Operation Maple (Italy)
|Part of World War II, Operation Shingle|
Operation Maple was a series of World War II operations in Italy in support of the Anzio landings. It comprised separate operations by the British Special Air Service (2 SAS), starting on 7 January 1944. There were mixed results: one (Thistledown) was successful, but the other (Driftwood) was not and its objective had to be destroyed by a subsequent operation (Baobab). None of the members of the first two parties returned safely, they were either captured or missing.
In support of the Anzio landings, it was required to cut rail links north of Rome, and elsewhere on the east coast. To this end, rail lines around Terni and Orvieto were to be attacked by four men of Operation Thistledown; this was successful, but all the team's members were captured. Driftwood consisted of two four man teams intended to cut the lines between Urbino and Fabriano, and Ancona and Rimini. Their fate is unknown, but they were surmised to be drowned, or captured and executed. A reinforcement party (Baobab) was landed by sea on 30 January and successfully destroyed a bridge between Pesaro and Fano.
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