Thursday, December 28, 2006

Ortona Remembered

This is a full half-hour programme, found by Ron. I've also added it to our links.


Blogger Tomcann said...

Even after 55 years the CBC still can't get it right as the Canadians 1st Div landed on July 10th '43 on the beaches of Sicily and not August !
This was first aired in 1999 and is a regular around Christmas especially in Eastern Canada which is ironic really,as the 3rd Eastern bde were involved in the opening battle at the Moro River and at Casa Beradi where Captain Paul Piquot of the Vandoos won his V.C.
It was the Western Bde of the Seaforths - Princess Pats and Loyal Eddies who bore the brunt of the longer assault on Ortona itself.The 1st Bde again Eastern, then by-passed the town to cut off the retreating Germans along the coast.
One of the funny moments was when the first company came into the Church of the Constantinople Saints for Christmas dinner, the Padre welcomed them with the words "Now that I have you all in Church for the first time...." The other main Church - the Basilica of St Thomas was in the same state and is often featured with the silhouete of an American G.I standing looking at the ruined Altar ! Go Figure !
Casualties were heavy as the final figures were in the region of 1500 whereas for the Gustav/Hitler lines at Cassino were around 1200 and for the month long Gothic Line it was over 3000.The Canadians left more than 6000 dead in Italy and 14,000 were wounded, for a Country with such a low population at the time, their contribution was immense !
They were great men to fight alongside and had a wondeful attitude.
The British 21st and 25th Tank
were "volunteered" to support the Canadians all the way from Ortona until they left in the Jan/Feb of '45 as Gen. Montgomery had fired the Cdn 5th armoured Div
for upsetting his favourite 1st Division ! We started training with them at Lucera before the third battle of Cassino,and my regiments support was to the Seaforths of Vancouver.

Thursday, 28 December, 2006  
Blogger Ronmac said...

Have you found this site?

There are lots of photos from the Italian campaign, stuff I hadn't sen before.

Saturday, 06 January, 2007  
Blogger Tomcann said...

Ronmac - you are right - this is an excellent site and I shall ask Peter to list the url on this website

Sunday, 07 January, 2007  

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