72 it was in italy that the fighting of world war ii

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such quantities that he could ‘scarcely fail, given time, to take that objective.’”72It was in Italy that the fighting of World War II came closest to the trench warfare of World War I. The Germans forces never were driven totallyout of Italy. It was in Italy that a young army lieutenant from Kansas, Robert Dole, was seriously wounded and lost most of the use of his right arm. Dole later became a Republican U.S. senator from his home state and ran unsuccessfully for the presidency against Bill Clinton. A week later, not far from Dole was injured, a young armylieutenant from Hawaii was injured and actually lost his right arm. Daniel Inouye went on to become a Democratic senator from his home state. The two World War II veterans sat on opposite sides in the senate but shared a common bond.Strategic bombing was not limited to the 8thAir Force flying out of England. In North Africa and Italy, it was the U.S. 15thAir Force that was given that responsibility and they also took a tremendous beating. The 8thAir Force at least had the advantage of the Germans’ antiaircraft guns being at sea level. When the 15thwas trying to reach its targets in Eastern Europe, the German guns were on top of the various mountain ranges. Unfortunately for the15th, an antiaircraft gun firing horizontally (metaphorically speaking) was even more formidable than one firing vertically.USAF Lt. Col. Donald R. Currier writes of his experiences in his book 50 Mission Crush. Currier not only tells of the boredom and danger of war but also the unwritten “rules of war” that Americans and Germans were expected to follow. “The planes of the 450thhad two big rudders painted white, and they were nick-named the ‘Cottontails.’ At Regensburg, one of their planes was hit over the target, lost an engine, and fell back. German fighters swarmed in for the kill. The pilot, seeing little chance of survival, let down his wheels – a recognized sign of surrender. All but two of the ME-109’s pulled away. The two left closed in and took up positions flying in formation with the crippled B-24 as they guided it towards their base. Seeing that the battle had moved away from them and that the two ME-109’s were like sitting ducks, the pilot ordered his gunners to shoot them down and they did. Unfortunately for our side, at least one of the German pilots was able to bail out and tell his story.” The Germans “. . . vowed to destroy you people in those planes with the white tails…In the six months our crew was flying combat, the 449thlost sixty-three B-24’s. In that same time, the 450th, flying next to us, lost one hundred-ten bombers.”73Tim Sullivan© 2020Rome finally fell to the Allied powers on June 4, 1944. The Allied forces were led by U.S. General Mark Clark. Clark remains one of the most controversial generals from World War II. Some believe Clark was a gifted leader in terms or organization, planning, and the training of troops but whose efforts were undermined by the Allied command in Europe which continually took badly troops away from him as they prepared for the landings in France.

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