Echoes of War 1943: Salerno

The original 1943 caption reads: “Sinews of war pile up on Salerno beach. A mountain of supplies and equipment, including bulldozers, is moved to the invasion beachhead at Salerno from landing craft of many sorts, from army ‘ducks’ [DUKWs] to big navy LST (Landing Ship Tanks) boats which nose the beach in the background, bow doors agape.” This photo - featuring the bulldozer and the amphibious version of the GMC 6x6x, bears out General Dwight D Eisenhower’s comment that: “Four other pieces of equipment that most senior officers came to regard as among the most vital to our success in Africa and Europe were the bulldozer, the Jeep, the 2.5 ton truck and the C-47 airplane.”

On September 9, 75 years ago the Allies undertook amphibious landings, codenamed Operation Avalanche, at Salerno on Italy’s west coast south of Naples. This followed the Italian capitulation on September 3 and followed the success of the landing on Sicily. Unlike congested Naples, Salerno, was blessed with broad, sandy beaches and seemed to offer the best place for successful landings

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