1994 29¢ Allies Free Rome
Issue Date: June 6, 1994
City: Washington, DC
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Lithographed and engraved
Although Italy had surrendered on September 3, 1943, Germany was determined to fight for control of the Italian mainland. In a series of head-on assaults the Allies slowly battled their way up the Italian peninsula to Monte Cassino, 75 miles south of Rome. There, held at bay by General Kesselring’s German forces, Allied troops struggled to break through the Gustav Line.
On January 22, 1944, seaborne troops landed at Anzio. Surprising the Germans from behind, the Allied forces were met with little opposition. However, rather than pushing forward, they attempted to further reinforce their position, allowing Kesselring time to develop a powerful counteroffensive which kept the Allies pinned down at Anzio for four long months.
Finally in May, the Allies were able to break through German lines, and on June 4th they entered the city of Rome. General Clark, who was at the forefront recalls, “There were gay crowds in the streets, many of them waving flags.… Flowers were stuck in the muzzles of the soldiers’ rifles and of the guns on the tanks. Many Romans seemed to be on the verge of hysteria in their enthusiasm for the American troops .…” The fall of Rome marked the final phase of the war. Two days later, Eisenhower’s forces landed in Normandy.