Operation Richard (iii)

German contingency plan for implementation in the event of any Allied landing on the west coast of Italy at Anzio to the south of Rome, in fact implemented as ‘Shingle’ (January 1944).

The ‘Richard’ (iii) plan was posited on the assumption of command by the senior officer on the spot, General Alfred Schlemm, who on 1 January had left an administrative position in Rome to take command of the I Fallschirmkorps (with its rear echelons at Grottaferrata) and also of the handfuls of troops who had been left to guard the Tyrrhenian Sea coast to the west of Rome. Oberst Heinrich Graf von Behr’s Kampfgruppe ‘von Behr’ of Generalmajor Ernst Baade’s 90th Panzergrenadierdivision was watching the coast in the area to the north of the Tiber river, and inland of this was Oberst Walther Gericke’s Kampfgruppe ‘Gericke’ of Generalleutnant Heinrich Trettner’s 4th Fallschirmjägerdivision. Two engineer companies of this formation were with Oberstleutnant Ziegler’s Kampfgruppe ‘Ziegler’ of Generalleutnant Walter Fries’s 29th Panzergrenadierdivision, which also included the 2/71st Panzergrenadierregiment and a company of divisional engineers south of Velletri, and the 129th Panzeraufklärungsabteilung near Terracina. In the Alban Hills were the reinforcement-holding units of Generalleutnant Paul Conrath’s Panzerdivision ‘Hermann Göring’ and other miscellaneous elements of this division.

This was the total German array more or less immediately available to oppose Major General John P. Lucas’s US VI Corps as it landed early on 22 January.