ANZIO'S BREAKOUT HERO

MAURICE ROGERS VC

Accused by their US commander of lacking offensive spirit, the men of the British 5th Division showed their mettle in a desperate clash described as the “highlight of the Anzio Finale”. Steve Snelling charts how a singular act of valour resulted in a victor y against the odds

Sergeant Maurice Rogers was the first of only five soldiers to earn the VC and MM during World War Two
ALL IMAGES COURTESY OF THE AUTHOR UNLESS
Sergeant Maurice Rogers takes on the third and final enemy machine gun post in Peter Archer’s interpretation of his VC action on June 3, 1944. The original painting was commissioned by the Warrant Officers and Sergeants Mess of the 1st Duke of Edinburgh’s Royal Regiment
COURTESY OF THE LATE PETER ARCHER

The race for Rome was on. After months fraught with frustration in front of Monte Cassino and amid the labyrinthian trenches scarring the bitterly contested Anzio beachhead, the stalemate had finally been broken. By June 3, 1944, with the Gustav and Hitler/ Senger Lines pierced, Allied armies were fewer than 30 miles from Italy’s capital.

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