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When the Allies landed at Anzio the success of an amphibious landing at that location, a beach surrounded by mountains, depended completely on the element of surprise and the swiftness with which the invaders could move before the defenders reacted. Any delay could result in the occupation of the mountains by the defenders and the consequent entrapment of the invaders. General Lucas, who preferred to take time to entrench against an expected counterattack allowed the German Forces in the area to react and seize the high ground in the mountains that surrounded Anzio. Although the landings achieved complete surprise with no opposition and a recon patrol even made it as far as the outskirts of Rome, Lucas, who had little confidence in the operation, failed to use the element of surprise by delaying his advance until he judged his position was sufficiently consolidated and his troops ready. By that time the Germans had ringed the landing with sufficient forces to stall and almost push the Allies off of the beaches. Churchill commented to the effect, after the landing: “I fear we have a beached whale at Anzio.”