Operation Giant III and IV

'Giant III' and 'Giant IV' were an Allied pair of unrealised plans to expand the 'Avalanche' beach-head of Lieutenant General Mark W. Clark’s US 5th Army at Salerno with a mass drop by Major General Matthew B. Ridgway’s US 82nd Airborne Division from Sicily (September 1943).

In the event this would have been too risky an undertaking, threatening the loss of the entire division, and instead elements of the division’s three regiments (the 504th, 505th and 509th Parachute Infantry) were dropped on 13/14 September at Paestum, Paestum and Avellino respectively as reinforcements into that part of the beach-head held by Major General Fred L. Walker’s US 36th Division of Major General Ernest J. Dawley’s US VI Corps, which was hard pressed by the 'Orkan' (iv) major counterattack of Generalmajor Rudolf Sieckenius’s 16th Panzerdivision and Generalmajor Walter Fries’s 29th Panzergrenadierdivision.