HISTORY OF TASK FORCE 45 (29 July 44 to 28 January 45) FOREWORD "Task Force 45 was a polyglot task force of American and British antiaircraft gunners acting as infantry, with Italian Partisans, Brazilians and colored American troops fighting by their side. Its artillery were the antiaircraft guns pointing earthward, the guns of tanks and tank destroyers and of captured German weapons. Its engineers were Italian civilians who were not afraid to work within the sounds of guns and who built well. It did much with little. British Tommies who rode forward on American tanks, with American mortars behind and American engineers forward, and the Yanks who stepped out of their foxholes with British artillery pounding protection behind, with Italians at their side and out ahead and with Brazilians on their flanks, learned that different peoples can fight well together." "Major General Willis D. Crittenberger, IV Corps Commander, on 24 July 1944 advised Brigadier General Paul W. Rutledge, 45th AAA Brigade Commander, of the plans to employ the Brigade, minus some antiaircraft elements and plus elements of some of the other arms, as a Task Force to relieve the 34th and 91st Infantry Divisions. elements of those divisions had then secured and were holding the line of the ARNO RIVER from the 21 Easting to the Tyrrhenian Sea, a front of about 15 miles." "General Rutledge at once began the conversion of his command to a provisional infantry unit." Conversion to provisional infantry status was implemented by temporary assignment of an experienced infantry adviser officer to each company (ex-battery), battalion, group and brigade headquarters. Officer vacancies were filled by infantry officers, and support needs (Photo Interpretation, Surgeon, AMG, Engineer, POW Interrogation, Intelligence, Field Artillery) were augmented by assigning experienced officers to fill out the staff. Each AAA battalion, with a minimum change of personnel, adapted from a four firing battery structure to the infantry design of three rifle companies and one heavy-weapons company. "IV Corps, on 26 July 44, issued Field Order No. 6 which designated the 45 AAA Brigade as Task Force 45 with the following [initial] missions: a. Relieve elements of the 34th Infantry Division and the 91st Infantry Division in zone and assume command of sector on Corps order. b. Hold forward positions and conduct active patrolling in zone to prevent enemy infiltration. c. Send small reconnaissance patrols across to determine enemy strength and dispositions. d. Maintain contact with Task Force Ramey. e. Protect left flank of Corps. f. Prepare to follow up any enemy withdrawal." "On the same date, Task Force 45 issued Field Order No. 1 assigning [the following mission to its AAA battalions]: a. Assume provisional infantry T/O [Table of Organization] at once. b. Assemble equipment not needed for infantry role at battalion rear echelon where only sufficient personnel will be left to provide security and maintain equipment. c. Continue intensive training in Infantry tactics, stressing defense of river line, scouting, patrolling, and use of Infantry weapons. ..." "During its operation, Task Force 45 had at varying times, 3000 to 8000 men attached from the following units:" American Antiaircraft Artillery (AA) Units 45th AAA Brigade, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery * 45th AAA Operations Detachment * 91st AAA Group 107th AAA Group * Battery C, 351th AAA Searchlight Battalion * 403rd AAA Gun Battalion (Mobile) * 434th AAA Automatic Weapons Battalion * 435th AAA Automatic Weapons Battalion * 439th AAA Automatic Weapons Battalion Battery C, 450th AAA Automatic Weapons Battalion 536th AAA Automatic Weapons Battalion * 898th AAA Automatic Weapons Battalion * 900th AAA Automatic Weapons Battalion * * = component units of the 45th AAA Brigade at the initiation of Task Force 45. American Field Artillery (FA) Units 68th Armored FA Battalion, 1st Armored Division 125th FA Battalion (105mm), 34th Infantry Division 151st FA Battalion (105mm), 34th Infantry Division 175th FA Battalion (105mm), 34th Infantry Division 185th FA Battalion (155mm), 34th Infantry Division 194th FA Group 424th FA Group Battery C, 194th FA Battalion 338th FA Battalion, 88th Infantry Division 598th FA Battalion (Colored), 92nd Infantry Division Battery C, 697th FA Battalion 910th FA Battalion, 85th Infantry Division American Infantry Units 85th Mountain Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division 86th Mountain Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Infantry Regiment 339th Infantry Regimental Combat Team, 85th Infantry Division 370th Infantry Regimental Combat Team (Colored), 92nd Infantry Division American Tank and Anti-Tank Units 2nd Armored Group, Headquarters and Headquarters Company 2nd Platoon, Company B, 13th Tank Battalion, 1st Armored Division 1st and 2nd Platoons, Company D, 13th Tank Battalion, 1st Armored Division Troop A, 81st Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, 1st Armored Division 91st Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron 751st Tank Battalion 755th Tank Battalion 805th Tank Destroyer Battalion 894th Tank Destroyer Battalion Other American Units 34th Quartermaster War Dog Platoon 62nd Signal Battalion (4 crews) 84th Chemical Company (4.2 Mortar) 179th Chemical Smoke Generating Company 1st Platoon, Company C, 310th Engineer Battalion, 85th Infantry Division Company C, 310th Medical Battalion, 85th Infantry Division 615th Medical Clearing Station 671st Medical Collecting Company 672nd Medical Collecting Company 673rd Medical Collecting Company 1108th Engineer Combat Group elements British Antiaircraft (AA) Units 39th (Br) Light AA Regiment 47th (Br) Light AA Regiment U Troop, 167 Battery, 56 (Br) Light AA Regiment 168 Battery, 56 (Br) Light AA Regiment 71st Heavy (Br) AA Regiment 73rd Heavy (Br) AA Regiment 74th Heavy (Br) AA Regiment 80th Heavy (Br) AA Regiment Brazilian Units 1st Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, 1st (Braz) Infantry Division 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 1st (Braz) Infantry Division 3rd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 1st (Braz) Infantry Division 1st Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop (Mechanized), 1st (Braz) Infantry Division Italian Units 5th (Ital) Mule Pack Company 23rd (Ital) Artier [Engineer] Regiment "It covered fronts of from 12 to 25 miles, both mountainous and on coastal plains and it advanced its initial front twenty miles from the line of the Arno River and Pisa to the Gothic Line of the Hun at the CINQUALE CANAL north of Forte dei Marmi."