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Anzio: Babe writes home
Serving on the front lines at Anzio beach, Babe Ciarlo never revealed his experiences in his letters home.
From THE WAR Episode 3:
Some 7,000 Allied personnel were killed during the Anzio campaign, 36,000 more were wounded or missing Ė and another 44,000 were classified as ďnon-battle casualties,Ē victims of frostbite and trench foot, shell shock and madness. Axis Sally, the Nazi radio propagandist, began calling Anzio ďthe largest self-supporting prisoner of war camp in the world.Ē And German aircraft littered the beach with leaflets, urging Allied solders to surrender. ďThe beachhead,Ē they said, ďhas become a deathís head.Ē

MUSIC: Eskimos, Four Characteristic Pieces, Op. 64 / Exiles, Amy Beach

NARRATOR: On the front line with the 3rd Infantry Division, Babe Ciarlo saw all of it, took part in some of it, but never said a word about any of it in his letters home.

VOICE: March 27, 1944. I just got through with chow. We are having beautiful weather here and I hope itís the same way there, so you could take the babies out every afternoon.
Love,
Babe
(Bobby Cannavale)

THOMAS CIARLO (Brother): He never mentioned a word about what he was doing, where he was. You couldnít say much about where you were anyway. But it was always the upside. ďI could only write a few lines right now because Iím, Iím going to chow and I donít have time.Ē This is in the heat of the battle and heís going to chow line. I mean, thereís no such thing as a chow line when youíre inÖ But you donít realize at the time, until years later, you get a little smarter and you go, ďGeez, you know, how can you be going to a chow line when youíre in the middle of a battle or your in a foxhole or someplace?Ē But he always had that upbeat outlook about him.

VOICE: April 14 , 1944. I am in the very best of health and I hope to hear the same from all of you always. Well, things here are moving pretty smooth and the only thing I do is eat and sleep and if I keep it up much longer Iíll be like a barrel. Well, take care of yourselves and keep those stoves roaring because Iíll be doing a lot of eating when I get home.
Love,
Babe
(Bobby Cannavale)

NARRATOR: By the end of April, the Allied command was determined to break the stalemate and resume its drive toward Rome. Babeís division had finally been pulled back to rest Ė and to get ready for the big battle to come.

VOICE: April 30, 1944. Dear Mom and Family: This afternoon I might go swimming in the Tyrrhenian Sea. The salt water will do me good. Last night I received about ten letters. Iím glad to hear that the house was

filled with flowers for Motherís Day and that you all got a gift for Mom. Donít worry about my money situation, because there isnít anything to spend it on here in Anzio. Well, I had my dinner and guess what, I had Ė pork chops, about a dozen of them. Iím getting to be a chow hound.
Love,
Babe
(Bobby Cannavale)

NEWSREEL: Patrol Action at Anzio. The Allies are stalled at Anzio, but patrol clashes are frequent hereís a German outpostÖ

THOMAS CIARLO: You see, probably on the newsreel or you read about it in the paper about different battles. But you donít actually put Babe in that position because heís always telling you how everything is fine, everything is no problem. At one point, as a matter of fact, my mother had my aunt write a letter in Italian that she had sent to Babe. ďWhen you get to Rome, when you get to Italy, we have relatives over there. When you get there, show them these letters and theyíll treat you well,Ē and everything else, you know. And at the time, you think, ďWell, yeah, heís going to be going to Italy. Heís going to go to Rome and heís going to see his relatives.Ē Can you imagine that? Itís so unreal.

MUSIC: Itís Been a Long, Long Time, Jacqueline Schwab

VOICE: May 9, 1944. Iím glad that you are going down to the beach with the babies and I hope Mom goes down with you because itíll do all of you good. I wonít be with you this year, but Iíll guarantee you Iíll be there next summer. Thatís a date. Iím all right. Nothing ever happens here. I guess itís like Waterbury, dead.

Love,
Babe
(Bobby Cannavale)