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The Fifth Army had control of a narrow beachhead from Maiori to Agropoli at the end of D Day; its next objective was to secure the dominating mountain heights inland from the beaches. With these heights in its possession the army could protect and develop the beachhead as a base for the drive toward the port and airfields of Naples. On the left flank of the Fifth Army, where the main enemy strength was concentrated, 10 Corps met stubborn resistance and heavy counterattacks from infantry, tanks, and artillery as it attempted to push inland from Salerno to the north and east.
Time and again the Germans beat against our hasty defenses, and every time they were thrown back. After darkness, snipers and machine gunners fired on the battalion from the rear, but part of Company K continued to hold on in Altavilla. When, about midnight, the order came to withdraw, Company K was hemmed in and had to remain at Altavilla while the rest of the battalion and the battalions of the 142d Infantry retreated to La Cosa Creek. Our effort to recapture Hill 424 had failed. 61 Sparring on the Left Flank The morning of the 13th opened quietly on the VI Corps left flank (Map No.
The 2d Battalion extended the line along the ridge toward Roccad'aspide. Except for sporadic artillery fire, all was quiet on Hill 424 and on the ridges at Albanella and Roccad'aspide. The 179th Drives into the Sele-Calore Corridor To accompany the 142d's push at Altavilla, General Dawley had ordered the 179th Regimental Combat Team to advance on the left flank, with the mission of securing Ponte Sele and the steep hills at the end of the valley near Serre, where they block the corridor between the Sele and Calore rivers.