Sicily Italy

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by stug3, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. stug3

    stug3 Active Member

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    A Sherman tank of ‘A’ Squadron, 50th Royal Tank Regiment, silhouetted by the setting sun, 1 August 1943.
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    The Drive for Messina 10 July – 17 August 1943: Gunners of 66 Medium Regiment Royal Artillery in action on the slopes of Mount Etna at dawn, 11 August 1943.
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    Private Stanley Davis of 5th Seaforth Highlanders rides a pack mule with a swastika emblem branded on the animal’s neck, 16 August 1943. The animals were now being employed by 51st Highland Division in the hilly terrain near Mt Etna.
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    Men of the Highland Division use German mules to carry equipment up the slopes of Mount Etna. The rugged terrain of most of the island restricted vehicles to the inadequate road system. Pack animals therefore played a vital transport role.
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    A huge dump of German Teller mines captured by the Americans near Roccopalunba during their drive on Palermo.
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    Newsreel: War in Sicily

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNjvbwrMB2Q
     
  2. dutchman

    dutchman Member

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    I was looking at the photo of the teller mines, these have been deactivated and the explosive removed. Likely cleaned up from minefields in the area. They used a lot of these little buggers. Actually a pretty good mine if there is such a thing. It must have taken weeks to collect these things and dispose of them.
     
  3. stug3

    stug3 Active Member

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    8/13/43- 30th Infantry troops moving around the Cape Calavà cliff where the roadbed had been blown out by the Germans.
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    The 10th Engineer battalion begin the task of bridging the blown out gap.
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    There was only space for a limited number of men to work on the bridge at any one time, but the work was completed within 24 hours.
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    General Truscott is the first to cross.
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  4. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    How can you tell they are deactivated?

    When I saw that picture, my first reaction was, what would happen if you would throw a single grenade on it? (Of course, assuming the mines were still armed.)

    Kris
     
  5. stug3

    stug3 Active Member

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    A British Sherman in Francofonte. On 13 July, XIII Corps, Eighth Army began a major effort to reach Catania. Their efforts were resisted by German paratroops in and around Francofonte who delayed the British advance for two days.
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  6. stug3

    stug3 Active Member

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    Troops from 2nd Battalion, The Northamptonshire Regiment wait to board landing craft at Catania, Sicily, for the invasion of Italy, 2 September 1943.
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    Personnel of No. 3232 Servicing Commando relax by their vehicles in Sicily, while awaiting the order to proceed across the Straits of Messina for the invasion of Southern Italy
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    Reggio, 3 September 1943 (Operation Baytown): Troops board a landing craft at Catania, Sicily.
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    British artillery bombards the Italian mainland from Messina in Sicily prior to the initial landings at Reggio.
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    Captain Packer, of HMS WARSPITE (on right) phone to his ear, directing the bombardment of Reggio from the bridge of the battleship, while the navigator (centre) and the officer of the watch stand by. The men are wearing anti-flash hoods beneath their helmets possibly to prevent sunburn.
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    The forward 15 inch guns of HMS WARSPITE hurling shells at Reggio
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    Amphibious DUKWs loaded with men and equipment, enter the water at Messina in Sicily to cross to the Italian mainland.
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    A Priest 105mm self-propelled gun comes ashore from a landing craft, 3 September 1943. -
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    A half-track and 6-pdr anti-tank gun coming ashore from landing craft at Reggio
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    A Sherman tank moves inland at Reggio
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    A Sherman tank and infantry advance north from Reggio. Although the Eighth Army encountered little active resistance during their advance, the natural obstructions of the terrain, combined with German demolition’s resulted in very slow progress and prevented the Army from intervening in the fighting at Salerno until after the Germans had started to withdraw.
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    The Commander of the Eighth Army, Lieutenant General Sir Bernard Montgomery, watches troops as they pass through the streets of Reggio.
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    Reggio harbour Sept. 3, 1943
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  7. stug3

    stug3 Active Member

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    Can anyone identify the weapon carried by the soldier in the first pic? The pistol grip and trigger guard sort of look like a Sten, but the square edged receiver and lack of barrel jacket dont.
     
  8. vinnye

    vinnye Member

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    At first glance, it looks a bit like a Thompson with that grip by the trigger guard, but barrel looks wrong?
     
  9. stug3

    stug3 Active Member

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    Maybe its a Thompson with the forward grip removed. I think on wartime variants the barrel fins were deleted.
     
  10. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    That's a Thompson, the model with the foregrip instead of a forestock, part of the grip is hidden by the sling.
    The foregrip was completely isolated from the barrel.
     
  11. stug3

    stug3 Active Member

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    Yep, I see it now. Its also partially obscured by the railing or whatever that is he's standing in front of.
     
  12. stug3

    stug3 Active Member

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    #12 stug3, Sep 8, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2013
    Operation AVALANCHE: Armourers fuzing a 4,000-lb HC bomb (“Cookie”) at Kairouan West, Tunisia, before loading it into a Vickers Wellington Mark X of No. 205 Group RAF, during preparations for a night bombing raid on Salerno, Italy, prior to the Allied landings at there. Another airman carries winches aft of the bomb-bay in order to manoeuvre the bomb underneath the aircraft
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    Armourers hurry a trolley load of 500-lb GP bombs to an awaiting Vickers Wellington Mark X of No. 205 Group RAF, which is being refuelled in preparation for a night raid on targets in the Salerno area, on the day before the Allied landings there. The aircraft’s front turret has been shrouded to shield it from the North African heat.
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    (Operation Avalanche): The Convoy of Allied ships carrying the United States 5th Army at sea en route to Salerno.
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    During Operation AVALANCHE, a night photograph taken from the battleship WARSPITE during the landings, showing the effect of anti-aircraft fire from Allied warships in response to low level German aerial torpedo attack. It lasted for two hours and the destroyer INGLEFIELD shot down one of the raiders. WARSPITE successfully dodged two torpedos.
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  13. stug3

    stug3 Active Member

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    (Operation Avalanche): The British destroyer HMS TARTAR puts up an anti-aircraft barrage with her 4.5 inch AA guns to protect the invasion force from attack by enemy aircraft.
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    A landing craft ablaze offshore after receiving a direct hit. In the foreground on the beach are troops and casualties from the boat.
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    British troops and vehicles from 128 Brigade, 46th Division are unloaded from LST 383 onto the beaches.
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    British machine gun on the beach at Salerno, Italy, while a column of smoke rises from a transport ship in the background, 9 September 1943.
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  14. stug3

    stug3 Active Member

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    A Sherman tank loaded with infantry passes through Salerno, 10 September 1943.
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    10 – 11 September, the strength of German resistance steadily increased. A counter-attack cut the 9th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers in Battipaglia off from from the main force and required new defences to be created. A gun crew of 267 Battery, 67 Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery prepare a 17 pounder Pheasant anti-tank gun for action.
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    PIAT team, 9th Royal Fusiliers
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  15. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Many are split open with no HE in sight. They were rather heavy little buggers, I handled some while doing my national service as a junior Combat engineer NCO decades ago.

    Juha
     
  16. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    A couple of corrections if I may.

    "British machine gun on the beach at Salerno, Italy," is a British manned machine gun, gun itself is an Italian Breda M1937.

    "A gun crew of 267 Battery, 67 Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery prepare a 17 pounder Pheasant anti-tank gun for action."

    The Picture shows a standard 17 pounder anti-tank gun, the "Pheasant" used the 25pdr carriage and shield.

    The pictures are great and I do enjoy them.
     
  17. stug3

    stug3 Active Member

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    USS Savannah (CL-42) is hit by a German radio-controlled glider bomb, while supporting Allied forces ashore during the Salerno operation, 11 September 1943. The bomb hit the top of the ship’s number three 6″/47 gun turret and penetrated deep into her hull before exploding. The photograph shows the explosion venting through the top of the turret and also through Savannah’s hull below the waterline. A motor torpedo boat is passing by in the foreground.
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    Fire crew on the USS Savannah.
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    A crewman's account from

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62GkCPYzcII

    The first capital ship to be lost to a guided munition attack was the 45,000 tonne Vittorio Veneto class battleship RN Roma, which burned and sank after being hit by two PC1400X Fritz X radio-controlled glidebombs on the 9th September, 1943. The Roma was en route to Malta to surrender as part of the Italian Armistice when she was attacked by the Luftwaffe. This attack killed 1352 personnel, including Admiral Carlo Bergamini, Chief of Naval Staff of the RN.
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    Two “Liberty” ships afire in Algiers harbor, following a German air attack, 16 July 1943.
    USS Savannah (CL-42), in the foreground, had a narrow escape.
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  18. stug3

    stug3 Active Member

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    A view of the remote hotel on Gran Sasso where Mussolini was being detained by the new Badoglio regime, as seen from a German glider of the rescue force.
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    One of the gliders on the mountainside, illustrating the tight landing area.
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    One of the gliders that crashed during the landing.
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    Fallschirmjäger leave their glider for the hotel.
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    Parachute troops with one of the light artillery pieces that they took with them.
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    One of the Gliders that landed close to the Hotel Campo Imperatore.
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    Mussolini is escorted by the rescue party.
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    The Fiesler Storch light aircraft that carried Mussolini and Skorzeny off the mountain.
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    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRQSvC2hStU
     
  19. stug3

    stug3 Active Member

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    From CEFALONIA MASSACRE
    September,1943
    Almost unknown outside of Italy, this event ranks with Katyn as one of the darkest episodes of the war. On the Greek island of Cefalonia, in the Gulf of Corinth, the Italian ‘ACQUI DIVISION' was stationed. Consisting of 11,500 enlisted men and 525 officers it was commanded by 52 year old General Antonio Gandin, a veteran of the Russian Front where he won the German Iron Cross. When the Badoglio government announced on September 8, 1943, that Italian troops should cease hostilities against the Allies, there was much wine and merriment on Cefalonia. However, their German counterparts on the island maintained a stony silence and soon began harassing their Italian comrades, calling them 'traitors'. The German 11th. Battalion of Jäger-Regiment 98 of the 1st. Gebirgs-Division, commanded by Major Harald von Hirschfeld, arrived on the island and soon Stukas were bombing the Italian positions. The fighting soon developed into a wholesale massacre when the Gebirgsjäger troops began shooting their Italian prisoners in groups of four beginning with General Gandin. By the time the shooting ended 4,750 Italian soldiers lay dead. But that was not the end for the Acqui Division, some 4000 survivors were shipped off to Germany for forced labour. In the Mediterranean a few of the ships hit mines and sank taking around 3,000 men to their deaths. The final death toll in this tragic episode was 9,646 men and 390 officers. Major Hirschfeld was later killed during the fighting in Warsaw in 1945 after he was promoted to General. General Hubert Lanz, commander of the Gebirgsjäger troops, was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials. He was released in 1951. In the 1950s, the remains of over 3,000 soldiers, including 189 officers, were unearthed and transported back to Italy for proper burial in the Italian War Cemetery at Bari. Unfortunately, the body of General Gandin was never identified.

    Italian soldiers taken prisoner by the Germans in Corfu, September 1943.
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    Following the Italian surrender there were disputes surrounding the status of Italian military units. Most of the Italian saw themselves as having to abide by the orders of the new Italian government. Yet some units already fell under the command of German senior officers, particularly those in occupied Greece. The German view was that by not abiding by the orders of the Germans they were committing treason.
    The Acqui Division was amongst those that fell into this position. The commander received orders from Italy that he must regard the Germans as hostile and resist attempts to give up his weapons. From the Germans he received the ultimatum that he must either fight with them, fight against them, or surrender peacefully. Negotiations broke down as the Italians sought fought further clarification from their higher authority.
    Fighting broke out in which the numerically superior Acqui Division were initially successful. However when the Germans landed battle hardened Gebirgsjäger, Mountain troops, on the island the largely conscript Acqui Divison was easily overcome. However the German High Command had now issued orders:

    because of the perfidious and treacherous behaviour [of the Italians] on Cephalonia, no prisoners are to be taken.

    This was interpreted as authority to execute all of the surrendering Italians. There were few survivors, Battista Alborghetti was one of them.

    From MY FATHER IN THE HELL OF KEFALONIA

    A nightmare. This is still for me, Kefalonia. I’m a survivor. I was in that hell from November 1943 to November 1944, along with other 11,600 Italians. After September 8, 1943 – as a result of our refusal to surrender to the German army – 10,500 Italian soldiers were massacred.
    A terrible massacre, that still remains in my eyes and on my mind. There are so many images about those awful days of terror: stories of war and death, written in the blood of so many young people who pursued the dream of a better Italy.
    I was nineteen years old when I was assigned to the Divisione Acqui – at 33th Artillery, First group, Second battery – on the Greek-Albanian front, already controlled by German Army. The armistice proclaimed in Italy by General Badoglio changes our destinies.
    Germans claim our surrender, but they do not offer sufficient guarantees about of the Italian troops repatriation. Italian officers called a consultation between the departments: it’s an unprecedented event in the modern army history. We decide to refuse surrender and not give our weapons to the Germans. And after that, the Apocalypse…
    In the early hours of the battle I see my three companions dying. They fall down close to me. Some minutes later, a splinter of a grenade explosion hits my left leg. The Acqui Division – poor in weapons – is destroyed. People who do not succumb in the fighting they become prey of the Wehrmacht. German soldiers rakes the island, inch by inch. I escaped from the capture in a couple of occasions; I hide myself between mules and I repaire inside water pipes in the undergrowth. They capture me on September 21.
    About 300 Officers (captains, lieutenants and second lieutenants) were captured and transferred to that, sadly, is now known as the “Red House”, in San Teodoro. Against every principle of the international conventions, they are shot within 36 hours, four people a turn… The corpses, weighed down with rolls of barbed wire, they were then thrown into the sea, sprinkled with petrol and burned in bonfires, whose light illuminated the night, leaving a foul smell in the air.
    My companions were loaded onto trucks and taken somewhere: I won’t see them anymore. My friend, the second lieutenant Giampietro Matteri – from Dongo (Como), twenty-two years old – is killed on September 24. The same destiny for another friend, the second lieutenant Pillepich, from Trieste: I still remember the terror in his eyes when, together with eleven companions, he was dragged from the group. Few minutes later we heard the shots of machine guns, followed by cries of pain, yells, invocations. And then other shots. The finishing strokes.
    At the concentration camp we were treated worse than beasts. In the morning, Wehrmacht officers assembled us, offering – as they were saying – “the chance to return to Italy”. But I always said to myself: if they want to kill me, I prefer that they do it here. We now know: who accepted that proposals they were shot. They were shipped on steamers, as easy targets for Stukas airplanes or for floating mines. It’s what that happened to my compatriot, Ferdinando Mangili. He climbed aboard of one of those ships that were full of soldiers who looked forward to reach home… But the ship was sunk off and the waves returned the corpses… The Germans forced me to bury the dead, all around the island. Chaplain father Luigi Ghilardini and I, we recomposed corpses or what was left of bodies mangled by bullets and then devoured by ravens and vultures…
    One day the nazis picked up us suddenly and they brought us in the square of Lixouri, where they deployed 13 Greeks accused of being partisan. Those poor people were hunged under our eyes. It happened that one of them – because of a broken rope – fell to the ground. He was still alive. The Germans took him and hung him again …
     
  20. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    What a horror ..... the shifting tides of war. Great information. Great video of "the rescue".

    Thanks,

    MM
     
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