Rest and Training
Declassified Headquarters Reports, 350th Infantry, August 1944:
On Tuesday, 1 August, a school was given for all officers and non-commissioned officers by each separate
battalion to indoctrinate the principle of a river crossing into the key leaders of the regiment, so that in turn, they
would be able to instruct the men in the training that followed. Training was started at 0700 and continued until
1530 with two hours instruction in the evening from 1830 to 2030 hours.
On Wednesday, 2 August, 1944, training started at 0700 hours. All instruction was handled by officers and key
non-commissioned officers who attended the school held for them the day before. Four hours were spent on the
following three points: Principle of River Crossing, Display of River Crossing Means and the M-2 Assault Boat;
after this preliminary work, formations were rehearsed for four hours.
August 3-5: During these three days, the river crossing training was continued with emphasis placed on individuals
and assault waves actually crossing the river by use of hand lines over fiords, foot bridges, and assault boats.
The regimental communications platoon made plans and prepared to have a wire team cross the river with each
battalion and meet at a previousely designated place, from where the battalions could carry their wire forward.
On the night of 4 August, each battalion conducted exercises involving the crossing of a river at night.
Since no streams were to be found in our area, suitable terrain was selected so as to provide a steep valley
to simulate the actual river site. The following morning of 5 August was devoted to care and cleaning of
weapons, with a critique held in the afternoon on the previous week's training.
August 7th to August 15th: Battalion commanders were alloted the first three days of this period to
conduct their own problems to enable them to point out the weaknesses of their units, and in turn, to permit
the smaller group leaders to become acquainted with the new replacements.
Reconaissance of forward areas overlooking the Arno River began on August 7th and continued through the 11th.
...It was found that the river reached a depth of only two and one half feet and in many places, could
easily be crossed without hindrance.
On the 10th of August the entire regiment was swamped with a driving rain and little training was carried on.
Training was resumed the following day with small unit problems but only until 1500 when the work ceased in order
to conduct a night exercise at 2300. All battalions participated in the cross country movement covering a
distance of three miles; the first phase consisted of a relatively short advance by all platoons in order that
as many people as possible be trained in maintaining direction and contact with adjacent units at night. When the
first objective was reached, companies continued to advance in company column and upon arrival at their objective,
troops prepared defensive positions to await an attack. The following morning was devoted to a critique of the
exercise of the problem and in care and cleaning of weapons; also a check was made to insure that all men were
ready for combat. To round out the day, all men were given showers.