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Dated: September 10, 2012

Based on booklet entitled:

The Story of the Powder River Let'er Buck,
91st Infantry Division
August 1917 - January 1945

Booklet Cover 
   The "91st Division" history was a 94-page booklet published by the 91st Division during the last months of the war for distribution to the soldiers and their families. This booklet gives a good overview of the history of the 91st Division with details about places and events.  The booklet contained photos and sketched maps, which are not included.
   The history of the 91st is quite different than the ones for the 85th Division and the 1st Armored Division.  The History of the 91st seems to be bragging a lot about being "first" to reach certain objectives.   Some of these "firsts" occurred because they were the ones assigned this objective and not because their performance was better than other units.  Also, the 91st Division arrived later than many of the other divisions, which meant it was a fresh unit and it was only in combat for 4 months when the book ends.     
   The booklet ends with the capture of Livergnano at the Gothic Line defense in October 1944.  The remainder of the combat history was omitted so the booklet could be published.  The 91st Division would continue service in Italy as part of the 5th Army.  It performed outstanding service during the Po Valley Campaign in April 1945, which saw the collapse of the German resistance in Italy.

                                                                  Steve Cole

TABLE OF CONTENTS FORWARD  – Memo by Major General William G. Livesay (Not Included)
INTRODUCTION -    (Not Included)
CHAPTER      -   91st Division in World War I
CHAPTER  II     -   THE FIRST TWO YEARS:  15 AUGUST 1942- 12 JULY 1944
Color Legend: Topic   Sub-Headers used throughout the booklet.
Allied Units  (Only highlight units other than the 91st Division)
German Units
Bold (black)   Important dates, towns or leaders.
{My comments}  in Blue Brackets.
Abbreviations: M.  - Monte or Mount.  M. Adone for Monte Adone.
S.  - San or Saint.     S. Pietro for San Pietro.
TOT's - Time of Target.  A firing command for artillery.
130400 - Date/Time identifier for 13th day of month & 0400 hours.  191500 is 3:00pm on 19th.
Command and Organization:
  The 91st Division was part of the 5th Army.  The divisions within the 5th Army were orgnaized into Corps.  During various times, the 5th Army consisted of the II Corps, IV Corps and/or VI Corps.  Note, the text mentions III Corps but this was prior to deployment to Italy.
  During WW2, the typical Infantry Division was formed as a “triangular unit”, which meant the division consisted of 3 Regiments.  The 91st Division contained the 361st, 362nd & 363rd Regiments.  Each Regiment consisted of three battalions that commanded four companies.  The 1st Battalion consisted of Companies A, B, C, & D; the 2nd Battalion of Companies E, F, G, & H; and the 3rd Battalion of Companies I, K, L, & M(heavy weapons).  The Cannon Company was a light artillery unit that reported to the regiment.

Chapter I

Five months after the United States declared war on Germany in 1917, the original 91st Infantry Division was activated at Camp Lewis, Washington.  Most of the men came from the states of the Northwest, a fact which explains many of the distinctively western traditions and emblems which are part of the heritage of the 91st Division of World War II.  Activated under the command of Major General H. A. Greene, the Division immediately plunged into training. The first contingent, which arrived 5 September 1917, was so eager to begin that they drilled in their civilian clothes.

After 10 months of training the Division made ready to go overseas.  Examined and re-outfitted at the staging area, Camp Merritt, New Jersey, the first elements sailed for France 6 July 1918.  Most of the men landed in England, although a few were taken directly to France.

By 1 August the Infantry Brigades had been gathered at Montigny le Roi, and the Artillery Brigade at Camp de Souge and Clermont-Ferrand.  At these places the men underwent a month of incessant drilling and long hours of marching, until they were declared ready for actual combat.  On 29 August Major General William Jonhston assumed command of the Division, and a very few days later, 7 September, it was assigned to reserve of the First American Army during the St. Mihiel offensive, with headquarters at Sorcy.

When the success of the St. Mihiel offensive was assured, the 91st entered the Meuse-Argonne sector prepared to attack.  Nearly every other Division employed in the Meuse-Argonne had previous combat experience.  The 91st had had no such experience, yet it gave notable account of itself.  On 25 September General John J. Pershing, Commander-in-Chief of Allied Armies, personally visited Major General Johnston to express his confidence in the 91st before they marched into battle.  The next day the Division showed that General Pershing’s confidence had not been misplaced by breaking through two German lines and penetrating a third, advancing 8 kilometers.  The enemy was driven from the strong points of Very, Epinonville, Gesnes, Eclisfontaine, and Tronsol Farm.  General J. Cameron, Commanding General, Fifth Corps, paid high tribute to the Division in an order to General Johnston:

“At a time when the divisions on its flanks were faltering and even falling back, the 91st pushed ahead
and steadfastly clung to every yard gained.  In its initial performance, your Division has established itself
firmly in the list of the Commander-in-Chief’s reliable units.  Please extend to your officers and men my
appreciation of their splendid behavior and my hearty congratulations on the brilliant record they have made..”

Despite the fact that this offensive was the Division’s first entrance into combat, it captured more artillery, machine guns,  and prisoners, and advanced a greater distance under fire than many Divisions with much longer combat experience.  On 4 October, the Division was relieved by the 32nd Division and assembled near Contrisson.

One of the great honors given the Division came on 16 October {1918}, when, along with the 37th Division, it was named as part of the armies in Flanders, which, under King Albert, were about to launch the final crushing drive t the enemy in Belgium.  The 91st attacked in the early morning mists of 31 October.  From that time on until the very moment of surrender, 11 AM on 11 November, the Division drove the enemy back in panic.  Although the enemy had been ordered to hold the heights between the Lys and the Excaut Rivers to the death, the 91st smashed them the first day, and by the evening of 1 November they were on the outskirts of Audenande.  The next day the town was secured, and the Division pushed on to capture Welden, Petegem, and Kasteelwijk in rapid succession.

On the morning of 10 November, with the 182nd Infantry Brigade in the lead, the Division crossed the Scheldt River near Eyne.  They drove forward through town after town, and had advanced beyond Moldergem when the order came to cease firing.  In recognition of the superb courage and fighting ability, the 91st Division had shown Major General De Goutte, who had resumed command of the Sixth French Army, issued an order which read, in part:

  “I have found the same spirit of duty and discipline freely given in the 37th and 91st
Divisions, United States Army, which brings about valiant soldiers and victorious armies.
  Glory to such troops and to such commanders.  They have bravely contributed to the
liberation of a part of Belgian territory ad to final victory.  The great nation to which they
belong can be proud of them.”
After the Armistice, elements of the 166th Field Artillery Brigade moved into Germany and occupied the village of Wittlich until February 1919.  The infantry of the Division, after parading triumphantly with the men of the 37th before the cheering crowds of Brussels, patrolled the Franco-Belgian border west of Poperinghe from Beveren to Warande, for a short time.  On 2 January the first contingent of men sailed for home, and the echelons sailed thereafter as transportation became available. Division Headquarters, last to leave France, sailed 6 April, and final demobilization of the Division was completed at camps in California, Washington, and Wyoming by 14 May 1919. [End of WW1 history. Division spent approximately 45 days at the front lines.]

Chapter II
15 AUGUST 1942 - 12 JULY 1944

“March, Shoot, and Obey”
THE 91ST INFANTRY DIVISION was officially reactivated at Camp White, Oregon on 15 August 1942. Actually Major General Charles H. Gerhardt had arrived at Camp White on 8 July 1942, and by 19 July most of the Division officers had reported for duty.  Although in certain specialized arms the original cadre was selected from technical schools or commands, the majority came from the 1st Cavalry Division, stationed at Ft. Bliss, Texas.  At the elaborate ceremony of reactivation on 15 August, 529 officers and 1279 enlisted men listened to the roll call of the dead and witnessed a moving ceremony of the presentation of colors. So the new 91st was born. Quickly all efforts were bent to building up the Division to numerical strength, and then to training the men for the battle-trials ahead.

Early in September occurred the famous 91-mile march, of which the original members of the Division still reminisce. Undertaken to instruct the cadre in marches and bivouacs and to test the best physical powers of the officers and men, the march of 91 miles was made through the rough roads and trails of the Cascade Mountains. The distance was covered in 28-3/4 hours of actual marching time.

With the grueling test passed, the cadre settled down to the training of the men sent to the Division. During October and November, over 12,000 men poured into Camp White from all parts of the country and the training of these men began in earnest. Nearly all of them had no previous military training and so, on 15 November, they began with the basic fundamentals. The training period covered 39 weeks; basic training lasted until 15 February: unit training in platoon and company formations occupied the next 13 weeks, 15 February to 13 May. The last 13 weeks, devoted to the tactics of the Battalion and Regiment, were climaxed by maneuvers involving the whole Division held in the vicinity of Camp White, 21 June – 10 July 1943.

At the conclusion of the "D" series maneuvers the Division took stock of its progress, and weaknesses, as revealed by the maneuvers, were corrected. In addition there was considerable training in the assault of fortified area. This phase of the training was directed by Major General William G. Livesay, who became Commanding General of the Division, 14 July 1943. Under his supervision the Division prepared for IV Corps maneuvers at the Bend Maneuvers Area, approximately 10,000 square miles of terrain ranging from hot dusty desert to cold mountainous country. The Division closed there on 1 September 1943.

In all, there were eight problems in which the 91st, together with the 96th and the 104th Divisions, took part in both offensive and defensive operations over desert and mountain terrain.  The extremes of heat and cold, the excessive dust, snows and rain, and the difficult terrain tested the endurance, and ingenuity of every officer and man. The exercises accomplished their purposes and the three Divisions, which had participated, emerged hard, well-trained fighting units ready to take their places in theaters of combat.

From Bend the Division moved to Camp Adair, near Albany, Oregon, 2 November 1943.  The lessons learned in the maneuvers were thoroughly studied and every effort was made to polish the rough edges wherever they had appeared in anticipation of an early alert for movement overseas. It was not a long wait, for the alert came on 20 January 1944.

Events moved rapidly during the next few weeks---in a swirl of intensive planning designed to lay the groundwork for the entire movement. Simultaneous with the first orders from III Corps, Army Services Forces assigned a high priority to the Division for immediately supplying those items of equipment still short.

The message from Major General John Millikin, III Corps, directed the Division to conduct immediate inspections, intensify training, complete firing, and expedite shortage lists at once and to submit a personnel status report on or before 28 January 1944.  It further charged the Division with submitting a training status report on 5 February 1944, showing the exact status of training.  Schools on boxing and crating, servicing of vehicles and weapons for overseas shipment, Personal Affairs, and Malaria Control were immediately conducted for all personnel of the Division.

On 28 January 1944 the War Department published the formal movement orders setting the readiness date as 1 March for personnel and accompanying equipment, and 15 February for the Advance Detachment. During the following weeks the great pattern of preparation for combat was woven into a fabric that was strong and enduring-that would withstand the test of battle without revealing miscalculations that foresight and planning could prevent.  The Division cleared its personnel ineligibile for overseas service and received the necessary replacements: it requisitioned equipment and. issued it to the units concerned, furloughs were granted to those eligible, security was maintained, the physical fibre of the men was tested - corrected when possible - by the Division Surgeon.  Training was pushed to completion and immunizations were given.  Gradually the ideal of complete preparedness grew in to fact, and on 8 March General Livesay was able to report to III Corps that all arrangements short of the last minute details had been completed and that the Division was ready to move.

The preparation of the Division had been completed in exactly 48 days. Four days after the General had reported the Division ready the War Department set the final readiness dates: 20 March for personnel and accompanying equipment, 12 March for the Advance Detachment, and 14 March for the impedimenta.  It would be a mistake to imply that during this brief time of preparation the Division had made no mistakes in its gigantic task. As a whole, however, the work had been completed smoothly, without confusion or strain.

When on 11 March the first call from the port was received, General Livesay immediately called a conference of his staff and unit commanders and carefully outlined the final plans, answered questions raised and quietly ended:

"We have a problem requiring expeditious action before us, but this isn't anything like
the problems we are going to face during the next year; so let us start off in the right
manner, with the Advance Detachment getting off tomorrow and the impedimenta on
the 14th and the rest of the Division on time."

The echelons moved out of Camp Adair according to schedule. General  Livesay and Col. Joseph P. Donnovin, Chief of Staff, followed by air. Brigadier General Ralph Hospital, Division Artillery Commander, was left in command, of the rear echelon. These last elements of the Division left the camp on 29 March and closed on 3 April.

At the staging area the 91st Division came under the command of the commander of the station. Each unit was assigned to a specific area and operated under the command of the area commanders. The men and equipment of the Division were checked once again, and all preparations were completed for the movement overseas. There were to be four echelons consisting of the Advance Party, the first half of the Division, the remainder of the Division, less one Battalion, and the 2nd Battalion of the 363rd Infantry, delayed because of lack of shipping space.  The first to leave was the Advance Party.  At 1100, 30 March this group of four officers and six enlisted men under the command of Brigadier General Raymond E. S. Williamson boarded the ship for overseas.  Destined for Naples, Italy, the detachment first landed at Casablanca on 9 April and then flew by plane to Algiers and Naples.  They arrived on 11 April.

General Livesay, accompanied by Colonel Donnovin, Chief of Staff, and Captain Lash, Aide-de-Camp, proceeded by air after the departure of the first increment.  They departed from Washington 5 April, and after conferences in Algiers, flew to Naples for instructions, arriving 10 April.  They flew back to Algiers 16 April, and then to Oran to await arrival of the Division.

The second echelon left the Port of Embarkation 3 April.  At sea its destination was suddenly changed from Naples to Oran, the Allied Base in Algeria.  This did not vitally affect the movement, but it did become immediately necessary for the Advance Detachment, already at Naples, to return to Africa and reestablish the 91st Division's forward headquarters.  Thus, shortly after midnight on 14 April, this group left Italy by plane and organized the forward Command Post of the Division at No. 10 Rue Gallieni, Oran.

The first increment of Division arrived in convoy off the shores of Mers-el-Kebir 18 April, debarked and moved to permanent bivouac areas, with headquarters in Port aux Poules.  Back in the United States the third echelon--aware of the Division's new destination--sailed 12 April and arrived at Mers-el-Kebir on the 30th.  The 2nd Battalion of the 363rd Infantry left Hampton Roads on 21 April and arrived in North Africa 19 days later, on 10 May.  This officially closed the Division in North Africa, and General Livesay wired the Commanding General of the North African Theater of Operations: "last elements of the 91st Division closed in Theater 10 May 1944, End."  Thus the Division which had been alerted on the 20th of January and whose first contingent did not leave the West Coast until 14th of March, accomplished the approximately 7,500-mile operation in exactly 54 days.

Training in Africa
Meanwhile, assigned to the Seventh Army under the command of Major General Alexander M. Patch, the 91st Division was immediately launched on an intensive amphibious training program that was organized to simulate every possible phase of battle. This training program, scheduled to last approximately six weeks, was under the supervision of a special Invasion Training Center with Headquarters at Port aux Poules. The 361st Infantry, with the 916th Field Artillery Battalion and one company of the 316th Engineer Combat Battalion and the 316th Medical Battalion attached, initiated its training 3 May.

The whole program was divided into two basic phases: individual and small unit training and then Battalion and, in one case, Regimental landings. There was training in the organization of boat teams, wire breaching, debarkation drill, demolition teams, rocket teams, flame throwers, and a dozen other aspects of invasion technique. Then during the final period, units made landings on beaches in Arzew Bay in battalion strength both at night and during the day. During these landings, it was the mission of the troops to push through a heavily fortified zone, with barbed wire entanglements, pillboxes, and tanks; to climb mountainous terrain, to land artillery from the sea, and to fight under the guns of naval support. It was the toughest single period of training that the Division had undergone.

The 361st Combat Team, commanded by Col. Rudolph W Broedlow, completed its course on 15 May and left the Division on detached service with the Fifth Army in Italy. The 362nd Combat Team began its schedule on 11 May. The training was the same as that of the 361st with the exception that it executed a regimental landing, whereas the 361st had operated only in battalion strength. Its training ended on 19 May, shortly before the 363rd Combat Team began, and by the end of May all, the combat teams had completed the entire course.

"Dry Run" for Combat
The formal amphibious training of the 91st Division was completed on 31 May. The next day it began preparing for a mock invasion of the Arzew beaches as the finale to its training and as the prelude to its movement to the Italian front. On 3 June it moved from Port aux Poules to Mediterranean Base Section Staging Area No. 2 near Fleurus, where the final plans for the Arzew training landing were developed. At the same time the more comprehensive preparation required by the permanent movement to Italy, which was to follow, was carried on.

D-Day for the all-out assault against enemy position on the coast of Arzew Bay was scheduled for 11 June. It was assumed that the area from Oran to Mostaganem was held by elements of the German Infantry Division "W" with the "Y" Grenadier Regiment at Oran, the "X" Grenadiers at St. Cloud, and one Battalion of the "Z" Grenadier Regiment at Mostaganem. The entire stretch of the beach was strongly fortified with pillboxes, barbed wire entanglements, anti-tank traps, and strong points. There was also a force of enemy tanks reported in the vicinity prepared to repel any possible attack. The Division's mission was to seize the Port of Arzew and the airport at the town of Renan. Its final objective was the high ground west of Renan and south of Kleber. The plan called for a coordinated attack by both the 362nd and 363rd Regimental Combat Teams with engineer, medical, AAA, air and naval units in direct support.
{These "X", "Y" and "Z" names are fictious names used for the training exercises.}

Endless landing ships of all types were massed for the "Invasion." The Division CP was established on the USS Biscayne while an alternate CP was established on the HMS Derbyshire. Troops began embarking on 9 June. The following day was spent in briefing the commanders and men on the specific plans of the mission. Then, late that same night, 10 June, the ships moved slowly out of the harbor of Oran under cover of darkness and steamed silently ten miles out to sea opposite Cape Carbon and the shores southeast of Arzew.

During the night the troops were loaded into small landing craft, while a heavy sea rolled against the sides of the ships. Forty-five minutes before H-Hour, 0400, navy destroyers laid down a heavy artillery barrage on the beaches. Under this protective covering the first assault teams moved toward the hostile shore. The 363rd, getting off to a late start because its landing was forced off course by the wind, attacked at 0440 on the narrow "Ranger" beach just south of Cape Carbon. They landed in 14 waves and when they hit the beach they struck hard. Within 12 minutes the first wave had breached the initial wire entanglements at the beach's edge and was moving south to its next phase line. By the end of the first hour the Regiment had knocked out the enemy pillboxes with flame-throwers and demolition charges.

Meanwhile, at 0510, the 362nd Combat Team moved against the enemy's defenses on the Arzew shore, cut the road leading to the city and struck 1000 yards inland to its first objective. By 1000 the entire Regiment was ashore and the town had been captured. Reverting to the approach march formation with the 3rd Battalion in the lead, the Regiment advanced on the Division objective and by 1400 had joined forces with the 363rd on its right flank in seizing the high ground south of Kleber.  The operation, viewed as a whole, was declared a success, and the training went a long way toward hardening the Division for the combat it was to meet in the Italian front. {End of amphibious training.}

The move to Italy was initiated 15 June when the Division, with its greatest "maneuver" lying ahead, left Staging Area No. 2 to embark on ships in the harbor of Oran. The following day, 16 June, the 91st less its rear echelon headquarters steamed out of Oran destined for Naples and the smaller port of Bagnoli, four miles north of the great base. It arrived on the 19th of June and marched to Staging areas in the vicinity of Bagnoli, where it began preparing for imminent entrance into combat. On 20 June it was assigned to Fifth Army. First steps toward moving the Division into the line were taken on 27 June, when General Livesay received a telegram from, General Mark W. Clark, commander of Fifth Army, ordering the Division to move on approximately 30 June to the vicinity of Civitavecchia, north of Rome. At 0800 2 July the Division Command Post was opened at Montalto di Castro, four miles east of Civitavecchia.

Baptism of Fire
In the meantime, the 361st Regimental Combat Team had entered combat attached to the 36th Division. Having landed at Anzio on 1 June the Regiment took up positions the following night on the ridge four miles northwest of Velletri.  At 030530 June they jumped off, the first element of the 91st Division to enter combat, and four hours later they received their first baptism of fire. The next day the Regiment reverted to the control of VI Corps, but it was immediately assigned to the 34th Division and began a series of rapid moves to the north. On the night of 8-9 June the 361st Infantry relieved the 133rd Infantry, 34th Division, and at 090530 June attacked north astride Highway 1. Progress was rapid with the major delaying factors being mines, demolitions and occasional enemy delaying positions. In succession the Regiment captured Tarquinia, Montalto di Castro, Nuxiatello, and Orbetello. [The Allies entered Rome on June 4, 1944.]

One of the stiffest engagements was met at Ponte d’Istia on the Ombrone River. Here the Germans had a strong holding position in the town and two hills nearby. By infiltrating a whole Battalion over a partially destroyed dam single file, one man at a time, and by taking advantage of all avenues of covered approach, the Regiment completely surprised the enemy. Although they made a determined effort to stop the attack with heavy artillery and mortar concentrations, the 3rd Battalion pushed ahead, and by 162030 June they had captured Hills 61 and 66, as well as the town of Ponte d'Istia itself. Many casualties were inflicted on the enemy in the engagement and approximately 80 prisoners were taken.

The rapid advance northward continued until 19 June, when the Regiment was assembled near Batignano. Here, after a day's rest, they were attached to the 1st Armored Division. To all intents and purposes the Regimental Combat Team for the time being lost identity. The 2nd Battalion was attached to Task Force Howze, while elements of the other Battalions were attached to any one of three motorized Combat Teams as supporting infantry. The mission of the infantry was to ride the tanks and the tank destroyer decks until opposition was encountered: then the infantry was to deploy and attack. The main axis of advance was the Batignano-Paganico-Roccostrada Highway.

During the following two weeks the men of the 361st Infantry saw much action. The most bitter engagement of the period occurred at Casole d'Isola, where the fighting lasted for four days, 1-4 July.  After the town had been captured, elements of the Regiment were relieved. On 6 July elements of the 2nd and 3rd Battalions returned to the control of the 361st Infantry and the Regimental Combat Team returned to the control of the Division.

On 4 July the 363rd Regimental Combat Team commanded by Col. W. Fulton Magill, Jr. was attached to the 34th Division to gain combat experience and entered combat near Riparabella. Attacking through mountainous terrain they captured M. Vaso on 6 July and held it against very strong counterattacks. Although they were forced by their losses to withdraw briefly, the hill was secured on 9 July, and the advance continued toward the high ground west of Chianni.  Opposition was light but progress was slow, mainly as a result of the very difficult supply situation.

Chapter III

North to the Arno
DURING THE MONTH of 4 June to 4 July, American forces had driven the enemy back 150 miles, to the outskirts of Leghorn. At Cecina, however, it became apparent that the enemy intended to defend the approaches to Leghorn, the third largest port in Italy and an objective of great military importance. It was clear that a direct frontal attack upon Leghorn would be costly and difficult. Instead, it was determined to employ a flanking movement, by which Leghorn could be isolated and taken at the will of the attackers. Specifically, it was decided to attack north to the Arno, inland from the coastal road. Although the terrain was mountainous and ill-suited for military operations, the possibility of success was markedly better than battering at the defenses of Leghorn head on. Thus the two great objectives of the current campaign would be accomplished the capture of Leghorn and the control of the Arno River.

Fifth Army began massing its forces during the first weeks of July. The veteran 34th Division, with many attached units was hammering at the outer defenses of Leghorn, while the 88th Division on the right flank was striking for the high ground south of the Arno to outflank it. The 91st Infantry Division was assigned the central sector between the 34th Division and the 88th Division.
{New divisions were usually sent into their first combat in support of another veteran unit.   Sometimes one regiment would be deployed in this manner. This was basically what had happened with the 91st Division during June and early July.  Now the 91st Division was ready to operate as a cohesive unit}

At 0300 on 12 July 1944 the 91st Division entered combat for the first time as a complete unit. Its objective, the high ground dominating the Arno River, lay 15 miles away. Heavy opposition was expected because the enemy had all the advantage of prepared positions in mountainous country that was ideal for defense and because the enemy was known to be massing a small force of tanks and mining every approach. On the left, the 363rd Regimental Combat Team, which had been fighting for 9 days with the 34th Divisions came under Division control and attacked .on a four mile front south of Chianni. On the right, General Livesay deployed the 362nd Infantry, the only Regiment which had had no combat experience prior to the commitment of the Division north of the Cateste Hills with the Sterza River and the Casaglia-Capannoli Highway as its axis of advance.

First Phase
Late Tuesday night, 11 July, under the command of Col John W. Cotton, the 362nd Infantry began to move into position. The advance was delayed however, by four blown bridges and the by mines.  At 0300 12 July, after a 45 minute artillery preparation, a coordinated attack was launched by both Regiments, in conjunction with the 34th and 88th Divisions.

Progress during the Division’s first day of combat was most gratifying.  On the left, the 363rd Infantry, advancing in a flanking movement west of Chianni, took Hills 553 and 577, dominating the approaches to Chianni, and Hill 477, a mile northwest of the town.  Although the 3rd Battalion was ordered to enter Chianni itself, Italian Patriots reported that the enemy had retreated and that the Patriots were mopping up.  Thus only patrols were sent, while the main force proceeded northward along the ridge wet of Rivalta.

On the right, the 363nd Infantry met stiff opposition protecting the Chianni-Laiatico road. At Pgio Le Grotte, on the Division Line of Departure, the Regiment met its first real baptism of fire. This opposition was overcome by dawn, but the enemy fell back slowly. The 2nd Battalion attacking along the left flank of the Regimental sector, was met by a force of 12 enemy tanks. Artillery fire was placed on them, knocking out one and forcing the rest to disperse. In two attacks late in the day, at 1640 and at 2010, the Battalion drove to within a half mile of Chianni.  The 3rd Battalion found the enemy determined to hold the Chianni-Laiatico road, and although it smashed 500 yards beyond the road during the day a very heavy counterattack forced it to withdraw.

Second Phase
During the night the enemy withdrew northward and when the Division attacked again at 130400, it met only isolated groups of resistance. Thus Chianni and the lateral road running east from it were firmly in the Division's possession, and the push developed into its second phase. This period of three days was characterized by fluid fighting, centering principally about the towns of Bagni, Soiana, and Terriciola. Opposing the Division across its front from left to right were elements of the 1059th Regiment, the 1027th Regiment, the 67th PGR {*},  and the 9th PGR, supported by the 93rd Artillery Regiment. Although at least two counterattacks of considerable force were launched against the Division during the period, the advance was never seriously threatened.  {* PGR - Panzer Grenadier Regiment or an armored infantry regiment}

The drive of the 362nd Infantry was slowed somewhat by the heavy artillery fire from Terriciola to the north and by SP fire from the vicinity of Chianni. Although the Division Artillery knocked out one of the self-propelled guns and silenced the rest early the second day, the fire again harassed the Regiment in the afternoon. This time the Cannon Company knocked out one of the guns and forced the other two to withdraw. With the harassing artillery and SP fire neutralized, the Regiment moved forward slowly and had secured Terriciola at last light 14 July. Meanwhile the 363rd Infantry after consolidating its gains of the first day, reached a point just south of Bagni. Patrols were sent out to both the left and right; one of the latter was so zealous as to reach Terriciola, where it assisted in the capture of the town by the 362nd.

At 0400 15 July the 361st Infantry, having passed through the 363rd Infantry at Bagni, attacked north. Meeting no resistance, they pushed rapidly through Morrona. After the infantrymen had occupied ground north of Soiana, however, they were subjected to a steady pounding of well-observed enemy fire. Likewise in its advance north from Casanova the 362nd Infantry was subjected to heavy artillery, mortar, and machine gun fire from Selvatelle. After an extended preparation Selvatelle was by-passed.  But the advance was slow because of the continuing heavy enemy fire, and at the end of the day the Regiment was pinned down north of the Arno.

Third Phase
During the next three days, 16-18 July, the operations of the third phase saw, the achievement of the Division's mission; the occupation of the south bank of the Arno.  After reorganizing along the Querceto-San Pietro road, the 3rd Battalion, 361st Infantry, led a column of Battalions northward along the Ponsacco-Pontedera road.  At 161800 when a counterattack was observed forming at Le Selve, a tremendous artillery concentration was poured into the assembly area by the 916th, 346th, and 348th Field Artillery Battalions, which broke up the attack before it could be launched and resulted in heavy enemy losses of men and vehicles.  The enemy withdrew to Orceto, where they were again shelled.

The next morning the 3rd Battalion, 361st Infantry, supported by two companies of tanks jumped off again. In addition to the customary artillery and automatic weapons fire, the enemy employed armor to halt the advance.  It was estimated that 25 enemy tanks, Mark II's IV's and VI's; were operating in the zone of the 361st.  All morning there was a constant threat of an armored counterattack developing at Orceto.  Stopped once by Cannon Company fire, it developed again, only to be stopped once and for all when the 698th Field Artillery fired 25 rounds of 240mm into the town and its vicinity. The main push continued, and by noon Companies I and K, had reached Ponsacco. The town was enveloped and shelled by tank fire; after this preparation the infantry occupied the town with little resistance.

First at the Arno
With, only a brief rest, the 361st  took up the pursuit of the fleeing enemy. The 1st Battalion attacked at 0500 18 July and quickly took Orceto and moved to positions protecting the Regimental left flank. At the same time the 3rd Battalion, reinforced by both tanks and tank destroyers drove rapidly north.  Only three hours after the attack opened, Company K entered Pontedera. An hour later, at 180900, having disposed of the enemy machine gun and sniper fire, the Company pushed to the south bank of the Arno to become the first element of Fifth Army to reach the river.  Although the Germans had managed to evacuate most of their artillery across the river successfully, numerous tanks and vehicles were found abandoned.

Coincident with the brilliant drive of the 361st Infantry up the Ponsacco-Pontedera road, the 362nd Infantry on the right flank moved steadily forward in its sector. On 15 July General Livesay visited the Regimental CP and expressed his pleasure at the successes scored by the 362nd. This was a tonic to the weary, hard-fighting men, and at 160800 they moved out to the attack with new vigor. Fighting steadily throughout the day and the following night, they were well on the Divisional objective, the high ground south of the Arno, at 0800 17 July.

At this stage the enemy loosed a terrific barrage of 88mm artillery and mortar fire, so heavy that the entire Regiment was checked. Although the 346th FA attempted to silence the opposition, limited observation prevented successful accomplishment of the mission. As a result, the front lines withdrew slightly to positions better situated to repel a possible counterattack.

The attack was resumed at 180330, with the 3rd Battalion, 362rd Infantry, replacing the 1st in the front lines. The advance was slow-not because of enemy resistance, which was slight, but because of the terrain, which was very rugged. During the morning the troops were delayed by artillery fire from the area of Treggiaia north to the river, and by Shu mines, the first the Regiment had encountered. About noon, the Germans were observed pulling their artillery back across the river.  On the next day at 0800 the advance was again taken up, this time without enemy resistance. Terrain, demolitions, and mine fields slowed the advance but at 191500 the Regiment had closed on its objective. One company from each Battalion outposted the line, and patrols were sent to the Arno River.

"Well Done, 91st Division"
Thus after seven and a half days of fighting the Division had accomplished its mission. It was the first unit of either IV Corps or Fifth Army to reach the Arno River and to control the high ground to its south. Major General Willis D. Crittenberger, Commanding General, IV Corps, wired General Livesay on 18 July:
        "Well done 91st Division."
That same day, in a General Order, General Livesay commended the Division for its outstanding achievements.

“I am highly gratified with the accomplishment of the Division. I have noted a spirit
of determination and pride of service in all ranks that assures the further success of the Division.”

"End Around"
While the 361st and 362nd Infantries were driving straight north to the Arno, the 363rd Infantry, commanded by Col. W. Fulton Magill, Jr., scored two more brilliant "firsts" for the Division when it captured Leghorn, 18 July, and the section of Pisa lying south of the Arno, 24 July.

First in Leghorn
In what was described as a spectacular "End Around Play" the 363rd Regimental Combat Team reinforced, designated Task Force Williamson under the command of Brigadier General Raymond E. S. Williamson, Assistant Division Commander, moved out of its assembly area at 1817 on the 17th of July, organized in the 34th Division sector and at 0340 18 July knifed northwest through the gap between the 135th{of the 34th Division} and 442nd Infantry Regiments{442nd Regimental Combat Team consisting of Americans of Japanese descent}toward the great port.  At 2100 the same night, the city at whose gates Fifth Army had been hammering for over 25 days fell to Task Force Williamson. The Germans were caught completely by surprise: they were hit when they were off-balance, when their main forces were deployed against the 34th Division.  And in a matter of hours the German’s strongest bastion south of the Arno had fallen.

The 1st Battalion and the 2nd Platoon of the 91st Reconnaissance Troop striking from the high ground east of the port were the first to enter Leghorn that night.  The 2nd and 3rd Battalion moved in the following morning and reorganized for the attack on Pisa. Enemy resistance by this time was completely shattered, and the main forces were withdrawing towards Pisa.

First at Pisa
Principal obstacle to the advance on Pisa was a canal north of Leghorn cutting Highway I. However, the 1st Battalion crossed the barrier at 1800 20 July, and the battle for Pisa was under way. Enemy artillery was trained on the canal, and it was impossible to erect a bridge. Patriots were then used as carrying parties to keep the forward troops supplied.  The following day the 1st Battalion struck out for the south bank of the Arno River, where it established its positions that night. By 0530, 23 July, patrols had entered the city; by 1245 they had grown to company strength.  The 3rd battalion, infiltrating in small groups across fields, so disguised its movement that the Germans did not realize that a Battalion had joined the 1st, and by late in the afternoon the two units held positions in the city. That night, however, mortar and artillery fire, directed from a German OP located in the famous Tower of Pisa north of the Arno, was so heavy that General Williamson ordered one Battalion to withdraw south of the city. Retaliatory fire was prohibited, and the job was complicated by orders from the Commanding General, Fifth Army, to spare the historic installations in Pisa if at all possible. {The typical soldier suspected the Germans of using every high advantage point as an observation post.  This is why the monastery was bombed at the Cassino front.  There is no confirmation that the Germans were using the Leaning Tower of Pisa as a military observation post. }

From 23 July until 28 July, when it was relieved, Task Force Williamson was under constant artillery, mortar and small arms fire from German lines across the river. At first enemy patrols came across in small boats to reconnoiter the American positions. But General Williamson thwarted the moves by establishing strong points at strategic positions. On the night of 28 July the 363rd was relieved and withdrew south of Leghorn in preparation for movement to the east, where it was assigned the mission of screening Fifth Army's right flank and maintaining contact with the 88th Division.

In a commendation to the troops of IV Corps for the campaign to the Arno and the capture of the city, General Clark singled out the 91st Division when he wrote:

“…I have been especially delighted over the performance of the 91st Division in its first major test."

General Crittenberger of IV Corps added

“I consider it an honor and a privilege to have commanded such fine American troops of the caliber
of the men of the 91st Division. The valiant deeds of these men and their outstanding contribution in
this Italian campaign will go down in history as another great military achievement of American arms.”

Marking Time
During the last week of July, Fifth Army regrouped its forces along the Arno, as the first preparation for the Gothic Line Campaign. By 1 August the 91st Division had assumed responsibility for the eastern flank of Fifth Army, with Task Force Ramey on its left and the British Eighth Indian Division on its right. The 362nd Infantry, echeloned on a five mile front running east from the small town of Buche along the railroad just south of the Arno, had organized defensive positions across the Division sector and was maintaining strong combat and reconnaissance patrols to the river. The 361st and 363rd Infantries were in Division reserve. The Division Artillery, less the 347th Field Artillery Battalion, was attached to Task Force Ramey, while the 178th Field Artillery Group was in direct support of the Division.

"Patrols Were Active"
The mission of the Division at this time was to establish a defensive line along the Arno River, to protect the right flank of Fifth Army, to screen the regrouping of Fifth Army, and to maintain liaison with the Eighth Indian Division. Up to the time the Division was relieved from the line on 17 August, the period, an interim between attacks, was comparatively quiet. It was characterized by extensive reconnaissance and patrol activity, harassing artillery firing, and occasional patrol skirmishes.  The enemy was sensitive to every move. During the day there was very little activity other than artillery duels.  At night, however, patrols often 40-50 men strong, would cross the river to probe the Alllied lines. Sometimes German patrols would hide in houses south of the Arno by day and make reconnaissance forays by night. They also made extensive use of observation planes and flares in the attempt to determine the dispositions and intentions of our forces.

The 362nd Infantry, occupying the positions along the river had two primary missions; to learn as much as possible about the enemy's strength, position, fire-power, and movement, and to scout the river and its banks for information to be used in a possible river-crossing operation later in the month.  Its second mission was to screen the front of the Division and Fifth Army and deny the enemy knowledge of the disposition and movements of our troops. To complete these missions an average of five combat patrols consisting of from eight to twenty men, and fourteen reconnaissance patrols of four to eight men, with an officer leading each patrol, covered prearranged routes each night.

In addition to the combat and reconnaissance patrols sent out by the infantry the 316th Engineer Battalion sent out reconnaissance parties to gather information essential to crossing the Arno. One such party reconnoitered the terrain for three nights and two days, 18-22 August 1944. They waded and swam the river at many times and places to determine depths and widths of the stream and gathered other information concerning the banks and approaches. From prisoners captured by combat patrols and from the reports of the reconnaissance parties of both the Engineers and the 362nd Infantry, the Division gradually built up a complete and accurate study of the disposition of enemy forces as well as a detailed analysis of the Arno River and its banks.

While the 362nd Infantry was patrolling the Arno, 1-13 August, the other two Regiments and Division Artillery concerned themselves with the care and cleaning of equipment, training, and study. On 5 August training was instituted in the 361st Infantry stressing marksmanship and physical conditioning designed to bring the 1,000 replacements which had come to the Regiment since 3 June up to Regimental standards. Instruction in scouting and patrolling, mines and mine warfare, and technical training for special units was also carried out. In the 363rd Infantry, essentially the same program of training was undertaken for those not actively engaged in the Regimental mission of screening the Division's right flank and maintaining contact with the Eighth Indian Division. In addition, every replacement had an opportunity to gain actual patrol experience under the leadership of experienced leaders. Division Artillery, in addition to activities similar to those of the Regiments, concentrated on the care and cleaning of their equipment.  The armament section of the 791st Ordnance Company, with the help of 12 men from the automotive section, performed the six month's survey of the Division's artillery pieces.

The month of August was made memorable for the Division by visits of high Army and Navy officials and the celebration of the second anniversary of its activation. Within a week the 91st Division had the priviledge of meeting and entertaining the Secretary of the Navy, Mr. James Forrestal, and the Undersecretary of War, Mr. Robert Patterson. Secretary Forrestal, accompanied by Lt. General Mark Clark and other high ranking Army officers, inspected the Division Command Post, 9 August, and dined with General Livesay and the members of his General Staff.

Five days later Mr. Robert Patterson visited the Division. With his party he visited the Command Post of the 361st Infantry and presented decorations to six Officers and Enlisted Men and personally greeted a Guard of Honor of fifteen men who had previously been decorated by the Division for heroism.  After reviewing the 2nd Battalion of the 361st and addressing the troops briefly, he was taken to the Division Command Post, where he and his party were the guests of General Livesay at luncheon.

Second Anniversary
On 15 August, the 91st Division celebrated the second anniversary of the reactivation of the Division. No formal ceremonies were held, but General Livesay, in a letter of greeting, expressed the quiet pride and satisfaction every member of the Division felt. He wrote, in part:

   "The Division is now of age - it is no longer a Division in training. It is a Division that has met
the enemy under the most trying circumstances of terrain and has driven him back with heavy
casualties. I feel certain that the German high command has this Division registered as one of the
first line fighting divisions.  The campaign to the ARNO; the taking of LIVORNO, and the investment
of PISA leave no doubt in my mind but that I have the honor to command an organization of top-class
fighting men.
   With all of my pride in you, I am still inclined to sound a note of warning. Let us steel ourselves to
further, more definite efforts. Let us improve ourselves in all of the things that we have learned so
that nothing can stand successfully in the path of the Division."

More Training
On 13 August, arrangements were begun by II Corps for moving the 91st Division to a rear area for specialized training. Movement of various units took place at night during the period of 14-17 August. The 363rd Infantry, which had relieved the 362nd Infantry on the line at 130400, was, in turn, relieved by elements of the 85th Division during the night of 17 August, and command of the sector was officially relinquished at 170445.  The Division gathered in an assembly area in the vicinity of San Gimignano and Gambassi, a training area for its next assignment, to concentrate especially on river-crossing techniques, operations in mountains with mule supply, and the reduction of fortified areas.

During the remainder of the month of August the 91st Division carried out the training program outlined for it by II Corps. Originally scheduled for ten days, the training period was extended into the month of September. The Engineers gave lectures and demonstrations on river crossing techniques, and full employment was made of the 11th Mule Group{probably operated by ex-Italian soldiers used to carry supplies into the mountains}for training in loading and using mules in mountainous terrain.  Firing ranges were set up by separate units and further practise in marksmanship was held.  Extensive training in night problems was also conducted.  This specialized training especially in the various phases of mountain warfare proved to be most valuable in the great September campaign against the Gothic Line.

Chapter IV

“. . a lifetime of .. . fear, courage and prayers.”

DURING THE MONTH of September the 91st·Division fought its most brilliant campaign, in which it smashed the most formidable defensive positions in Italy, the Gothic Line. It advanced through elaborately constructed fortifications over mountainous terrain made hazardous by rain and fog, with unflinching determination and unwearying courage. According to one infantryman the climactic days, 12-22 September, were a "lifetime of mud, rain, sweat, strain, fear, courage, and prayers." But with brilliant leadership and magnificent courage, the 91st Division cracked the Gothic Line and established itself as one of the great fighting Divisions of World War II.
   {See The Approach to the Gothic Line for a map of the plans to break the GOTHIC Line.}

Contrary to expectation the German high command did not elect to make a stand at the Arno but withdrew to their prepared positions north of the Sieve River. According to Intelligence reports the Division was facing four Divisions, estimated to number 12,600 men, with at least one Division of 2100 men held in reserve in the vicinity of Prato.  The first extended stand was anticipated at a line running from Fontebuona, through Ferraglia, Bivigliano, and M. Senario to Il Poggiolo.

The Division moved across the Arno with the utmost secrecy on 6 September, and assembled on the north bank, screened by the British Eighth Indian Division.  While the British were screening the Division's movements, however, they found that the enemy had begun to withdraw. The Eighth Indian Division under the operational control of the 91st Division, sent out patrols constantly in an effort to maintain contact with the withdrawing enemy. On 8 September, when patrols reached Farraglia, Bivigliano, M. Senario, and M. Calvana and found the positions unoccupied, the British units moved forward to occupy the line.

Moving Up
The 91st Division moved into position during the night of 9 September. The 362nd Infantry relieved the 2nd Brigade of the 1st British Division near Vaglia and the 363rd Infantry, moving through the 3rd Brigade, closed just south of Bivigliano. The Division Artillery took positions in the vicinity of Pratolino, and by 1945 all pieces were registered.
                            {See Map II Corps Attack on Gothic Line for Sept 10-18}

Jump Off
The attack jumped off according to plan at 100530. Advancing steadily northward, the infantrymen met no resistance. In the afternoon, when the 2nd Battalion of the 363rd Infantry cut Highway 65, near Tagliaferra, they received artillery fire, and from then on both Regiments were subjected to harassing artillery and small arms fire from enemy positions north of the Sieve Rive. During the night, despite the extensive minefields along the banks and streambed of the river, troops of both Regiments wadded the river and took up secure positions on the north bank. Thus the first Division objective had been secured.

The next morning, 11 September, the two Regiments continued the attack. Since the Germans had withdrawn from their outpost line upon contact, there was little resistance. Only the mountainous terrain and enemy minefields slowed the advance. At the end of the day the 362nd Infantry was just north of Gagliano, while the 363rd Infantry had occupied San Agata. The next morning the attack continued against steadily increasing resistance. The 363rd Infantry advancing toward Monticelli, and the 362nd moving on M. Calvi met small arms and mortar fire as well as harassing artillery fire. The main obstacle, however, was the mountainous terrain which grew steadily more difficult as the troops advanced toward the ridge line of the Apennines.

In the afternoon, 13 September, General Livesay ordered the 361st Infantry committed. The Regiment was to pass through forward elements of the 363rd Infantry on the left and to attack at 140600 in the center of the Division sector. On the right, the 363rd was ordered to secure Monticelli; on the left the 362nd was ordered to secure M. Calvi and then proceed to its next objectives, M. Poggio all Ombrellino and M. Gazzaro. Thus until the 363rd reverted to reserve, the 91st Division was to have nine Battalions on line: three on the left, one moving north near Highway 65, and two attacking M. Calvi; three in the center attacking Hills 844 and 856; and three on the right attacking Monticelli.  The great drive on the main defenses of the Gothic Line was now begun.

Unlocking the Door: Monticelli
Monticelli, the objective of the 363rd Infantry, was one of the most important positions in the Gothic Line. Overlooking Il Giogo Pass, it was the left bastion of the heavily fortified Il Giogo defense area{*} and constituted the anchor for the rest of the Gothic Line in the Division sector.  It is a rocky, broken ridge, with a cone-shaped peak 3,000 feet high, wooded three-fourths of the way up, but devoid of any cover and concealment for the last 600 feet of the slope. On its sides, pillboxes and dugouts had been built in such a way as to afford mutual protection for each other. These had been camouflaged very carefully so that they were invisible to the naked eye. A characteristic pillbox, large enough to accomodate five men was of concrete construction with a roof covered with three feet of logs and dirt.  In the front was a slit six inches high and three feet long.  {* The IL Futa Pass was the location where the primary road, Hiway 65, crossed the Appennine Mountains and therefore it was heavily defended.  The Allied commanders selected IL Giogo Pass as the center of their offensive using the 91st and 85th Infantry Divisions.  See explanation under "The Unnamed Hills", below.}

As further protection row after row of barbed wire, one foot high and 25 feet deep, had been placed at 100-yard intervals up to the top of the mountain. In two ravines, which led to the top of the mountain, the enemy had laid minefields. On the reverse slope of Monticelli elaborate dugouts had been constructed. These had been dug straight back into the mountain to a distance of seventy-five feet and were large enough to accommodate twenty men. On a hill 300 yards north of Monticelli a huge dugout was found which had been blasted out of solid rock. Shaped like a U and equipped with cooking and sleeping quarters, it was large enough to accommodate 50 men.

The Advance Was Slow.. .
On 13 September the 1st and 3rd Battalions, 363rd Infantry began the slow torturous attack. Each pillbox had to be knocked out individually by artillery or by flanking assaults by the infantry with hand grenades. Frequently minefields or wire obstacles had to be breached before the pillbox itself could be reduced. It was slow, bloody, costly fighting. In the afternoon the 2nd Battalion attacked between the 1st and 3rd Battalions and pushed under cover of a smoke screen to within 600 yards of the crest of Monticelli. The next morning, however, they were subjected to a heavy counterattack and driven from their positions.

After two days of slow progress the first break in the enemy defenses developed. Company B over-ran the enemy Main Line of Resistance and occupied the ridge line extending west from the peak of Monticelli.  Although the Company was subjected to counterattack after counterattack and unrelenting artillery and mortar concentrations, the flank was never turned.  After one Counterattack two enemy were found sleeping in Company B foxholes!

The Final Assault
The next day while the 1st Battalion held the left flank and the 2nd Battalion maneuvered to reduce pillboxes that had held up its advance, the 3rd battalion launched an attack on the peak. Despite every effort the intense mortar and machine gun fire stopped the attack, and it finally bogged down. On the morning of 17 September General Livesay, on the ground, laid the plans and personally supervised the preparations for the final assault. Every resource was marshaled for the effort. With every Battalion exerting maximum pressure on the enemy, the 2nd Battalion, with Company K, made an all-out assault on the peak. By 1330 Company K had advanced over a mile and had come to within 300 yards of the crest. At 1400 a rolling barrage in which 272 rounds of 105 mm were fired by the 347th Field Artillery in 25 minutes moved up the south-western slope of the mountain with the infantrymen following as close as 50 yards behind it. At 1448 word was received that the company commander of Company K, Captain William B. Fulton, his radio operator, and six enlisted men had reached the top of Monticelli.

"The Situation Is Well In Hand"
Immediately the enemy laid an intense artillery and mortar concentration on the position and began to organize a counterattack of 200 to 300 men at a point 400 yards to the north. The company commander directed artillery fire on the area, and 461 rounds were fired in 45 minutes to break up the attack before it could get under way. Meanwhile the small band was reinforced, and at 172240 Col. Magill reported that "the situation is well in hand."  During the night two Batteries of the 347th Field Artillery laid a ring of steel around Monticelli firing 4,000 rounds, a volley every three minutes. There was no counterattack; by morning, 18 September, Monticelli was occupied in strength.

Monticelli had been won by the courage and sacrifice of the 363rd Infantry and the superb support of the 347th Field Artillery and its associated units. The artillery pounded constantly at enemy positions. In one area where artillery fire had been directed for four days, 150 dead were later counted. One of the targets fired during the all-night barrage, 17-18 September, proved to be a Battalion Command Post 30 feet wide dug 100 yards into the side of the mountain. The next day 33 prisoners were taken from the cave, dazed and shaken by the pounding they had received. The artillery had run the enemy into their holes, and the infantry had dug them out, and Monticelli fell.

General Keyes, Commanding General, II Corps, expressed his pride in the capture of the key position, the first break in the Gothic Line in the II Corps sector, when he telegraphed to General Livesay:

"Congratulations upon the capture of Monticelli. The successful accomplishment of this
tough assignment is fitting tribute to the dogged determination and courage of the 91st.”

Desiring to exploit the capture of Monticelli as rapidly as possible, General Keyes ordered that the 363rd Infantry push on to the Santerno River immediately.  Patrols were sent out the afternoon of 18 September and 190530 the 3rd Battalion attacked in force. Around Casanova the enemy put up a stubborn resistance to protect their withdrawal. During the night 20-21 September the enemy withdrew across the Santerno in this sector and the 2nd Battalion, which had relieved the 3rd Battalion, advanced rapidly. They organized the area up to the river and sent strong patrols across the river to maintain contact with the enemy.

The Unnamed Hills
The 361st Infantry, in the center of the Divisional sector, on the left of the 363rd Infantry, attacked north from Montepoli at 140545. The sector assigned to the 361st is a bowl, surrounded on three sides by a mountain range shaped roughly like a horse-shoe. At the right point lies Monticelli; at the left point lies M. Calvi. The floor of the bowl is not flat, but is cut by a ridge running north and south which rises to Hills 844 and 856. The enemy literally looked down the Regiment's throat whichever way it turned, and from their prepared positions the enemy was able to place terrific machine gun, mortar, and artillery fire upon the infantrymen advancing northward.

There was a second difficulty which hampered, to a certain extent, all the Regiments of the Division but especially the 361st Infantry. This was the problem of supply. On the left and right, roads were available at least part of the way for the transportation of supplies, but in the 361st Infantry sector the only road of any size running north from San Agata stops at Casal.  By ceaseless effort the Engineers rapidly extended a trail to Coppo adequate for quarter ton trucks which ran from Casal to Vallappero. This was unquestionably one of the most difficult assignments the Engineers completed during the month. The trail was so rocky that it was impossible to scrape the road out of the mountainside and so steep on the outside that it was equally impossible to bank it up to a passable width. Yet by blasting and chipping the rock wall and base, Company A, using all three of its platoons in succession working night and day succeeded in widening the trail into a road passable to peeps.

It was dangerous, especially in the dark when the drivers could not even see the tracing tape and had to be led along the road by a convoy officer, but it was usable up to Coppo. From Coppo there were only mule trains. For days every drop of medicine and every round of ammunition and every bit of food was carried forward from Coppo on mules.  The trail was so narrow and dangerous that it was necessary to set up traffic control points along the way so that the litter bearers bringing out the wounded could pass the mule trains bringing up the supplies.

There were, however, excellent reasons for attacking at this point.  Within the Division sector it was possible to attack here or at Futa Pass.  Futa was the most heavily defended position in the Gothic Line and had the further advantage of being very easily supplied down Highway 65.  The section of the Gothic Line in the sector against which the 361st attacked, although very heavily fortified, was not prepared in depth and was very difficult to supply.  When the 361st Infantry broke through the Main Line of Resistance in their sector, they found that the enemy failed to solve their supply problem.  Most of the prisoners captured had had no food for three or four days and their ammunition supply was very low.  Thus, although the sector presented great difficulties for the Regiment in the attack, it presented equal difficulties for defense.  The wisdom of the commitment of the Regiment in this sector was borne out by the subsequent success of its drive.

“They Are Looking Down Our Throats”
At 140545 the 361st Regiment jumped off and was almost immediately subjected to fire from every side, especially from Pgio Roncolombello, Apparita, and M. Calvi, under attack by the 362nd Infantry.  Despite this, good gains were made until the main enemy lines were reached late in the afternoon.  It was clear from the first day’s fighting that extensive use of mortars and machine guns would be necessary if any marked advances were to be made, and when General Livesay visited the Regimental Command Post late in the day, he ordered Col. Broedlow, to “Fire all the ammunition you can haul.”

The next three days the advance was slowed by barbed wire entanglements, pillboxes, dug in positions, and heavy fire of all sorts.  At one point the 3rd Battalion reported that in front of it were “2 banks of wire, each 15-20 feet deep with a space of 20 feet between each, which was undoubtedly heavily mined.”  Even 105mm artillery shells could not breach the obstacle.  This could only be done by hand, always in the face of terrific fire from well-prepared positions.  On one occasion an Engineer was disarming mines while the infantrymen protected him by keeping the pillbox ahead “buttoned up.”  As the Engineer, prone on the ground, squirmed from mine to mine, an infantryman called to him to keep his head down.  When he protested that his forehead was already touching the ground, the infantryman ordered him to turn his head over to the side so that he could maintain his protective fire!

After three days of bitter fighting, pillbox after pillbox had been captured, minefield after minefield had been breached, and barbed wire entanglements had been blown up by artillery shelling and bangalore torpedoes.  Savage, bloody counterattacks had been beaten off, and the constant pounding began to tell on the enemy.  The same development was observed along the entire Division front.  Terrific artillery and mortar concentrations and the constant drive of the infantry had taken their toll.  Replacements for the enemy were brought up as early as 13 September, but they were adequate neither in numbers or in combat training.  Further, putting these replacements in line was no small task.  One prisoner reported that his group had been attacked by American bombers on the way to the line and had suffered heavy casualties.  “Many men lost their weapons on the march to the MLR because they were too exhausted to carry them.”

The End in Sight
By 19 September the disorganization mounted; captives flowed through the prisoner of war cage.  Of the 896 prisoners taken between 9 September and 30 September, 502 were captured in the four-day period, 18-21 September.  Although much hard fighting lay ahead, the enemy had begun to crack under the strain, and the tempo of advance picked up.

In the sector of the 361st Infantry this was especially true.  By 180650 Companies A and G were reported on Hill 856 and at 180811, Company E reported on Hill 844.  The capture of Hill 844 was especially important, for it had been the most strongly fortified and most stubbornly defended hill facing the Regiment.  Its loss unhinged the enemy positions in the sector and forced the Germans to retreat.  Early in the afternoon as the Regiment pressed forward, the disorganization of the enemy became more and more apparent, as they took hasty positions for a brief stand and then ran back to others.  Before the day was over, Hill 805 had been taken.

“Objective Terms”
The next day the attack continued under a tremendous rolling barrage.  In rapid succession Hills 992, 1022 and 1027 fell.  Since the 363rd Infantry had secured the Division right flank, the 361st Infantry swept northwest along the ridge line of the Apennines.  Resistance was light as the enemy fled, but the terrain was extremely broken and was made more difficult by rain.  The 3rd Battalion occupied positions from Segalari east to Hill 705, with Company B immediately east of the road junction at Futa Pass covering it with machine guns.  Thus the Regiment stabilized its lines overlooking the Santerno River.

Futa Pass
While the 363rd Infantry was battaling for Monticelli on the left and 361st Infantry fought for Hill 844 and 856 , the 362nd Infantry was advancing up Highway 65 toward M. Calvi and Futa Pass.  As in the other two sectors, the fighting was very bitter and the advance painfully slow, 13-15 September.  With unwearying courage the Regiment fought its way from pillbox to pillbox, through barbed wire and minefields, always through areas in which the enemy had excellent observation and prepared fields of fire.  On 14 September the 2nd Battalion occupied M. Calvi but could not exploit its position because of the terrific mortar concentrations, which fell from Hills 821 and 840.  Nor could the Battalion advance rapidly to Hill 840, for although the forward slope of M. Calvi is a gentle incline, the reverse slope drops abruptly to the foot of Hill 840, at some points as much as 500 feet in 200 yards.  Not only was it almost impossible terrain for the infantry to cross, but artillery fire is masked in many areas.  Thus even high angle fire was unable to reach the mole-like Germans dug in below.

Rolling Barrage
Shortly after noon 15 September, the 1st Battalion attacked north to Morcoiano according to a plan which involved nine TOT’s being delivered by the massed artillery in 15 minutes.  Progress of this attack was slow but steady.  Morcoiano was heavily defended, but on 18 September, the town fell and the Battalion pressed on.  The next morning under a “nearly perfect” rolling barrage fired by the 346th Field Artillery, the assault on Poggio began.  The artillery fire did not smash the fortifications, but it forced the defenders to seek cover and “button up” completely.  Then when the fire moved past a given point, before the enemy could jump out of holes to man their weapons, the infantry, just a scant 300 yards behind the barrage, was upon them.  Two hundred prisoners were taken.  In this way the attack literally walked through a strong point that would ordinarily have been a scene of bloody and prolonged fighting.

On the same day, 19 September, the 2nd Battalion, attacking from the southeast, captured both Hill 821 and Hill 840.  Advancing rapidly to keep contact with the enemy, now driven from his Main Line of Resistance, the Battalion occupied M. Alto during the night of 19-20 September.  {Pvt. Oscar Johnson, Company B, 363rd Regiment, earned a Medal of Honor for holding off the enemy attacks for 3 days from his machine gun postion.  Five companies of German paratroopers had been repeatedly committed to the attack on Company B without success. Twenty dead Germans were found in front of his position and 25 surrendered.}

Although the collapse of the enemy lines in the 362nd sector was not so spectacular as it was in the 361st sector, Hill 896 was captured the next day, and by the morning of 21 September Company A had reached the Santerno and had set up machine guns trained on Futa Pass.

In the meantime the 3rd Battalion, 362nd Infantry, which had been operating almost alone, with the closest unit more than 1000 yards away, was battling north along Highway 65.  Despite a warning by General Livesay that it was not to try “to win the war by itself” it was trying to do exactly that.  On the morning of 16 September the Battalion had come against a spectacular Anti-tank ditch over a mile long over hill and valley and covered by interlocking fields of machine gun fire.  Covering the highway was 88mm Tiger tank gun and turret mounted in a concrete emplacement, as well as other concrete pillboxes and dugouts commanding the approaches to the Pass.

For two consecutive days the Commanding Officer of the 3rd Battalion, directed the 346th Field Artillery in a steady pounding of San Lucia.  The Tiger tank gun was knocked out and two 105mm SP guns were destroyed.  Every time the enemy attempted to move, the artillery hit him.  On 20 September under a rolling barrage the Battalion attacked along the ridges, surprised the enemy, overran his positions, and captured Hill 689. The next day in a pincer movement they seized San Lucia and, under artillery fire, which was seldom more than 300 yards ahead of the front-line troops, they took Hill 901. That night they outposted in Futa Pass in preparation for the final all-out assault against Hill 952, which commanded the vaunted Futa Pass defense system.

The next day, 21 September, the Battalion inched its way relentlessly up the hill against every type of fire the enemy could pour on it. Yet by nightfall it outposted positions on the summit. This was the culmination of the Division's 12-day battle to crack the Gothic Line. With the fall of Futa Pass, the door, which had been unlocked at Monticelli and swung open by the drives of the 363rd and 361st Infantries, literally fell off its hinge. The Gothic Line had been smashed.

"A Fighting Team"
In twelve days the 91st Division had broken a series of defenses the German Todt Organization had worked over a year to build.  Pillboxes, concrete emplacements, some so thick 105mm shells bounced off them like peas shot from a pea shooter, barbed wire, tank guns mounted in concrete turrets, mine-fields, and ditches, this had been the Gothic Line.  Acres of timberland had been cut over to rake unbroken fields of fire. Finally, all these fortifications bad been constructed in the rocky broken Apennine mountains, which in themselves constituted a formidable barrier.  Manning these fortifications was the 4th Paratroop Division, one of Hitler's best Divisions in Italy.

In cracking the Gothic Line the Division had fought as a team. Each separate branch of the Army contributed nobly to the accomplishment of the Division's task. The 316th Medical Battalion, its equipment and staff strained by handling thousands of casualties did magnificent work. Litter bearers carried patients over narrow slippery mountain paths, through minefields and barbed wire entanglements and over stream beds. Yet without thought for themselves, the medical men worked to treat the wounded and to evacuate them from the battlefields.

For the 316th Engineer Battalion the drive from the Sieve River to the Santerno River was a continuous nightmare. The road net in the Division sector was poor, and damaged by shelling, demolitions, and rain, what roads there were became almost useless. They built roads where no roads were meant to go; they filled or by-passed giant craters; they built bridges and rebuilt them when rain-swollen streams washed them away. By their untiring efforts ammunition, medical supplies and food reached the front-line troops.

Much of the credit for breaching the Gothic Line goes to the Division Artillery, composed of the 916, 346, 347, and 348 FieldArtilley Battalions augmented by the power of II Corps artillery. For preparations fired during the campaign the Division controlled 168(*typo?) guns. During the period from 11 September to 22 September, inclusive, 94,379 rounds were fired, and during 3 single twenty-four hour period, 15 September, 14,321 rounds were fired. Again and again prisoners were captured, dazed and stunned by the artillery barrage to which they had been subjected. The heavy artillery fire held the enemy helpless in their emplacements, unable to ward off death or capture by infantrymen with grenades and automatic weapon who swiftly followed up the concentrations. The extensive use of rolling barrages, especia1ly by the 362nd infantry, is a noteworthy application of this technique of advance and an indication of its success in the campaign.

The 91st Division was a single, coordinated fighting unit. It was the Division which captured Monticelli and M. Calvi, and fought bitterly for Hills 840 and 844. It was the Division that advanced through rain and fog over steep and rocky terrain along the ridge line of the Apennines to the Santerno River. It was the whole Division which refused to be a holding force, but swept northward along Highway 65 and captured Futa Pass. Great credit is due to the mule pack groups who went where motors could not go; to the 791st Ordnance Company, the 91st Quartermaster Company, the 91st Signal Company, the 91st Reconnaissance Troop, who never faltered and refused to conceive of failure. Each man in the Division had acted as if he had "wanted to win the war all by himself," and the tales of heroism and gallantry are legion. In twelve days it had reduced to nothing a year's work of thousands of impressed laborers and had decimated the best troops Hitler could put into the line against it.

Chapter V

AFTER A BRIEF HALT at the Santerno River during which the Regiments cleaned and replenished their equipment and the troops, so far as was possible, rested and cleaned up, the Division renewed its drive north. The terrain ahead was notably different from what it had fought through. Instead of a range of mountains standing like a wall before them, they now fought on a high rolling plateau from which rose barren rocky mountains with little cover and no concealment. The enemy could be routed from his positions only by clinging to a rock with one hand and prying him loose with a bayonet held in the other. With good enemy observation of the entire Division sector and no covered routes of approach, the naturally defensive features of the terrain made the area stronger, in that respect, than the Gothic Line.

Sunny Italy?
A second factor slowed the advance and made the life of the individual soldier miserable. Late in September the famous Italian rain, cold, and fog set in. Intermittently during October, fog blanketed the Apennines concealing the enemy, hampering communications, and reducing the effectiveness of the artillery. The almost constant rain drenched the infantryman and turned the roads into rivers of mud and installations into quagmires. Under these handicaps the fighting was most difficult, but the Division continued to advance.

The strategy of the enemy was to make each of these mountains a strong delaying position while they worked feverishly to strengthen their next main defensive line, the so-called Ceasar Line, along an escarpment running east and west of Livergnano. Thus, the Division's advance became a steady progress forward interrupted by short periods of savage fighting, usually centering about a town or mountain. On 24 September the 361st Infantry captured M. Beni and on 25 September the 363rd Infantry captured M. Freddi. Three days later the 361st Infantry had seized M. Oggioli, opening the way to an advance, slowed only by the fog, to the Monghidoro line.
                                               {See Map II Corps Attack on Livergano Escarpment for Oct 1 - 15}
This excellently-prepared line held up the infantry a day while the artillery softened up the positions for assault. On 1 October the Division Artillery fired 10,587 rounds while the 362nd and 363rd Infantries worked forward slowly. The enemy Main Line of Resistance in the 363rd Infantry sector was overrun at 1300, but the enemy fell back slowly. The next afternoon Monghidoro fell. With the 2nd and 3rd Battalions, 362nd Infantry, flanking the town on the right, and the 363rd Infantry exerting pressure on the left, the 1st Battaion, 362nd Infantry, supported by tanks, drove straight up Highway 65 into the town. The 363rd Infantry, driving on the left, captured Montepiano late the same night.

Thus at the end of 2 October the Monghidoro-Montepiano defenses had been completely overrun. General Keyes expressed his pleasure at the Division’s swift success in overrunning the important positions when he telegraphed General Livesay:

"Congratulations upon the capture of Montepiano and Mon ghidoro. The continued drive
of the 91st against a stubborn enemy and despite the adverse elements is a tribute to your
fine division."

The enemy fell back rapidly to their next defensive position at Loiano, with the 91st swiftly following their retreat. On 5 October, under a rolling barrage the 362nd Infantry captured the town and M. Bastia, the peak which dominates it. On either side of the position the whole line surged forward.

The Fight in the Fog
But at this point the terrain and the weather combined to slow the advance considerably. The enemy exploited both these advantages shrewdly. The hilly, open countryside from Loiano to Livergnano is cut by spurs running generally in a north-south direction which command the ravines and draws. For the enemy the terrain afforded unlimited opportunities for delaying positions and elastic defense. For the men of the 91st attacking north the mountains and valleys would normally have been difficult to fight over, but made slippery and muddy by the fall rains, it challenged their endurance and courage. Fog blanketed the valleys and enemy positions were discovered only by accident. Firefights flared in fog-isolated areas across the entire front.

On the left of Highway 65, the 362nd Infantry fought slowly forward, taking M. Castellari by scaling it with rope ladders on the dark, foggy night of 9 October, and occupying La Guarda. On the right, the 361st Infantry captured Trebbo and pushed under the escarpment at Prato di Magnano. Company I making its way carefully through the fog succeeded in moving behind enemy positions and cutting the highway at La Fortuna, 2,000 yards behind the enemy lines. In the foggy darkness many small parties of enemy were trapped moving down the highway, and either killed or captured.

The Livergnano Escarpment    {See Map II Corps Attack on Livergano Escarpment for Oct 1 - 15}
The Division had come to the most formidable natural barrier between the Santerno and the Po, a rocky escarpment rising at some points over 1,800 feet high. In places, especially in the upper half of the cliff, it is a perpendicular rock wall. From the rock rim the enemy commanded every approach from the south. Rising above the rim was a lateral series of hills: 544 and 603, dominating Highway 65; 504, 481, 592, and 487. Each one was a prepared strong point from which the high plateau lying behind the rock rim could be covered with machine gun and mortar fire. As the Division faced this escarpment it was considerably in advance of its adjacent units, exposed on the right to fire from S. Maria di Zena and M. delle Formiche and on the left to fire directed from M. Adone. {Livergnano was referred to by the GI's as "Liver 'n Onions".}

Only two breaks in the wall existed by which the plateau could be reached. One lay just north of Bigallo and the other was a cut at Livergnano through which Highway 65 runs. Accordingly the 2nd Battalion, 361st Infantry was ordered to move east to the cut north of Bigallo, make its way over this escarpment and then move westward to seize in succession Hills 592, 504 and 481. On the left, the 1st Battalion was ordered to attack Livergnano and neutralize its twin sentinels, Hills 544 and 603.

The fighting of the next few days was the most grinding and heartbreaking the 91st Division has ever known. On the right the 2nd Battalion started up the cut north of Bigallo. There was no trail at this point, but it was possible by sheer scaling and climbing to reach the plateau. Riflemen slung their rifles over their shoulders and “hung and crawled with their fingers and toes."  The machine gunners disassembled their weapons and each squad member carried parts in his pockets or pack. At one point on the way, Companies E and C had to cross a narrow ledge which the enemy had zeroed in. Only by running a few men across at a time did the companies clear the obstacle and make their way forward.

"Little Cassino"
On the left Company K entered Livergnano only to be caught in a trap. Herded by the bands of fire of cunningly placed machine guns, the company was trapped in a building which the Germans then systematically demolished by point-blank tank fire. Despite desperate attempts by other companies to fight their way to them, and by the full power of the artillery to blast the enemy out of the town, only a few of the company escaped to tell their story. Livergnano became a blazing inferno shelled from both sides. Companies A and C fought a see-saw battle up Hill 554 while Company B inched its way grimly up Hill 603.

Once on top of the escarpment near Casole, Companies E and C were fired on and the companies deployed to engage the enemy. While the fight was ill progress the enemy infiltrated around the flanks under cover of darkness, foliage and terrain features, and the companies found themselves located at the bottom of a "tilted saucer" with high ground completely surrounding them and the enemy occupying positions all along this high ground. To assist the push on the right General Livesay ordered the 363rd Infantry committed on the right. Slowly the Regiment fought its way forward, cleaning out pockets of resistance before Bigallo and at Ca Parma and Ca Parisi. During the night of 11 - 12 October, the 1st Battalion scaled the escarpment and reinforced the two companies virtually isolated on the rock rim.

While the infantry fought savagely on the ground, the artillery and the air support blasted enemy strong points. The artillery fired 8,400 rounds of all types, most of them in an arc about Livergnano. This artillery power was augmented by position firing by tank destroyers. These blasted the caves and houses of Livergnano and machine gun and mortar emplacements. In the air medium bombers attacked bridges and supply dumps, while fighter bombers flew 250 sorties against troop concentrations and gun areas.

On the Top
For the attack at 0600, 13 October the artillery laid down a tremendous concentration of 2,120 rounds in 16 minutes. There was better progress all across the Division front during the day, and it became clear that the enemy had at last begun to withdraw under the steady pounding they had received from the bombers, the artillery, and the infantry. Gradually the whole line fell back. Hills 603 and 544 were taken and Livergnano occupied, despite the continued shelling. The 2nd Battalion slowly fought its way northwest, cleaning out the positions along the rim of the escarpment. It rejoined the rest of the 361st Infantry on Highway 65 north of Livergnano.  The 363rd Infantry fanned out from the east cut and occupied the right sector of the Division front.

Thus at the end of the day, the lines had been straightened and the flanks secured. With Casolina on the left, Querceta on the right and Hill 603 in the center in the Division's hands, the enemy line, referred to by many of the captured prisoners as the Caesar Line, had been overrun and the escarpment had been conquered. Enemy casualties had been heavy, and many prisoners had been taken--225 on 12-13 October.

Four Months of Combat
Thus the 91st Division's first four months of combat during World War II came to a close. During that time it had fought from Rome to Livergnano. From the Gustav Line to the Caesar Line. It captured Chianni, Pontedera, Leghorn, Pisa, Monticelli, M. Calvi, M. Beni, M. Freddi, M. Oggioli, Monghidoro, Loiano, Livergnano. It broke through the Gothic Line, the Berta Line and the Caesar Line. Three times it was the first unit of Fifth Army to achieve the Army objective--on 18 July at Leghorn, on 23 July at Pisa, and on 17 September at Monticelli.

But these are only the names the public knows. These are the places the spotlight has caught. But there are hundreds of houses, crossroads, hills and draws where the men of the 91st fought and died to make the capture of more famous places possible. There are miles of road the Engineers swept for mines, scores of streams they bridged or by-passed so the Division could move forward. There are miles of roads, dusty or muddy, frozen hard or running with water over which the service forces brought food and ammunition to the support of the drive. And sometimes there were no roads, and men and mules carried supplies over narrow precipitous trails. Over the same trails and roads the litter bearers evacuated the wounded swiftly and skillfully. Behind these names lies the courage, determination and combat wisdom of each individual infantryman and each individual artillery man. Again and again the story repeats itself: the artillery blasted a path for the infantry, drove the enemy into his holes the infantry followed up to dig the dazed and shaken enemy from the holes. Behind these names lies the skill, the planning, the labor and the courage of every man in the Division.

Under the command of General Livesay, the 91st Division has made a name for itself as one of the great fighting outfits of the Army. It is feared and respected by the enemy, praised and admired by its allies. It has been a spearhead in every campaign it has taken part in. The 91st Division is a team, a great fighting team, of which every man in the Division is a part. It's a great fighting Division: it has made history and it will make history until the peace is won.

The End
of this booklet

The 91st Division would continue to serve in Italy for 6 more months.  It participated in the Po Valley Campaign in April 1945, which saw the collapse of the German resistance in Italy.  


Organization of the 91st Division:

      Major General Charles H. Gerhardt
      Major General William G. Livesay- 14 July 1943
      Col. Rudolph W. Broedlow - 361 IR
      Col. John W. Cotton  - 362 IR
      Col. W. Fulton Magill, Jr.  - 363 IR
      Lt. Col. James E. Shaw, Jr.  - 916 FA
      Lt. Col. Calvin E. Barry   -  346 FA
      Lt. Col. Woodrow L. Lynn  -  347 FA
      Lt. Col. Robert B. Collier  - 348 FA
      Lt. Col. Paul W. Breecher  - 316 Medical Btn
      Lt. Col. William C. Holley  - 316 Engineer Btn
      Capt. Gene F. Larrimore - 91 Signal Corps
      Capt Clifford E. Lippincott  - 91 Recon Troop
      Capt Theodore K. Hegner  - 91 QM Co.
       Capt George R. McDannold  - 791 Ordnance Co.
       Maj. Alvin W. Laird  - 91 Military Police

       361st Infantry Regiment
       362nd Infantry Regiment
       363rd Infantry Regiment
       916th Field Artillery Battalion
       346th Field Artillery Battalion
       347 Field Artillery Battalion
       348th Field Artillery Battalion
   Support Units:
           91st Recon Troop
          316th Engineer Combat Battalion
           316th Medical Battalion
           791st Ordnance Company
           91st Quartermaster Company
           91st Signal Company
           91st Military Police Company
    Attached Units:
            Tank Battalion
            Tank Destroyer Battalion

  See Organization Charts of typical Infantry Division

DUI Pins of the 91st  Division
361 Infantry Regiment
362 Infantry Regiment
363 Infantry Regiment

361 Infantry Regiment
  362 Infantry Regiment
363 Infantry Regiment   
346 Field Artillery Btn
347 Field Artillery Btn

346 Field Artillery Btn
347 Field Artillery Btn


Casualty Summary: TO BE ADDED LATER

               Air OP - Airborne observer for artillery, see OP
               Art. or Arty. - Artillery
               Btn - Battalion, 3 Battalions in a Regiment, consisting of 4 companies each.
               Barrage - a concentration of artillery fire power
               biv. area - Bivouac area or a rest camp
               CP - Command Post, a building or tent where command staff ran the battle
               Co - Company.  An infantry rifle company consisted of 187 men. 12 companies in a Regiment.
               Cubs- light observation aircraft used as airborne artillery observers.
               GRS - Grave Registration Servce.   Private Brown was in this unit that retrieved and buried the dead.
               flak - An anti-aircraft weapon that fired a shell that exploded in air.
               KP - Kitchen Patrol
               K - Rations - Pre-packaged meals
               KIA - Killed In Action
               Krauts - American slang for German soldier
              Non-Coms - Non-commissioned officers or sergeants
               PX - Post Exchange, a store on an army base
               OP - Observation Post - position from where forward observer identified targets
               SP - Self-propelled artillery.
               Ser. Co. - Service Company, a support unit of a Regiment

Other Reference Books:

Livengood, Roy.    Powder River!:  A History of the 91st Infantry Division in World War II.
    Paducah, KY:  Turner, 1994.  376 p.

Robbins, Robert A.    The 91st Infantry Division in World War II.
    Wash, DC:  Inf Jrnl Pr, 1947.   423 p.

Capt. Ralph E. Strootman, History of the 363d Infantry.  Infantry Journal Press, 1947. 354 pages w/roster.

Weckstein, Leon.    Through My Eyes:  91st Infantry Division in the Italian Campaign, 1942-1945.
     Central Point, OR:  Hellgate Pr, 1999.  193 p.  D763I8W43.

Reference Material:

"Sheet 98-1 LOIANO" is a 1:50,000 scale map that includes the towns along Hiway 65: Sambuco,
   Monghidoro, Loiano, and Livergano.  Dated 14 September 1944.

Reference Maps:   The Approach to the Gothic Line for a map of the GOTHIC Line
                              II Corps Attack on Gothic Line for Sept 10-18
                              II Corps Attack on Livergnano Escarpment, 1-15 Oct
                              Race thru the Po Valley  April 21 - May 2, 1945

A little TV trivia from the 60’s.

     In two episodes of the TV show “Combat”, the members of Sgt. Saunder’s squad identify their unit simply as “361st”.  You can assume they meant the 361st Infantry Regiment.  The 1960's TV show followed an infantry squad from the landings at Normandy and through several adventures in France (remember Cage was their French translator).  Of course, the real 361st Regiment was part of the 91st Division, which did not serve in France. 

For more “Combat” trivia, click on this external link for the COMBAT site.

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Other unit histories located on my website:

    85th "Custer" Division   and associated 310th Combat Engineer Battalion

   88th "Blue Devil" Division92nd "Buffalo" Division  &  1st Armored Division

         3rd "Marne" Division45th "Thunderbird Division  &  442nd Regimental Combat Team

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For more on the various units of 5th Army, go to  Allied Units & Organizations.