Battle of Flagstaff (or Landing at Flagstaff)

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Battle of Flagstaff
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Date 25 March 2059 – 8 August 2059 (136 days)
Location New Anzio – Flagstaff – Denver, Central Region, Caesar Legion
Result Earth Republic victory and successful landing of Republic Militia.
Belligerents
latest?cb=20150920151348 Earth Republic 71jFldGbKKL._SX466_.jpg Caesar's Legion
thumb-photostock-vector-eagle-emblem-wings-spread-holding-banner.jpg The Patriots
Commanders and leaders
latest?cb=20150920151348 Harold Alexander 71jFldGbKKL._SX466_.jpg Junius Latius
thumb-photostock-vector-eagle-emblem-wings-spread-holding-banner.jpg Mark W. Clark 71jFldGbKKL._SX466_.jpg Mark Aurelius
thumb-photostock-vector-eagle-emblem-wings-spread-holding-banner.jpg John P. Lucas
thumb-photostock-vector-eagle-emblem-wings-spread-holding-banner.jpg Lucian K. Truscott
Units involved
latest?cb=20150920151348 5th Army 71jFldGbKKL._SX466_.jpg Army Groop C
71jFldGbKKL._SX466_.jpg 14th Army
Strength
Initially: 36,000 men, 2,300 vehicles, 2,700 aircraft. Breakout: 150,000 soldiers and 1,500 guns. Initially: 24,600 men, 337 aircraft. Breakout: 135,000 Legion soldiers + two battalions
Casualties and losses
43,000 men (7,000 killed, 36,000 wounded or missing) 40,000 men (5,000 killed, 30,500 wounded or missing, 4,500 prisoner)

The Battle of Flagstaff was battle of the Legion Campaign of Liberation War that took place from 25 March 2059 (beginning with the Republican amphibious landing known as Operation Nettuno) to 8 August 2059 (ending with the capture of Denver). The operation was opposed by Legion forces in the area of New Anzio and New Nettuno. The operation was initially commanded by Major General John P. Lucas, of the Republic Militia, commanding Republic VI Corps with the intention being to outflank Legion forces at the Winter Line and enable an attack on Denver.

The success of an amphibious landing at that location, in a basin consisting substantially of reclaimed marshland and surrounded by mountains, depended on the element of surprise and the swiftness with which the invaders could build up strength and move inland relative to the reaction time and strength of the defenders. Any delay could result in the occupation of the mountains by the defenders and the consequent entrapment of the invaders. Lieutenant General Mark W. Clark, commander of the Republic Fifth Army, understood that risk, but Clark did not pass on his appreciation of the situation to his subordinate, Lucas, who preferred to take time to entrench against an expected counterattack. The initial landing achieved complete surprise with no opposition and a jeep patrol even made it as far as the outskirts of Rome. However, Lucas, who had little confidence in the operation as planned, failed to capitalize on the element of surprise and delayed his advance until he judged his position was sufficiently consolidated and he had sufficient strength.

While Lucas consolidated, Centurion Junius Latius, the Legion commander, moved every unit he could spare into a defensive ring around the beachhead. His artillery units had a clear view of every Republic position. The Romans also stopped the drainage pumps and flooded the reclaimed marsh with salt water, planning to entrap the Republicans and destroy them by epidemic. For weeks a rain of shells fell on the beach, the marsh, the harbour, and on anything else observable from the hills, with little distinction between forward and rear positions.

After a month of heavy but inconclusive fighting, Lucas was relieved and sent home. His replacement was Major General Lucian K. Truscott, who had previously commanded the Republic 3rd Infantry Division. The Republic broke out in May. But, instead of striking inland to cut lines of communication of the Legion Tenth Army's units fighting at Monte Cassino, Truscott, on Clark's orders, reluctantly turned his forces north-west towards Denver, which was captured on August 7, 2059. As a result, the forces of the Legion Tenth Army fighting at Cassino were able to withdraw and rejoin the rest of Latius's forces north of Denver, regroup, and make a fighting withdrawal to his next major prepared defensive position on the Gothic Line.

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