gulch.

An infantryman, Private First Class James R. Boyles, volunteered to accompany the buttoned up lead tank to guide it, but he was soon killed and thereafter no direct communication could be maintained between tanks and infantrymen. To add to the confusion, three enemy soldiers then jumped out of the bushes and clapped a magnetic mine onto the side of the third tank in line, disabling it. Eventually the crew from the crippled tank was evacuated, and the tank platoon commander, 2nd Lieutenant Gino Ganio, was able at last to get well up into the gulch and spray the walls on the north side. Nevertheless, by this time (noon) Company L had withdrawn again to the rim of the gorge, and no further effort to breach the canyon was made on the 6th. Meanwhile, Company K, 105th Infantry, commanded by Lieutenant Peyre, was having its own troubles in the area of the coconut grove in the valley below and to the west of the mouth of Harakiri Gulch. Jumping off on schedule at 0700, Peyre’s men moved along a deep gully that circled the south edge of the grove, making use of the cover and concealment it offered.

Once they emerged from the ditch, however, they were taken under fire by Japanese machine guns located near the center of the grove, and the whole company was pinned down. At this juncture a platoon of five light tanks commanded by 1st Lieutenant Willis K. Dorey hove into view and within ten minutes cleared the way for the infantrymen to move into the grove. For about an hour the men of Company K worked their way among the stock piles of enemy supplies that abounded in the area and by 0815 reached the north edge of the grove, facing the open ground beyond the cross-island road.

Once his troops arrived at this objective, Lieutenant Peyre ordered Dorey’s tanks to move along the road until they reached positions from which they could put effective fire on the cliffs to the right front. So long as the tanks were firing the infantrymen were able to move about the grove at will, but whenever the tankers ceased fire the Japanese in the cliffs opened up again. Unfortunately too, at this point, tank-infantry communications failed, and Peyre could neither reach Dorey by radio nor attract his attention with hand signals. Consequently the tank commander merely kept patrolling the road, laying down a blanket of fire on the cliffs, until about 1000 when the tanks ran out of ammunition and had to retire.

Peyre dug in as well as he was able to await the tankers’ return. A hundred yards ahead of him in the open terrain north of the grove was a small knoll on which were located three enemy machine gun positions. To interdict these as well as the remaining guns on the cliffs to his right, Company K’s commander brought his own machine guns to the north edge of the grove and prepared to launch an attack against the knoll.

When the tanks returned at 1030, Lieutenants Peyre and Dorey conferred and laid their plans. The right platoon of Company K would move ahead to capture the knoll under cover of fire from the left platoon. Dorey, with his tanks, would again proceed up the cross-island road, take the trail that led into Harakiri Gulch, and neutralize the enemy fire in the cliffs. The lead platoon jumped off about 1045 and was immediately met by a deadly hail of small arms and machine gun fire that forced the men to take to the earth.

Lieutenant Peyre, seeing his right platoon stalled, ordered his left platoon to try for the rise. Just as these men were venturing out of the coconut grove, the Japanese counterattacked down the cliffs and along the paths that led to a gully just behind the rise of ground that was the American objective. Total chaos ensued as a result of a tremendous explosion that sent bodies and limbs of the leading Japanese into the air in all directions. Apparently, one of the enemy had stepped on the horn of an embedded sea mine, thus setting off a series of mines scattered over the area. Whatever the cause of the explosion, it created havoc among the Japanese and abruptly stopped the counterattack. In the American lines the results were not so serious, and although a few men were wounded by flying debris, the effect of the concussion was short-lived.

Meanwhile, orders had come down for Company G, 105th Infantry, to relieve Company K in the coconut grove. After receiving General Smith’s orders indicating that the 27th Division would change the direction of its attack from northeast to north toward the coast line, General Griner had decided to shift the emphasis of his division attack from the left to the right of his line. Hence, to bolster the efforts of the 3rd Battalion, 105th, against Harakiri Gulch, he ordered Company G to relieve Company K so that the latter could move out of the coastal plain and into the reserve area behind its parent unit. For the rest of the afternoon the area along the coast would be assigned entirely to the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 105th Infantry.

It was the second of these battalions, commanded by Major McCarthy, that had been responsible for the area immediately abutting the seacoast during the morning. As day broke McCarthy had Companies E and F drawn up in a tight perimeter around Road Junction 2. Directly ahead athwart his line of advance, was the mine field, discovered the day before, that ran from the coastal road to the railroad and that was about 250 yards in depth. It consisted of about 150 Japanese general purpose bombs set in the ground in four rows, noses up. Only about a hundred had been fuzed. Immediately beyond the mine field was the gully that ran down to the sea from the western mouth of Harakiri Gulch. To the right (east) of McCarthy’s bivouac area was a wide expanse of open, slightly rolling ground, which was covered by small arms and automatic weapons fire from the cliffs still farther to the east. The 2nd Battalion’s commander decided to move his men along the narrow strip of beach between the road and the lagoon in order to avoid the mine field. To eliminate the series of pillboxes strung along the shore in this area, he called for a rolling artillery barrage in advance of the infantry. Company F was to take the lead, to be followed by E Company, which would fan out to the right once the far edge of the mine field was passed.

Promptly at 0700 Company F jumped off and within a few minutes had reached the northern limit of the mine field. At this point it received a heavy burst of machine gun and small arms fire from its direct front. McCarthy at once tried to put in a call for tanks and self-propelled mounts, but discovered that his radio communications were out; he then sent a runner to order up the vehicles. This involved a trip all the way back to Tanapag.

Meanwhile, the men of Company E had managed to crawl to the right along the north edge of the mine field and to deploy in a three-platoon front along a line running east of the coastal road. About 0900 Major McCarthy decided to withdraw Company F from its cramped positions between the road and the beach and send it around to the right of Company E to close the gap between the 2nd and 3rd Battalions. This move took about an hour. Also, Company A of the 102nd Engineer Combat Battalion was brought forward to deactivate the mine field.

At 1000 five medium tanks commanded by 1st Lieutenant Dudley A. Williams of the 762nd Tank Battalion put in their appearance at Road Junction 2. Rather than send them down the road, which he believed was almost certainly mined, McCarthy ordered them to precede single file along the railroad track to the right. The lead tank unfortunately snarled its tread in the steel rails and became immobilized. While an effort was being made to clear a path through the mine field so that the second tank could be worked around the first, the enemy opened fire, scoring direct hits on both tanks. Lieutenant Williams hooked cables to the two vehicles and hauled them loose of the tracks and clear of the area before any more damage was done.

By this time it was apparent that the chief source of enemy fire came from the gully in front of the mine field, and Company E sent out a squad to rush the gully and knock out the machine gun position that seemed to be causing most of the trouble. The squad leader got as far as the gully and located the position in question, but was wounded and had to withdraw before he could eliminate it.

By midafternoon the entire 2nd Battalion, 105th Infantry, appeared to have bogged down. Companies E and F were facing the gully just north of the mine field and Company G was still at the north edge of the coconut grove. Anxious to get on with the day’s business, General Griner at 1520 ordered the regimental commander, Colonel Bishop, to commit his reserve, the 1st Battalion, 105th, commanded by Colonel O’Brien. Bishop objected to committing his reserves at such a late hour and argued that an attack would not give sufficient time before dark for the front-line troops to prepare a proper perimeter defense. His objection was overruled. On Griner’s orders, O’Brien’s unit was to be inserted on the right flank of the 2nd Battalion, 105th, and from that point was to drive north to Makunsha village on the shore before nightfall.

Even before this move could be executed, relief to the men immediately in front of the enemy-infested gully came from a different quarter. About 1530 Lieutenant Dorey, after refueling and resupplying, arrived on the scene with two other tanks in addition to his own. Observing that the infantry was apparently completely immobilized, he drove straight into the troublesome gully pushing the enemy before him and slaughtering them with canister and machine guns. For half an hour he kept this up, killing about 150 Japanese in the gully and literally paving with dead bodies the way for a renewed advance of the 2nd Battalion. In the course of this action, Japanese soldiers, armed with magnetic mines, attacked one of the light tanks and it lost its track. In spite of his valiant efforts, Dorey was unable to rescue either the damaged tank or its crew.

Meanwhile, back at the regimental command post, Colonel Bishop was outlining his plans for the final move up the coast to Makunsha. As directed by the division commander, O’Brien’s 1st Battalion was to move into line between the other two battalions of the 105th. To make room for this maneuver, Company F was to move back around the rear of Company E to the left of the regimental line where it would again take up a position between the railroad track and the beach. Company G, commanded by Captain Olander and still in the coconut grove, was to be attached to the 3rd Battalion and swing on its right flank across the western mouth of Harakiri Gulch in order to bottle up the enemy there. Such a movement would presumably protect the rear of the 1st Battalion, and the next morning the rest of the 3rd Battalion could mop up the enemy isolated in the gulch.

Pursuant to these instructions, Colonel O’Brien brought his battalion into line, with Company B on the right, A on the left, and C echeloned to the right rear. His apprehension over the role assigned to his men was apparent to Captain Ackerman, A Company commander, who later testified: “Obie was nervous and restless, as usual. He drew a picture for us and told Dick [Captain Richard F. Ryan, of Company B] and I that no matter what else happened, we were to keep going. ‘Its the old end run all over again. Whenever they got a job nobody else can do, we have to do it. Sooner or later we’re going to get caught and this may be it.'”

The 1st Battalion was in line by approximately 1645, following F Company’s shift to the division left flank along the beach. Between that time and 1715 both battalions resupplied and organized their lines. At 1715 the 105th Infantry moved off in a co-ordinated attack.

On the left of the line, the 2nd Battalion had little difficulty moving ahead in the wake of the devastation caused by Lieutenant Dorey’s tanks. Although Company F delayed slightly to investigate a series of Japanese pillboxes along the beach, by 1800 the whole battalion had advanced about 600 yards. At that point it built up its perimeter for the night. O’Brien’s battalion ran into more trouble. On reaching the gully, Company A encountered a nest of fifteen to twenty Japanese. Some were wounded and some were still trying to hide from Dorey’s tank fire by hugging the walls of the trench on the near side. Ackerman’s men waded in with bayonets and knives and after a 20-minute hand-to-hand fight, cleaned out the pocket. Once across the gully, Company A rushed headlong some 500 yards in spite of increasingly heavy machine gun fire from the cliffs to the right. This fire was falling even more heavily on Company B and succeeded, among other things, in killing the company commander, Captain Ryan, who was replaced by 1st Lieutenant Hugh P. King. Meanwhile, on the battalion right rear, Company C was faced with the same machine guns emplaced on the knoll north of the coconut grove that had previously stopped both K Company, 165th, and G Company, 105th. For the rest of the day and even after dark, Company C battled to take out these positions. Not until a self-propelled mount was finally brought in to wipe them out was the entire company able to rejoin the rest of the battalion in its night perimeter.

Meanwhile, immediately to the right Captain Olander of Company G, 105th, was trying to carry out his mission of sealing up the western mouth of Harakiri Gulch. Working its way along the road that led into the gulch the lead platoon, just before dark, stumbled onto a nest of Japanese. A brisk hand-to-hand fight ensued, with inconclusive results, and, in view of the lateness of the hour, the company commander ordered all of his men to pull back west along the road to the point from which they had started. There Captain Olander called Colonel Bradt, to whose battalion he was now attached, and admitted his inability to build up a line across the mouth of the gulch. He was given permission to dig in on the high ground overlooking Road Junction 64, from which point he hoped to be able to interdict movement from the gulch with machine gun fire.

By nightfall then, the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 105th (less Company G), were digging in in positions about 900 yards northeast of Road Junction 2. On the left, Companies E and F bivouacked in a tight perimeter between the road and the railroad. The narrow corridor between the road and the beach was out-posted by two men armed with carbines and with express orders to report any signs of enemy movement along the beach. Inside the perimeter were stationed the mortars of both rifle companies as well as the mortars and machine guns of the heavy weapons company. In placing his heavy weapons and machine guns, Major McCarthy assumed that before nightfall the 1st Battalion would have reached its objective north of his perimeter. Hence, without neglecting the northern approaches to his position altogether, he concentrated his defenses on the eastern side.

Meanwhile, Colonel O’Brien’s 1st Battalion had come abreast. Rather than push on to the beach ahead of the 2nd Battalion as originally planned, O’Brien, after consultation with McCarthy, decided to tie in for the night to the right of the 2nd Battalion. His perimeter was drawn up in the shape of an arc whose terminal points rested on the railroad just east of the right side of the 2nd Battalion’s perimeter. This arrangement meant that two whole platoons of the 2nd Battalion were now inside the final perimeter. More important, O’Brien’s perimeter screened one of the 2nd Battalion’s antitank guns as well as all of Company H’s heavy machine guns, which had been emplaced so as to protect the eastern leg of McCarthy’s original perimeter. Thus, by hedging in the 2nd Battalion from the east, O’Brien in effect subtracted from the combined fire power of the two battalion perimeter.

Even more significant was the fact that between the 1st Battalion, 105th, and Company G, 105th (attached to the 3rd Battalion), lay a gap of about 500 yards. However, the ground was open and O’Brien took the precaution of placing all of his antitank guns in such a position as to bear directly on the gap. By the time all these arrangements were completed it was well after dark. The morning, it was hoped, would bring the 105th Infantry to its objective line at the shore and an end to its labors.

7 July Banzai Attack

About an hour after dark, an American soldier patrolling the road in the vicinity of the command post of the 3rd Battalion, 105th Infantry, came upon a lone, armed, Japanese lying asleep. He forthwith took him prisoner and sent him back to headquarters for interrogation. The Japanese proved to be a “leading seaman” of the 55th Guard Force, and his testimony, reluctantly given, was sufficient cause for deep alarm. An all-out attack by the entire remaining Japanese force on the island, he said, had been ordered for the night of 6-7 July. Word was immediately sent out to all major units of the division as well as to Holland Smith’s headquarters to prepare for the worst.

In the front line below Makunsha, Colonel O’Brien and Major McCarthy went into conference on receiving this information. Both were worried about the gap that extended some 500 yards southeastward to the night positions of Company G, 105th Infantry. O’Brien called the regimental command past and asked for reinforcements to fill the gap but was told that none were available. Colonel Jensen, the regimental executive, in turn called for help from division headquarters. He too received a negative answer. The two battalion commanders would have to make out with what they had on hand.

The Japanese counterattack that was now mounting had in fact been ordered early on the morning of the 6th. At 0600 General Saito had issued his final proclamation: MESSAGE TO OFFICERS AND MEN DEFENDING SAIPAN; I am addressing the officers and men of the Imperial Army on Saipan. For more than twenty days since the American Devils attacked, the officers, men, and civilian employees of the Imperial Army and Navy on this island have fought well and bravely. Everywhere they have demonstrated the honor and glory of the Imperial Forces. I expected that every man would do his duty. Heaven has not given us an opportunity.

We have not been able to utilize fully the terrain. We have fought in unison up to the present time but now we have no materials with which to fight and our artillery for attack has been completely destroyed. Our comrades have fallen one after another. Despite the bitterness of defeat, we pledge, “Seven lives to repay our country.” The barbarous attack of the enemy is being continued. Even though the enemy has occupied only a corner of Saipan, we are dying without avail under the violent shelling and bombing. Whether we attack or whether we stay where we are, there is only death. However, in death there is life. We must utilize this opportunity to exalt true Japanese manhood. I will advance with those who remain to deliver still another blow to the American Devils, and leave my bones on Saipan as a bulwark of the Pacific.

As it says in the “SENJINKUM” [Battle Ethics], “I will never suffer the disgrace of being taken alive,” and “I will offer up the courage of my soul and calmly rejoice in living by the eternal principle.” Here I pray with you for the eternal life of the Emperor and the welfare of the country and I advance to seek out the enemy.

Follow me!

Actually, General Saito was too feeble and sick to lead the charge in person. Shortly after issuing his final order he committed suicide. A captured Japanese officer who was with the general almost until the end described what probably took place: “Cleaning off a spot on the rock himself, Saito sat down. Facing the misty EAST saying ‘TENNO HEIKA! BANZAI! [Long live the Emperor] . . . he drew his own blood first with his own sword and then his adjutant shot him in the head with a pistol.”

The exact number of Japanese to participate in the attack is unknown. A count taken later On the authorization of General Griner revealed 4,311 enemy dead in the area covered by the attackers, although undoubtedly some of these had been killed by naval gunfire or artillery before the banzai charge got under way. A captured intelligence officer of the 43rd Division at first estimated that the total Japanese force came to no more than 1,500, hut later revised this upward to 3,000. Another prisoner of war, a Korean laborer, also gave 3,000 as the approximate number, and this is probably as acceptable an estimate as any.

The truth is that even the Japanese commanders themselves had no very clear picture of the number of men left under them. The attacking force was drawn from almost every conceivable unit on the island, forming a composite group of stragglers. Specific identifications made among Japanese dead included the 118th, 135th, and 136th Infantry Regiments, 43rd Division headquarters and 43rd Field Hospital, 3rd Independent Mountain Artillery Regiment, 16th Shipping Engineer Regiment, and sundry naval units including combat, maintenance, and labor personnel. Many of the Japanese were poorly armed with rusty rifles and some merely carried poles to which crude knives and bayonets were attached.

Poorly armed or not, the impact of this horde was overwhelming. In the words of Major McCarthy, one of the few officers to survive it, “It was like the movie stampede staged in the old wild west movies. We were the cameraman. These Japs just kept coming and coming and didn’t stop. It didn’t make any difference if you shot one, five more would take his place. We would be in the foxholes looking up, as I said, just like those cameramen used to be. The Japs ran right over us.”

About 0400 on 7 July the main body of the desperate attackers started south from Makunsha between the shore line and the base of the cliffs bordering Tanapag plain. Although there is no evidence that the movement was organized, the mounting flood sluiced out along three principal channels. The main group charged down the railroad track, hitting the American perimeter below Makunsha; another attacked positions of the 3rd Battalion, 105th, at Harakiri Gulch; the attackers facing the gap between these two American positions continued through unopposed.

Shortly before 0500 the full force of the attack struck the perimeter of the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 105th Infantry, and in twenty-five minutes of fierce close-quarter fighting the American positions were overrun. During the first moments of impact Colonel O’Brien again made himself conspicuous by his fortitude. With a pistol in each hand he joined battle with the deluge, firing until his magazines were empty. Then, though seriously wounded, he manned a .50-caliber machine gun and kept firing until killed. [NOTE: For this and other notable demonstrations of bravery on Saipan, O’Brien was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor (WDGO 35, 9 May 1945).] With him went a good percentage of the officers and men of both battalions.

[N12-60 , Annex H, p. 7; Hq FEC, Mil Hist Sec Special Staff, to Chief of Mil Hist, 5 Jun 52, Incl, Comments by Major Takashi Hiragushi. Major Hiragushi, was taken prisoner after the counterattack of 7 July. For reasons unknown he assumed the name of Major Kiyoshi Yoshida, the 31st Army intelligence officer, who had been killed in action. The NTLF G-2 Report refers to this officer as Yoshida. His true identity was not revealed until after the war.]

 [N12-62 General Holland Smith’s final estimate lay between 1,500 and 3,000 (Smith, Coral and Brass, p. 195). General Griner believed the number was not less than 3,000 and probably more (CG 27th Inf Div to CG NTLF, 16 Jul 44, Buckner Board Rpt, Exhibit FFF). A special board, appointed by Admiral Spruance to survey the circumstances surrounding the counterattack, estimated the number of enemy involved to lie between 2,500 and 3,000 (Commander Fifth Fleet, Rpt of Japanese Counterattack at. Saipan on 7 Jul 44, 19 Jul 44). ]

The tide rolled on, and before it stumbled most of the survivors of the perimeter. Among those left behind was Sergeant Thomas A. Baker of Company A. Although severely wounded, he refused to let himself be carried back with the retreat. Preferring certain death to further risking the lives of his comrades he demanded to be left, armed only with a loaded pistol. When his body was later discovered the gun was empty and around him lay eight dead Japanese. [NOTE: For this action, Baker was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor (WDGO 35, 9 May 1945).]

Meanwhile, the left flank of the enemy had swiftly penetrated the gap. One group of Japanese spread out to attack the 3rd Battalion, 105th, but from their dominating positions on the high ground above Harakiri Gulch the men of the 3rd Battalion were, able to repulse the attack and hold their positions intact. Another group hit the 3rd Battalion, 10th Marines (Artillery), which had set up its guns the day before about 500 yards southwest of Tanapag village. Only one of the batteries (H) was in a position to fire and it succeeded, among other things, in knocking out a Japanese tank before the men were forced to retreat pell-mell, leaving the breechblocks and firing locks in their howitzers. The marines of Battery I, after expending all of their small arms ammunition, removed the firing locks from their howitzers and fell back south along the railroad track to the positions of Battery G, where the two units held fast until relieved that afternoon by the 106th Infantry.

Meanwhile, the 27th Division artillery was pouring as many shells into the enemy as could safely be done without endangering the retreating American troops. Between 0515 and 0615 the three light battalions expended a total of 2,666 rounds in the zone of action of the 105th Infantry. This represented an average of more than forty rounds a minute.

By the time the men of the two advanced battalions had retreated as far as the northern edge of Tanapag village, they ran into the van of the left prong of the Japanese force, which had come through the gap, past the positions of the 10th Marines, and then gone on to the command post of the 105th Infantry, where the attack was finally stopped. At this point, two officers, Captain White of Company F and Lieutenant King of Company B, rallied the retreating men and brought some organization out of the confusion. They were able to persuade most of the troops to take cover in Tanapag village. While directing this diversion, King was killed. Meanwhile Major McCarthy, the 2nd Battalion commander, had come up, and with the help of other surviving officers and noncommissioned officers he was able to organize a perimeter within Tanapag village by about 0800, three hours after the initial attack had been made.

For the next four hours the beleaguered men fought a bitter house-to-house battle with the Japanese that had surrounded and were infiltrating the village. The Americans were out of communication with the command posts to the rear, short of ammunition and water, and had no means of evacuating or properly caring for their wounded. Shortly after 1100 McCarthy tried to lead a small force back to the regimental command post to bring up help for the wounded. Just as he got under way, his group was hit by two concentrations of American artillery and those men who were able to do so stampeded into the water and swam for the reefs. Some of these returned to establish another small perimeter below Tanapag, where they remained out of touch with the main body of their regiment’s troops in the village itself and the command post, which was still farther to the rear.

Finally, shortly after noon, the first sign of relief appeared in the form of a platoon of medium tanks that rolled down the road from the direction of the command post. The vehicles fired indiscriminately at areas that might be presumed to contain enemy troops, but because there were no communications between the tanks and the infantry there could be no co-ordinated effort to route the enemy or rescue the surrounded troops. Finally, McCarthy was able to get to the lead tank, and climbing in himself, lead a group of about thirty-five of his men back down the road, reaching the regimental command post by about 1500.

Under his persuasion a convoy of trucks and DUKW’s, loaded with medical supplies and ammunition, was dispatched toward Tanapag village. Some of the vehicles were knocked out en route, but three got through and returned fully loaded with wounded. Still later, a group of LVT’s of the 773rd Amphibian Tractor Battalion was sent by water to rescue some of the men still fighting on the beach or stranded on the reefs. Others had already swum out and had been picked up by naval landing craft to be carried to destroyers waiting outside the reef. About 2200 the last survivor left the perimeters in Tanapag village and below. Altogether, out of the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 105th Infantry (less Company G), 406 officers and men were killed and 512 wounded.

American Countermeasures

Back at 27th Division and corps headquarters, word of the Japanese banzai charge was gradually filtering through. In response to the news, General Griner at 0920 ordered Colonel Stebbins to commit his 106th Regiment into the line and attack northeast astride the railroad track.73 About the same time corps attached the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, to the 27th Division, and at 1050 the battalion was ordered to mop up an enemy force, reported to be 100 strong, in the Tanapag area. At 1100 Griner requested that some Marine tanks be released to the division from corps control, but this was refused. According to the 27th Division commander, “headquarters did not accept my version of the importance of the action then in progress.” However, not long afterward, Holland Smith did order the two Marine divisions to release 1,000 rounds of 105-mm. howitzer ammunition to the Army division, which by now was running short.

By 1000 Colonel Stebbins had the 106th Infantry in line with the 1st Battalion on the left and the 2nd Battalion on the right of the railroad track.78 They moved forward slowly. The 1st Battalion met little opposition, but O’Hara’s men on the right encountered a considerable number of Japanese still alive and firing. By 1540 Company F had recaptured two of the Marine batteries, the first one with the help of some of the Marine artillerymen who had remained in the vicinity after being driven off their guns. A short while later the 1st Battalion reported that it had recaptured the abandoned guns of Battery H of the 3rd Battalion, 10th Marines.81 By 1600 the 106th Infantry was still 200 to 300 yards short of positions of the 105th Infantry, which it was supposed to relieve. Colonel Stebbins nevertheless decided to dig in where he was, although against the advice of one of his battalion commanders. Stebbins was concerned least there be too many bypassed enemy to his rear. This left the division commander with no alternative but to evacuate the remainder of his isolated troops by water.

Meanwhile, on the division right the 165th Infantry was touched only lightly by the overflow from the charge that had all but overwhelmed the 105th. By 0930 the attached 3rd Battalion, 106th, had finally reached the floor of Harakiri Gulch and was mopping up the Japanese still hidden in the caves and ditches. Occasionally, random riflemen who were apparently part of the main enemy counterattack wandered into the area to delay operations, but no serious opposition remained. Shortly after noon, the 1st Battalion, 165th, to the right, was able to advance through the draw at the upper end of the gulch and move into the plateau to the north overlooking the plain. It stopped there for the night and made plans to descend the cliffs the next day.

[N12-72 For this day’s action, the 105th Infantry (less 3rd Battalion and Company G) was awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation (Department of the Army, GO 49, 14 July 1948). ]

Final Victory

In spite of the fact that by nightfall of 7 July the 27th Division had recovered some of the lost ground in the area of the counterattack and had at last cleaned out Harakiri Gulch, General Holland Smith decided to relieve most of the Army units from the line. The 2nd Marine Division (less detachments) was ordered to pass through the 27th Division and “mop up and destroy enemy elements” remaining in its zone of action. Attached to the Marine division would be the 165th Infantry, as well as the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, which was now to be released from the control of the Army division. Upon being passed through, the 27th was ordered into corps reserve.

“Mop-up” was the proper word for the activities of most of the 2nd Marine Division for the next two days. Along the beach the 6th Marines had an easy time after its jump-off at 1130. In the words of the official report, “Initially, the attack was field day for our troops and slaughter for the Japs.” Later in the afternoon, however, the regiment came up against a small pocket of resistance, just southwest of the coconut grove, containing about a hundred Japanese who had taken refuge in the bed of a small stream that ran down to the sea. Flame throwers, tanks, and self-propelled mounts were brought up to wipe out the enemy, but at nightfall the pocket still remained. By 1830 all units of the regiment had reached the beach, and the next day was spent mopping up and eliminating all enemy in the area.

[N-12-82: The detachments were the 2nd Marines; 1st Battalion, 29th Marines; and Company A, 2nd Tank Battalion.]

In the hills and ravines just east of the coastal plain, the 8th Marines spent most of 8 and 9 July in demolition work, since the remnants of enemy consisted of disorganized groups holed up in caves. Every cave had to be investigated, and the few Japanese remaining alive were destroyed or driven out with hand grenades, flame throwers, and TNT charges.

On the division right, the 165th Infantry met similar scattered opposition and dealt with it in much the same way. Delaying its assault on the 8th until the marines could come abreast, the 165th jumped off from its positions north of Harakiri Gulch at 1130. By midafternoon Company I had forced its way through Paradise Valley, where General Saito had established his final headquarters and from which the banzai order had been issued. Apparently not all of Saito’s men had joined in the charge, for the caves in the cliffs’ sides still harbored enough Japanese to offer stiff resistance to progress through the valley. By 1245 of 9 July forward elements of the regiment reached their destination on the shore, while Company K stayed behind to finish mopping up the caves of Paradise Valley.

The morning of the 8th found the 4th Marine Division poised and ready for its final drive to Saipan’s northern tip. On the left, the 23rd Marines were on the high ground overlooking Karaberra Pass, through which the regiment would have to advance in order to seize its assigned portion of the shore line north of Makunsha.

Following an intense preparation by rockets and tank fire, and assisted by LCI gunboats lying off Makunsha, the 23rd Marines forced its way through the pass and by 1205 had rushed across the coastal flats to the sea.89 On its right, the 23rd and 24th Marines kept abreast and secured their assigned zones by about 1530, while the 25th Marines, on the east flank, advanced its lines about 600 yards against no opposition. That night the 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, suffered a series of minor counterattacks that were troublesome in the extreme but that failed to make a dent in the division line. On the 9th, with three regiments abreast (the 23rd Marines was pinched out), the 4th Marine Division completed the final lap in a fast sprint to Marpi Point. At 1615, 9 July 1944, Admiral Turner announced Saipan to be “secured.”

All that remained was to ferret out the few remaining enemy troops from their scattered hiding places in the caves and gulleys and ravines that littered the northern part of the island. Initially, this task was assigned to the two Marine divisions, with the 165th Infantry still attached to the 4th. These men still had to witness a few horrendous sights before they were through with Saipan. In spite of continuous American efforts to induce both military and civilian survivors to give themselves up, the traditional Japanese code of death before surrender prevailed in most cases. Shortly after the declaration that the island was secured, hundreds of civilians leapt from the cliffs of Marpi Point to the knifelike rocks below. At times the waters below the point were so thick with the floating bodies of men, women, and children that naval small craft were unable to steer a course without running over them.

On the 9th many Japanese soldiers swam out to the reefs of Tanapag Harbor and defied capture. 1st Lieutenant Kenneth J. Hensley, USMC, commanding officer of Company G, 6th Marines, was ordered out with a small flotilla of amphibian tractors to capture or destroy these die-hards. A few surrendered, but most refused to give up. From one reef, to which fifty to sixty Japanese were clinging, machine guns opened up on the approaching LVT’s, The Americans returned fire and the force was annihilated. On another reef a Japanese officer was seen beheading his little band of enlisted men with his sword before he himself was shot down by his would-be captors.

For the remainder of their brief stay on Saipan, the marines spent most of their days investigating the caves and wooded sections along the north shore. On 13 July the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, occupied tiny Maniagassa Island in Tanapag Harbor in a miniature amphibious landing complete with naval gunfire, artillery, and aerial bombardment. They found twenty-nine Japanese soldiers on the island, but encountered no serious opposition. This action brought to an end Marine activities on Saipan. The 2nd and 4th Divisions both withdrew to prepare for the assault on nearby Tinian. The Army took over the job of clearing out the last remnants of the enemy. From 31 July through 6 August, the 27th Division conducted a gradual sweeping operation with two regiments abreast from just north of Mount Tapotchau to Marpi Point, thus concluding the organized mop-up. Starting the middle of August and ending in October, the division embarked in stages for the much welcomed trip to the New Hebrides for rehabilitation.

The toll of American killed and wounded was high. Of the 71,034 officers and men that made up Holland Smith’s Northern Troops and Landing Force, it is estimated that 3,674 Army and 10,437 Marine Corps personnel were killed, wounded, or missing in action. This total of 14,111 represents about 20 percent of the combat troops committed, or roughly the same percentage of casualties suffered at Tarawa and Peleliu, both of bloody renown. In exchange, almost the entire Japanese garrison of about 30,000 men was wiped out. Far more important, the inner defense line of the Japanese Empire had been cracked, and American forces were at last within bombing range of the enemy homeland.

[NOTE: Army casualty figures are derived from 27th Inf Div G-1 Periodic Rpt, 6 Aug 44, Annex B, and XXIV Corps Final Rpt, S-1 Rpt. Marine Corps figures were compiled by Machine Records Sec, Hq USMC, and published in Hoffman, Saipan, pp. 268-69. ]

SOURCE: Campaign in the Marianas; BY: Philip A. Crowl (United States Army Center of Military History)

World War Two: Saipan (2-11) Fight for the Center Continues

Get a jump on tomorrow, Your Horoscopes for Saturday, March 23

Moon Alert

We have the “all clear” today to shop and do business. The Moon is in Scorpio.

Aries (March 21-April 19)

Your emotions are intense today (which others will notice, if you don’t). Admittedly, you might attract intense, powerful people to you. Quite likely, you have strong feelings about shared property, wills, inheritances or something that someone else owns. You might envy someone.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

Today the Moon is opposite your sign. This happens for two days every month, and when it occurs, it means that you have to be accommodating. In other words, you have to go more than halfway when dealing with others, which is really not a big deal, is it?

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

This is a popular time for you. Many of you are enjoying travel opportunities. Today however, regardless of what is happening in your life, you will find that you have to put the interests and concerns of someone else before your own. That’s how the cookie crumbles.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

This is a passionate day for romance! Your interactions with love interests will be more intense – yes, the stuff of diaries if not movies. Whether you know this or not, it will be tough for you to conceal your feelings. You will be nurturing and protective to others, especially kids.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)

It’s Saturday, nevertheless, if you can retire by yourself to somewhere private, you will love it. You want to put your feet up and pamper yourself. Take this day for yourself so that you can enjoy a pleasant, relaxing time. Probably this is not possible – but at least, squeeze in some time for yourself. You’re worth it.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

When talking to others today, you’ll be intense and direct. You will prefer conversations that take place at a gut level – the real thing. This is why you will avoid people who are casually chatting about the weather or their kids.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

Whether you are aware of it or not, you have a strong attachment today to something that you own. You want to clean it, protect it, and you certainly don’t want to lend it to anyone. You might also find that you have to defend yourself when talking to someone. Like, what’s with that?

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

Today the Moon is in your sign, which brings you a bit of extra good luck over all the other signs. Why not ask the universe for a favour? Test it out. Admittedly, you will be more emotional than usual but this is nothing to worry about.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

Today the Moon is hidden in your chart, which is why you want to hide. You will enjoy a walk in a park or along the beach or in the countryside because you like the outdoors, and want some time alone to contemplate life.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

Today your emotional contact with friends is important. You might feel protective about someone, which is why you will be supportive to them. It’s also possible that you feel jealous, if your friend pays more attention to another. Oops.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

Today you will feel more emotional sensitivity and empathy towards others, which is a good thing because people notice you. In fact, they know personal details about your private life. Nevertheless, this is a good day for PR work and sales.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)

You feel restless today. You want to do something different to get a sense of adventure. Indeed, what can you do to make this day spectacular? For starters, it has to be a fresh experience – new faces, new places, new ideas!

If Your Birthday Is Today

British royal Princess Eugenie (1990) shares your birthday today. You are energetic, impulsive and adventurous! You also have great communication skills. This year will be gentler because you will be able to take it easy. However, your relations with others will be important. Become an expert on cooperating with others. Look for ways to practice kindness and be helpful. Be cooperative and easy going. Business and personal relationships will benefit you.





It is only natural to be materialistic, after all, we are spiritual beings in a physical body. But it can affect your personal, social and even professional life. Read on to see what your star sign secret obsessions and guilty pleasures are.

ARIES: Shopping Style – You are an impulse buyer and thrive on being the first in your inner circle to parade around in the hottest new trends. You get tempted easily whether you are shopping online or window shopping. Aries Image –Appearance is important to an Aries and you enjoy projecting an image of success. You view yourself as a champion and do your best to look the part. Guilty Pleasures – Working out at the hottest gym in town, flashy wrist watches or any activity that shows everyone that you are number one!

TAURUS: Shopping Style – You fancy the finer things in life, Taurus, and are a sucker for luxurious and gorgeous goodies. You don’t mind putting down some major cash on expensive designer labels that boast a classic design, which will never go out of style. Taurus Image – You carry yourself flawlessly and can usually be found in fabulous fabrics such as cashmere or velvet. Soft and cozy items are ideal since comfort is a must for you. Guilty Pleasures – Egyptian cotton bedding, gourmet chocolates and fine wines, or anything that comes dressed in the infamous blue Tiffany’s box.

GEMINI: Shopping Style – You have the unique talent to shop all day and not purchase a single thing. You enjoy looking stylish but prefer not to make a big fuss about your wardrobe. You shop when you are in need of something and try to acquire everything on your list in one day. Gemini Image – You appear younger than your actual age, almost childlike, and come across as entertaining and innocent, which attracts lots of different personality types. Guilty Pleasures – Electronic gadgets, books on tape, magazines, or a collection of challenging puzzles. Anything that stimulates your mind and keeps you eagerly engaged.

CANCER: Shopping Style – Nothing excites you more than shopping for cozy home furnishings. You are always on the hunt for the perfect new item to bring a whole room together. Your love of knick knacks can be damaging to your checkbook so keep a watchful eye on your finances. Cancer Image – You love anything of quality, soft silks, and Egyptian cotton; you would lounge in your silk pajamas all day. Guilty Pleasures – Family heirlooms and expensive picture frames of those you love. Personal mementos and priceless antiques are also at the top of your guilty pleasure’s list, as well as a beautiful home to put them in!

LEO: Shopping Style – You splurge on things that make you feel good and spend major bucks on anything that improves your self-image. Shopping is a social activity for you and your friends plus you tend to select high-end labels that impress others, even if they are on the flashy side. Leo Image – The more dramatic, the better! You adore animal prints, sequins, fur and faux fur for the animal conscious. You have heads spinning whenever you walk into a room and confidently bask in all the attention. Guilty Pleasures – Parties, casinos, shopping, poker nights and anything that glosses and sparkles. You adore hair products, mirrors and treating your friends to upscale social gatherings or events.

VIRGO: Shopping Style – Your shopping style consists of a well-constructed list so you can cross off each item as purchased. You have a thrifty sense but can spend more on lasting values and good quality. Virgo Image – When it comes to your appearance and style you typically go for a conservative or ‘proper’ look. Classic tailored looks paired with colorful accessories keep you beaming with delight. Guilty Pleasures – An organized and structured event with well thought out centerpieces, decorations, and low-calorie cocktails. A quiet and cozy evening at home with your favorite book, as well as your forever thoughts of leaving mainstream society to spend your time studying. No matter how old you are, being a full-time student is an ongoing fantasy.

LIBRA: Shopping Style – You either have a personal shopper or are dreaming of the day you can afford to hire one. If there is an amazing deal in town you might be seen camping outside to make sure you’re the first in the door. Libra Image – You are known to color coordinate your entire wardrobe and have a passion for pastel colors and flowing materials. People gaze at you to admire the hottest trends and smartest looks of the season, especially if it is a dreamy romantic style they are looking for. Guilty– Intimate dinners in an ultra-romantic setting, tickets to the opera or ballet, high-end fashion shows, or any art gallery opening.

SCORPIO: Shopping Style – Known as a regular at your favorite stores, you get what you want, when you want it! You have a weakness for boots and can be found in the sexiest and trendiest shops around town. Scorpio Image – The shade black is a must-have for you and you tend to treat clothes as a tool for seduction. You produce an air of mystery by experimenting with any type of clothing that leave you feeling hot and sexy. Guilty Pleasures – Black leather pants, overly large sunglasses, knee-high boots or an addictive perfume. You also have a secret stash of revealing risqué lingerie. And of course, you long to go to exotic seaside resorts to show your style off.

SAGITTARIUS: Shopping Style – Typically you are always on the go and don’t have much time for window shopping. Your preferred shopping style is via the World Wide Web and you only buy something if you have truly fallen in love with it. Sagittarius Image – Designer jeans and a classic white tee shirt is a favorite teamed with a stylish jacket that is timeless. You like your look to be smart but to look like you have not gone to a lot of trouble, even if you have! Guilty Pleasure’s – Expensive yet thrilling life experiences like a hot air balloon ride, helicopter tour, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, tickets to any major sporting event, or an intense well-being an overhaul at a far away from health resort.

CAPRICORN: Shopping Style – You want the best knock-offs money can buy and you excel in finding the best bargains in town. Status is important to you Capricorn, but you always find a way to look spectacular without overspending. Capricorn Image – You like a structured look that has a flair about it, a little softens added here and there. You manage to come up with a look that is uniquely you. Form-fitting pants are a must and you can’t help but look like a fabulous every time you step foot outside, even if you’re not trying to. Guilty Pleasures – All types of jewelry that sparkles is a prized possession of yours and you rock it fiercely. Traveling first class, the finest champagne, and the hottest private car is your idea of a fabulous time, not to mention a vacation at a five-star hotel! Of course, if you can make it all a tax deduction, even better!

AQUARIUS: Shopping Style – When it comes to shopping you love checking out outrageous vintage stores and can’t help but choose pieces that are somewhat outdated. If you pass a shop that displays unique or unusual pieces it is almost impossible to walk by without first checking it out. Aquarius Image – Eccentric clothing, anything that says, I dance to my own tune and I don’t care what the fashion is. You are a trendsetter, and rock a fashion statement! Spandex and vinyl are on the top of your list, which helps you create unexpected combinations. Guilty Pleasures – High-end photography, expensive cameras, and computers, collecting pricey rare stones and gadgets. When dining out, you try ethnic dishes with authentic spices. Your ultimate pleasure is to be known for making a difference in the world.

PISCES: Shopping Style – You have a costly shopping habit and money seems to slither right through your fingertips, with you often left wondering what just happened? Having gift certificates or store coupons on hand to help lower your shopping bill is a must. Pisces Image – Blue, green and colors of the sea can have a calming effect on your zodiac DNA as well as look fabulously striking on you. When you put together a fashion ensemble, style and comfort are both important. Long-lasting cotton and dreamy silks are fabrics that help to express your romantic side. Guilty Pleasures – You have a secret obsession with shoes and spend endless amounts of money on pedicures and foot massages. You have a fertile imagination, of which includes music, romance and the perfect setting in life. There are no restrictions in your imagination, and making your fantasy life a reality is your most delicious pleasure.


–Jennifer Angel

If You Were Born on March 22, Happy Birthday Pisces!


Happy Birthday, Pisces!


IF YOUR BIRTHDAY IS March 22, you are a fun loving person that never meets a stranger. Your zodiac sign is Aries and you are impulsive, vibrant, and passionate. Although you are a bit high strung, you have a way to bring people together.

Yes, people are drawn to you, Aries because you know how to make a person feel special. Your birthday characteristics show you to be intuitive and you know what to say in certain situations to change people’s attitudes and this is what makes those born on this day special.On the other hand, if you are a March 22 Aries birthday, you like to push buttons.

You like to see what happens if you do this or what happens if you do that. Needless to say, you like taking risks. This could be very exciting to you and those that live their lives through you.

The negative side of 22 March birthday personality trait is that you can be an awesome team leader but not a team player. Most of the time, you have your own ideas and have trouble following directions.

This is not good for those of you born on March 22. It can cause conflicts between you and your friends or family, co-workers and your boss.

Mainly, what you desire is security across the board but you cannot seem to get those relationships right. With friends, you can be a bit wishy-washy. Today, you can be friends but tomorrow, you may not be!

What in the world is happening, Aries? You cannot treat people as if they are dolls. You cannot take them off the shelf when it is convenient for you. Friendships just do not work that way. Work on this, as you would not want it done to you.

The 22 March birthday horoscope predicts that as an Aries, you are subject to romantic relationships that give you security. You like to be with someone who mirrors your aspirations.

Someone who can keep your ego on an even keel but this is hard to do, Aries. You love the attention and those like you, get their share and it can sometimes, make you jealous. Oh, you are so confusing.

If today is your birthday, you are a workaholic and risk-taker. You need to concentrate on professions that will distinguish yourself as an activist. You have high expectations and need to make calculated efforts to ensure success with unlimited potential.

Arians, take it one step at a time… crossing off each goal as they are completed. You see the big picture and strive to be financially and personally content with your life. You can excel at anything you do when it comes to your profession.

As the March 22nd birthday astrology predicts, you have positive energy but can be quite moody. Aries people are likely to have health problems relating to the nerves or will suffer with sinus issues, skin rashes, and gum disease.

Some of you will be accident prone leading to head injuries. Did you know that some say that the mole or birthmark on your face has a certain meaning? Most of you born on this day will have this mark.

Arians love company as you bring out the best in people. You are fun to be around. While this is true, you have a tendency to take friendships for granted. One day you guys are cool and the next, you are not speaking.

Aries zodiac birthday March 22nd, have trouble following. You cannot take orders and have a hard time following the script. You can be moody but you will make a great leader.

Famous People And Celebrities Born On March 22

Reese Witherspoon, George Benson, Will Yun Lee, Marcel Marceau, Chico Marx, Stephanie Mills, James Patterson, William Shatner, Andrew Lloyd Webber

This Day That Year – March 22 In History

1790 – US Secretary Thomas Jefferson appointed under President Washington
1861 – Marks the first chartered nursing school in the US
1873 – Puerto Rico – slavery abolished
1954 – Southfield, MI – first shopping mall opened

March 22  Mesha Rashi (Vedic Moon Sign)
March 22 Chinese Zodiac DRAGON

March 22 Birthday Planet

Your ruling planet is Neptune that symbolizes imagination, fantasies, compassion, and spirituality.
Your ruling planet is Mars that stands for authority, command, expression, and sexuality.

March 22 Birthday Symbols

The Ram Are The Symbol For The Aries Star Sign
The Two Fishes Are The Symbol For The Pisces Zodiac Sign

March 22 Birthday Tarot Card

Your Birthday Tarot Card is The Fool. This card symbolizes new journeys, time to begin new ventures, projects and relationships. The Minor Arcana cards are Two of Wands and Queen of Wands

March 22 Birthday Compatibility

You are most compatible with people born under Zodiac Sign Capricorn: This can be a truly passionate and fiery relationship.
You are not compatible with people born under Zodiac Sign VirgoThis will be a hot and cold match.

March 22 Lucky Numbers

Number 4 – This number signifies strength, obedience, trustworthiness, and loyalty.
Number 7 – This is an intellectual number of a person who seeks knowledge and holds no value for money.

Lucky Colors For March 22 Birthday

Red: This color stands for love, willpower, passion, and excitement.
Purple: This is a stable color that stands for wisdom, creative, pride and spiritual awakening.

Lucky Days For March 22 Birthday

Tuesday – This is the day of planet Mars that stands for authority, energy, rashness, and pursuit.
Sunday – This is the day of  Sun that stands for mastery, leader, energy, and vitality.

March 22 Birthstone Diamond 

Your lucky gemstone is Diamond that can be used for emotional healing and chakra balancing.

Ideal Zodiac Birthday Gifts For People Born On The 22nd Of March:

A How-to book on their favorite subject for the man and a new set of kitchen knives for the woman.


The Daily Horoscopes for Friday, March 22

Moon Alert

Avoid shopping or important decisions from 2 PM to 10:30 PM EDT today (11 AM to 7:30 PM PDT). After that, the Moon moves from Libra into Scorpio.

Aries (March 21-April 19)

This is a wonderful day to schmooze with others; however, do be aware of the restrictions of the Moon Alert above because during that window of time, you should not agree to anything critical. Do not sign important papers. Do not spend money on anything other than food, gas or entertaining diversions. Enjoy your day!

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

Today is a mixed blessing at work because in one way, you will get along well with coworkers, customers and everyone with whom you come in contact. However, during the Moon Alert time, you might suffer from shortages, delays and of course, the financial restrictions of the Moon Alert. (Don’t spend money.)

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

This is a fabulous, creative day! It’s a particularly wonderful day for those of you who work in the arts, the entertainment world, the hospitality industry and any creative project that appeals to you. Today you are imaginative because your mind can think outside of the box.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

This is a lovely day to entertain at home and to enjoy good times with family members. During the Moon Alert (see above) restrict your spending to gas, food and entertainment. Family discussions will be frank and meaningful. Good day to let your hair down.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)

Your communications with others are excellent today, especially before the Moon Alert begins and afterwards. However, during the Moon Alert time, agree to nothing important. Instead, write down your creative ideas and enjoy schmoozing with others! Wait until tomorrow to act.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

Today you might be focused on money, cash flow and financial matters; nevertheless, be aware of the window of time when the Moon Alert occurs. During this time, avoid financial decisions and spending money on anything other than gas, food and entertainment.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

Relations with others are smooth, charming and agreeable today. You will enjoy talking to everyone from all walks of life. However because of the Moon Alert (see above) agree to nothing important. Restrict your spending to food, gas and entertainment.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

Despite your keen efforts to work hard and be efficient, today will be more of a loosey-goosey day because for most of this day, there is a Moon Alert in effect. When this occurs, agree to nothing important and restrict your spending to food, gas and entertainment.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

Enjoy schmoozing with friends and groups today because this is a wonderful day for a luncheon or to meet your friends for Happy Hour! Keep things light hearted and steer clear of important decisions. Restrict your spending to food, gas and entertaining diversions.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

This is a favourable time to explore financial deals and boost your income. However, do not engage in any financial transactions during the Moon Alert today (see above). Protect yourself and save your money. Restrict your spending to food, gas and entertainment.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

This is a wonderful day to socialize with others because everyone feels friendly, including you. Make plans to meet friends and have some laughs. During the time of the Moon Alert (see above), avoid important decisions and restrict spending to food, gas and entertainment.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)

Although you are focused on issues regarding shared property, taxes, debt and inheritances, do not act on these financial matters during the Moon Alert today. Confine your spending to food, gas and entertainment. However, this is a lovely day to socialize!

If Your Birthday Is Today

Actor-writer William Shatner (1931) shares your birthday today. You love to explore new ideas. You have a magnetic personality that draws people to you. Expect exciting changes and new beginnings this year! Now is the time to clarify future goals. Think about what you want for yourself several years ahead. This is why you are pro-active and eager to act! You will also be more robust and physically vigorous!



Your Daring Dating Horoscopes for the Weekend of March 22

Your Daring Dating Horoscopes for the Weekend of March 22

David Wells, Astrologer

From The Astrology Room

With Venus out of your social sky, it could be time to reflect on what you really want from love, time go full on Moon gazing as you contemplate your place in the universe and is that person from accounts really going to be the one? When looking for a soulmate it pays to put the effort in Aries.

It’s tick-tock time on Mars as he’s running out of influence direct from Taurusville and as your relationship ruler it would be a shame not to use his passion, his thrust. To bring balance, your alluring ruler Venus is moving into your social sky. Passion and allure, what can you do with that?

Finding the right person isn’t easy, what does he or she look like and are looks really that important? Maybe in the first instance, but as you get to know someone it’s important he or she can keep up with you Gem, I mean in conversations to be clear! Stand by. Here comes the complete package.

With the union of Saturn and Pluto it’s all to play for with everything from marriage counselling to mates mediating in an ongoing love match you hope to resolve. Some may ask you if it’s all worth it, it clearly is, or you wouldn’t be putting yourself through it. Right?

What is about music that invokes memories like very little else? A song can transport you back to your youth, dancing at your local and flirting like it had just been discovered. That Leo. If it takes some tunes and another go at fitting into that outfit so be it; find your flirt and make it work.

Mercury is lifting, partially lifting, some of the restrictions you’ve been under as far as finding something a little more permanent on the love front and with Venus joining in, it could be faster than you expected. No fewer than five planets are sticking their nose into your love business. Get on it.

Having released, breathe, take your time and consider what you want next. Dating isn’t something you pick up on in any specific time scale, we are all different, so find your own flow Libra and work with it. I said find your own! Why ask everyone you know what to do next? Find your own flow. Worn out.

Now you know what you don’t want, now you’ve spent weeks, months or even years with someone who wasn’t it, you can finally focus on someone who is. Mercury might provide a few false starts yet, little tests, appetizers before the main course if you like, and what a main course it is. Yummo.

Why would you care what someone else thought or said? You’re the sort who explores, finds things out for themselves and you really don’t need anyone else telling you anything about his or her past, who they saw, what they did. Some folks relish it, live for the gossip and that’s what it is; gossip. Ignore.

Thefty astrology is pushing the K word your way; Karma. Before you run for a tin hat and some sturdy table to hide under, remember that when it comes to soulmates, Karma can be your biggest ally. A fated meeting is just that, unavoidable. What you do when you meet him or her is your call.

How you do feel when a mate ghosts you? Suddenly he or she isn’t there, where have they gone? This week you could get that treatment from a would be love interest, perhaps you’ve had a date or two? Good. True colours shown and you can move on to someone very much in the here and now.

Venus is heading for your sign, surely that’s a good thing for your love life? Sure is but like all good things you might have to wait for that hot date as Mercury is still on the huffy bus, destination The Glums. You could turn things around? Shift of attitude, shift into receiving all the adoration.

Your Love Horoscopes for Friday, March 22 & Saturday, March 23

Your Love Horoscopes for Friday, March 22 & Saturday, March 23

Pisces Daily Love Horoscope

Friday 22nd of March 2019

A get-together or social event can gladden your heart if you’re able to meet, mingle or make yourself available socially. If you’re only recently attached, then you have superb chance to show off your new flame to friends. If you’re spoken for, then immersing yourself in others’ company can remind you of why the one you love is so special. Either way, a link exists with pride felt toward a certain person by giving them a chance to shine!

Pisces tomorrow love horoscope:

Saturday 23rd of March 2019

It’s important that you don’t misinterpret any sense of insecurity you might feel in your emotional world with something to be fearful of. If anything, this is a clear symptom of change or progression, even if it feels disorienting at the moment. Let whatever is occurring now evolve in its own way and at its own pace. Be an observer. You might be able to witness the magic unfolding in a much easier way by standing back and allowing it to unfold.

Capricorn Daily Love Horoscope

Friday 22nd of March 2019

Uncertainty could cause you to question whether the time is right to take a risk or play it safe. This might be made more complicated by a loved one feeling unsure about what it is you’re wrestling with. However, love isn’t always about warm and fuzzy feelings – it can often require drawing upon a loved one’s insights or wisdom. The more honest you are about your thoughts and feelings connected with a dilemma or concern, the more honest the response you receive will be.

Capricorn tomorrow love horoscope:

Saturday 23rd of March 2019

A vision or fantasy you’ve nurtured involving a certain special person could form part of a fabulous adventure planned. This could involve a literal trip or a mental journey that you and the object of your affection are embarking upon, but, either way, what matters is you do it together. Keep this line of discussion flowing because whatever you and your paramour are planning, it has the potential to be memorable, if not thrilling.

Sagittarius Daily Love Horoscope

Friday 22nd of March 2019

The more faith you have in your ability to adapt to changing love life circumstances, the easier it will be to overcome any twists and turns in your emotional world. Your ability to multitask comes into its own as you tackle multiple romantic or relationship developments, challenges or concerns. Affairs of the heart could be noticeably more intense but there may be something thrilling about the direction your love life is heading as a result. Try to connect with that.

Sagittarius tomorrow love horoscope:

Saturday 23rd of March 2019

Whatever might have felt daunting, dramatic or exaggerated in your emotional world or one special connection could feel more manageable now. You can hopefully sense a shift occurring that can bring significant transformation to a special relationship. Where are you might have been resistant or even fearful of change, you could feel more willing to embrace it. This new level of open-mindedness is your ticket to deeper levels of emotional bonding and intimacy, too.

Scorpio Daily Love Horoscope

Friday 22nd of March 2019

Your approach to love or intimacy takes on a new shape and can inspire a loved one or potential partner to adopt an equally unusual or unconventional approach as well. This unique blend of passionate energy boosts imagination on both sides and also a desire to be more experimental in the name of love! With both of you on the same page, it can be easier to bring something new or unfamiliar to your connection.

Scorpio tomorrow love horoscope:

Saturday 23rd of March 2019

You might not struggle in any way to feel solid or secure in a love relationship but there could be fluctuations in a partner’s mood that create distractions or a sense of insecurity. This could be a time of highs and lows where affairs of the heart are concerned and your wisest option is to simply embrace the ebbs and flows in a romantic connection. Be guided by your compassionate side, because your support won’t go unnoticed or unappreciated.

Libra Daily Love Horoscope

Friday 22nd of March 2019

You could feel noticeably more cautious at this time, especially if you feel pushed to reveal something you’re inclined to keep to yourself. It’s not that you have no intention of spilling any emotional beans, but you want to do so when it suits you. While you choose your moment, you have a chance to reassess or redefine your physical and emotional boundaries in your mind. This process of reflection could help you to feel more confident about sharing what’s on your mind when the time comes.

Libra tomorrow love horoscope:

Saturday 23rd of March 2019

If you needed an excuse to draw a line under the past where affairs of the heart or one special connection are concerned, then a real and valid reason will present itself now or shortly. This might involve finally letting go of certain fears that have kept you from embracing love previously. If you’re reminded of what you didn’t do back then that you can do now, then that’s a valuable lesson in love that holds the power transform your emotional world, if you draw upon it.

Virgo Daily Love Horoscope

Friday 22nd of March 2019

A new passionate purpose could be unfolding in your heart or even before your eyes. This encourages you to create a deeper connection with love in your life – and you appear to have a very willing person to accompany you on your passionate journey. You’re becoming finely-tuned to your desires – both new and old – and with small steps, they can become real.

Virgo tomorrow love horoscope:

Saturday 23rd of March 2019

The insights that come from a lover that help you see your relationship more deeply or passionately could lift your spirits or revive your mojo wonderfully. This could also help you to shift your focus from what you believe to be missing in a special connection to all that you have to be grateful for within it. Keep this conversation flowing because it can take your love life or one special connection down a new and more fulfilling direction – for both of you.

Leo Daily Love Horoscope

Friday 22nd of March 2019

If you’ve sensed a loved one hasn’t been on the same page as you regarding a certain matter recently, then a coming development could banish concerns or fears. You’re committed to sharing your reverie with that special person who brings out your passionate qualities. A new level of understanding that is unfolding between you can remind you that, with love and patience, you and someone can always manage to meet in the middle somehow.

Leo tomorrow love horoscope:

Saturday 23rd of March 2019

Your signature passion could demand to be released at this time and also be something a loved one or potential partner won’t be able to ignore. You have no reason to conceal your passionate energy and are in a superb position to move a romantic connection forward in a way that makes you feel more fulfilled, emotionally and physically. Your enthusiasm could be the best possible aphrodisiac now. Apply it in measured doses!

Cancer Daily Love Horoscope

Friday 22nd of March 2019

You have a wacky or zany side of you that wants to emerge, especially if affairs of the heart or one special connection have been plagued by seriousness lately. You may wonder if a love interest can handle your unusual, passionate energy, but give them a chance to do so! It might be time to focus more on your unorthodox, adventurous self – and the passion you emit could be as thrilling as it is unusual, too!

Cancer tomorrow love horoscope:

Saturday 23rd of March 2019

You might sense a wave of uncertainty or possibly negativity that has permeated your emotional world or one special connection is now starting to shift. It could also become clear that you were wise to accept the limitations that surrounded your ability to bring the change unfolding on its own. Time, they say, is the greatest healer and you could see evidence of that for yourself, now or very shortly.

Gemini Daily Love Horoscope

Friday 22nd of March 2019

You could be more emotionally transparent that you realize, especially to someone who can read you like a book at the best of times. Suppressing thoughts, feelings or fantasies isn’t the answer. Be willing to reveal the truth within your reverie. Someone close can meet you halfway to making visions real but only if they know beyond any doubt what you think, feel or dream of. Remove the guesswork on their part!

Gemini tomorrow love horoscope:

Saturday 23rd of March 2019

Any insecurities you feel in your love life can help you face a fact or two that can lead you to new and exciting romantic or relationship territory. You don’t need to stoically smile on the outside while you grapple with fears or uncertainties on the inside. By facing either or both honestly, you can find a new way to adapt to changing romantic circumstances – and feel stronger as a result.

Taurus Daily Love Horoscope

Friday 22nd of March 2019

Passion could intensify but don’t allow it to distract you from the many subtle nuances permeating your love life at this time. You know what you want to accomplish and going with any romantic or relationship flows will bring you what you’re looking for. It’s your honest and authentic feelings that need to be released, and in a controlled way – for now!

Taurus tomorrow love horoscope:

Saturday 23rd of March 2019

It’s important to accept that whatever you convey or project to a loved one or a potential partner will come straight back to you, so you have a choice about whether this is a positive or negative experience. Romantic or relationship progress relies on you sending out a vibe of positivity rather than anything negative, tense or awkward. Radiate love and compassion, and see how both help to form or strengthen one special connection.

Aries Daily Love Horoscope

Friday 22nd of March 2019

If your desire to control any aspect of a romantic relationship intensifies, then it’s important to accept the complications this could bring. You want to bring positive changes, but your approach could be overpowering to a loved one and that’s far from sexy. Dial back the pressure and try a more sensitive approach. You could find common ground with a loved one that eliminates any need to be controlling. Focus instead on where you know agreement exists.

Aries tomorrow love horoscope:

Saturday 23rd of March 2019

Any imbalance or disruption in your emotional world could be felt both emotionally and physically at this time. You might also be aware of how much your energy is drained by having to deal with whatever arises. However, you owe it to yourself to apply some self-care and to not focus so intently on what is worrying or makes you feel anxious. Try to see whatever feels uncertain as a clear sign of progression, or a relationship evolving.

Aquarius Daily Love Horoscope

Friday 22nd of March 2019

You want to bring more light and laughter to your emotional world, especially if you feel a growing sense of positivity and optimism in your life generally. You’ve had enough of what’s mundane or serious and are right to focus your passionate efforts on bringing a ray of sunshine to affairs of the heart or one special connection. Don’t lose sight of this goal because the transformation you can bring could be far-reaching or profound – and in potentially many delightful ways!

Aquarius tomorrow love horoscope:

Saturday 23rd of March 2019

The idea of creating more structure in your emotional world or one special connection probably doesn’t excite you as much as allowing your romantic circumstances to unfold on their own, in their own way and time. Try not to succumb to a sense of pressure to formalize or restrict something sweet unfolding organically. It’s by setting overly high or rigid expectations that you can bring complications to matters of the heart now.