Army

Army

The Advance To The Moro: Army, Part 66

PHOTOS: LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA—PA142067 From top: A bulldozer pulls an anti-tank gun across a swollen river near Colle d'Anchise, Italy, in October 1943; Canadian soldiers cover their ears while firing a mortar. By late October 1943, information from Ultra provided evidence of the enemy's determination to defend the Winter Line south of Rome and to continue to build up forces in Italy and the Balkans. While the Allies deployed 11 divisions, General Albert Kesselring's 10th German Army included 10 divisions with a further six allocated to Northern Italy to pacify the army's territory, crush the insurgents in Istria and Slovenia to protect the coastal flan...
Army

Pushing To Campobasso: Army, Part 65

PHOTO: DWIGHT E. DOLAN, LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA—PA144106; ILLUSTRATION: PETER DE GANNES DESIGN Soldiers rest on top of a tank at San Marco, Italy, in October 1943. Throughout the Italian Campaign senior Allied commanders were able to obtain a running commentary on German intentions, courtesy of Ultra. By 1943, the code-breakers at Bletchley Park, the British government's communications headquarters situated 80 kilometres northwest of London, were reading messages encrypted by the German forces on Enigma machines with minimum delays. At both 8th and 5th army headquarters, a small group of officers and non-commissioned officers--known as the Signals ...
Army

Moving Forward With Boforce: Army, Part 64

PHOTO: ALEX STIRTON, LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA—PA177155 A tank, carrying Canadian soldiers, heads towards Potenza, Italy, in September 1943. When Operation Baytown--the Anglo-Canadian invasion of mainland Italy--was in the planning stages, Major-General Guy Simonds, the general officer commanding 1st Canadian Division, informed his brigade commanders that he would employ mobile battlegroups if the enemy simply withdrew. On D-Day plus four, X Force, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel C.H. Neroutsos, the commanding officer of the Calgary Tanks, led the advance along the coastal highway, but on Sept. 9, 1943, Montgomery ordered the Canadians to pause a...
Army

Into Italy: Army, Part 63

PHOTO: ALEX STIRTON, LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA—PA130247 Canadian armour arrives on the shores of the Italian mainland in September 1943. While the men of 1st Canadian Infantry Brigade were fighting for the high ground overlooking the Sicilian town of Adrano, Winston Churchill, Britain's prime minister, was aboard the Queen Mary en route to Quadrant, the first Allied conference to be held at Quebec City. This was Churchill's second trip across the Atlantic in 1943 and as with his visit to Washington three months before, the purpose was to seek agreement on future strategy. During Trident, the May 1943 conference, Churchill had persuaded Ame...
Army

Taking The Rough Land Of Sicily: Army, Part 62

PHOTO: LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA—PA183278 A Canadian soldier leads pack mules forward. One of the original reasons for mounting Operation Husky, the July 1943 invasion of Sicily, was the hope that the conquest of Italian territory would hasten the fall of Mussolini's government. On July 25, as the Canadians fought for Agira, news that Mussolini had "resigned" was flashed around the world. King Vittorio Emanuele III assumed command of the Italian armed forces and appointed Marshal Pietro Badoglio as prime minister. Badoglio acted quickly to assure Hitler that Italy remained loyal to its Axis partner but he was in fact determined ...
Army

From Leonforte To Agira: Army, Part 61

PHOTO: JACK H. SMITH, LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA--PA151748 Members of the Royal Canadian Artillery fire on an enemy position near Nissoria, Sicily, in July 1943. Sicily is an island of extremes and in July, when the sun shines for 11 hours a day, temperatures often reach 40°C. The men who fought for the hill towns of central Sicily in 1943 remember the heat, the dust and the stony landscape with its conical hills and steep ravines. To overcome an enemy holding the high ground required the kind of physical strength and mental agility shown by the men of the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment during their climb to the heights of Assoro, nort...

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