By dawn of D-Day, Force X consisting of the 1st and 4th Ranger Battalions along with attached combat engineers, were were fighting for possession of Gela. By 0830 hours they had taken the burning town, along with some 200 Italian prisoners, and were busy organizing its defense. Orders for an immediate counterattack went to two nearby Italian formations: Mobile Group "E" and an infantry regiment from the Livorno Division. Uncoordinated, they assaulted the town at different times and from different directions. First to make contact was Gruppo Mobile E.