1 LIR rest at Anzio.

Tue, 02/15/1944
General Alexander at Anzio.

While the 1st Battalion The London Irish Rifles was resting in the Anzio beachhead after several days of fighting, General The Honourable Sir Harold Alexander, Commander Allied Central Mediterranean Force, visited the Battalion on 15 February 1944. He congratulated them on their recent fight with the Germans in the area of the Factory and his encouraging words plus five days of rest greatly cheered the Battalion and helped prepare it for the next phase of the battle, which would begin on the 16 February.

The 1st (UK) Division had been pulled back into reserve along with the 1 (US) Armoured Division as the Allied force in the Anzio beachhead regrouped following the two German preliminary containing attacks on 4 and 7 February. As the remainder of 56th (UK) Division arrived from the Garigliano it was deployed to the left/west of the 45th (US) Division so that the sector facing the vital Albano road approach was held by fresh troops. Meanwhile, the Germans continued their build up of forces for the main counter offensive against the beachhead despite heavy Allied air attacks and diversionary operations around Monte Cassino. The Monastery was reduced to rubble on the morning of 15 February when it was attacked by 142 x B-17 heavy bombers and 87 x B-25 and B-26 medium bombers.