Operation Baobab

This was a British special forces operation by the 2nd Special Air Service in support of the Allied ‘Shingle’ landing at Anzio in western Italy (29/31 January 1944).

A small preliminary party of British troops was landed on the coast, somewhat to the north of the intended position, from the motor schooner MFV 2041 before moving inland and south to undertake a reconnaissance. Early on 31 January the main SAS party was then landed from the destroyer Troubridge, which was escorted by the destroyer Tenacious, and blew the railway bridge between Pesaro and Fano, effectively severing, for a time at least, the east-coast railway link over which the Germans were moving many of the men and much of the equipment for their offensive against the Anzio beach-head. The British party then departed in Troubridge.