San Pietro

Synopsis: This documentary movie is about the battle of San Pietro, a small village in Italy. Over 1,100 US soldiers were killed while trying to take this location, that blocked the way for the Allied forces from the Germans.
Director(s): John Huston
  1 win.
 
IMDB:
6.9
UNRATED
Year:
1945
32 min
7 Views

In 1943 it was one

of our strategic aims.

To draw as many German

forces as possible.

Away from the Russian front

and French coastal areas.

And to contain them on

the Italian peninsula.

While liberating as much

of Italy as might be possible.

With the means at our disposal.

As the bulk of our supplies

was directed to England.

For the forthcoming invasion.

Operations in Italy had to be conducted.

On an extremely limited scale.

Thus it came about.

That during the winter months.

The number of allied divisions

in Italy .. was greatly reduced.

Yet, so determined was their effort.

That they succeeded in holding in Italy.

A very large number of German divisions.

During the pre-invasion period.

San Pietro.

In the 5th Army sector.

Was the key to the Liri Valley.

We knew it .. and the enemy knew it.

We had to take it.

Even though the immediate

cost would be high.

We took it.

And the cost in relation to the

later advance .. was not excessive.

By its very nature.

This success worked bitter hardships.

Upon each individual soldier.

Calling for the full measure

of his courage .. and devotion.

The response of our 5th Army troops

provides an inspiring page.

In our military history.

To these individuals .. living and dead.

And to those who now

continue in their tradition.

This picture is dedicated.

Liri Valley lies in the Italian midland.

Some 60 miles northwest of Naples.

Some 40 miles southeast of Rome.

A wide, flat corridor enclosed

between four walls of mountains.

In winter, the highest peaks of the

Liri range ascend into the snow.

But the valley floor with its

olive groves and ancient vines.

Its crops of wheat and corn.

Is green the year around.

That is, in normal times.

Last year was a bad year

for grapes and olives.

And the fall planting was late.

Many fields lay fallow.

There are two ways from

the south into the valley.

One, a narrow pass.

The other a high, scenic

road over the mountains.

They converge before the site of

the ancient village of San Pietro.

Which for 700 years, has stood

at the threshold of Liri Valley.

Welcoming the traveler

The stones of its walls were quarried

from the parent hill from where it rises.

The population was:

1,412 at the last census.

Affirming community.

Patron Saint:
Peter.

Point of interest: Saint Peters. 1438.

Note:
interesting treatment of chancel.

From the end of October 1943.

Until the middle of December, San

Pietro and the surrounding ground ..

Was the scene of some of the most

bitter fighting on our 5th Army front.

The Italian campaign had

entered its second phase.

To push forward again,

after a static period.

Brought on by heavy seasonal rains.

Our battle lines were as

haphazard as the terrain itself.

With its flood-swollen rivers

that twisted back and forth.

Across our line of march so

that each river seemed like five.

And where there was no river to cross,

a mountain blocked our goal.

Each peak ahead being a few meters

higher than the last we had won.

So that each new peak

had to be fought for.

The hard, uphill way. With the

enemy looking down our throats.

They had had time to fortify and

camouflage their positions.

No amount of artillery fire or aerial

bombardment could force them to withdraw.

That was for the infantry to do.

Employing those weapons ..

That can find and destroy life in narrow

trenches, caves and fighting holes.

It was up to the man with the rifle,

the man under fire from all weapons.

The man whose way, all our weapons,

land, air and sea serve only to prepare.

It was up to the foot-soldiers

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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