Liberation of Rome

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Today is the 66th anniversary of the D-Day landings.  If the D-Day landings hadn’t occurred, the big news would have been the liberation of Rome.  The above video is color footage showing the entrance of some of the American troops into Rome on June 5, 1944, and an audience they had with Pope Pius XII.

The Pope, like almost all Romans, was joyous to be free from Nazi occupation, and he made that clear when he met with General Mark Clark.

“A few days after the liberation of Rome, Lieutenant General Mark Clark, Commander of the Fifth Allied Army, paid his respects to the Pope: “I am afraid you have been disturbed by the noise of my tanks. I am sorry.” Pius XII smiled and replied: “General, any time you come to liberate Rome, you can make just as much noise as you like.””

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  1. Again, thank you for posting.

    My Uncle Thomas (RIP) received a Papal Blessing in St. Peter’s Sq. in those wartorn days. He had a picture of it.

    Uncle Tom served as a tanker with Patton in Tunisia and Sicily. He was still fighting in the Po Valley when the Nazis surrendered in May 1945.

    My Uncle John (RIP) landed in Normandy with the First Infantry Division. He lived the opening scenes of “Saving Private Ryan.” What a gentle, wonderful man! Only thing I ever heard him say about the war was he and his fellows were disappointed that they had to stop at the Elbe; they wanted to take Berlin for their buddies that were killed.

    “Greet them ever with grateful hearts.”

    “Lest we forget.”

  2. Most of my male relatives of the “Greatest Generation” era were Navy men and were in the Pacific theatre during WWII, but one uncle, my dad’s brother, was Army, serving with Patton’s Third. He died of a sudden heart attack when I was in second grade, but according to my aunt all he ever said about the war was that he had walked across Europe, but what he saw really wasn’t all that scenic.

    Prayers today for the brave souls who braved the beaches at Normandy…

  3. T Shaw.

    Intersting that your uncle Tom was in the same theatre of war in Italy where my dad was. Dad went over with the NZEF 2nd reinforcement, and saw action in the Rimini/Faenza area,and entered the Po Valley, but was repatriated in early 1945 with a bad back injury – not a wound, but he was in the 27 Machine Gun Battn. and damaged his back throwing around amunition cases. The NZ Battalions pressed on to Trieste and had a confrontation with Tito and his Commie bunch.

    I didn’t realise the Americans got over there to the east coast – I know they pressed north and east after the liberation of Rome, but didn’t realise they were in the Po area as well. Dad spoke of the Canadians, Poles, South Africans and Gurkhas – maybe the US troops joined up in that area after dad was sent home.

    Anyway, God bless you and your family, mate.

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