Union Jack No 134 June 5th 1944

N o"‘i 3 ? U re FOR THE BRITISH FIGHTING FORCES ETERNAL CITY Special article on page 2 THE LEADER --General Sir Hurold Alexander, Commander -i ¦forces in Italy. ‘--AND THE KIND OF MEN WHO MADE IT POSSIBLE Co-operation between men of all ranks and of all Services of the Allied nations in Italy brought victory. ITALIAN KING’S PROMISE THE liberation of Rome will *bring into play the promise of King Yictop Emmanuel to lay aside his sovereign powers (writes Reuter’s political cor­respondent). On April 1 2 ,the King promised in irrevocable form to makeover his powers to Prince Umberto as Lieutenant of the Realm on tni tta'y Allied troops entered Rome The King said nothing to indi­cate he intended personally to re-enter Rome in order to per­form the act from the capital. There is no question of Mar­shal Badoglio and his minist3rs proceeding to Rome until after a few days delay. The ministers have therefore given it as their opinion that present provisional seat of Government is the proper place for the accomplishment of the end of Victor Emmanuel's exercise of royal powers. The Italian ministers visiting Rome will', for the time being, have no authority there. Their only purpose would be to search out and make contact with leading personalities regarding the form the Government should take following the integration Romeo£ into liberated Italy. Tragic uncertainty has surrounded the whereabouts of many of these since the massacres perpetrated by the Germans in the spring. Sporadic resistance goes on 'T*HE following announcement was made from Allied Force Head­quarters last night: ’’Troops of the Fifth Army entered the city limits of Rome to-day. Sporadic resistance continues.” Chief of This brief statement followed a day of dramatic battlrf- front flashes piecing together a story of Allied advances towards the Eternal City through the hill masses domina­ting its approaches. Previous to the announcement, Allied troops were re*ported to be sweeping down the slopes towards Rome’s suburbs after breaking through Marshal Kesselring's **last ditch” defence inline the heights. The AiJied drive forward began with the fall of Velletri and Vahnontone, key centres in the line along which the German 10th Army tried to make a last stand, helped by the natural barriers of the Alban Hills. A rapid advance by Eigiith Army troops along Highway 6, the main Cassino-Rome road, which linked them with Genera) Mark Clark’s men fighting at Valmontone, brought a tremen­dous superiority in men and materials which the Germans could not withstand. With the occupation of Valmontone and Velletri, Lanuvfo, four mile.s south of Lake Ait>ano and a town for which the Nazis had put up a desperate struggle, fell to American troops. On their right flank, Fifth Army forces drove through the Alban heights of Rocca di Papa, on the south-eastern side of .the lake, to gain complete observation of the final stretch before Rome. They also gained superior hill positions over the retreating Germans. With no further mountain obstructions before them and with the enemy practically cleared trom the heights, American armour-^ i troops .won the opportunity to sweep round the noi (/llflf’Kiiik of the Alban 'rails ana Jfhve across ^traight down Highway 6 inla Rome. LU Now that the Fifth and Eighth Armies have joined, all Gerffifflr resistance south of Highway 6 has ceased. After the capture of the towns of Collefero and An jgi, the enemy began to withdraw north-west to lineup with the fighting around Valmontone. This move was followed by the announcements from General Alexanders headquarters that Marshal Kesselring's final hold­ing line had been broken in many places and the Fifth Army had gained most of the Colii Laziali hill mass dominating the approaches to Rome. Before Highway 6 was cut by Fifth Army forces at Valmon­ tone, Kesselring managed to get most of his troops away acro>s the mountain roads and so save them from being trapped between the Fifth and Eighth Army drives. David Brown, Reuters correspondent, says that Allied tanks will find suitable ground shouid they drive through the valley on the northern flank of the Alban Hills, past the medieval fortifications of Palestrina and whatever modern steel and con­crete barriers Kesselring has erected. Once the tanks breakthrough on this ground, they might stand even abetter chance of reaching Rome along Higbwa} 6 than the main forces coming down from the hills. A heavy battle has already been reported in this sector of Rocca Prioria. nine miles south of Palestrina, where the Her­ mann Goring Division found itself face to face with American troops. Troops 'in great form' Vaughan Thomas, B C.B correspondent, said yesterday that Italian people” on the road to Rome” are giving a ternnc welcome to the Allies. Then he said that the next few houis would decide whether or not the Germans had any intention of defending the city. He said that all the Allied trcops were ”in great form.” As they saw the bastions of Rome falling before them, their spirt's rose still higher and they went forward intent upon one thing —to defeat the Germans. Turn to Page Four. “CITY IS FREE OF TROOPS” General Sir Henry Maitland W ilsofl, replying to the Pope's appeal to spare Rome, said that the Allies would only take military action aguinsi the city if the Germans defended it. GENERAL WILSON said The Allied military authorities confronted by the ruthless enerr.y in Italy are interested solely in the destruction and elimination ot the German torcei in that country. They have taken and will continue to take every pos­sible precaution during the course of their campaign to spare.inno- c-int civilians and cultural and itligious monuments of perma­nent value to civilisation." This statement followed a broadcast in which the Pope emphasised the precautions -taken?'.* th-' Allies in their attacks on German military objectives the.m Rome area. Te- Toe r m ant t yip .K- enr. h»s- agency. on^SaturTry. reported the German Foreign Office spokesman as making the fol­lowing statement on the Popes appeal to belligerents not to destroy Rome: “On the German side every­thing has been done tor months tc preserve Rome from such a fate. Rome to-day can be regarded as a city free Irons armed forces." OUR ONE AIM General- sir rah old ALEXANDER has issued a special edict to the civilian population of Rome in which he said that the Allied forces have one purpose and one only—the destruction of the German armies. He says that the liberation oi the Eternal City is atS ’anci and calls upon the Romans to see that the mines placed by the enemy under bridges in Govern­ment offices and in public utility services are not allowed to be exploded. He also asks that radio stations, railways and public transport be piotected as far as possible, adding that it is absolutely essen­tial that Allied forces cross Rome as quickly as possible in pursuit ot the German armies, to com­plete the job of destroying them Targets for the Allied Air Forces in Italy are these German vehicles on one of the roads near Rome. For the first time in months, the enemy’s motor transport has been forced to use the main inroads daylight because of the Allied air Inoffensive. the past week thousands of essential transports have been destroyed.
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