USS ANZIO


The Flag
Flag

At first glance, the ANZIO Beach Head flag strikes one as a colorful, almost pirate-esque decoration. However, there is a much greater meaning to this symbol. In examining the flag, we see the representation of ship and aircraft that symbolize that massive loss of these American, British, and Canadian assets of war.


The skull represents Adolf Hitler's personal guarantee to "turn the Anzio beach head into 'death's head' ". The red reminds us of the massive carnage of the battle that claimed the lives of over 28,000 Allied servicemen.


The blue represents the ocean, from which the assault was launched.


The line between the 2 colors exhibits the "Gustav Line" that divided Italy from Nazi control.


This battle is truly indicative of triumph over tragedy in that the Allies sustained massive casualties to gain victory. However, the Nazis were forced to send 2 additional divisions (totaling over 80,000 troops) that were originally destined for Normandy to this battle, thereby doubling the effects of the defeat as the lack of re-enforcements proved costly for the Germans at Normandy on 6 June 1944 (the very day AFTER Rome was liberated by the Allies). Thus, the Battle of Anzio was indeed the catalyst for the final liberation of Europe.