The Red Bull in World War II 34th Infantry Division Resources 1941-1945

Anzio Express

 

 

Thinking Out Loud

Questions

MAP

  • It's all in a name
  • 1) Firing Locations
  • 2) Robert?
  • 3) Moving to Naples, on the Livingston and shipped to America - Need US 540th Combat Engineer documents

The Scene

  • 1) Both Leopold and Robert are found in the Civitavecchia Rail Yard.

Location Notes

From The South African Military History Society Website:

  • The tunnel that Filzinger decided on was on the Ciampi no-Frascati branch line, approximately 12km from Rome, and 30km from the Anzio beachhead.
  • On May 18th ... then escaped after dark along the coastal rail route into the rail yard in Civiaveccia
  • Three days after Sauerbier had spiked the guns, [the Allies bombed the train in Civitavecchia]. Their entire train was bombed in Civiaveccia yard, the locomotives and the cars overturned, and the guns damaged.
  • But only Leopold emigrated to America. Robert stayed in Europe and is now on permanent exhibition at the Atlantic Wall Museum at Cap Griz Nez in France...
  • Leopold arrived in Taranto some months later and, by means of a crane and a barge, was loaded on to the liberty ship, Robert A Livingstone. On 6 July 1944, she docked in New York and, in September the same year, Leopold arrived at Aberdeen Artillery Proving Ground...

 

Map from R O'Rourke, Anzio Annie, She Was No Lady, 1995

 

 

 

The scene in the railyard.

  • Leopold and Robert are clearly visible as well as a WR360 or WR200 diesel switching locomotive, (?)still attached to Robert

NOTE: from O'Rourke - number of bombs dropped on railyard

Krupp 28-cm-Kanone 5 (E)

K5 Production

  • 8 guns completed in 1940 with a total of 24 guns produced
# Deutsche Reichsbahn # Nickname Capture Notes
01 919 201      
02 919 210      
03 919 211      
04 919 212      
05 919 213      
06 919 214      
07 919 215      
08 919 216 Robert Civitavecchia  
09 919 217      
10 919 218      
11 919 219 Leopold Civitavecchia  
12 919 220      
13 919 354      
14 919 356      
15 919 396      
16 919 397      
17 919 398      
18 919 399      
19 919 400      
20 919 443      
21 919 444      
22 919 445      
23 919 446      
24 919 683      

Facts

  • 2 K5 railway guns firing on Anzio - Robert (919 216) and Leopold (919 219)
  • Robert built early 1940, Leopold probably built by the end of 1940
  • One of the big guns of Anzio came from “Eisenbahn Batterie K5 28 cm Kanone (E) 712” (Railway Gun Battery 712 with cannon K5 (Railway) 28 cm) with the Reichsbahnnummer (German Railway Identification Number) 919216. It was called “Robert” by its crew and marked with an “R”. The second gun was of the "2./Eisenbahn-Artillerie-Abteilung 725” (2nd/Railway Artillery Group 725) with the Reichsbahnnummer 919 219. It was called “Leopold” by its crew and marked with “Leopold”
  • Robert and Leopold were combined into a battery, while the other two guns of the batteries 712 and 725 remained in northern Italy.
  • LOCATIONS - In front of the Anzio-Nettuno bridgehead the gun Leopold of the battery 712 fired from a Kreuzbettung situated several miles to the south of Ciampino at Frattocchio Station. “Robert” of the battery 2./725 used a “Schiesskurve”southeast of Rome near the Ciampino Airfield. After firing the guns were hidden away in tunnels between today's Marino and Albano Laziale stations.

Timeline

http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/beachhd_btlefrnt/ChapterXI.html

 

The Saga of the Anzio Express (& Anzio Annie?).

  • 1944 January - 2 K5 guns where moved south from the Milan area, to Anzio
  • 1944 February 1 - 1944 Robert opens fire with 15 rounds on the Anzio Beachhead
  • 1944 May 18 - Leopold and Robert fired their last sixteen rounds.
  • 1944 May 21 - The entire train was bombed in Civiaveccia
  • 1944 May 28 - German crews discovered at tunnel sunning themselves
  • 1944 May 29 - at dawn planes attacked the tunnel only destroying the kitchen car ????
  • 1944 June 7 - Leopold captured by the 168th Regiment of the 34th Infantry Division at Civitavecchia
  • 1944 June 9 - Allies bomb Leopoold's tunnel
  • Loaded on the liberty ship Robert A Livingstone
  • July 6, 1944, docked in New York
  • September 1944, Leopold arrived at Aberdeen Artillery Proving Ground

 

Reference Links

Detailed Anzio Annie History from The South African Military History Society website

Photographs of Leopold and Citivachia from the Hazegray.org photo feature of the USS Herbert C. Jones.

 

Where are they now?

From S, Berliner III's website:

Here is the "official" 05 Jun 01 Ordnance Museum (APG) version of the story (virtually verbatim):

There were two guns that made up the German K-5 RR battery that shelled the Anzio Beachhead. "Robert" and "Leopold" were the names the Germans gave the two guns. Together, they composed "Anzio Annie." When the Allies broke out of the Anzio Beachhead, the guns were moved to Civitavecchia, located just north of Rome. There "Robert" and "Leopold" were spiked with explosives and blown in place. On 07 Jun 1944, the 168th Infantry Regiment of the 34th Division captured the guns. Leopold was the less damaged piece and was moved to Naples and embarked aboard the liberty ship Robert R. Livingston and shipped to APG. The fate of "Robert" is somewhat hazy; the best guess is that it was scrapped in Italy after the war {if anyone has better information, please supply it, with provenance}. In February of 1946, two more K-5 RR guns were brought to APG from Germany. Parts off those two guns were put on Leopold and the gun was tested at APG.

In 1950, however, those two K-5s, along with a 600mm Mortar called "Karl", a 420mm "Big Bertha", and a 21cm Czech gun, were scrapped before the Museum Director, Colonel {G. Burling} Jarrett could rescue them.

End of narrative. Read it and weep! (My sincere appreciation to APG for this narrative.)

The good Dr. Robinson confirms that "both Leopold and its partner Robert were captured in late 1944" and adds that "a crew member, Albert Saurerbier, destroyed the elevating generator and breech with explosives. It is presumed Robert was disabled as well. However Robert (perhaps another) seems to have seen action later (with Margaret) in W. Italy." Dr. R.'s ref.: "Anzio Annie - She was No Lady", pub.by R. J. O'Rourke.

 

Leopold was the less damaged piece and was moved to Naples and embarked aboard the liberty ship Robert R. Livingston and shipped to the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Aberdeen, Maryland. Now on display at the US Army Ordnace Museum.