1 July the Regiment continued the attack toward the
town of Cecina. It was planned to go around the town and endeavor to cut off the enemy. The attack was scheduled for 0400 hours with the 1st and 2nd Battalion
on the attack and the 3rd Battalion in reserve.
was at times fanatical with intense small arms, machine gun and artillery fire. As the advance continued, plans for the occupation
of Cecina were changed. The
objective was attacked from the south
and the east with tanks and infantry. Captured
P.W.'s stated the town
would be held at all costs. Vicious
fighting continued from house to house and enemy snipers were very active, inflicting many
was cleared of the enemy by the 2nd Battalion. Many
casualties were inflicted on our troops but the
enemy received a severe defeat. One
hundred enemy dead were picked up and buried by our
troops and much enemy equipment was destroyed or captured.
enemy endeavored to counterattack with tanks and
infantry but was broken up by our artillery and mortar
roads were heavily mined
or booby trapped to endeavor to delay the advance
of our troops.
ADVANCE TO THE ARNO RIVER
advance continued north of Cecina with spasmodic
engagements of rear guard action. The town of Cecina Marina was captured
on 2 July and
the enemy pulled out of the area between the towns
of Cecina and Collemizzano [Collemezzano]. The troops were worn out from the strenuous battles and the distance traveled, so the Regiment
was slowly squeezed
out of action by the 135th Infantry and was then
placed in Division Reserve. The
Regiment was scheduled for a short rest so moved to an assembly area of 3 July. From the 4th to the 6th of July the troops
rested and cleaned equipment.
this short rest area, the 3rd Bn, Anti-Tank and Cannon Companies were inspected by the Secretary
of War, Henry L. Stimson and Generals
Clark and Ryder, in an impressive review. The troops and the Regimental Commander were highly praised
by the Secretary of War.
the early morning hour of 7 July the Regiment moved
to an assembly area in the vicinity of Casone
Nuovo, Italy, and prepared to relieve
the 168th Infantry Regiment. On the 8th of July the relief of the 168th Regiment was completed in the vicinity of Riparbella. The terrain was very rough and the progress
was slow but steady with little or
no opposition except some small arms and mortar fire.
3rd Battalion ran into a fire fight but emerged victorious, capturing 20 P.W.'s, destroying one truck
and killing 20 of the enemy. Casualties
were also suffered by our Battalion. Colonel William H. Schildroth, Regimental Commander was
presented the Distinguished Service Cross
by the Fifth Army Commander, Lt. General Clark. Lt. Col. Frank A. Reagan was also to be presented the D.S.C.
but due to the tactical situation
it was impossible to do so.
stiffening of enemy resistance along the entire Regimental front, was noted on 9 July, with the
enemy strongly resisting our advance
from well selected strongpoints in houses and ideally
suited terrain. However the troops did advance slowly
toward the town of Castellina. Supply and the evacuation of the wounded
were most difficult. Mule trains were employed due to the
extremely rough terrain. However, the Regiment was the spearhead
of the Division Front and
continued to advance.
Vasino was occupied at 2130 hours by the 1st Battalion.
After the hill was captured a decline of resistance
0500 hours, 10 July 1944, the Regiment advanced in
a well coordinated attack. Because of the difficult terrain, progress
was slow and
little or no opposition was met except sniper and
self propelled artillery fire. The
town of Castellina was occupied by our troops. Mt. Maggiore, one of the highest mountains in this sector, was
the next important
objective. From resistance encountered and from
it was evident the enemy was withdrawing, but still
the troops continued to receive small arms, mortar and artillery fire
of a rear guard
spearhead of a coordinated Fifth Army attack was
the 133rd Infantry Regiment on 11 July. However resistance stiffened and numerous fire
fights were encountered. The
1st Battalion, on the southern slopes of
Hill 529, repulsed a raiding party and numerous enemy
were reported to be on Hill 529. One raiding party succeeded in infiltrating
lines and engaged our troops from the rear. Resistance
from the hill continued throughout the period with
the enemy employing reverse slope tactics
and laying mortar fire on our forward positions. The 3rd Battalion engaged the enemy in a fire fight on their flank
but the 2nd Battalion
advanced encountering no resistance until 1130 hours. At that time
a fire fight was encountered and considerable enemy
were reported killed. Again the terrain was so rough and thickly covered with underbrush that the troops could hardly
move at any rate of speed. At times almost perpendicular cliffs had
to be scaled by the troops.
2220 hours, 12 July, an enemy raiding party attacked
the 1st Battalion from their positions on Hill
contact fighting ensued with the enemy employing hand
grenades but the attack was repulsed
and casualties were inflicted on the enemy. A considerable number of casualties were also inflicted
on our troops. Mt.
captured by the 1st Battalion and it was noted that
the enemy was again withdrawing. Our
advance was slow due to the number of bridges and roads destroyed by the enemy. The Division Commander express his satisfaction with the Regiment's progress.
enemy raiding party of more than 80 men attacked
the 2nd Battalion at 2025 hours. The enemy employed artillery, mortar,
and small arms fire. Four
(4) P.W.'s were taken and between 35 and 40
enemy killed by our defensive fire. The
3rd Battalion attacked Mt. Alto
and made steady progress and with the aid of the
1st Battalion captured the hill. Evacuation of the wounded was most difficult
due to the
terrain which necessitated long litter trains.
July found the Regiment again out in front of the
whole Fifth Army front. Many mines and booby traps were encountered, delaying the rapid advance. No resistance was met during the night
but the 1st and 3rd
Battalions did receive come mortar fire from the
vicinity of the town of Lorenzana. The
enemy was displaying increased resistance on the front and both flanks of the 1st Bn. At
1715 hours all units were in contact
with the enemy. The 1st Bn engaged in a fire fight and surrounded
on all sides, but was relieved by the 3rd Bn after
casualties had been inflicted.
artillery was very active for the period of 16 July
and considerable machine gun and small arms
fire also delayed the advance somewhat. But
the towns of Tripale, Borgo, Cristina, Piozza and
Mardemi were captured by our troops.
in this sector was particularly stiff on the right
and left of the sector with the enemy defending
from strong points with heavy
small arms, machine gun, mortar and self propelled
artillery fire. Extensive
use of mines and demolitions continued to hinder
small arms fire and resistance in pockets was encountered on 17 July. The troops were advancing rapidly to occupy high ground dominating the area. Frequent small counterattacks were engaged in by the enemy while the balance
of their troops were withdrawing. The
town of Casini was captured by our troops. Combat patrols
were sent out to the City of Lavaioro.
portion of the town of Lavanio was occupied by our
troops on 19 July. Little resistance was encountered but extensive mortar and artillery fire was employed by the enemy. At
dusk the Regiment was relieved
and moved to a rest area in the vicinity of Lorenzana. The
Anti-Tank and Cannon Companies remained on the line
until 20 July when they were relieved and moved to the rest area.
combat patrolling in the vicinity of Colle Salvetti
was the only opposition met on 21 July. The
enemy was seen to be digging in north
of Arno Canal.
in the past, the enemy was continuously using a delaying action, blowing bridges and making frequent
small counterattacks. The 2nd Battalion repulsed a counterattack
on 22 July of some 100 in strength.
23 and 24 July the Regiment advanced rapidly to the
Arno River taking a few P.W.'s but suffered several
casualties from sniper fire and mines. The
towns of S. Jacopo and Yambra were occupied by our
troops and it was evident that the enemy was well dug in on the other
side of the
Arno River. The 1st Battalion and relieved and moved
to a rest and training
area in th vicinity of Rosignano. One
Company, Company "F", of the
2nd Battalion was sent to Leghorn to guard the city. The remainder of the Regiment resumed the advance against heavily mined
and booby trapped
areas. The town of Oratono was captured by the
3rd Battalion. The
Regiment, less the 1st Battalion then resumed a defensive
position on 27 July.
2nd Battalion and 3rd Battalion and Special Units
moved to the rest and training area in the vicinity
balance of the period was spent in cleaning equipment
and recreation including moving picture shows
each night, swimming, ball games,
and other recreational facilities for the enlisted
men and officers. An enlisted men's club was established with reading rooms, writing
equipment, etc. A
Division Rest Camp was established to handle a
large group of men. The
1st Battalion was attending this Rest Camp at the
end of the period.