WITH THE 5TH ARMY, April 17
"Why have the Allies decided to attack in Italy?"
Lt. Gen. Lucian K. Truscott, Jr., 5th Army commander, brought up the question himself at a recent conference with war correspondents. These are the principal reasons, he explained:
1--It is becoming more and more evident that there will be no formal surrender. The Germans' will to fight, then, must be beaten--everywhere. Yes, Allied lives will be lost here in Italy, but the question is: Will not more Allied lives be lost elsewhere if we did not attack here in Italy?
2--The Germans have two strong armies before us. They are willing and able to fight, and probably represent the best units in the German Army today. Since there may be no overall surrender, these armies must be destroyed. We must not give them more time to build up their defenses. We must destroy them now.
3--These two German armies-the 10th and 14th-are living off the Po Valley. They are exploiting northern Italy and thereby prolonging the struggle. We must deny them these industrial sections and farm growing regions if we wish to make the final victory less difficult.
4--We must complete the liberation of northern Italy and prevent further ruin and destruction of this unhappy country.
5--Our attack at this time should provide the final shock which may cause German resistance everywhere to collapse.
From: Mediterranean Naples Stars-and-Stripes, April 18,1945, p-2