Chuckadice: Band of Brothers

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Briefing 8: 5th Jan 1944 - S Italy

It is a new year and the Allies continue their hard slog up the Italian peninsular.

13:30 hrs
At Mondragone, a small town on the coast north of the Volturno river, Lt Edge & his battered Sergeant are summoned to a briefing.

Another attack is due to go in on the German line at Formia in 48 hrs time. Part of the plan was to destroy a bridge in the Germans rear by air attack however due to the filthy weather & forecast of low cloud for at least the next 3 days another method has to be employed.

A squad of 12 men is to travel up the coast by boat, come ashore near Terracina, travel the 5 miles to the bridge & destroy it using demolition charges not later than dawn of the 7th. Extraction will be by the same route.

The Lt is to pick his squad which is to include Italian speakers, demolition engineers and a radio and report to the harbour at 22:00 hrs tonight.

A local fishing boat has been requisitioned and crewed with naval personnel. The plan is to head out for about 10 miles to clear the coast, northwest for 30 miles then turn in to the coast and approach it at sunup from the NW. Coming from this direction & coinciding with the return of the local fishing fleet it is hoped to escape detection by the Germans.
The landing will be made at a small harbour called San Caprero just a few miles down the coast from Terracina.

On clearing the town, the route to the target rises into hills which are well covered with woods, orchards & fields.

The road should be avoided as it is the main route between Formia & Rome.

The bridge itself spans a deep gorge and the approach is mountainous & more open than the lower slopes.

The target is guarded by infantry and an AA position overlooks & defends the bridge. Moderate amounts of traffic use the road and it is likely that the squad will have to employ watchers on the flanks during the operation to warn of approaching traffic.

Upon completion, extraction will be by the same route.



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