Anzio 1944: The beleaguered beachhead (Campaign, Volume 155) by Steven J. Zaloga

By Steven J. Zaloga

In January 1944, the Allies determined to land at Anzio on the way to triumph over the stalemate at Cassino.This amphibious touchdown has develop into essentially the most debatable campaigns of global conflict II (1939-1945). Questionable judgements via the Allied management ended in 3 months of worldwide warfare I-style trench conflict, and the complete beachhead suffered from non-stop German commentary and bombardment. Vividly describing each one thrust and counter-thrust, this booklet takes us during the agonizing fight as either side sought to keep or regain mastery. It indicates how Anzio proved to be a stepping stone not just to Rome but in addition to the liberation of Italy.

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THE ROCKET PLANE Many World War II aircraft were at the opposite end of the spectrum to the airship. Rockets were widely seen as useful aids to the take-off of an aircraft, but what about a plane entirely propelled by rocket power? From the beginning of World War II, the Germans worked on the design of a rocket plane that could outstrip the opposition. THE KOMET The Nazis conducted their work in such secrecy that the name of the prototype — the Me-163 - was the same as that given to an earlier aircraft, the two-seater Messerschmitt Bf-163 that had been designed in 1938.

By May 1948 the plane was ready to start production, but the planes — powered by propeller engines - were rendered obsolete by the advent of the jet bomber. Jet engines were fitted to a few but they were not successful, though one plane, designated the YRB-49A, was tested as a reconnaissance aircraft. Although the United States Air Force had originally ordered 200 of the original B-35 planes, they proved unsatisfactory and not worth converting to jet propulsion so the entire project was peremptorily cancelled.

The Hortens used a unique glue in their planes, rather than metal nails or rivets; the glue - a carbon composite - and the low profile meant that the aircraft were far harder to see on radar. In 2009, a full-size reproduction of the Ho-229 V3 was constructed for a television documentary. It cost $250,000 (£160,000) and took 2,500 hours to build, but its radar profile was found to be less than 40 per cent of a World War II fighter (such as the Messerschmitt Bf-109). Not only was this a revolution in design, but the plane, had it gone into production, would have been the world's first stealth bomber.

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