“With God’s help, we shall carry on the task which they began,” said General Clark on Memorial Day in Anzio.
Part 38: ‘Road to Rome’
From the accounts of Sergeant Marvin A. Palecek, shared by his son, Glen Palecek
“Road to Rome” is a very special and unique little booklet written by General Mark Clark and given to the men of the Fifth Army, including Dad’s
45th Division. It was printed by the Army-Navy Press and has no apparent date or copyright. What makes it very different is that it was written directly to the men — not for the public as other World War II books were and still are. Several times in this booklet Clarks asks, “Were you there?” In other words, he was asking if this was a part of the war the soldier reading it participated in. The booklet tells the story of the Allied advance under Clark’s command from the beached landing at Salerno to the capture of Rome.
“Road to Rome” has a lot of very interesting pictures. One shows General Eisenhower looking at the harbor at Naples clogged with ships sticking out of the water that were sunk by the Germans. Another picture shows a small portion of hundreds of thousands of empty shell casings from bullets fired at the Germans in Anzio.
Another picture shows mules being used to transfer supplies across the mountains, and yet another picture shows General Clark dedicating the cemetery at Anzio on Memorial Day. Once can clearly see the vast number of white crosses marking the many graves there. This picture must have been taken in May 1944 before the Anzio breakout occurred as the graves look freshly dug.
There are many other fascinating pictures that I have given to the Post to hopefully include, which is why I made this episode so much shorter than usual (for extra photo space).