Heroism of the "Texas Division"

January 20th, 1944

On this day in 1944, the Thirty-sixth Infantry Division, nicknamed the "Texas Division," began its "two-day nightmare," the crossing of the Rapido River in Italy. General Mark Clark needed pressure on the German defensive line below Rome to prevent the Germans from counterattacking the projected Allied beachhead at Anzio. Further, an Allied breakthrough into the Liri valley would facilitate the march toward Rome. The Rapido’s swift current and muddy banks, together with the lack of adequate boats and bridging equipment, compounded the difficulties—not to mention the strong German defenses. The division suffered heavy casualties, including 143 killed, 663 wounded, and 875 missing. The division participated in the continuing Italian campaign, including the liberation of Rome, and went on to invade Southern France and advance into Germany.

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Heroism of the "Texas Division"

January 20th, 1944

On this day in 1944, the Thirty-sixth Infantry Division, nicknamed the "Texas Division," began its "two-day nightmare," the crossing of the Rapido River in Italy. General Mark Clark needed pressure on the German defensive line below Rome to prevent the Germans from counterattacking the projected Allied beachhead at Anzio. Further, an Allied breakthrough into the Liri valley would facilitate the march toward Rome. The Rapido’s swift current and muddy banks, together with the lack of adequate boats and bridging equipment, compounded the difficulties—not to mention the strong German defenses. The division suffered heavy casualties, including 143 killed, 663 wounded, and 875 missing. The division participated in the continuing Italian campaign, including the liberation of Rome, and went on to invade Southern France and advance into Germany.

«   Previous Next   »

Related Handbook of Texas Articles

Share this article

Share the Texas Day by Day

Get a Piece of Texas History in Your Inbox

With more than 27,000 articles about Texas history, the Texas State Historical Association's Handbook of Texas is the largest online encyclopedia about all things Texas. Now you can celebrate the history of Texas every day by activating your free subscription to Texas Day by Day. Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles. It's one of the best ways to learn more about Texas history — in only 15 minutes a day!

Activate your free subscription to Texas Day by Day and you can:

  • Explore Texas history each day in bite-sized pieces conveniently delivered to your inbox each morning
  • Astound your friends with your Texas history prowess
  • Get in-depth looks at some of the overlooked events and landmarks in Texas history
  • Discover new places to explore in the Lone Star State
Get your Texas Day by Day delivered straight to your inbox: