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R&R Centers and Replacement Depots
Used by 5th Army
The soldier could not handle the continued stress of living at the front lines under the constant shelling and danger. Some statistics say that a soldier can not spend more than 30-days in combat at the front lines without loosing his fighting abilities.
The rest camps allowed the soldier to refresh his mind as well as his body. This also provided time for the unit to re-organize and re-train in order to be more effective. The rest centers provided the Allies an advantage in combat that was not available to the Germans.
Army Rest Center in Rome
Mussolini or Mussolini's Forum or Foro Italico
Center - Allied
HeadQuarters and stop for many soldiers
Rest Center - outside of Florence
Rest Center - Tourist sites for soldiers on
Farm" Replacement Depot - near
<= Souvenir Album with photos of Rome
printed on nice glossy paper.
Card stock cover with good quality photo paper.
Size: 6 X 9-1/2 inch
Meal Pass for Rome dated July 29, 1944
A Guide Booklet to Rome
History and photos of Rome.
Fold-out Map of the city.
Useful Italian words and phrases.
Size: 4-3/4 X 6-3/4 inch
View of Front Gate of the Rest Center
||Recent photo of Obelisk
Dux" is 17m high without the base, and
36m high with the base and the point. Blocks surround the piazza
that commorates the Fall of Ethiopia and
other events during Mussolini's reign.
|Aerial photo of the
Rest Center taken during WW2
The Rest Center complex was located across the Tiber River from Rome. One stadium is encircled by marble statues. Note the Obelisk located at the end of the bridge.
Statues surrounding one of the Arenas.
Paintings on the walls of the Pool
Used by permission of Professor Moore, UTA.
|More Photos of the
Piazza at Foro Mussolini
Mural of Soliders giving the Fascist salute to Il Duce, Our Leader.
Piazza - Mural of Airplanes and Troops. Ancient Roman blessing the flag of the modern soldier.
Photos used by permission of James Hull
Allied troops parade in front of the Royal Place in Caserta on Commemoration Day.
Photo from an Army brochure published on 1946 anniversary of its liberation.
|The Palace was
used for scenes in two Star
Wars movies and Mission
American soldiers enjoying the shops at Montecatini.
The GI's are wearing the short "Ike" jacket with all their ribbons and patches.
The 337th Infantry Regiment, 85th Infantry Division was sent to
Montecatini on 13 March, 1945 for a 4-day
period of rest and retraining before the Spring Offensive that ended the war.
Red Cross Fold-out Map & Brochure
This Red Cross Brochure was given to the soldiers during their visit to Florence. On the back of the map, the seven panels of the foldout has sketches of some of the attractions. The colored Map have the tourists sites of Florence marked with numbered index. For example, #30 is the famous domed church San Giovanni Duomo.
Letters denote locations for soldiers:
A Red Cross Apollo Theater
B 5th Army Rest Camp, at R.R. Station
C Red Cross Regional Office
D Red Cross Enlisted Mens Bath House
E Red Cross Officers Club
Large Circle Red Cross Enlisted Mens Club and Snack Bar
(This is not the rest center known as Montecaniti Rest Area,
which was to the northwest of Florence.)
Cover of the Red Cross Map
The maps folds up into a pocket-size Brochure. The other 7 panels on the reverse side of the Map have ink sketches of the tourist sites.
Size: Folded- 4-1/4 X 6-1/4 inches
Unfolded- 12-1/4 X 16-1/2 inches
2 variations of map markings were printed.
Florence University was set-up after the war ended to train soldiers
in a skill they would apply to their civilian job.
Photo from "Attack! Attack! Attack!" by Battery Press
A University Training Center was established at
My father was a colllege graduate in agriculture. He said he taught classes to the soldiers but it is not known if he taught at the university in Florence or not.
written at the rest camp at
29 April 1944 “We slept in buildings, the mess hall was a huge room, there were showers and Red Cross rooms and more movies then a guy could care to see... it gave me a carefree feeling to walk up and down streets watching the people... so now it's over and I am back..”
6 November 1944 "The very first day of November 1944 we were relieved but could not move off our position that night. At dawn's light we rode in trucks in pouring rain for hours to Montecatini, a health resort. We were put up in a large building, enjoyed hot showers, clean uniforms and a hot meal which was our first since before
From the memoirs of George Avery, Co A, 84th Chemical
“I arrived in
Paul D. Hinkle - Company L, 141st Infantry Regiment, 36th Division
| "On Thursday, 23 November
Charlie Battery went
to the new Fifth Army Rest Center at Montecatini to
a well earned rest. They returned to the Battalion bivouac area
the 28th. On the same day Baker Battery left for Montecatini,
by Able, Service and Headquarters on the 29th. The new style Rest
Center was a famous "Spa", patronized by wealthy Italians and
before the war. The men were quartered in hotels, and except for
a hike each morning, and two hours of section training each afternoon,
they had free run of the town from three in the afternoon until ten
at night. There were bars, movies, USO shows, and baths - both of
the G.I. and civilian variety, and the Battalion made the most of its
The end of November found the 328th still in the rest areas, and
a very high morale."
Excerpt from Operational Report of 328 Field Artillery Battalion, 85th Infantry Division
Dated 16 December 1944.
U.S. Troops leave a Ticking Time Bomb
During World War II, soldiers from the 5th US Army set up camp at an exclusive hunting estate in Italy. Sixty years later, forest pathologists are pointing to huge gaps of dead trees in the estate as the visible reminders of that brief stay.
In a new study published in the April issue of Mycological Research, researchers at the University of California, Berckeley, and in Italy, have unlocked the mystery of how the destructive Heterobasidion annosum pathogen could have spread to the Presidential Estate of Castelporziano, which has been sealed off from the public for centuries.
They were able to trace the origins of the pathogen back to eastern North America, where US troops departed for Europe during WW2. The researchers say the pathogen likely hitched a ride in transport crates, pallets or other military equipment made from untreated lumber from infected trees. It took decades for the pathogen to establish itself, but since symptoms were first noticed in the 1980's, the root fungus has wiped out large swaths of stone pine trees in the Castelporziano estate less than 15 miles southwest of Rome.
UC Berkeley Press Release, dated 30 March 2004
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