The night of May 11 marked the beginning of a full-scale Allied offensive in Italy, designed to tear down the last barriers before Rome. For the opening phase, an attack against the strong Gustav Line covering Cassino, all Allied artillery that could be spared was used. The four battalions of the 36th were sent into the Minturno sector to support the 85th Division, while dummy pieces were set up in the rear area at Qualiano to mislead the enemy.
The Beachhead breakout was launched at 0730, May 23, with only slight progress reported the first day. Continued strong pressure on the Germans during the second day forced the fall of Cisterna. Beyond Cisterna, Cori, too, was taken. The enemy ring of steel which had enclosed the Allied forces was broken. The 36th, in reserve during the first days of the offensive, was committed May 27 before Velletri. Division artillery units then returned to their respective combat teams.
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