We are currently improving the navigational structure of the website. This might result in lost links. If you come across a lost link, Please let us know.

Operation Ginny II

Page Created
November 22nd, 2022
Last Updated
November 22nd, 2022
US Flag
Special Forces
Operational Groups, Office of Strategic Services
March 22nd, 1944 – March 27th, 1944
Operation Ginny II
  • To destroy a railroad tunnel on the Genoa-Pisa line.
Operational Area

Framura area, Italy.

Unit Force
  • Fifteen men from the Italian/United States Operational Group, Office of Strategic Services (OSS) under command of Lieutenant Russo.
  • U.S. Navy torpedo boats PT 214 and PT 210
  • Dinghy
Opposing Forces
  • Festungs-brigade 135
    • Festungs-Bataillon 905
    • Festungs-Bataillon 906
    • Festungs-Bataillon 907

After a failed first attempt in February 1944 (Operation Ginny II), another attempt is planned for March 1944.

March 22nd, 1944. The assault force approaches land west of the Framura railroad station at 23:00, rowing on three rubber dinghies that lowered from the PT Boats. Once on land, Lieutenant Russo takes three men and goes on a reconnaissance tour while the others stay on the shore to guard the equipment and the boats. They find out that they had reached Carpeneggio, halfway between Bonassola and the Framura station. The target site is about two kilometres west. Meanwhile, radio contact with the PT boats is suddenly lost. The PT Boats are forced to leave the area as one detects the presence of German ships and the other has mechanical problems. PT 210 is repaired but by then it is dawn, and the unit pickup is postponed to the following day.

March 23rd, 1944. The men spend the day in hiding, with the rubber boats and explosives tucked away from sight as best they possible could, on the rocky beach. At night, under the cover of darkness, they climb the steep rocky slopes and reach an abandoned stable where they find shelter. They have had no food for twenty-four hours so two of them set out to look for something to eat. A young farmer by the name of Franco Lagaxo, who lives nearby, is the first person to see them. They are close to his home. He provides food for them and takes them to the Framura station, the target of the Ginny mission. That same evening, other PT boats leave Bastia to support the mission. Their assignment is to pick up the men but once again, they must return to base and give up the attempt.

March 24th, 1944. During the morning, a fisherman from nearby Bonassola, who returns ashore sees the rubber boats and informs the fascist police. Lagaxo tries to alert the Americans, but it is too late. They are arrested by a group of militiamen and German military.

At the same time another rescue attempt departs from Bastia. The men are brought to Oberst Kurt Almers headquarters located in a villa in Carozzo, north of La Spezia for interrogations. The men are taken to the cellar of the villa and Kapitän leutnant Georg Sessler, assistant to Korvetten Kapitän Frederich Klaps, Chief Intelligence officer, interrogates them in his perfect English. He obtains the confession about their sabotage mission. After which Sessler returns to La Spezia.

March 25th, 1944. General Anton Doslter is the Commander of the LXXV Army Corps in Italy. He signs the telegram dated March 25th, 1944, ordering the killing of the assault force, and a second one confirming the order and rejecting the suspension requests that arrives from his subordinates. Dostler follows the “Kommandobefehl”, an order given by Hitler in 1942 that imposed the immediate execution of any enemy commando captured in Europe or Africa, even if wearing a uniform.

Meanwhile, the men await their execution in a cell in Almers headquarters. Oberleutnant Koerbits calls Oberleutnant Bolze, commander of the 1 Kompanie of Festungs-Batallion 905 and gives the order to dig a grave that could contain fifteen bodies. From Villa Angelo, a property that belongs to a local family in Ameglia, Bolze selects Punta Bianca, a stretch of land along the mouth of the Magra River.

March 26th, 1944. At dawn, the men are loaded on trucks. During the ride, they make a desperate attempt to escape. They fail and arrive at Punta Bianca a little later. A German doctor arrives on a Topolino car with a red cross painted on the bonnet and the prisoners are executed. With their hands tied behind their backs, they are carried to the pit and covered with soil, brushwood, and thorns.

March 27th, 1944. Fascist and German radios announce that the American commando is annihilated. To cover up for the execution, they falsely claim that there has been a skirmish where the enemies are killed.