Italian OG page  

  Italian OG Missions:
  5th Army Detach.  
  Bathtub II  
  Fourth Group  
  OP 2  
  Polar 1  
  Polar 2  
  OP 1(aka Seneca)  
  Chicago I  
  Chicago II  
  Ginny I  
Balkis I
  Balkis II  
  Ginny II  
  Walla Walla  
  5th Army Detach.  

POLAR I and II were two-man marine reconnaissance missions into the Pisa/Leghorn coastal area of Italy with the objective of “alerting the Germans in that area and causing them to think that the Allies were reconnoitering the zone as a possible invasion landing place”. Since these two missions were similar they are combined in this single report.

At 1630 hours 5 December 1943 First Lt. Albert R. Materazzi and First Lt. Nevio J. Manzani embarked on MT Boat 660 commanded by Lt. Robinson, RNR to make a second attempt to arouse the Germans in the Pisa/Leghorn area of Italy; to consider that an Allied reconnaissance was being made for a possible Allied invasion of that area.

By 2350 hours they had reached a point calculated to be about two miles due west of the Arno River – making out faintly Mount Pisani to their northeast and Monte di Poggia to the southeast. They continued toward land until their instruments indicated a depth of six fathoms, which was a little more than a half mile off shore. By this time they could see the shore but no lights or activity. They then turned north and ran on loud engines about 2 miles. At that point they turned about and returned the two miles in the same manner. They also allowed two of the sailors to smoke and turned on the deck lights of the boat.

The weather was rainy, but the clouds were broken and the stars were bright. As the moon was up they thought the boat should have been clearly visible from shore. Though the wind coming off shore could have kept some of their sounds from being heard onshore, the light beams they flashed and other actions should have been seen and heard by observers on shore. Except for a light which they observed coming on at intervals to their southeast, where they could faintly make out what appeared as houses, the coastal area remained in darkness.

In further effort to make their presence noticed, at 0050 hours they transmitted oral messages over the ships RT, using a frequency common to walkie-talkie radio, supposedly in communication with an on shore party; using a slightly different frequency supposedly for the on shore party. Staying in the area until 0245 hours they fired one tracer round from a six - pounder in the direction of the on-shore light then proceeded to Bastia.

Compiled by Art Frizzell from two reports obtained from the National Archives, authors unnamed







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