May 1, 1944 — Training for Operation Buffalo to breakout from Anzio

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May 1, 1944 — Training for Operation Buffalo to breakout from Anzio

On the morning of May 1, Phil’s 3rd Infantry Division was once again assigned to corps reserve, where they remained until May 21.[1]

Most of this time was spent training for a new allied offensive, code named “Buffalo.”

The mission called for the VI Corps to “breakout of the beachhead on the front at Cori, at the base of the Lepini Mountains, and at Veletri, near the base of the Alban Hills.

All phases of this intense training period focused on the attack: “emphasis was placed on storming pillboxes, street fighting, coordination of the infantry tank team, defense against tanks, attack over open country, and attack against protected fossi.”[1]


For Phil’s 30th Infantry Regiment, the first three weeks of May were devoted to preparation for a giant all-out attack to smash out of the beachhead and carry the Fifth Army to Rome.

The new offensive was code-named Operation Buffalo.

The mission called for the VI Corps, now bolstered with 14,000 replacements—up to a fighting strength of 90,000 in seven fully equipped and manned divisions—to break out of the beachhead toward the mountain village of Cisterna, located in a mountain gap and leading down to Highway 6 directly to Rome.

The training was both physical and mental and was purely offensive with emphasis on storming pillboxes and other infantry emplacements, use of battle sleds, street fighting, coordination of the infantry-tank teams, defense against tanks, attack over open country and attack against protected riverbeds.

Overall cooperation of infantry and tanks was stressed.

And during this three-week rest-training period, the Combat Infantryman Badge was awarded to more than two thousand members of the 30th Infantry at company ceremonies held in the Pine Grove.[2]

Colonel McGarr[3] … presented the badges personally.[4]

[1] Champagne, 65-66.

[2] At First Light, pp 102-103.

[3] This is the first mention of the man who would give him his job with The Old Guard after the war.

[4] Prohme, 165, 167.

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