Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. John D. Treadway

Second Advisor

Dr. John L. Gordon, Jr.

Third Advisor

Dr. William H. Thorn, III


Traditional thinking in American military history holds that the amphibious Allied landing at Anzio, Italy, on 22 January 1944 was a complete failure and represents one of the biggest blunders of World War II. This is especially true when Anzio is compared to the American landing at Inchon, Korea, on 15 September 1950 during the Korean War, that has been widely hailed as being one of the unrivaled amphibious successes in American military history. This thesis addresses the issues of whether Anzio was truly a "failure" and whether Inchon was truly a "success." Relying upon the personal paper collections of those commanders involved as well as the vast supply of secondary sources, this work attempts to answer the questions: First, if Anzio or Inchon was a failure, why? If not, why? What role did the commanders and their subordinates play in shaping the outcome of the landings? What is the state of the current historiographical debate? Deeper questions of American military doctrine and inter-service relationships are addressed in an effort to better understand why episodes in American military history are often labeled as failures or successes. A more balanced view of both landings is what emerges from the based on [sic] the conclusions presented in this thesis.

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