Sicily,1943 and Italy 1943 - 1945
WW2 Gallery and Modern Room
Sicily,1943 and Italy 1943 – 1945
The 1st Battalion acted as a Beach Brick – a formation which followed up the assault troops during the landing and organised the landing of stores and vehicles – for the landings in Sicily and Italy, before reverting to a standard infantry role as a unit in the 8th Indian Division, in the first part of 1944. It then fought its way up Italy until May 1945.
The Battalion was in action at the final attack on Monte Cassino and the crossing of the River Liri, which cleared the way to the Italian capital, where they carried out an assault crossing of the River Rapido. The Battalion then took part in the advance on the German’s Gothic Line.
They continued to meet German resistance at Abertino, Vaiano, Cavallata and Monte Cerere before the Germans began to withdraw. Driving a retreating enemy before them, the Battalion was part of the first crossing of the River Senio.
The 6th Battalion as the 93rd Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery (A&SH) (TA), landed in Naples at the end of 1943 and took part in much varied action in Italy as the 5th Corps Anti-Tank Regiment. The Battalion moved to Palestine in March 1945.
The 7th Battalion landed in Sicily with the 51st Highland Division in July 1943 and fought until the end of the Sicilian Campaign, when it embarked with the rest of the Division for the UK in order to prepare for the landings on D Day.
The 8th Battalion continued to serve in the 78th Division throughout the Sicilian and Italian campaigns. In an attempt to turn the German lines, the Battalion landed at Termoli, north of Taranto. However, a counter attack was only contained with great difficulty and many casualties.
The Battalion was heavily involved in the advance to the River Trigno and along the River Santerno. The crossing of the River Senio, was one of its final actions in Italy.