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The following file is the property of the 34th Infantry Division Association and Patrick Skelly, webmaster. Thanks to Patrick and the Association for allowing me to post them here.
 

History, 133rd Infantry Regiment, 34th Infantry Division

From 1 July 1944 to 31 July 1944, inclusive.

CECINA

     On 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.

     Resistance 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 casualties.   Cecina 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.

     The enemy endeavored to counterattack with tanks and infantry but  was broken up by our artillery and mortar fire.  All roads were heavily  mined or booby trapped to endeavor to delay the advance of our troops.

ADVANCE TO THE ARNO RIVER

     The 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.

     During 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.

     In 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.

     The 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.

     A 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.

     Mt. Vasino was occupied at 2130 hours by the 1st Battalion. After  the hill was captured a decline of resistance was noted.

     At 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 P.W.'s  reports, it was evident the enemy was withdrawing, but still the troops  continued to receive small arms, mortar and artillery fire of a rear  guard nature.

     The 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 through  our 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.

     At 2220 hours, 12 July, an enemy raiding party attacked the 1st  Battalion from their positions on Hill 529.  Close 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. Maggiore  was 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.

     An enemy raiding party of more than 80 men attacked the 2nd  Battalion at 2025 hours.  The enemy employed artillery, mortar, machine  gun 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.

     15 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.

     Enemy 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.

     Resistance 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 our advance.

     Scattered 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.

     A 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 2nd  Bn., Anti-Tank and Cannon Companies remained on the line until 20 July  when they were relieved and moved to the rest area.

     Vigorous 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.

     As 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.

     On 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.

     The 2nd Battalion and 3rd Battalion and Special Units moved to the  rest and training area in the vicinity of Rosignano.

     The 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.

          W. H. SCHILDROTH

          Colonel, Infantry

          Commanding

     OFFICIAL:

     s/Donald L. Nabity

     DONALD L. NABITY

     Captain, Infantry

     Adjutant


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34th Infantry Division 133rd Infantry Regiment Rifle Company 1st Battalion A World War II 2 Italy