Second World War: Canadians in the Italian Campaign, 10 July 1943 – 2 May 1945

Canada and the Italian Campaign, 10 July 1943 – 2 May 1945

Articles by Veterans Affairs Canada and by Mark Zuehlke (The Canadian Encyclopedia)

(Canadian War Museum (CN 12245).

Canadian Armour Passing through Ortona, by Charles Comfort.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3724217)

Two Canadian soldiers cautiously rounding the corner of a ruined building in Ortona, Italy, 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4558189)

Canadian tanks in action in Italy, 1943.

A total of 92,257 Canadians served in Italy.  Of these, 5,399 lost their lives and 19,486 were wounded.  A further 1002 became prisoners of war and 365 died from “causes other than war. (Terry Copp)

Canada’s longest Second World War army campaign was in Italy. Canadians fought alongside soldiers serving with the Allied forces of the United Kingdom, the United States, France, New Zealand and Poland, against the combined Axis forces of Germany and Italy.

Canadian troops played a vital role in the 20-month Mediterranean campaign which led to the liberation of Italy during the Second World War. In fact, this campaign was the first large-scale land operation in which the Canadian Army stationed in Great Britain took part.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3524569).

Canadian Public Relations No. 2 staff with Italian personnel and jeeps. Sicily, Italy, July 1943. Likely British jeeps, according to the hood numbers (Canadian generally had a C in front of the M)j, Sicily, Italy, July 1943. This is one of two photos taken at the same location with most of the same personnel. The camera roll is by CFPU photographer Lt. Dwight Dolan and these two jeeps are probably from Canadian Public Relations No.2. This is the second of the two photos. You can see the shadow of the photographer in the uncropped version of both photos (Rolleiflex square format). But the picture taker changes in each photo. The two Italians in the photos appear to have Italian "Regia Aeronautica" (Italian Royal air force) cap badges. They might be Italian PoWs turned into guides for the Public Relations group, or simply PoWs about to be turned in. (Glenn Warner)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4485870)

A patrol in Sicily, 1943.

Map of Canadian Operations in Sicily, 10 July to 17 August 1943.  (Map drawn by C.C.J. Bond, in C.P. Stacey, The Canadian Army 1939-1945: An Official Historical Summary (1948), Department of National Defence)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3205846)

Italians greet Canadian troops enthusiastically as they pass through, September 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3199141)

Italians welcome Canadian troops at the entrance of Catanzaro.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3607429)

Sergeants Al Grayston and Jack Stollery MM respectively, with film cameras and a jeep in Sicily, 1943. Grayston shot the first footage of the landings in Sicily. Stollery was awarded the MM for his disregard of enemy fire when filming in Ortona.

Map of Allied operations in Southern Italy, September 1943 to January 1944. (Map drawn by C.C.J. Bond, in C.P. Stacey, The Canadian Army 1939-1945: An Official Historical Summary (1948), Department of National Defence)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4485882)

Seaforth Highlanders on the March, en route to a Brigade Inspection by General Sir Bernard Montgomery, Militello, Sicily, 20 Aug 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4485868)

Canadian soldiers likely scanning the upper windows for Germans in the streets of a town in Sicily in 1943.

In this campaign, which was fought in Sicily from 10 July to 6 August 1943, and in mainland Italy from 3 September 1943, to 25 February  1945, the fighting was particularly bitter. The Germans, taking full advantage of mountain peaks and swiftly running rivers, made Allied advance very difficult and costly. There were 25,264 Canadian casualties in the fighting, including more than 5,900 who were killed.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4113912)

Transferring casualties from an ambulance to a hospital train, Barletta-Andria area of Italy, Feb 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3203793)

L-R: RCR Captain Sam Lerner, RCR Captain R. B. Watson, Major M.H. Hodgins, Captain J.A. Johnston and Captain J.L. Morrison, all from London, Ontario, at San Vito Chietino, Italy, 4 February 1944. After the war, Sam Lernerer became the war Honorary Colonel RCR.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3578055)

Infantry reinforcements of the 48th Highlanders of Canada next to a 20-mm Oerlikon anti-aircraft gun on board HMT Nea Hellas en route to Philippeville, Algeria, 5 July 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3619641)

Private Peter Bross, and mascot Bob, of the Cameron  Highlanders of Ottawa, aboard the troopship HMT Nea Hellas en route to Philippeville, Algeria, 8 July 1943.  This is interesting. The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa fought in North West Europe, not in Italy - and yet this soldier is certainly wearing their cap badge in the Mediterranean.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3521050)

Canadian troops disembarking from HMT Nea Hella, Philippeville, Algeria, 10 July 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3227102)

48th Highlanders of Canada on the march near Modica, Italy, 12 July 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4485877)

German prisoners of war in Sicily, 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photgo, MIKAN No. 3607766)

Pte. Charlie Henry, 48th Highlanders with German prisoner, ca 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3228095)

Infantrymen of The 48th Highlanders of Canada dealing with a German counterattack, San Leonardo di Ortona, Italy, 10 December 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3724219)

Cpl Smokey Atkinson cleaning the grime off a hand grenade, Ortona, Italy, 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3231063)

48th Highlanders of Canada advancing towards the Gothic Line near the Foglio River, Italy, 1944.

(IWM Photo, NA 18392)

A Canadian-built Sexton 25-pounder self-propelled gun negotiates a hairpin bend on a mountain road near Mondaino during the advance through the Gothic Line, Italy, 6 September 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3512558)

Canadian despatch rider holding regimental shoulder flashes during the assault on the Gothic Line, Italy, ca. 26 August - 3 September 1944. He is sewing them back on after removing them for the Candian's move from the Florence area, to the Adriatic coast in preparation for the attack on the Gothic Line.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3262370)

Infantrymen of the 48th Highlanders of Canada advancing on Point 146 during the advance on the Gothic Line near the River Foglia, Italy, ca. 28-29 August 1944,

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3591199)

Piper Roderick Grant of the 48th Highlanders of Canada playing his bagpipes for a crowd of liberated civilians, Matera, Italy, 24 September 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3586726)

Engineer Paul Johnston of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation setting up equipment to record a broadcast by CBC correspondent Matthew Halton, Catangora, Italy, 14 September 1943. The piece of equipment in front of the sound engineer is a acetate disc cutter that takes the sound from the microphone and puts it into the disk. In the later stages on the war the CBC experimented with dictaphone wire recorders as they were more light weight and produced an acceptable recording for rebroadcast back home in Canada. The Canadian Army photo and motion picture units focused on visual productions, while the CBC did sound recording of military actions. (Jim Bunting)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3612982)

Matthew Halton at the CBC microphone, Italy, 20 August 1943.

Invasion of Sicily

(US Army Photo)

General Bernard Law Montgomery with Lieutenant-General George S. Patton, Jr., at the Palermo, Sicily airport, 28 July 1943.

The assault on Sicily was to be the prelude to the invasion of mainland Europe. The invasion was assigned to the Seventh U.S. Army under Lieutenant-General George S. Patton, and the Eighth British Army under General Sir Bernard L. Montgomery. The Canadians were to be part of the British Army.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3203276)

Visit of General Sir Alan Brooke to the 1st Canadian Division. (L.-R.): Gen. Sir Harold Alexander, Lieutenant-Colonel Kit Dawnay, General Sir Alan Brooke, Sir Bernard Montgomery, and Brigadier Bruce Matthews, CRA 1st Cdn Div, 14 Dec 1943.

(Library and Archives Photo, MIKAN No. 3225683)

General Montgomery visiting forward positions of most advanced troops and meeting officers holding these positions, 23 July 1943.

(Library and Archives Photo, MIKAN No. 4233436)

General Montgomery in front of his Miles Messenger light aircraft, ca 1943-1945.

(Library and Archives Photo, MIKAN No. 4234029)

Major-General G.G. Simonds in a Jeep in Italy.

The 1st Canadian Infantry Division and the 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade, under the command of Major-General G.G. Simonds, sailed from Great Britain in late June 1943. En route, 58 Canadians were drowned when enemy submarines sank three ships of the assault convoy, and 500 vehicles and a number of guns were lost. Nevertheless, the Canadians arrived late in the night of 9 July to join the invasion armada of nearly 3,000 Allied ships and landing craft.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3228148)
Canadian troops in unarmed-combat practice on board His Majesty's Transport possibly HMT Dunera during the troop convoy to the Mediterranean Theatre, 1 July 1943. Possibly also HMT Rohna, both of which took part in the Sicily landings in 1943.

Operation Husky

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, PA-142076)

Diamond T tractor-trailer transporters hauling Sherman tanks of the 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade, Manfredonia, Italy, 12 October 1943. The new RCASC organization first proved itself during the invasion of Sicily, but it had an inauspicious baptism of fire. Three merchant vessels from the Slow Assault Convoy carrying cargo from Britain for the initial landings were sunk en route, entailing a loss of about 500 trucks. As a result, the RCASC was faced with maintaining 1st Canadian Infantry Division and 1st Canadian Army Tank Brigade with only 43 vehicles instead of the 225 required. By the end of the Sicilian campaign, only 114 of the 500 vehicles lost had been replaced. This shortage, plus the lack of good roadways through the mountainous terrain on the island placed a great strain on RCASC personnel. Vehicles that were available were run almost continuously, about 22 hours out of 24, and routine maintenance was performed at convoy staging points where relief drivers took over in relays.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4233970)

General H.D.G. Crerar and Brigadier McCarter in the UK, ca 1944.  From 1 October 1943 to 6 June 1944, Brigadier General McCarter served on the  Staff of I Canadian Corps, Mediterranean - Italy.

Canada's Italian campaign began on 10 July 1943 when the 1st Canadian Infantry Division and the 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade began Operation Husky, the seaborne invasion of the island of Sicily. The Italian defenders were quickly overwhelmed, and the Canadians then advanced on Pachino and its strategic airport. Nightfall saw most of the Canadian units either on or past every initial objective. Seven men died and 25 others were wounded.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, PA-177114)

The Royal 22e Regiment landing on the beach at Reggio di Calabria on the morning of 3 September 1943. The 80th and 81st Landing Craft Mechanized Flotillas, RCN, transported the R22eR across the straits of Messina departing from Catania's port. LCMs are pictured in the photo. (David Patterson)

(IWM Photo, NA 6204)
A half-track and 6-pdr anti-tank gun coming ashore from landing craft at Reggio, 3 September 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, PA-166751.

The landing in Pachino, Sicily, July 10th, 1943.

Just after dawn on 10 July, the assault (preceded by airborne landings) went in. Canadian troops went ashore near Pachino close to the southern tip of Sicily and formed the left flank of the five British landings that spread along more than 60 kilometres of shoreline. Three more beachheads were established by the Americans over another 60 kilometres of the Sicilian coast. In taking Sicily, the Allies aimed, as well, to trap the German and Italian armies and prevent their retreat across the Strait of Messina into Italy.

On 11 July, the Canadians were delayed, not as much by enemy opposition than by thousands of Italian troops wanting to surrender. The Canadians followed an inland route that guarded the British Eighth Army’s left flank up the eastern coastline toward Catania and the ultimate objective of the Strait of Messina, which divides Sicily from the Italian mainland.

With the Italian army’s rapid collapse, several German divisions hurriedly established a series of defensive lines. Canadian troops encountered such a line on 15 July near Grammichele. Enemy anti-tank guns knocked out one tank, three carriers, and several trucks before the Canadians rallied and carried the town. Having inflicted 25 Canadian casualties, the Germans withdrew.

(DND Photo)

Overcoming light resistance on the beaches after landing in Sicily on 10 July 1943, the 1st Canadian Infantry Division units pushed rapidly inland for first few days of Operation HUSKY. Troops with CMP trucks.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3259916)

Private R.E. Hill (possibly with the Saskatoon Light Infantry), repairing his Universal Carrier, Catania, Italy, 22 August 1943. It appears that more than brake repair is needed, as the axle shaft is sitting upright, leaning on the front of the vehicle. Possibly the differential gears were stripped? The axle splines look battered. (Jim Bunting)

From the Pachino beaches, where resistance from Italian coastal troops was light, the Canadians pushed forward through choking dust, over tortuous mine-filled roads. At first all went well, but resistance stiffened as the Canadians were engaged increasingly by determined German troops who fought tough delaying actions from the vantage points of towering villages and almost impregnable hill positions. On 15 July, just outside the village of Grammichele, Canadian troops came under fire from Germans of the Hermann Goering Division. The village was taken by the men and tanks of the 1st Infantry Brigade and Three Rivers Regiment.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3238411)

Sergeant R. Gladnick and Trooper W.J. Whan of the Three Rivers Regiment camouflaging their Stuart V recce tank "Ajax", Italy, 11 September 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, PA-170290)

Sherman tanks of the Three Rivers Regiment entering the ruins of Regalbuto, 4 August 1943.

(IWM Photo)

A Sherman tank of the 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade rolling through the ruins of Regalbutto during the advance on Messina, Sicily in August 1943.

German tactics in Sicily were a precursor for those applied throughout the Italian campaign. This entailed heavily entrenched fortifications set on ideal defensive terrain of ridges, mountains, and rivers. When one line was breached the Germans quickly withdrew to another.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3238631)

Tank crew of the Three Rivers Regiment with their Sherman V tank, Termoli, Italy, 15 October 1943. (L-R): Sergeant John Gallagher, Troopers Herb Easton, Bill Reid, Henry Brown and Frank Wurmlinger. All of these men survived the war. "ANZAC" as indicated by the name starting with the letter A was from A Squadron of the Regt.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3396858)

Pte. Stephen Wallace, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI), taking a drink, north of Valguarnera, Sicily, July 1943.

Piazza Armerina and Valguarnera fell on successive days, after which the Canadians were directed against the hill towns of Leonforte and Assoro. Despite the defensive advantages which mountainous terrain gave to the Germans, after bitter fighting both places fell to the Canadian assault. Even stiffer fighting was required as the Germans made a determined stand on the route to Agira. Three successive attacks were beaten back before a fresh brigade, with overwhelming artillery and air support, succeeded in dislodging the enemy. On 28 July, after five days of hard fighting at heavy cost, Agira was taken.

(Commonwealth War Graves Foundation Photo)

Agira was taken by the 1st Canadian Division of 28 July and the site for the war cemetery was chosen in September for the burial of all Canadians who had been killed in the Sicily campaign. Agira Canadian War Cemetery contains 490 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3228145)

Lieutenant-Colonel R.A. Lindsay with Lieutenant Colin McDougal, of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, who has just been made adjutant of the regiment, 28 July 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3661962)

Forward Observation Post, "B" Battery, 1st Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, Potenza, Italy, 24 September 1943. From left to right, Gunner Chuck Drickerson (rangefinder), Signalman Jim Tully (telephone), Regimental Sergeant-Major George Gilpin (plotting board), Captain G.E. Baxter (field glasses), and Signalman Hugh Graham (radio).

Meanwhile, the Americans were clearing the western part of the island and the British were pressing up the east coast toward Catania. These operations pushed the Germans into a small area around the base of Mount Etna where Catenanuova and Regalbuto were captured by the Canadians.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3222598)

3rd Canadian Infantry Brigade, Saskatoon Light Infantry soldiers firing a 4.2-inch mortar near the Sangro River, Italy, 1 December 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3520403)

Personnel of the Support Company, Saskatoon Light Infantry (M.G.), placing birds in roasting pans, near Montescaglioso, Matera, Italy 15 September 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3240639)

Corporal R. Hill and Private A.D. Hiebert, Saskatoon Light Infantry (M.G.), manning a Vickers machine gun, Riccione, Italy, 1944.

The final Canadian task was to break through the main enemy position and capture Adrano. Here, they continued to face not only enemy troops, but also the physical barriers of a rugged, almost trackless country. Mortars, guns, ammunition, and other supplies had to be transported by mule trains. Undaunted, the Canadians advanced steadily against the enemy positions, fighting literally from mountain rock to mountain rock.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4233023)

The Canadian supply route through the mountains of Italy, c1943.

Canada's "Mountain Boys"

On 18 July, the Canadians met their heaviest resistance to date, at Valguarnera, Sicily. Fighting before the town and on adjacent ridges resulted in 145 casualties, including 40 killed. But the Germans lost 250 men captured and an estimated 180 to 240 killed or wounded. Field marshal Albert Kesselring reported that his men were fighting highly trained mountain troops. “They are called ‘Mountain Boys,’ he said, “and probably belong to the 1st Canadian Division.” German respect for the Canadian soldier was beginning.

For the next 17 days, the Canadians were hotly engaged. At Leonforte, the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade spent a night of house-to-house fighting. Meanwhile, the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment carried out a nighttime ascent of the 904-metre-high Monte Assoro to surprise the German defenders.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3396001)

Pioneer platoon of the Royal Canadian Regiment watering their mules near Regalbuto, Italy, 4 August 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3582752)

Saskatoon Light Infantry soldiers with their Universal Carrier and a mule carrying supplies, Italy, 9-18 October 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3564308)

Personnel of the Saskatoon Light Infantry (MG) in Universal Carriers, Monacilione, Italy, ca. 9 - 18 October 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3520400)

Saskatoon Light Infantry (M.G.) soldiers in a Universal Carrier equipped with a Vickers machine gun, Italy, 8 March 1944.

(IWM Photo, B 10448)

4.2-inch Mortar.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3396064)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4232994)

4.2-inch Mortars, 1st Cdn Corps, night firing, Italy, 6 April, 1944.  

With the approaches to Adrano cleared, the way was prepared for the closing of the Sicilian campaign. The Canadians did not take part in this final phase, however, as they were withdrawn into reserve on 7 August. Eleven days later, British and American troops entered Messina. Sicily had been conquered in 38 days.

The Sicilian campaign was a success. Although many enemy troops had managed to retreat across the strait into Italy, the operation had secured a necessary air base from which to support the liberation of mainland Italy. It also freed the Mediterranean sea lanes and contributed to the downfall of Mussolini, thus allowing a war-wearied Italy to sue for peace.

The Canadians had acquitted themselves well in their first campaign. They had fought through 240 kilometres of mountainous country -farther than any other formation in the Eighth British Army. During their final two weeks, they had borne a large share of the fighting on the Allied front. Canadian casualties throughout the fighting totaled 2,310 casualties, including 562 562 killed, 1,664 wounded and 84 prisoners of war.

By the first week of August, the Germans were caught in a closing vise of American, British, and Canadian units. On 17 August, the Germans evacuated Sicily. The invasion of the Italian mainland was to be next great operation.

Mainland Italy

(Library and Archives Canada Photo,  MIKAN No. 3191712)

Italian Semovente da M40/41 75/18 SP Gun confiscated by the Germans after the Italian surrender on 8 Sep 1943, near Lamone, Italy, December 1944.

One result of the Allied invasion of Sicily was the overthrow of the Italian dictator, Mussolini. However, although the new Italian government surrendered on 3 September 1943,the Germans immediately seized control and thus it was German troops that the Allies faced in their advance up the Italian peninsula.

The Eighth British Army (including the 1st Canadian Division, the 5th British Division and the 1st Canadian Army Tank Brigade) would lead the way across the Strait of Messina to the toe of Italy and then advance toward Naples. The Fifth U.S. Army (with two British and two U.S. divisions) would make a seaborne landing in the Gulf of Salerno, seize Naples and advance on Rome. The 1st British Airborne Division would land by sea in the Taranto region and seize the heel of the peninsula.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3534551

Personnel of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Brigade landing at Reggio di Calabria, Italy, 3 September 1943.

The assault across the Strait of Messina began on 3 September 1943. The Canadians, directed on Reggio Calabria, met little resistance since the Germans had withdrawn to establish a line of defence across the narrow, mountainous central part of the peninsula. The Canadians captured Reggio Calabria and advanced across the Aspromonte Mountains and along the Gulf of Taranto to Catanzaro. In spite of rain, poor mountain roads and German rearguard actions, they had moved 120 kilometres inland from Reggio by 10 September.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, PA-144103)

From higher ground, a 14th Armoured Regiment (Calgary) Sherman tank covers the progression of the West Nova Scotia Regiment towards Potenza, September 20th, 1943.

Meanwhile, the Fifth U.S. Army met stiff German resistance as it assaulted the beaches of Salerno. To assist American troops in the breakout from the bridgehead, a Canadian brigade was diverted from the main Canadian line of advance to seize Potenza, an important road centre east of Salerno. Potenza was taken on September 20. The breakout was accomplished, and on 1 October, the Fifth U.S. Army entered Naples. In the meantime, the 1st Canadian Infantry Brigade proceeded eastward, joined the British Airborne Division in the Taranto region, and then pushed boldly inland to the north and northwest. The 5th British Corps seized the Foggia airfield.

By the end of September, the German hold on northern and central Italy was still unshaken,but the Allies had overrun a vast and valuable tract of southern Italy. Allied armies stood on a line running across Italy from sea to sea. The next objective was Rome.

As the Allies drove north from Naples and Foggia, the Canadians found themselves pushing into the central mountain range. Now the enemy resisted with full force. On 1 October at Motta, the Canadians fought their first battle with Germans in Italy, and a series of brief, but bloody actions followed.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3599873)

Canadian soldiers looking at the "Canada Town" billboard, Campobasso, Italy, 21 October 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3607765)

17-pounder anti-tank gun detachment going in to action on the road to Campobasso - Termoli, Italy, 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3217088)

Private Paul-Eugene Jacquesm Royal 22e Regiment looking at his shrapnel-riddled backpack, near Campobasso, Italy, October 1943. He was wounded twice in Italy and was returned to Canada in 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3607613)

17-pounder anti-tank gun being forded across the River Biferno, 2 May 1944.  This took place in the area of Vinchiatura during the Army Commander's visit to 1st Canadian Division.  During the afternoon demonstration, the official party saw various phases that might be included in any tough cross-country advance.

On 14 October 1943, the Canadians took Campobasso. The next day they took Vinchiaturo and the advance continued across the Biferno River. During the same period, one unit of the Canadian Army Tank Brigade played a distinguished role on the Adriatic coast by supporting a British assault at Termoli and its advance to the Sangro River.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. )

German Marder III tank destroyed near the town of Aquino. They mounted the 7.5-cm PaK 40 anti-tank gun in an open-topped fighting compartment on top of the chassis of the They offered little protection to the crew, but added significant firepower compared to contemporary German tanks. They were in production from 1942 to 1944, and served on all fronts until the end of the war.

(DND Photo)

Canadians sheltering behind a destroyed Panzer IV tank, hinterland of Salerno. Operation Avalanche. September 1943.

In the 63 days since landing, the Eighth British Army had covered 725 kilometres. The "pursuit from Reggio" was over, however, as the Germans were prepared to make a stand from the coast south of Cassino on the Naples-Rome highway, to Ortona on the Adriatic shore. The German strength was now almost equal to that of the Allies and they had the advantage of being on the defensive. The liberation of Rome would not be easy.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4232973)

Gen HDG Crerar and MGen ELM Burns, ca 1943.

Meanwhile, the decision had been made to strengthen the Canadian forces in the Mediterranean. On 5 November, the Headquarters of the 1st Canadian Corps under Lieutenant-General H.D.G. Crerar and the 5th Canadian Armoured Division arrived in Italy. General G.G. Simonds took over command of this division and was replaced in the 1st Division by Major-General C. Vokes. General McNaughton, who had objected to the division of the Canadian Army, retired soon afterward.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3228144)

Officers, including two with the PPCLI in Sicily, 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4002440)

Studying a map and viewing the locations of German forces in Italy from the ramparts of a castle in Italy.  Left to right: With field glasses (arm only shown) PPCLI O/C Lt-Col. Cameron B. Ware, Winnipeg and London, Ontario; Lieut. J.P.S. Amoore, British Intelligence Corps (Interpreter) attached to 1st Canadian Division (home Richmond Surrey); Brig. C. Vokes, Ottawa and Kingston (2 CIB Brigadier); LCol. G. Kitching, Montreal, Staff Officer, 1st Canadian Division.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3228149)

Sniper Officer Lieut. D.E. Jones (over map) and Sniper Scout Private J.W. Slimkowich (pointing) reporting back from a 20 hour patrol, to Brigadier C. Vokes (2nd right) and Officer-in-Charge, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Lieutenant-Colonel, September 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3588753)

General Sir Bernard Montgomery (left), Commander-in-Chief British Eighth Army, and General G.G. Simonds, General Officer Commanding 1st Canadian Infantry Division, consulting maps at 1st Canadian Infantry Division Headquarters near Valguarnera, Sicily, 20 July 1943.  General Montgomery awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) to General Simonds in September 1943 for his “boldness, efficiency and inspiring example” in Sicily.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4232748)

LGen A.G.L. McNaughton and AV Marshal J. Whitworth Jones, ca 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3222050)

MGen Chris Vokes, GOC 1st Canadian Infantry Division speaking to PPCLI soldiers, Riccione, Italy, 13 Nov 1944.  

As the first snow of winter began to fall, the Eighth British Army struck hard at the German line along the Sangro River on the Adriatic Coast. The aim was to break the stalemate that had developed and relieve the pressure on the Fifth U.S. Army in the drive to take Rome. The task was not easy as the Adriatic shoreline was cut by a series of deep river valleys. The British and Canadians succeeded in driving the Germans from the Sangro but were faced with the same task a few kilometres further north. Here, along the line of the Moro River, some of the most bitter fighting of the war took place. The Germans counter-attacked repeatedly and often the fighting was hand-to-hand as the Canadians edged forward to Ortona on the coast.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo)

Canadian Sherman tank positioned at a street corner ready to destroy a group of Germans firing from a house. Note the tank commander using binoculars. The road around the tank is littered with empty casings. Ortona, Italy, December 1943.

The mediaeval town of Ortona, with its castle and stone buildings, was situated on a ledge overlooking the Adriatic Sea. Its steep, rubble-filled streets limited the use of tanks and artillery and thus made this an infantryman's struggle. During several days of vicious street fighting, the Canadians smashed their way through walls and buildings - "mouse-holing" as they called it. This was Christmas 1943. Meanwhile, a subsidiary attack had been launched to the northwest and the Germans, in danger of being cut off, withdrew from Ortona. The city officially fell on 28 December.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3227877)

Canadian soldiers enjoying a few drinks on Christmas Day at the front, Ortona, Italy, 25 December 1943. Lee Taylor noted: My Dad is in this picture, on the upper right curly black hair (Seaforth Highlander), his friend with arm around him was KIA a few days later. My dad's still with us just turned 98. There are a few skeptics say this picture was not taken at the church in Ortona on Christmas day due to people in the picture based on uniforms , cap badges, clean uniforms etc etc. I asked my dad about that , he said this picture was taken while they were leaving to return to the town, some HQ, dispatch, tank crews, support and service, reinforcements , correspondents and other scattered rear support people, pulled them in to this alcove for a picture and one last swig of whatever they had. He also mention there were other groups of men all around outside sitting at makeshift tables if there wasn't room inside.

During the Battle of Ortona, the Canadian Army created a tactic called 'mouseholing' (and gave the tactic its name) and used it to great effect. In concept, a hole was prepared in the common wall between adjacent houses to gain entry to the second house from within. This breach was accomplished either by hand tools or by anti-tank weapons. If the enemy occupied the upper floors a demolition charge was generally used that quickly destroyed the house. This procedure allowed the Canadians to advance up the street unseen by the enemy. This technique and tactic proved successful and was adopted by other Allied armies.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3203278)

General Sir Bernard Montgomery (right) congratulating Major-General Christopher Vokes on the capture of Ortona by the 1st Canadian Infantry Division,20 December 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3203266)

Major-General Christopher Vokes addressing personnel of the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment, Italy, 13 May 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3607768)

Field Marshall Sir Harold Alexander and Lieutenant-General Eedson Louis Millard "Tommy" Burns, CC DSO OBE MC CD ca 1944.

Further offensives ground to a halt due to atrocious winter weather. During the lull, Simonds left for England and Major-General E.L.M. Burns succeeded him. In March, Burns took over the 1st Canadian corps from Lieutenant-General Crerar, who returned to command the First Canadian Army in England. The 5th Canadian Armoured Division was taken over by Major-General B.M. Hoffmeister.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3203279)

Lieutenant-General H.D.G. Crerar (right) turning over command of the 1st Canadian Corps to Major-General E.L.M. Burns, 3 March 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3225468)

Sergeant R.H. Easby (L) handing a message to a despatch rider, Signalman J.K. Armstrong, at 5th Canadian Armoured Division Headquarters, 17 March 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3203274)

Lieutenant-Colonel B.M. Hoffmeister, Commanding Officer, Seaforth Highlanders of Canada, Sicily, August 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3576486)

Major-General Bertram Meryl Hoffmeister, General Officer Commanding 5th Canadian Armoured Division, in the turret of the Sherman V tank "Vancouver" near Castrocielo, Italy, 23 May 1944. He was awarded the OC, CB, CBE, DSO and Two Bars (15 May 1907 – 4 December 1999)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3607771)

BGen Hoffmeister inspecting C Pro C, Italy, 1943. The Provosts are armed with .45 cal Thompson SMGs.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3613495).

BGen Hoffmeister inspecting members of the Canadian Provost Corps, Italy, 1943.

By now the Canadian Army in Italy had reached its peak theatre strength of nearly 76,000. Total casualties in the Corps had climbed to 9,934 in all ranks, of which 2,119 had been fatal.

Long Mainland March

After a brief rest, the Canadians were placed in the British Eighth Army’s vanguard for the invasion of mainland Italy. A long, arduous march up Italy’s boot began when the West Nova Scotia and Carleton and York regiments of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Brigade landed immediately north of Reggio Calabria on 3 September.

(IWM Photo, NA6209)

Sherman V tank, 14th Canadian Tank Regiment (Calgary Regt), C Sqn, on the Strada Statale No. 18 "Tirrena Inferiore", in the district called "Pentimele" on the northern outskirts of Reggio Calabria, Italy, 3 Sep 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3202301)

General Sir Bernard Montgomery meeting Lieutenant-Colonel C. Neurotsos, Commanding Officer, 14th Armoured Regiment (The Calgary Regiment) in Sicily, 20 August 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, PA-171703)

The quartered' circle on this Sherman tank leaving a Landingshiptank (LST), was an Allied ID device during operations in Sicily and Italy.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3260951)

Infantrymen of the West Nova Scotia Regiment riding on a Sherman V tank of the Calgary Regiment during the advance from Villapiano to Potenza, Italy, 18 September 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3191584)

Trooper Albert Andre Coulombe H/100590 (aged 20) from Benard, Manitoba, of the 14th Armoured Regiment (The Calgary Regiment), resting on his Norton 16H motorcycle in Volturara, Italy, 3 Oct 1943. Sadly, he was killed at Monte Cassino, 12 May 1944 and lies at the Cassino War Cemetery, Cassion in the Province of Frosinone, 139 kms from Rome.

(IWM Photo, NA6209)

14th Canadian Tank Regiment (Calgary Regt), 1943, at Reggio, during Operation Baytown, 3 September 1943.

Again, opposition came mostly in the form of Italian soldiers surrendering by the hundreds. On 8 September, the Italian government itself surrendered to the Allies. In the surrender’s wake, German troops raced to intercept the Allied advance. Southern Italy’s rugged country was ideally suited for defence. It took the Canadians two weeks in October to advance just 40 kilometres from Lucera to Campobasso. This stubborn fighting withdrawal by the Germans bought them time to create a fortified system of defensive lines well south of Rome. Dubbed the Gustav Line, the system hinged on the high point of Monte Cassino in the west and the Sangro River in the east. On 28 November, British troops assaulted the Sangro River. After nearly a week of heavy fighting, the Germans pulled back from this river to a new line behind the Moro River.

Assault on The Gully

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3228756)

Personnel of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry advancing past a Sherman V tank, 19 July 1943.

Winter rains had turned the landscape into a quagmire. On 6 December, Canadians assaulted the Moro River defences. Only the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry made headway, capturing Villa Rogatti before ordered to withdraw. A firm bridgehead was finally established across the Moro on 9 December, but further advance was blocked by a deep, narrow pass nicknamed The Gully.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3224761)

M10 (3-inch Gun) Tank Destroyer (American made), in Commonwealth service, pursuing units of the Herman Goering Panzer Division, Italy, 18 July 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3574989)

A Sherman V tank of the Ontario Regiment during the advance towards Rome, Italy, 12 May 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3405747)

Officers of the Royal 22e Régiment, Major Paul Triquet, VC, 2nd from the left, San Leonardo di Ortona, Italy, 26 January 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3521115)

Company Sergeant-Major Irene Roy distributing rum ration to infantrymen of the Royal 22e Régiment, who are in weapon pits along the main road between Gildone and Campobasso, Italy, October 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3521114)

Infantrymen of the Royal 22e Régiment receiving Holy Communion from the unit's chaplain, H/Major Leo Gratton, before going on a reconnaissance patrol, Italy, October 1943.

Lance-Corporal George Netherwood (left) and Private W.L. Soderberg (right) with Bren guns, Private Earl Israel (rear), December 1943, Ortona, Italy.

Repeated frontal assaults by multiple battalions were cut to pieces. Then on the night of 14-15 December, the Royal 22e Regiment outflanked The Gully. Eighty-one men of Captain Paul Triquet’s ‘C’ Company and seven Ontario Regiment tanks headed for a farmhouse called Casa Berardi. When the company’s dwindling ranks wavered, Triquet shouted, “The safest place for us is the objective.” At 2:30 p.m., Casa Berardi was taken. Triquet became the first Canadian in Italy to win a Victoria Cross for valour. After four more days of fighting to gain a vital crossroads, the Germans withdrew from The Gully into the town of Ortona.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3203790)

Sherman V tank "Ajax", 5 Troop, Ontario Regiment. 2nd from the right is Brigadier Bob Wyman, OC 1 CAB. Lanciano, Italy, 8 Feb 1944.

Captain Triquet, ignoring the heavy fire, was everywhere encouraging his men and directing the defence and by using whatever weapons were to hand personally accounted for several of the enemy. This and subsequent attacks were beaten off with heavy losses and Captain Triquet and his small force held out against overwhelming odds until the remainder of the battalion took Casa Berardi and relieved them the next day.
(Excerpt from the Victoria Cross citation for Captain Paul Triquet, London Gazette, no.36408, 6 March 1944)

Ortona

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3207117)

Private J.E. McPhee of The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada, who is armed with a sniper rifle, under German mortar fire, Foiano, Italy, 6 October 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3200382)

Corporal W.F. Blackwood and Private R.J. Barnes, both of the Pioneer Platoon, The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada, preparing grave crosses for casualties, Baranello, Italy, 19 October 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3723835)

The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada in kilts, and the 48th Highlanders, in a groupo of six pipe bands playing at a sports day in Potenza, Italy, 29 September 1943.

(DND Photo)

A Canadian soldier takes aim from behind a fence during the Battle of Ortona, December 1943.

(DND Photo)

Wary of German snipers and antitank teams, a pair of tanks belonging to the Canadian Three Rivers Regiment advances into Ortona on December 22, 1943. Six days later, the Germans had withdrawn from the town despite an order from Hitler to stand fast.

(DND Photo)

Tanks of the Three Rivers Regiment are supported by infantry of the Loyal Edmonton Regiment trudging through the rubble-strewn streets of Ortona, Dec 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3260960)

Sorting of mail for personnel of the Loyal Edmonton Regiment near Ortona, Italy, 21 December 1943. The Staff Sergeant reach for a package has both hands in bandages.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3724222)

Mail being delivered by C60L truck on Christmas day, Italy, 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3592285)

Private J.A. Robb of The Loyal Edmonton Regiment looking through a shell hole in the foundation of a building, Colle d'Anchise, Italy, 27 October 1943.

On 20 December, the Loyal Edmonton Regiment and the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada, supported by tanks from the Three Rivers Regiment, became embroiled in vicious house-to-house fighting in Ortona with the German 1st Parachute Division. Finding that advancing along the streets was impossible, the Canadians blasted their way through the interlinked walls of the town’s buildings — a technique called mouse holing. There was no pause in the fighting for Christmas Day, but the Seaforth’s quartermaster and headquarters staff organized asumptuous dinner. One by one, Seaforth companies withdrew to a church on Ortona’s outskirts, were served dinner, and then returned to battle. The Edmontons and most tankers had no such reprieve.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4113916)

Rescuing L. Cpl. Roy Boyd, Loyal Edmonton Regiment, Ortona, Italy, 30 December 1943.

Not until the night of 28 December did the Battle of Ortona endwith a German withdrawal. The December fighting cost 2,605 Canadian casualties, including 502 killed. There were also 3,956 evacuations for battle exhaustion and 1,617 for sickness, out of a total Canadian strength at the beginning of December of about 20,000. The 1st Canadian Infantry Division, however, had mauled two German divisions and achieved its objective.

Battle of Ortona

The New Year found an expanded Canadian force facing the Germans across the Arielli River, just north of Ortona. In early November, I Canadian Corps was formed by the addition of the 5th Canadian Armoured Division to Italy. Its baptism of fire, however, came on 17 January 1944 with an attempt to cross the Arielli that was repulsed at a cost of 185 casualties.

The formation sign used to identify vehicles associated with I Canadian Corps-level units.

I Canadian Corps (April 1942 to November 1943; February 1945 to July 1945)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3397086)

Stretcher bearers evacuating casualties from "A" Company Headquarters, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) north of Ortona, Italy, 20 January 1944.

Breaking the Gustav Line

Despite local victories, overall Allied attempts to break free of the Gustav Line remained frustrated throughout the winter, leading to a decision to concentrate forces for a joint offensive by the Eighth Army and the US Fifth Army at Monte Cassino. Accordingly, the Canadians moved there in late April.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4558188)

Sherman V tank, 14th Canadian Tank Regiment (The Calgary Tank Regiment), "Remember Dieppe", with its crew in Italy, taking time for a cup of coffee, Italy, 1943. The Calgary Tank Regiment was very much involved in Operation Jubilee, the Dieppe Raid in August 1942 and the men in this photo were not going to forgot what happened to their Regiment in that action. (Don Orth)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4558187)

Sherman V tank, 14th Canadian Tank Regiment (The Calgary Tank Regiment), "Remember Dieppe", Italy, 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3191505)

German prisoners of war captured between Gustav and Hitler Lines, 26 May 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3191737)

Personnel of the 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade carrying Lieutenant Harold Hanreck, SAAF pilot serving with the RAF No. 112 'Shark' Squadron, on a stretcher after his aircraft crashed into the Adriatic Sea. San Vito di Ortona, Italy, 31 December 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3198870)

Group of 8th Indian Division officers of the Frontier Force Rifles who worked with the Calgary Tank Regiment on the crossing of the Gari River, 27 May 1944.  Note the lucky horseshoe on the jeeps grill!

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3224759)

Personnel of the Calgary Tank Regiment visiting personnel of the 1st Battalion, 5th Mahratta Light Infantry, Indian Army, 28 August 1944.

On 11 May, the 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade supported an 8th Indian Division attack. The Calgary Tank Regiment established a tenuous bridgehead across the Gari River that enabled the Indians to break the Gustav Line and open the way — along with breakthroughs by other Allied units — for an advance against the next defensive position, known as the Hitler Line. Like the Gustav Line, this defensive system bristled with pillboxes, tank turrets mounted on concrete emplacements, and vast concentrations of barbed wire and minefields.

Charles Comfort, The Hitler Line, Oil painting on canvas, 1944, CWM (12296).

(DND Photo)

Panther turret emplacement, 1943.

(IWM Photo NA18349)  

General Sir Harold Alexander (right), with Lt General Leese and Lt General Harding, inspect one of the German Panther tank turrets which formed part of the Gothic Line defences, September 1944. Field Marshal Harold Rupert Leofric George Alexander, 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis, KG, GCB, OM, GCMG, CSI, DSO, MC, CD, PC (10 December 1891 – 16 June 1969) was a senior British Army officer who served with distinction in both the First World War and the Second World War and, afterwards, as Governor General of Canada, the 17th since Canadian Confederation.

The Hitler Line

(Library and Archives Canada Photo,  MIKAN No. 3191712)

Canadians advancing from the Gustav Line to the Hitler Line, 24 May 1944.

Cracking the Hitler Line fell to I Canadian Corps, which moved toward it on 18 May. Attempting to avoid the heavy casualties inherent in set-piece attacks, the 1st Division’s commander, Major-General Chris Vokes attempted to pierce the line with individual battalion thrusts. When these failed, he implemented Operation Chesterfield, a two-brigade wide assault on 23 May.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3396066)

Possibly Major General Christopher Vokes CB, CBE, DSO, CD, Major General Bertram Meryl "Bert" Hoffmeister OC CB CBE DSO ED, possibly Lt-Colonel Thomson, DSO, MC, Seaforth Highlander and possibly Col Griffin, LdSH (RC), likely in Italy, ca 1944.

The three battalions of the 2nd Brigade were shredded by enemy fire on the division’s right flank and suffered 162 men killed, 306 wounded, and 75 taken prisoner,  the single highest loss rate suffered by any brigade in a day’s fighting in Italy. To the left, however, the 3rd Brigade’s Carleton & York Regiment pierced the line. The remaining two battalions and the Three Rivers Regiment tanks soon widened this narrow gap to enable the 5th Canadian Armoured Division’s advance past the Hitler Line.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4167255)

Two tanks in harbour beside a peasant's farmhouse in Italy, 25 January 1944.

Liri Valley Offensive

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3207607)

Captain J.A. Gardner, RoyalCanadian Army Medical Corps (RCAMC), talking with a wounded German soldier in the Liri River valley, Italy, 24 May 1944.

In the spring of 1944, the Germans still held the line of defence north of Ortona, as well as the mighty bastion of Monte Cassino which blocked the Liri corridor to the Italian capital. Determined to maintain their hold on Rome, the Germans constructed two formidable lines of fortifications, the Gustav Line, and 14.5 kilometres behind it, the Adolf Hitler Line.

On 15 February 1944 Allied forces began a massive air assault on Monte Cassino, Italy. The air raid was part of an ongoing push by the Allies against the Winter Line in Italy held by Axis forces during the Italian Campaign of World War II, known as the ‘Battle of Monte Cassino’. At the beginning of 1944, the western half of the Winter Line was being anchored by Germans holding the Rapido, Liri, and Garigliano valleys and some of the surrounding peaks and ridges. Repeated pinpoint artillery attacks on Allied assault troops caused their leaders to conclude the abbey at Monte Cassino was being used by the Germans as an observation post. Fears escalated along with casualties, and in spite of a lack of clear evidence, it was marked for destruction. On 15 February American bombers dropped 1,400 tons of high explosives, creating widespread damage. The raid failed to achieve its objective, as German paratroopers occupied the rubble and established excellent defensive positions amid the ruins. Between 17 January and 18 May, Monte Cassino and the surrounding area were assaulted four times by Allied troops, the last involving twenty divisions attacking along a twenty-mile front. This painting by Peter McIntyre is part of the National Collection of War Art held by Archives New Zealand.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, PA-136204)

Ruins of the town of Cassino and the fortress of Rocca Janula., 21 May 1944.

During April and May of 1944, the Eighth British Army, including the 1st Canadian Corps, was secretly moved across Italy to join the Fifth U.S. Army in the struggle for Rome. Here under the dominating peak of Cassino, the Allied armies hurled themselves against the enemy positions. Tanks of the 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade (formerly 1st Canadian Army Tank Brigade) supported the Allied attack. After four days of hard fighting, the German defences were broken from Cassino to the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Germans moved back to their second line of defence. On 18 May, Polish troops took the Cassino position and the battered monastery at the summit.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3718084)

Oliver Leese, and Lieutenant-General W. Anders, 2nd Polish Corps, Italy.

Mapofthe Liri Valley Offensive, May 1944. (Map drawn by C.C.J. Bond, in C.P. Stacey, The Canadian Army 1939-1945: An Official Historical Summary (1948), Department of National Defence)

On 16 May, the 1st Canadian Corps received orders to advance on the Hitler Line ten kilometres farther up the valley. Early on May 23, the attack on the Hitler Line went in. Under heavy enemy mortar and machine-gun fire, the Canadians breached the defences and the tanks of the 5th Canadian Armoured Division poured through toward the next obstacle, the Melfa River. Desperate fighting took place in the forming of a bridgehead across the Melfa. Once the Canadians were over the river, however, the major fighting for the Liri Valley was over.

(DND Photo)

Canadian soldiers crossing the Melfa River, 1944.

The operation developed into a pursuit as the Germans moved back quickly to avoid being trapped in the valley by the American thrust farther west. The 5th Armoured Division carried the Canadian pursuit to Ceprano where the 1st Canadian Infantry Division took over the task. On May 31, the Canadians occupied Frosinone and their campaign in this area came to an end as they went into reserve. Rome fell to the Americans on 4 June. Less than 48 hours later, the long-awaited D-Day invasion of Northwest Europe began on the Normandy beaches. It remained essential, therefore, for the Allied forces in Italy to continue to pin down German troops.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4166579)

8th Princess Louise's (New Brunswick) Hussars Sherman tank approaching Ceprano, Italy, 1944.

The Canadians were now withdrawn for well-earned rest and re-organization, except for the 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade which accompanied the British in the Allied action as the Germans moved northward to their final line of defence.

The Advance to Rimini

Map of the Advance to Rimini, 3-22 September 1944. (Map drawn by C.C.J. Bond, in C.P. Stacey, The Canadian Army 1939-1945: An Official Historical Summary (1948), Department of National Defence)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3718111)

German Panzer IV tank in the ruins of a house near Rimini, Italy, 1944.

During the approach to the green line No. 1 (from Metauro to Foglia river). (Map drawn by C.C.J. Bond, in C.P. Stacey, The Canadian Army 1939-1945: An Official Historical Summary (1948), Department of National Defence)

Autumn and winter 1944 saw the Canadians back on the Adriatic coast with the objective of breaking through the Gothic Line. This line, running roughly between Pisa and Pesaro, was the last major German defence line separating the Allies from the Po Valley and the great Lombardy Plain in northern Italy. Since many factories producing vital supplies were located in the north, the Germans would fight hard to prevent a breakthrough. The line was formidable, composed of machine-gun posts, anti-tank guns, mortar- and assault-gun positions and tank turrets set in concrete, as well as mines, wire obstacles and anti-tank ditches.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3512560)

Personnel of the Royal Canadian Artillery (R.C.A.) plotting corrections for artillery during the assault on the Gothic Line, Italy, ca. 30-31 August 1944. On the Foglia River, near Montecchio, going up to Tavullia.  

The Artillery Board (Arty Board) was operated by a Technical Assistant, Royal Artillery (TARA). The arty board represented a map with no features. The arc allowed bearings to be calculated and the range arm allowed ranges to be determined. The board could be set up two ways. With the pivot point set at the map coordinates of the battery centre or with the pivot point set at the map coordinates of the observer calling in the fire and corrections. Generally, the battery centre was the default setting. Corrections to the initial fall of shot were marked onto the board from the point of view of the observer (OT or Observer to Target). The TARA then used the arc and range arm to convert the OT data into GT (Gun to Target) data which would be issued to the guns as a bearing and range. Relatively simple trigonometry once you get the hang of it. Normally, two TARAs set up left and right of the officer. The duplication of work was to ensure errors were caught before the data was issued to the guns. The officer would satisfy himself that the two TARAs were within tolerance of each other. He would then do a common sense check on his "check map" to provide a third level of safety and finally he would issue the data to the guns. The method is still used today, as the MAPS system. (Michael Thomas Anthony Calnan)

(IWM Photo NA 4961)

Captured German 2.8-cm schwere Panzerbüchse 41 anti-tank Gun, Italy, 21 July 1943.

The Allied plan called for a surprise attack upon the east flank, followed by a swing toward Bologna. To deceive the Germans into believing the attack would come in the west, the 1st Canadian Division was concentrated near Florence, then secretly moved northward to the Adriatic.

In the last week of August 1944, the entire Canadian Corps began its attack on the Gothic Line with the objective of capturing Rimini. On 25 August, the Canadians crossed the Metauro River, the first of six rivers lying across the path of the advance. They moved on to the Foglia River to find that the Germans had concentrated their forces here. It required days of bitter fighting and softening of the line by Allied air forces to reach it.

Map of Canadian Operations in the Adriatic Sector, 25 August 1944to 25 February 1945.  (Map drawn by C.C.J. Bond, in C.P. Stacey, The Canadian Army 1939-1945: An Official Historical Summary (1948), Department of National Defence)

(IWM Photo, NA 18051)

Sherman tanks of 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade advancing towards the Gothic Line, Italy, 26 August 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3216972)

Private L.V. Hughes, 48th Highlanders of Canada, sniping German position, near the Foglia River, Italy, 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3238673)

Lieutenant-General E.L.M. Burns, General Officer Commanding 1st Canadian Corps, consults his map en route to Rimini, Italy, 23 September 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4846226)

King George VI with LGen E.L.M. Burns, G.O.C. of 1st Canadian Corps, in Italy, 31 July 1944.

On 30 August, two Canadian brigades crossed the Foglia River and fought their way through the Gothic Line. On 2 September, General Burns reported that; "the Gothic Line is completely broken in the Adriatic Sector and the 1st Canadian Corps is advancing to the River Conca." The announcement was premature for the enemy recovered quickly, reinforced the Adriatic defence by moving divisions from other lines and thus, slowed the advance to Rimini to bitter, step-by-step progress. Five kilometres south of the Conca, the forward troops came under fire from the German 1st Parachute Division, while heavy fighting was developing on the Coriano Ridge to the west. By hard fighting, the Canadians captured the ridge and it appeared that the Gothic Line was finally about to collapse. The Canadians battled for three more weeks, however, to take the hill position of San Fortunato which blocked the approach to the Po Valley.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3512556)

Infantrymen of the 1st Canadian Infantry Division riding on a 105-mm Priest self-propelled howitzer of the Royal Canadian Artillery (RCA) behind the Foglia River, south of Pesaro during the assault on the Gothic Line, Italy, ca. 26-27 August 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3607614)

Troop of 105-mm Priest self-propelled howitzers of the Royal Canadian Artillery (RCA) in Italy, c1943. Possibly 8th Field Regiment (SP) RCA.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3607963)

105-mm Priest M-7 self-propelled gun coming ashore at Termoli, c1943.  Possibly 8th Fd Regt (SP) Howitzers, as the only Canadian SP unit in Italy.

On 21 September, the Allies entered a deserted Rimini. That same day, the 1st Division was relieved by the New Zealand Division, ready with the 5th Armoured Division to sweep across the Lombardy Plain to Bologna and the Po. But the rains came. Streams turned into raging torrents, mud replaced the powdery dust and the tanks bogged down in the swamp lands of the Romagna. The Germans still resisted.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3201116)

RCN Commandos loading ammunition aboard a Landing Craft Assault (LCA) of HMCS Prince David, near Taranto, Italy, 13 September 1944.  

September 1944 waned and with it the hopes of quickly advancing into the valley of the Po. On 11 October, the 1st Canadian Infantry Division returned to the line and the 5th Division went into corps reserve. For three weeks, the Canadians fought in the water-logged Romagna. The formidable defences of the Savio River were breached, but the Germans counter-attacked to try to throw the Canadians back. Meanwhile, the Americans were progressing toward Bologna, and to halt their advance, the Germans took two crack divisions from the Adriatic front. The Canadians were thus able to move up to the banks of the Ronco, some ten kilometres farther on.

The Canadian Corps was now withdrawn into Army Reserve to recuperate from the ten weeks of continuous fighting and to train for the battles which lay ahead. The 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade, meanwhile, continued to operate with the Americans and British in the area north of Florence. They would end their campaign in Italy in the snow-covered peaks in February 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3231417)

Trooper E.C. Taciun, Ontario Regiment, a member of the ski party that carried food and medical supplies to stranded British troops of the 56th Reconnaissance Regiment, 78th Division, commanded by Lt Col Kendal G.F. Chavasse DSO & Bar, Tornareccio, Italy, 15 February 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3230042)

Troopers of The Ontario Regiment near Tornareccio, Italy, 21 February 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3225474)

Lieutenant-General E.L.M. Burns (fourth from left) and other senior officers during Lieutenant-General Kenneth Stuart's visit to units of the 1st Canadian Corps, July 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4233348)

LGen Charles Foulkes near Cattolica, Italy, September 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4233351)

LGen Charles Foulkes, near Cattolica, Italy, September 1944..

Changes in command occurred before the Corps returned to the line. On 5 November, Lieutenant-General Charles Foulkes succeeded Lieutenant-General Burns as commander of the 1st Canadian Corps, and Major-General Vokes left for Holland to exchange appointments with Major-General H.W. Foster.

The Canadians returned to battle on 1 December as the Eighth Army made one last attempt to break through into the Lombardy Plain. In a bloody month of river crossings which resulted in extremely heavy casualties, they fought through to the Senio River. Here the Germans, desperate in their resistance, drew reinforcements from their western flank and, aided by the weather and topography, stopped the Eighth Army. In January 1945 the Senio became stablilized as the winter line, and in appalling weather both sides employed minimum troops as they observed each other from concealed positions.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3240581)

Canadian soldiers in miserable winter weather near Russi, Italy, January 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3329654)

German Panther knocked out, Conventello, Italy, 22 Jan 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4166596)

“A” Squadron HQ, Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians), with their Sherman tank near Ortona, Italy, c1943.  Left to right: Lance Corporal Montgomery, Corporal Cade, Captain J.B. Windsor, Major G.L. Symmes.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4166643)

American Engineers lend their earth-bore to the LdSH in Italy, c1943. Possibly being used to dig latrines.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4166606)

Tpr Walter Dyck (left), Cpl Dan Moore (right), A Squadron, Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians), by their Sherman V tank after a hull-down shoot on Ortona, Italy, 27 January 1944.

The Italian campaign continued into the spring of 1945, but the Canadians did not participate in the final victory. In February 1945 the 1st Canadian Corps began Operation Goldflake, the move to Northwest Europe to be re-united with the First Canadian Army. There they would join in the drive into Germany and Holland and see the war in Europe to its conclusion.

(DND Photo)

Major General Harry Foster traded places with General Chris Vokes and took command of the 1st Canadian Infantry Division  in Italy, then returned with this division to North West Europe as part of Operation Goldflake.

.

The 5th Armoured Division advanced to free the area south of the Valli di Comacchio. Both operations were completed by early January and they proved to be the last battles fought by the Canadians in Italy.   In early February 1945, at the Malta Conference, the decision to transfer up to five divisions, including all the Canadians, was made. Operation Goldflake, the move from Italy through Marseilles to Belgium, began on 13 February 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3205377)

Sherman V and Churchill tanks taking part in the advance on Rome, 17 May 1944. An infantry section is working its way up the hill between two lines of tape on the ground indicating a cleared path through a mine field. The men are also in “ arrowhead formation.”

Capture of Rome

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3206400)

Entry of Allied Forces into Rome, 4 June 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3206339)

Major John K. Mahony, VC, The Westminster Regiment (Motor), Italy, 1944.

The Eighth Army continued up the Liri Valley towards Rome against fierce resistance. The advance stalled briefly at the Melfa River in a costly battle involving the 5th Division’s Westminster Regiment. For leading the successful defence of a small bridgehead across the river, Major Jack Mahony was awarded a Victoria Cross.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4233084)

Presentation of Victoria Cross to Maj. Mahony by King George VI in Italy.

The capture of Ceprano on 27 May cracked the German resistance before Rome, and the city was liberated on 4 June. Three weeks of action for I Canadian Corps resulted in about 800 dead, 2,500 wounded, 4,000 sick, and 400 battle exhaustion cases. Meanwhile, attention was shifting to France. When the Allies invaded Normandy on 6 June, Italy became a largely forgotten theatre of war. Derided as D-Day Dodgers, the rank-and-file soldiers fighting in Italy transformed the epithet into a mark of pride.

Gothic Line

The Allies marched northward to the Gothic Line in August, which the Canadians were tasked with breaking at Pesaro on the Adriatic coast. Striking on 25 August, the 1st Infantry Division sought to open a breach through which the 5th Armoured Division could pass. Encountering line after line of heavy defences, the Gothic Line was not fully overcome until 21 September, at a cost of 4,511 Canadian casualties that included 1,016 dead - among other Allied losses. It took until 20 October to capture the city of Cesena just 20 kilometres from the next offensive’s starting point. Cesena stood alongside the Savio River, and here the following day, Private Ernest Alvia Smith earned a Victoria Cross by staving off a German armoured column.

(Canada at war Photo)

German prisoners-of-war carrying wounded members of the 1st Canadian Corps through Cesena. October 21, 1944, Cesena, Italy.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3239426)

A company sergeant-major of the Royal 22e Régiment searching German prisoners-of-war, Italy, 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3240082)

German prisoners-of-war carrying wounded members of the 1st Canadian Corps through Cesena, Italy, 21 October 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4166580)

Captain D.J. Cowley inspecting German prisoners asanother Canadian stands guard with a .45 cal Thompson SMG..  

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3227168)

Private Ernest Alvia "Smoky" Smith, V.C., of The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada, 1944.

The Germans fought a successful delaying action south of the Gothic Line, halting British troops at the Trasimene Line for three weeks. When the advance continued on 29 June, there was a major change in the 8th Army's plans for the drive on Arezzo and Florence. The 13th Corps was given priority in men and resources over the neighbouring 10th Corps, which had made little progress in the more mountainous region north of Perugia. As well, the British 78th Division was withdrawn to Palestine for a rest, relieved by the British 6th Armoured Division and tasked with leading the advance of the 13th Corps up Highway 71. The British 4th Division found its front increased, and the 12th Brigade brought into the line on the left of the 10th Brigade.  A poorly coordinated two-pronged attack on 29 June was supported by both the 12th Canadian Armoured Regiment (Three Rivers Regiment) and the 14th Canadian Armoured Regiment (The Calgary Regiment). With no means of communicating with each other, they couldn't press the attack nor call down effective artillery and the Germans retreated in good order, missing no opportunity for demolitions behind them that would impede the Allied advance.

(IWM Photo)

M3A3 Stuart. reconnaissance tank, 26th Armoured Brigade, 6th Armoured Division, in Arezzo, Italy, 16 July 1944.

The 28th Brigade continued the advance on the west side of the Canale Maestro della Chiana with Sherman V tanks of the Ontario Regiment in support, replacing the 10th Brigade and Three Rivers on the right flank of the 4th Division. It was not ideal terrain for tanks, with vineyards and tall maize restricting fields of vision for both drivers and crew commanders. Both brigades crossed the Arezzo-Siena highway on 4 July, and encountered increased resistance on 5 July. By the next day Allied progress all across Italy had come to a halt, and it was clear Kesselring as determined to defend the rail and road centre at Arezzo, as well as the major ports of Leghorn and Ancona.

On 6 July, infantry of the British 12th Brigade attempted to scale the terraced heights below San Pancrazio under the cover fire provided by tanks of the Calgary Regiment. On the right flank, "B" Squadron had been halted a mile south of Civitella by rocky terrain, steep hills, heavy enemy fire and the exhaustion of the infantry accompanying them. The terrain was so tight that the armour was unable to assist infantry attacks on Point 543, and the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Fusiliers were thrown back on 4 July and again on 5 July. In the meantime, another battalion of the 28th Brigade drove the Germans from Tuori with support from the Ontario Regiment, two miles east of Civitella.

The failure to take the main San Pancrazio-Civitella ridge frontally caused the 4th Division's commander to try the right flanking attack. The infantry unit mentioned in the quote above was the 2nd Battalion, The Somerset Light Infantry. With support from the Ontario Regiment's tanks, they seized two heights, Points 535 and 484. However, the division intended for the 10th Brigade with tanks of the Three Rivers to exploit toward Highway 69, lying three miles beyond, and German counter-attacks over the next three days continued to frustrate these plans. On the right flank, the inability of the 6th Armoured Division to take Mount Lignano was also frustrating. A week of stalemate ensued and action on the front of the corps devolved to small skirmishes and patrolsThe failure to take the main San Pancrazio-Civitella ridge frontally caused the 4th Division's commander to try the right flanking attack. The infantry unit mentioned in the quote above was the 2nd Battalion, The Somerset Light Infantry. With support from the Ontario Regiment's tanks, they seized two heights, Points 535 and 484. However, the division intended for the 10th Brigade with tanks of the Three Rivers to exploit toward Highway 69, lying three miles beyond, and German counter-attacks over the next three days continued to frustrate these plans. On the right flank, the inability of the 6th Armoured Division to take Mount Lignano was also frustrating. A week of stalemate ensued and action on the front of the corps devolved to small skirmishes and patrols.

The final stage in the battle for Arezza began early on 15 July with the 1st Guards Brigade of 6th Armoured Division attacked the northern end of the Chiana Valley and the 2nd New Zealand Division stormed Mount Lignano. Also firing in support were all available small arms and mortars of the 4th Division west of the Chiana Canal, and tank guns of the Three Rivers Regiment, firing at targets north of Tuori. The 15th Panzergrenadier Division resisted the Guards, but the New Zealanders seized Lignano early, giving them a commanding view of Arezzo and German artillery positions to the north. (Nicholson, Gerald Official History of the Canadian Army in the Second World War: Volume II: The Canadians in Italy (2nd printing, Queen's Printer, Ottawa, Ontario, 1957)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3718213)

Torre di Traversara, hit by 127 artillery shells in 1944.  Standing just to the NW of Ravenna, the tower of Traversara, in Bagnacavallo, was built around 1370. Originally it was only a defensive tower, then it became a fortified house and, around 1736, a “villa”. It was rebuilt in 1999.

After spending November in reserve, the Canadians returned to attack Ravenna. The city fell on 4 December, but heavy fighting raged through the rest of the month with few gains.

After a short stand down, I Canadian Corps started withdrawing from Italy in February 1945 to rejoin the First Canadian Army in northwest Europe. The Italian campaign ended in the spring of 1945, with Germany's eventual surrender. The Canadians who had slogged their way through Italy from south to north since 1943 would not see victory there, participating instead in the liberation of the Netherlands, and the eventual invasion and defeat of Germany itself.

Total Canadian casualties in Italy were 408 officers and 4,991 non-commissioned men killed. A further 1,218 officers and 18,268 men were wounded, and 62 officers and 942 men were captured. Another 365 died of other causes. Of the 92,757 Canadians who served in Italy, 26,254 became casualties there.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3314433)

Troopers of "A" Squadron, The Calgary Regiment, who are under enemy shellfire, digging a grave for a comrade who was killed by shrapnel, San Leonardo di Ortona, Italy, 8 December 1943.

Canadian Cemeteries and Memorials in Italy

Canada has more than 5,900 war dead in Italy, buried in Commonwealth War Cemeteries or commemorated on the Cassino Memorial.

The Agira Canadian War Cemetery is located in the heart of Sicily, 71 kilometres from Catania, where 490 Canadians are buried.

The Assisi War Cemetery forms part of the locality of Rivotoro in the Commune of Assisi. It contains 945 graves of Commonwealth soldiers of which 49 are Canadians.

In Bari War Cemetery on Italy's Adriatic coast, are 2,245 Commonwealth headstones, of which 210 are Canadian.

The Bolsena War Cemetery is situated on the eastern side of Lake Bolsena and near the towns of Montefiascone and Bolsena. Among the 597 war dead commemorated in the cemetery, twelve are Canadians.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4235522)

The Moro River Canadian War Cemetery, located about five kilometres south of Ortona, contains 1,615 graves, of which 1,376 are for Canadians and 50 which are unidentified. The Moro River Canadian War Cemetery is located on high ground near the Adriatic Sea at San Donato, in the Commune of Ortona (about 5 kilometres south of the town) and the Province of Chieti. In January 1944 the Canadian Corps selected this site, intending that it would contain the graves of those who died during the Ortona battle and in the fighting in the weeks before and after it.

Most of the Canadians who fell in the Liri Valley are buried in two cemeteries in the area south of Rome: Caserta War Cemetery, where 98 Canadian soldiers and one Canadian airman are buried, and Cassino War Cemetery, farther north and just off the road to Rome. The latter is the largest Second World War cemetery in Italy. Among the over 4,200 headstones located here are those of 855 Canadians who died during the battles of the Hitler Line and the advance toward Rome. Also found in this cemetery is the Cassino Memorial which lists the names of 4,054 men who died in the Sicilian and Italian campaigns and have no known grave, and includes the names of 193 Canadians.

At Beach Head War Cemetery in Anzio on Italy's west coast, 69 Canadians lie among the 2,313 war dead.

Rome War Cemetery has 22 Canadian graves - those of administrative staff and prisoners who died in captivity.

In Florence War Cemetery, east of the city on the north bank of the Arno, the graves of 50 Canadians can be found among those of 1,637 Commonwealth soldiers who died in action before the city was captured.

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning,We will remember them.” (Lawrence Binyon)

My wife Faye and I visiting my uncle Harold J. Skaarup's grave, Montecchio, Italy.  He was one of a number of 8th Hussars who never came home.  We never met, but I do carry his name. The high ground above and behind you is Point 111, the first feature taken in the breaking into the Gothic Line by D Coy, Perth Regiment followed by the capture of Point 147.

The Allies began the day of August 30th with an air bombardment against German positions at dawn. At 5.30 p.m., the Perth Regiment attacked the end of a ridge northeast of Montecchio, while a knoll at the west end of the town and the high ground beyond were the objectives of the Cape Breton Highlanders. Both units faced incessant fire from the heights as well as minefields along the flat lands. The Perth Regiment managed to break through the line first, reaching and passing their objective. The Cape Breton troops had the support of tanks from the 8th Princess Louise's (New Brunswick) Hussars, which helped three of their companies make it to the base of the knoll. After each attempt, however, they were driven back to the Foglia, with casualties totaling 19 members killed and 46 wounded. The Irish Regiment, which had been in reserve, was moved through the path of the Perths. Tanks and artillery guns were not yet available here and as a result the regiment lost 19 killed and 31 wounded. In the end, however, the knoll position was successfully taken, and 121 Germans captured, thanks to Allied artillery assaults and crafty positioning of the Irish Regiment soldiers who caught the enemy from behind. The 4th Princess Louise Dragoon Guards (4 PLDG) were also involved in these actions as they had been assigned "mop up" duties.

LCol G.W.L. Nicholson, The Canadian Army in the Second World War, Volume II, The Canadians in Italy, (Queen's Printer, Ottawa, 1956), p. 504.

Begun as a battlefield cemetery, this site is in the rural locality of Montecchio, in the commune of Sant'Angelo (in Lizzola) and the province of Pesaro-Urbino. It is located 12 kilometres west of Pesaro and was chosen as a permanent battlefield in the autumn of 1944, when the Allies were fighting to break through the Gothic Line. During the war, Montecchio was situated on the east end and just to the south of this highly effective defensive barrier. In fact, an anti-tank ditch which formed part of the line ran through the valley that lies below the cemetery.

Two cemeteries near the Adriatic Sea were begun during the fighting to breach the Gothic Line: Ancona War Cemetery, where over a thousand Commonwealth soldiers and airmen are buried, including 161 Canadians; and Montecchio War Cemetery, further north and 13 kilometres inland from Pesaro, where 289 graves, of a total of 582, belong to Canadians.

In Gradara War Cemetery, the 1,192 Commonwealth headstones, including those of 369 Canadians, are mute testimony of the Allied sacrifice in the advance from Ancona to Rimini.

Coriano Ridge War Cemetery also contains 1,940 graves of those killed on the advance to Rimini, including 427 Canadian graves.

A total of 937Commonwealth soldiers who died in the winter of 1944-45 are buried in Ravenna War Cemetery, including 438 Canadians.

A half-hour drive from Ravenna is the Casena War Cemetery where 307 Canadian graves can be found among the 775 graves dating from November 1944.

In Villanova Canadian War Cemetery, 206 of the 212 graves belong to Canadians. This cemetery has been described as a memorial to the fallen of the 5th division as 85 members of two battalions of this division are buried here.

While Canadians did not fight in the area of Argenta Gap War Cemetery, north of Ravenna, this cemetery contains the graves of 77 Canadian soldiers and airmen who were brought here from battlefield graves farther south.

Canadian Armed Forces Associated with the Italian Campaign, 1943-1945

From the Official History of the Canadian Army in the Second World War, Volume II, "The Canadians in Italy, 1943-1945" by LCol G.W.L.Nicholson, Ottawa, Queen's Printer, 1956.

Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) in the Mediterranean Theatre

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3526669)

Lieutenant E.T. Simmons, RCNVR, Commanding Officer, HMCS Port Arthur, which sank the Italian submarine Tritone on 19 January 1943. Photo taken in April 1943.  

(IWM Photo, A17955)

Landing Craft Mechanized (LCM), 27 July 1943.

Royal Canadian Navy and the Sicily Campaign: 9 July-5 Aug 1943

The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) was assigned a major role in the Sicily campaign. It was responsible for the landing and supply of Canadian and Allied forces during the operation. Four landing craft flotillas were assembled for the task. The 55th and 61st LCA (landing craft assault: lightly armoured craft capable of landing 30 troops directly onto a beach) flotillas would land Canadian, British, and American infantry forces. The 80th and 81st LCM (landing craft mechanized: armoured landing craft that could carry vehicles, light tanks, and troops) flotillas would be responsible for transporting armoured vehicles, jeeps, trucks, troops, and supplies for the duration of the operation. On 9-10 July 1943, the 55th and 61st LCA flotillas were involved in landing operations. From 9 July to 5 August 1943, 24 landing craft of the 80th and 81st LCM flotillas transported 9,000 vehicles, 40,000 men, and 40,000 tons of supplies.

80th Canadian LCM Flotilla

81st Canadian LCM Flotilla

55th Canadian LCA Flotilla

61st Canadian LCA Flotilla

(IWM Photo, A17955)

Landing Craft Mechanized (LCM), off the Italian coast, 27 July 1943

Canadian Army Units

Formations and units are grouped by corps. Designations are those authorized by General Orders at the time (except for certain modifications made for the sake of brevity and consistency, or as concessions to current usage). The complete roll of units is too long to be printed here. Thus, headquarters of formations and supporting arms and services, as well as such relatively small units as Field Dressing Stations, are not included; although all made important contributions.[1]

Canadian Armoured Corps

1st Armoured Brigade

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3204885)

Major Irwin, Officer Commanding "C" Squadron, The Ontario Regiment, conducting an O Group (Orders group) with personnel of the squadron. They were on the right flank of the Paterno front, Italy, 3 August 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3574212)

Troopers of the Ontario Regiment roasting a pig, Piucarelli, Italy, 28 June 1944.

(DND Photo)

Sherman V tanks of The Ontario Regiment, 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade in the Liri Valley, ca May 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3576479)

A Sherman V tank of "A" Squadron, Ontario Regiment, crossing a stream near Colle d'Anchise, Italy, 26 October 1943.

It was no easy feat discerning what lay ahead and to then determine a strategic plan that was often out of sync to what really lay ahead. Good, detailed maps of Sicily were scant. Companies and platoons often getting completely lost or separated from each other during the confusion. This during night time flanking operations where every gully, goat path and featureless scrubby hills looked the same. (Paul Leanne)

Major Herbert "Ward" Irwin, of Whitby, ON, is standing at the right. He was a pre-war member of the Ontario Regiment, having joined in 1932. On August 20, 1943 Major Irwin was riding in a scout car which drove over a mine, flipped over and crushed his left arm, resulting in its amputation. He left the Ontario Regiment but stayed in the army, serving out the war as a liaison officer at Canadian Army HQ in London. He served as the Ontario Regiment's Honorary Lieutenant Colonel from 1981 to 1986. (Rod Henderson)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3224755)

Sherman V tank of the Ontario Regiment entering San Pancrazio, Italy, 16 July 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3230288)

Captain Duncan Morrison, Captain Dunstan McNicol as 2iC of the Ontario Regiment and Regimental Sergeant-Major F.R. Prevost of the Three Rivers Regiment, consulting a map en route to Atessa, Italy, 21 February 1944. They were delivering supplies via a ski party to British troops snowed-in in the mountains at Colledimezzo and Montazzoli.  Their next tasking was to carry Bren guns and ammo on sledges to the Polish Army 12th Polodian Lancers at Pescopennatoro. RSM Prevost was from the Three Rivers Regiment and the only member of the ski party who was not a member of the Ontario Regiment. RSM Prevost was selected because he was a highly skilled skier.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, PA-151745)

“Buckshee” of “B” Squadron near San Clemente, Italy on January 21, 1945. Photo by Lieutenant Daniel Guravich.

11th Armoured Regiment (The Ontario Regiment)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3397081)

Sgt. Ronnie Leather, Toronto, of the Three Rivers Regiment, on a stretcher after being hit in the tank he commanded, near Termoli, Italy, 6 October 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3227868)

First-aid personnel of the Three Rivers Regiment placing Sergeant Johnny Marchand on a stretcher, Ortona, Italy, 21 December 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3397568)

Three Rivers Regt tank crew with a German Panzer IV tank they destroyed, Termoli, Italy, 9 October 1943. The photo was taken after a squadron of The Three Rivers supported the Irish Brigade in the capture of the San Giacomo ridge, following which an Irish Brigade flag was presented to the Three Rivers Regiment. The 2 i/c of 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers, Major (later Major-General) Bala Bredin was fulsome in his praise for the tankmen. (Richard Doherty)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3405800)

Lance-Bombardier T. Hallam and Signalman A.H. Wharf, both of Headquarters, Royal Canadian Artillery (RCA), 5th Canadian Armoured Division, examining a knocked out German Panzer Mk. IV tank, near Pontecorvo, Italy, 26 May 1944.

(IWM Photo NA 15496)

The ruined town of Pontecorvo, 26 May 1944. In the Eighth Army sector, the enemy were forced to evacuate Pontecorvo, and to draw back north-west along the Liri river as a result of the Canadian penetration of the Hitler Line between Pontecorvo and Aquino. This picture bears testimony to the terrific battering which the enemy received while defending the town of Pontecorvo.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3576567)

Brigadier Murphy, 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade, visiting the Forward Headquarters of the Calgary Regiment to make rush plans to cut off German paratroops withdrawing from Aquino, Italy, 23 May 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3574229)

Lieutenant R.H. Heggie putting the finishing touches on "The Gremlin Chasers" painting on his Sherman V tank of the Three Rivers Regiment near Lucera, Italy, 21 October 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3559496)

Sergeant F. Greenway (possibly with the Three Rivers Regiment), camouflaging a Lynx scout car with olive branches, 1 Canadian Army Tank Brigade Tactical Headquarters, near Treglio, Italy, 6 December 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3582735)

Crew of the Sherman V tank "Corvette" of "C" Squadron, Three Rivers Regiment, near San Tommasso, Italy, 30 January 1944.

(IWM Photo)

Sherman V tank, 12th Canadian Armoured Regiment, (Three Rivers Regt), Arielli River, Italy, 18 Jan 1944.

(World War Photos)

Inspection of B Squadron, 12th Canadian Armoured Regiment, (Three Rivers Regt),  in Italy, ca 1944.

12th Armoured Regiment (Three Rivers Regiment)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3202306)

Trooper Ralph Catherall of The Calgary Regiment giving food to an Italian child, Volturara, Italy, 3 October 1943. (14th Armoured Regiment).

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3202313)

Trooper T.H. Baker, a despatch rider of The Calgary Regiment, near Villapiana, Italy, 18 September 1943.

(IWM Photo, NA6209)

M4A4 Sherman V tank, 14th Canadian Tank Regiment (Calgary Regt), C Sqn, Reggio, Italy, 3 Sep 1943.

14th Armoured Regiment (The Calgary Regiment)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4485873)

1st Canadian Army Tank Brigade Sherman tanks on a trail in Sicily, 1943.  A Dingo or Lynx Scout car is going the other way.

1st Infantry Division

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3607690)

M3 Motor Gun Carriage Half-track with 75-mm Gun, crewed by the Royal Canadian Dragoons (RCD).

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3240447)

Troopers W. Balinnan and A. Gallant in a Royal Canadian Dragoons Dingo scout car speaking to partisans Louisa and Bruno Cristofori after the capture of Bagnacavallo, Italy, 3 January 1945. Louisa is armed with a well-used Thompson M1929 SMG.

(Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)

1st Armoured Car Regiment (The Royal Canadian Dragoons)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3203277)

General G.G. Simonds (right) and Brigadier G.R. Bradbrooke of the 5th Canadian Armoured Division, 20 December 1943.

5th Canadian Armoured Division

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3240406)

Governor General's Horse Guards, M3A3 Stuart recce tank, "Cobourg III" - "C" Troop, Cervia, Italy, 19 Jan 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4233482)

Major-General B.M. Hoffmeister took command of the 5th Canadian Armoured Division inItalyin March 1944.  He is shown here post-war.

3rd Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment (The Governor General's Horse Guards)

5th Armoured Brigade:

(RCAC Illustrated History, LAC, PA204157).

M3A3 Stuart recce tank without turret, LdSH (RC) in action at the Melfa River, May 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada  Photo, MIKAN  No. 4166584)

M3A3 Stuart recce tank without turret, LdSH (RC) at a crossroads in Italy, ca. 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4166662)

From a hull-down position, an LdSH (RC) Sherman V tank of “C” Sqn 2nd Troop carries out an observed shoot in support of the artillery, somewhere between Castlefrantano and Ortona, Italy, 24 January 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4166612)

Canadian Sherman tank crew which won a relay competition in Italy, ca 1943. “Winners of the Tank Quickner relay race, L-R Tpr K.C. Parsons, Trp. A.K. Williams, Cpl P.C. Buzza, Tpr. F.B Tompkins, and Trp. W.J. Vella. Tpr. Tompkins was one of a number of American citizens including “B-B” Bruschansky who came up to join the Canadian Army.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4166630)

Left to Right Major G.J.H. Wattsford, Lieutenant-Colonel P.G. "Paddy" Griffin (CO LdSH), Brigadier J.D.B. Smith with Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) Sherman tanks in the background, in Italy, 1943.

An Introduction to The Battle for the Melfa River, Lieutenant-General W.A. Milroy, DSO, CD.

The battle for the Melfa River on 24 May 1944 started with Lieutenant-Colonel Vokes' VOKESFORCE, based on the British Columbia Dragoons, advancing through the breakthrough of the Hitler Line at about 0800 hours. This force established a firm base, codeword KUMMEL, about 2,000 yards beyond the 3rd Infantry Brigade salient. STRATHFORCE, (also known as "Griffin Force,") based on Lieutenant-Colonel Griffin's Lord Strathcona's Horse (RC), moved through KUMMEL at about 1330 hours. Its objective was to seize a crossing of the Melfa River. The direct route from KUMMEL to a ford on the Melfa, which was the obvious place to cross, was reasonably open and rolling country-what is generally called "good tank going." Fortunately, Colonel Griffin decided to avoid this route and took one 1,000 yards to the right, or northeast. This decision was made despite the fact that the chosen route had rough going, visibility limited by brush, olive orchards and woods, and a much more difficult crossing of the river. The result was that STRATHFORCE was able to advance at speed, encountering little enemy opposition on the way. "A" Squadron followed the three vehicle recce troop, commanded by Lieutenant E.J. Perkins, down the centre line. "C" Squadron followed on the left, and "B" Squadron, the squadron I was commanding, was on the right with the railway station as its' objective. The country was so close in the "B" Squadron sector that we could not employ conventional tactics. We therefore closed up into a tight formation and just smashed our way through until we got to the edge of the open area around the station. "A" and "C" Squadrons covered the four miles to the river in remarkably short time. Once there they found themselves in the rear of the surprised defenders, who were positioned to cover the "good tank going" approach and the ford. To quote G.W.L. Nicholson's The Canadians in Italy,... the action developed into a series of bitter duels between individual Shermans and Panthers. By half-past four the German forces had been destroyed or driven across the river, but the enemy had moved up reinforcing armour and guns to the far bank, and a heavy fire fight raged back and forth across the river until dark. "B" Squadron, meanwhile, encountered nothing at the railway station but did find some action towards Highway 6 on its right. The battle cost the Strathcona's 17 tanks for the destruction of five German tanks, eight self-propelled guns and various other equipment. Two officers and 18 other ranks were killed; seven officers, including the second-in-command and the "A" and "C" Squadron commanders, and nine other ranks, were wounded. It was against this background that Lieutenant Perkins was getting across the river and establishing a bridgehead as he describes in the following report. This bridgehead, reinforced by Major Jack Mahony's "A" Company of the Westminsters, which was part of STRATHFORCE, was held despite fierce attacks by the Germans. The mission of STRATHFORCE was accomplished thanks, in part, to "poor tank going." For their contributions to this action, Major Mahony received the Victoria Cross, Lieutenant-Colonel P.A. Griffin was awarded the Distinguished Service Order, and Lieutenant Perkins was awarded the Distinguished Service Order. Perkins' Troop Sergeant, C.N. Macey, was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal while another soldier in his unit, Trooper Jacob Funk, won the Military Medal for his actions at the Melfa River.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4166645)

LCol Gordon C. Corbould, Commander of the Westminster Regiment on the left, speaking with LCol Griffin, LdSH (RC), on the right, in Italy, ca 1943.

(Stuart Phillips Photo)

2nd Armoured Regiment, Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians)

(Library and Archives Canada  Photo, MIKAN  No. 3599666)

A crew commander of the 8th Princess Louise's (New Brunswick) Hussars in the hatch of his Sherman tank giving firing orders to his gunner during a predicted mass tank firing exercise, Italy, 2 March 1944. The twin ring on the left are a sight added to the front "bladesight" which was used for firing indirect  in a firebase position. The sight has crosshairs added front and back to aid int the direction of fire. Used in Tollo, Italy, 4 February 1944. There are 4 other photos from the same photographer from this shoot.

(Library and Archives Canada  Photo, MIKAN  No. 3574217)

A crew commander of the 8th Princess Louise's (New Brunswick) Hussars in the hatch of his Sherman tank giving firing orders to his gunner during a predicted mass tank firing exercise, Italy, 2 March 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3599664)  Also PA-213559 & PA-21356.

A crew commander of the 8th Princess Louise's (New Brunswick) Hussars looking into his Sherman tank's access hatch during a predicted tank shoot, Italy, 2 March 1944.  Note the twin Bren anti-aircraft (AA) guns mounted on his Sherman.

(Library and Archives Canada  Photo, MIKAN  No. 3534481)

Sherman tanks of "C" Squadron, 8th Princess Louise's (New Brunswick) Hussars, taking part in an indirect shoot on a German-held crossroads, Tollo, Italy, 4 February 1944.

"A" Squadron of the 5th Armoured Regiment, 8th Princess Louise's New Brunswick Hussars.  Photo taken by my uncle Harold, who died on 6 Sep 1944 from wounds he sustained during the battle for Point 111, not far from Montecchio, Italy, where he is buried.  Among Harold’s personal belongings, which were later forwarded to his brother Aage Skaarup, was a 116 Kodak camera.  In the camera was an exposed film, which Aage later had developed.  The photos give a first hand view of the men and the places in which the 8th CH served.

A group photo a few of the 8th Hussars in the south of Italy, fall 1944. In the rear rank from left to right, #1, 2 and 3 are unknown, #4 is Elmer Devoe F32035, #5 is Jack F. Stewart G160, #6 is George A. Bridgen SG334, and #7 is Sgt Archie Stevens G146.
In the second rank, #1 is Charles F. “Muscles” McGrattan G105, #2 is William F. “Horn” Bell G21, #3 is Joseph A. Bradshaw G49, and #4 is William J. Preston G190.
In the third rank seated #1 is Lt George G. Pitt, #2 is unknown, #3 is Lt Waldo E. Tulk, #4, 5 and 6 are unknown. Seated in front is Capt Douglas E. Lewis.

(Stuart Phillips Photo)

5th Armoured Regiment (8th Princess Louise's (New Brunswick) Hussars)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3718093)

Destroyed  Sherman V with a D50878 low bustle turret without the pistol port.  The wreckage is on the ridge road past point 204. The hill on the left of the photo, just rising with the summit out of shot is Monte luro. The hill in the back ground is across the valley from Gradara, Italy, ca Sep 1944.  The tank has a diamond headquarters TAC sign, HQ Squadron, BCD.

(World War Photos)

The tank units took a tremendous number of hits with many casualties.  This is a Canadian Sherman V burning after being hit in Italy in July 1944.

9th Armoured Regiment (The British Columbia Dragoons)

First Canadian Army Troops

"A", "B", and "G" Squadrons, 25th Armoured Delivery Regiment(The Elgin Regiment)

Royal Canadian Artillery

1st Infantry Division

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3533088)

Personnel of the 1st Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery (RCHA), near Cattolica, Italy, 9 September 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3206627)

Bombardier W.J. Black of the 1st Field Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery (RCHA) pushing Sergeant-Major Jimmy Walker's motorcycle out of the mud, San Pietro, Italy, 26 November 1943.

1st Field Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery (RCHA)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3203860)

Gunner J.R. Walsh operating the gunsight of a 25-pounder gun of the 2nd Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery (RCA), Sicily, Italy, 28 July 1943.The 25 pounder was a field gun/howizer, and was a wonderful artillery piece. As a howizer, it was deadly accurate, putting down fire within 100-200 yards of Allied troops. In the absence of a decent anti-tank gun in North Africa, the 8th Army used the 25 pounder to eliminate German Panzer Mark IIIs and IVs over open sights. (Peter Smith)

The gun/howitzer classification arose because the 25-pounder replaced both the 18-pounder field gun and the 4.5-inch howitzer. It was designed to fire in both the lower and higher (above 45 degrees) and the originally planned split trail was thus replaced by the 'box trail cum platform'. One Gunner officer/historian noted it had originated from 'largely unprompted "doodles" by the technical staff' and was the 'child of an unblessed liaison between the technical staff and the School of Artillery'. Its success as an ad hoc anti-tank weapon may have had something to do with its calibre of 87.5mm, usually rounded up to 88, a description applied by at least one Commonwealth army to its 25-pounders.  (Richard Doherty)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3259922)

Gunners of the 7th Battery, 2nd Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery (RCA), firing their 25-pounder guns at German positions, Nissoria, Italy, 23-28 July 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3604332)

25-pounder Howitzer in action in Italy, c1943.

(DND Photo)

25-pounder in action in Italy, 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4232829)

25-pounder gun detachment with two Italian women, 1943.

2nd Field Regiment

3rd Field Regiment

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3599876)

17-pounder anti-tank gun detachment, 57th Battery, 1st Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery (RCA), near Campobasso, Italy, 25 October 1943.

1st Anti-Tank Regiment

2nd Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment

5th Armoured Division

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3534477)

Gunners of the 17th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery (R.C.A.), firing a 25-pounder gun near Castel Frentano, Italy, 10 February 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3524499)

Gunner Douglas Hat on guard outside the Battery Command Post of the 17th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery (RCA), Castel Frentano, Italy, 10 February 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3203863)

Gunners of the 2nd Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery (RCA), warming up around a fireplace in a damaged farmhouse, Italy, 15 February 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3524521)

Cpl David Dumphries, hand-propping a Taylorcraft Auster Mk. III,(Serial No. NJ931) "Wee Wattie - La Pissa del Padrone", of SHQ Flight, No. 651 (AOP) Squadron RAF at Vasto, Italy, Feb 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3524523)

Auster Air Observation Post taking off, Ortona (beach), Italy, Feb 1944.

The Taylorcraft Auster was a British military liaison and observation aircraft in service during the Second World War.  The Auster Mk. III, IV and V were issued to 12 RAF, one Polish and three RCAF Air Observation Post (AOP) Squadrons.  No. 664 Squadron RCAF, No. 665 Squadron RCAF and No. 666 Squadron RCAF were issued the Auster Mk. IV and V, and were formed in the UK at RAF Andover in late 1944 and early 1945.  The RCAF squadrons were manned by Canadian personnel of the Royal Canadian Artillery and the RCAF, with brief secondment to the squadrons with pilots from the Royal Artillery; overall control was maintained in the UK by 70 Group, RAF Fighter Command.  The three squadrons deployed from RAF Andover, England, to the Netherlands, to Dunkirk, France, where the last Canadian 'shots' in Europe were fired, and later to occupied Germany.  The Canadian Army flew Auster AOP.6 aircraft post war.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3524498)

Personnel of the 17th Field Regiment. R.C.A., receiving signals from Taylorcraft Auster AOP III aircraft of the RAF. (Left to right): Bdr. Barney Little. Lt. Leonard Rasberry, L/Bdr. Aby Castel, Lt. David Armour, 10 Feb 1944.

17th Field Regiment

8th Field Regiment (Self-Propelled)

4th Anti-Tank Regiment

5th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment

1st Corps Troops

(DND Photo via Don Orth)

Canadian gunners un-hitch their 6-pounder anti-tank gun from the rear of a Sherman tank of the 12th Canadian Armoured Regiment (Three Rivers), Battle of The Arielli River, 17 January 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3607691)

Canadian gunners with their 6-pounder anti-tank gun in the ruins of a church, Rimini, Italy, 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3607615)

Canadian gunners with their 6-pounder anti-tank gun in the ruins of a town in Italy, c1944.

7th Anti-Tank Regiment

1st Survey Regiment

First Canadian Army Troops

No. 1 Army Group, Royal Canadian Artillery (RCA):

11th Army Field Regiment

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 5053591)

5.5-inch Medium gun, 3rd Medium Artillery Regiment, RCA, 26 Nov 1943.

1st Medium Regiment

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3191934)

HM King George VI inspecting the 2nd Medium Regiment, RCA, Italy, July 1944.

2nd Medium Regiment

5th Medium Regiment

(New Brunswick Military History Museum Collection, Author Photo)

Corps of Royal Canadian Engineers (RCE)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3585921)

Personnel of the Royal Canadian Engineers (RCE) clearing a minefield, Italy, 20 December 1943. They are clearing a path to recover the body of a soldier who stepped on a mine. His body is visible behind the mine detector.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3718233)

CMP F15A truck on a triple-double Bailey bridge built by Canadian Engineers over the Lamone River, Italy, 1944. The sign states REMISSION BRIDGE.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, PA-177088)

In the mountains of Calabria, the progression of tanks and armoured vehicles was often slowed down as many bridges had been destroyed by the retreating German forces. The 1st Field Company of the Royal Canadian Corps of Engineers setting up a Bailey bridge over a ravine of the Straorini River, 4 September 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3524511)

Sappers of the Royal Canadian Engineers (RCE) having dinner, Castel Frentano, Italy, 20 December 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 5176151)

Engineers blow a mine along road below a castle in Italy as Sgt. Z. Buchsbaum watches. The Sgt. was with British Army four years in North Africa, now attached to 2 C.I.B. as an interrogator. (speaks Italian), 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3586332)

Valentine bridgelayer, Melfa, Italy, 23 May 1944.

1st Infantry Division

2nd Field Park Company

1st Field Company

3rd Field Company

4th Field Company

5th Armoured Division

4th Field Park Squadron

1st Field Squadron

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3524509)

Royal Canadian Corps of Signals (RCCS) soldier, kneeling with meat in apan, and an RCHA gunner baking bread, Castel Frentano, Italy, 20 December 1943.

10th Field Squadron Corps of Signals

1st Corps Troops

9th Field Park Company

12th Field Company

13th Field Company

14th Field Company

G.H.Q. and L. of C. TROOPS

1st Drilling Company

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 5010523)

Pte. John Bobinski, operates a signal set in the streets of Rionero while local children look on, Rionero in Vulture, Basilicata, Italy, 1943.

Pasquale Libutti commented: This picture, in the first hours of the arrival in the town after the retreat of the Germans, is very revealing. Only two days before the arrival of the Canadians in Rionero (my town) ltalian Fascists with German paratroopers executed16 civilians; all of the inhabitants were frightened, locked in their homes. Until a few hours before (the arrival of the Canadians), German patrols were prowling around in silent, deserted and rough roads. Now, imagine the arrival of unknown soldiers of another strange army.  Any parent would be cautious and would have prevented their children from going near them. But my father, then 13 years old, told me that the first Allied troops arrived between two wings of a cheering crowd, and he was one of them. So we can see these children are surrounding these soldiers without fear.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 5010533)

Civilians greeting Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry in Rionero Vulture, Italy, September 1943.

Instinctively, and despite years of Fascist censorship and propaganda, people realized what was happening.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 5010534)

Civilians and kids cheering first Canadian troops in Rionero, Italy, September 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3259902)

Signals Centre of the 5th Canadian Armoured Division near Castelnuovo, Italy, 17 March 1944.

Royal Canadian Corps of Signals

1st Armoured Brigade Signals

1st Infantry Divisional Signals

5th Armoured Divisional Signals

1st Corps Headquarters Signals

Canadian Infantry Corps

1st Infantry Division

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3516223)

Personnel of the Saskatoon Light Infantry (MG) with a 4.2-inch mortar, Militello, Italy, 22 August 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3394487)

Personnel of the Saskatoon Light Infantry firing a 4.2-inch mortar, near Ortona, Italy, 5 January 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4542728)

Treating a wounded Canadian soldier in Ortona, Italy.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3534479)

Sergeant F.V. MacDougal and Sergeant-Major J.H. Ferguson, 2nd Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery (RCA), emerging from their dugout north of Ortona, Italy, 15 February 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, PA-170281)

Truck and jeep of the 1st Canadian Division burning after being mortared by German troops, RCA Universal Carrier to the right, Ortona, Dec 1943.  The CFPU team didn’t move very far - it wasn’t very safe to just wander about. You can see the progression of photographs in the negatives. This was the effect of German mortars that stuck at 10:30 AM on 22 December. The Seaforths had just made S.M. di Constantinopli their Battalion HQ. The poor church lost all of its neoclassical facade. (Benjamin Moogk)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3534478)

Corporal Quinton Carsell of the Regimental Aid Post (RAP), Seaforth Highlanders of Canada, administering first aid to Lieutenant J.N. Hobbs, American Field Service, north of Ortona, Italy, 29 January 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3516225)

Private Everett Dewar, Saskatoon Light Infantry (M.G.) attached to the West Nova Scotia Regiment, manning an Oerlikon 20mm. anti-aircraft gun, Spinazzola, Italy, 1 October 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3520404)

Privates Roger Widdifield (left), West Nova Scotia Regiment, and Everett Dewar, Saskatoon Light Infantry (M.G.) attached to the West Nova Scotia Regiment, manning an Oerlikon 20-mm. anti-aircraft gun, Spinazzola, Italy, 1 October 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3512566)

Lance-Corporal J.A. Weston, West Nova Scotia Regiment, aiming his Bren gun across the Foglia River during the advance on the Gothic Line near Montelabbate, Italy, ca. 30 August -1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3394528)

Machine gunners of The Saskatoon Light Infantry (M.G.), Potenza, Italy, 20 September 1943.

The Saskatoon Light Infantry (Machine Gun)

1st Infantry Brigade:

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3396012)

Private L.G. Kenny armed with a Bren gun, Royal Canadian Regiment (RCR). Castropignano, Italy, 23 October 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3396844)

Royal Canadian Regiment soldiers, mail call in Sicily, 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3202714)

Lieutenant W. Smith, a platoon commander holding his revolver, and Sergeant F.G. White, a platoon sergeant, holding a German MP40 SMG, both of The Royal Canadian Regiment, resting after the capture of Pontecorvo, Italy, 24 May 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4232837)

Canadian soldiers inspect a captured German MG34 machine gun.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No.)

Canadian soldiers inspect a captured German MG34 machine gun.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3203272)

Major J.H.W.T. Pope and Lieutenant-Colonel R.M. Crowe of the Royal Canadian Regiment checking their maps in Italy, 17 July 1943. One day later Billy Pope was killed in action near Valguarnera and Ralph Crowe on 24 July near Nissoria, Sicily.

May be an image of 1 person, standing and outdoors

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3524568)

Allied jeeps passing burnt-out German vehicles between Nissoria and Agira, Sicily, July 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3397524)

Private W.G. Turner, Royal Canadian Regiment, having a meal beside a British No. 18 Wireless radio set, Motta, Italy, 2 October 1943.

(Stuart Phillips Photo)

The Royal Canadian Regiment (RCR)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3395998)

Infantrymen of The Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment in a Universal Carrier "Katie", used as their secition support vehicle, advancing on Nissoria, Italy, July 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3193153)

LGen Sir Bernard Montgomery investing Corporal H.E. Brant of the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment with the Military Medal. Catanzaro, Italy. Sadly he was killed in October 14, 1944. Buried at the Cesena war cemetery. He was 34 years old. He received his MM for bravery at Grammichele in Sicily. "In the battle for Grammichele on the 14 July 1943 Pte H.E. Brant distinguished himself by his prompt and courageous attack with his bren gun on an enemy force of approximately 30 men, inflicting severe casualties. Pte H.E. Brent totally disregarded his own personal safety in the face of very heavy enemy fire and made possible the killing, or capturing of the entire enemy force." (Brett Stringfellow)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 229941)

Corporal E.H. Pruner of The Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment, who carries both a projector infantry anti-tank (PIAT) weapon and a Thompson sub-machine gun, Motta, Italy, 2 October 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3525793)

Infantrymen of the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment advancing through Motta, Italy, 2 October 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3525792)

Private A.R. Beaton of the Saskatoon Light Infantry (M.G.) plays his accordion for infantrymen of The Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment at Motta on 3 October 1943. From left to right are Lieutenant Farley Mowat, Private J. Dalton, Private A.R. Beaton, and Captain J.A. Baird.

Mowat went on to great fame as an environmentalist and prolific author following the war, including writing a regimental history of The Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment as well as two memoirs of his war-time service. At the end of the war, he was tasked to find and send to Canada any and all German weapons and artifacts of Intelligence value. He came back with 700 tons of captured equipment, including a V-2 rocket. This author corresponded at length with Captain (Retired) Mowat, and sought to track down all the kit he brought back I succeeded in accounting for much of it, and put the findings together in a book, a copy of which he accepted with thanks, shortly before he passed away. https://www.silverhawkauthor.com/post/canadian-war-trophies-book.

The Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3560470)

Personnel of the 48th Highlanders of Canada receiving training about the Oerlikon 20-mm gun aboard the troopship HMT Nea Hellas en route to Philippeville, Algeria, 5 July 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3259912)

H/Captain S.B. East, a chaplain, talking with soldiers of the 48th Highlanders of Canada near Regalbuto, Italy, July-August 1943.

Padre East was a living legend! Made sure all the bodies of the killed men were recovered or noted where they were buried and not only from the 48th, but all the regiments. Even when he was wounded on the Italian mainland he did his job looking for casualties. (Jimmy Jimbo)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3199446)

1st Canadian Division in action. Platoon Commander Lt. I. Macdonald with binoculars preparing to give attack order. L. to R.: Sgt. J.T. Looney, Ptes. A.R. Downie, O.E. Bernier, G.R. Young, Cpl. T. Fereday and Pte S.L. Hart of the 48th Highlanders, Ortona, Italy, 10 December 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3206361)

Captain Ted Cameron, Officer Commanding the Anti-Tank Platoon, The 48th Highlanders of Canada, near Adrano, Italy, 6 August 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3356567)

Infantrymen of the 48th Highlanders of Canada advancing towards Adrano, Italy, 18 August 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3214233)

Sgt H.E. Cooper, 48th Highlanders of Canada, Sicily, 11 August 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3225482)

Despatch rider Private H. McDowell of The 48th Highlanders of Canada delivering a message to the battalion's advanced headquarters, Regalbuto, Italy, 4 August 1943.

Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3516222)

Private Harry H. McDowell, Despatch rider with the 48th Highlanders of Canada, Caltagirone, Sicily, Italy, ca. 2-3 August 1943.

(DND Photo)

Members of Canada's 48th Highlanders prepare to attack in the vicinity of San Leonardo di Ortona: Lieutenant I. Macdonald (with binoculars) and (L-R) J.T. Cooney, A.R. Downie, O.E. Bernier, G.R. Young, T. Fereday, and S.I. Hart.  The Battle of Ortona (December 20 – 28, 1943) was a small, yet extremely fierce, battle fought between a battalion of German paratroops from the German 1st Parachute Division and assaulting Canadian forces from the Canadian 1st Infantry Division. It was the culmination of the fighting on the Adriatic front in Italy during "Bloody December". The battle, dubbed "Little Stalingrad" for the deadliness of its close-quarters combat, took place in the small Adriatic Sea town of Ortona, with its peacetime population of 10,000.

( Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3226036)

Another view of this group: Lieutenant I. Macdonald (with binoculars) of The 48th Highlanders of Canada preparing to give the order to attack to infantrymen of his platoon, San Leonardo di Ortona, Italy, 10 December 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3520465)

Private Stanley Rodgers of the 48th Highlanders of Canada, holding a projector infantry anti-tank (PIAT) weapon, resting north of the Conca River en route to Rimini, Italy, September 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3591199)

Piper Roderick Grant, 48th Highlanders of Canada, piping for liberated civilians, Matera, Italy, 24 Sep 1943.

48th Highlanders of Canada

2nd Infantry Brigade:

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4002439)

Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry troops sleeping on beach at dawn with a landing ship tank (LST) in the background awaiting transport to Italy, 4 September 1943, near Santa Teresa. Santa Teresa di Riva is a small town and commune in the Metropolitan City of Messina, Sicily, southern Italy, located about 15 kilometres from Taormina.

(IWM Photo, NA10371)

Canadian soldiers accompanied by Sherman tanks in Ortona, Dec 1943.

(IWM Photo)

British soldiers of the 78th Infantry Division passing a Sherman tank in Portomaggiore (Ferrara), Italy, on April 19, 1945. By this time the Canadians were no longer in Italy.  

(DND Photo)

Canadian stretcher bearers walk past a Sherman tank in Ortona.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3396044)

"A" Company, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI), in action north of Ortona, Italy, 29 January 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4002442)

CSM WD Davidson, PPCLI being awarded the Military Medal (MM), by Sir Oliver Leese, Commander of the Eighth Army, 2 March 1944. General Chris Vokes is behind them, holding the award documents.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4002443)

Lieutenant-Colonel Charles B, Ware, PPCLI, awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO), Italy, 4 March 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 5053953)

Pte E.C. Erickson, PPCLI, cooks up food for 2Lt. Douglas A. Neilson, US Army Air Corps (USAAC), who had been shot down near Foggia, on 21 September 1943. Two Italian officers helped him back through German lines to the Canadians, 25 September 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 5053949)

Pte L. Gauthier, PPCLI, Pte. T.G.K. Mackie and Pte. R.L. Loy, U.S Army Air Corps (USAAC) en route back from front (photo taken in Atella).  Loy had contacted Canadians in Atella after travelling to freedom for four days through German lines and being picked and then released by Italians, 25 Sep 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 5053952)

Greg Clark and Ralph Allen with Italian Lieutenant E.A. Terasca in streets of Atella with German road block demolitions in background, 25 September 1943.

Gregoray Clark joined the editorial staff of the Toronto Star in 1911, where he worked for the next 36 years, interrupted only by military service in the First World War, from 1916 through 1918.  He survived three years in the trenches, returning to Canada in 1918 as a major with the Canadian Mounted Rifles. He earned a Military Cross (MC) for conspicuous gallantry at Vimy Ridge.  After the Armistice, Clark returned to his job as a newspaper reporter. Too old for active service, in theSecond World War , Greg Clark returned to the battlefield as a reporter. To his peers he was Dean of Canadian War Correspondents. Clark reported on the German Blitzkrieg from  in 1940, on and from England, and on the Italian and North-West Europe campaigns from the Front. He was awarded the  for his service as a war correspondent.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 5010511)

Soon after the first Canadian patrol, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry entered Atella after Germans driven out by Arty fire, a South African Gunner POW in Italy for 16 months, walked up to them. Pte. T.G.K. Mackie, Lieut. E.A. Tarasca, an Italian Lieut. Capt. J.E.Leach, Gunner J.M. Prins and Major deFaye, September 1943.  

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3227107)

Private Danny Dafoe and Lance-Corporal L.H. MacWilliam, both of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, in a slit trench, Spinete, Italy, ca. 22-23 October 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 5176155)

PPCLI leaving Castel Lagopesole, Italy, 1943. An excerpt from "The Canadians in Italy 1943 - 1945" by LCol G.W.L. Nicholson "After the rebuff of their patrol on the (September) 22nd the Patricias set up an advanced base at Castello di Lagopesole, a village about five miles south of Atella. From the battlements of the great square 13th century castle they had a clear view of Atella across the intervening plain and of the impressive and isolated peak of Mount Vulture, beyond. A battery of field artillery came forward on the 23rd and began shelling Atella. That night the paratroopers withdrew northward, but for two more days held on to Rionero on the eastern slope of Mount Vulture. When Patricia patrols entered this village on the 26th, they found the inhabitants angrily lamenting the mass execution of 17 male civilians by the retreating Germans." (Don Orth)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 5176175)

Pte. David Anderson of PPCLI washes clothes at fountain in Castel Lagopesole, Italy, 1943. CMP C8A truck in the background.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 5176160)

PPCLI inside castle at Castel Lagopesole, 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 5176149)

Town of Castel Lagopesole with PPCLI camouflaged trucks. guns, in foreground and hill-top PPCLI occupied castle in background, 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3228146)

Award winners in Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry during action in Sicily. L-R, Private Wilfred Reilly, Major R.C. Coleman, Lieutenant Rex Carey, & Corporal Bob Middleton, 17 August 1943.

Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3229111)

Seaforth Highlanders of Canada searching German PW near the Moro River, Italy, 8 Dec 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3396023)

Infantrymen of The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada searching German prisoners on the Moro River front, Italy, 9 December 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3227162)

Private B.D. Flynn of the Regimental Aid Party, The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada, giving a drink of water to a badly-wounded German prisoner inside the church of Santa Maria Constantinopolia, Ortona, Italy, 21 December 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3229109)

Infantrymen of The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada carrying a comrade who was killed by shellfire while escorting German prisoners, San Leonardo di Ortona, Italy, 10 December 1943.

(Stuart Phillips Photo)

The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3227873)

Infantrymen of The Loyal Edmonton Regiment using a radio during an advance, Ortona, Italy, 21 December 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3534540)

Infantrymen of the Loyal Edmonton Regiment in a Universal Carrier, using an umbrella to provide shade in the sunlight, Valguarnera, Sicily, 17 July 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3227866)

Infantrymen of The Loyal Edmonton Regiment operating a No.18 wireless set outside Regimental Headquarters, Ortona, Italy, 21 December 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3201229)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4232832)

Private M.D. White of The Loyal Edmonton Regiment observing from a defensive position, Colle d'Anchise, Italy, 26 October 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3227878)

Personnel of The Loyal Edmonton Regiment digging out Lance-Corporal Roy Boyd, a comrade who was buried alive for 3 1/2 days in the wreckage of a demolished building, Ortona, Italy, 30 December 1943.

(Stuart Phillips Photo)

The Loyal Edmonton Regiment

3rd Infantry Brigade:

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3578068)

New Brunswick group, Royal 22e Régiment, near Cattolica, Italy, 24-25 November 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3396545)

Personnel of Le Royal 22e Régiment getting ready for disembarkation, Villapiana, Italy, 16 September 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3525796)

Lieutenant-Colonel Paul Bernatchez, Commanding Officer, Royal 22e Régiment, reading his mail while en route to Campobasso, Italy, October 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3521116)

An RCA Officer - possibly the Forward Observation Officer (FOO), an Officers with the Royal 22e Régiment, an Officer with a black beret from the Three Rivers Regiment equipped with Sherman tanks, and another R22eR Officer, reviewing plans during the advance on Busso, Italy, October 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3240070)

Privates Dougal, M. Guerette and A. Corneau, all of the Royal 22e Régiment, warming their hands around a small fire, Ravenna, Italy, 10 February 1945.

(Stuart Phillips Photo)

Royal 22e Régiment

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 323260

Carleton and York Regiment, Private T.M. Collins, searching German prisoners, Enna, Italy, 18 July 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3232605)

Private W.H. Morris of The Carleton and York Regiment, who holds a field wireless set, taking part in a training exercise prior to the invasion of Sicily. England, 26 May 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3200692)

Infantrymen of The Carleton and York Regiment preparing to lob a hand grenade into a sniper's hideout, Campochiaro, Italy, 23 October 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3228293)

The Carleton and York Regiment of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Brigade run into snipers and machine gun fire, Campochiaro, Italy, 23 October 1943.

(Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)

Carleton and York Regiment

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3516219)

Canadian soldiers en route to Sicily, 1943, West Nova Scotia Regiment soldier holding a .45 cal Thompson SMG, with a 40-mm Bofors AA Gun in the background.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3194290)

Captain A.W. Hardy, Edmonton, Alberta, Medical Officer with the West Nova Scotia Regiment, lying wounded, with Pte. W.E. Dexter, a unit stretcher-bearer who was wounded in the head, Santa-Cristina D'Aspromonte, Italy, 8 September 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3260951)

Infantrymen of the West Nova Scotia Regiment riding on a Sherman V tank of the Calgary Regiment during the advance from Villapiano to Potenza, Italy, 18 September 1943.

The West Nova Scotia Regiment

5th Armoured Division

11th Infantry Brigade:

11th Independent Machine Gun Company (The Princess Louise Fusiliers)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3191904)

Pte. Jack Bailey of the Perth Regiment, sniping at enemy troops, Orsogna, Italy, 29 January 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3251401)

Private Albert Rock of the Perth Regiment maintaining a lookout for German snipers, Orsogna, Italy, 29 January 1944.

(Stuart Phillips Photo)

The Perth Regiment

The 1st Battalion, The Perth Regiment, was mobilized 1 September 1939 for service in World War II. The 1st Battalion embarked for Great Britain on 9 October 1941. It landed in Italy on 8 November 1943, as part of the 11th Infantry Brigade, 5th Canadian Division. The 1st Battalion transferred with the I Canadian Corps to North-West Europe in March 1945, where it fought until the end of the war. It returned home under command of a Perth militia officer, Lt Col MW Andrew and was disbanded on 31 January 1946.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3576481)

Private Albert Vincent, Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps (RCOC), emerges from his tent north of Ortona, Italy, 15 February 1944.

Old soldiers say just as soon as you were confident of not moving for a while, and scrounged some bricks to keep the water and mud at bay from your bivvy, you would be ordered to up stakes and go. (Steve Gault)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3203934)

Members of The Cape Breton Highlanders baseball team at the Snow Haven rest camp, Fornelli, Italy, 2 May 1944. Winslow Eagle child noted that his First Nations father top center, Pat Eagle Child, is a Blackfoot from The Blood Tribe, Kainai Nation, Southern Alberta.

The Cape Breton Highlanders

12th Infantry Brigade:

12th Independent Machine Gun Company (The Princess Louise Fusiliers)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3206255)

Troopers of the 4th Princess Louise Dragoon Guards (4 PLDG) in a Fox armoured car, Matrice, Italy, 27 October 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3205704)

Otter armoured cars of the Princess Louise Dragoon Guards (PLDG) patrol through the street Corso Umberto in Montango, about 13 kilometers southeast of Limosano, The PLDG were on the left flank of the Canadian Divisional Area, 26 October 1943.

(Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)

4th Princess Louise Dragoon Guards

(Stuart Phillips Photo)

The Lanark and Renfrew Scottish Regiment[2]

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3231053)

Lance-Corporal J.A. Thrasher of The Westminster Regiment (Motor), holding a projector infantry anti-tank (PIAT) weapon with which he used to disable a German SdKfz 164 Nashorn, 88-mm L71 self-propelled gun near Pontecorvo, Italy, 26 May 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3391742)

Personnel of the Westminster Regiment, 5th Canadian Armoured Brigade, examining a German SdKfz 164 Nashorn, 88-mm L71 self-propelled gun knocked out by Lance-Corporal J.A. Thrasher with  his projector infantry anti-tank (PIAT) weapon, near Pontecorvo, Italy, 26 May 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3210988)

Private W. Sutherland (left) of The Westminster Regiment (Motor) and Private V.A. Keddy of The Cape Breton Highlanders repacking compo rations at a supply depot, Cassino, Italy, 18 April 1944. This is when the Westminsters had come out of the line on the eastern mountains and were conducting rehearsals and battle procedure. The four months before had been mountain patrolling and not much of motor bn operations. This lead up to OP CHESTERFIELD and the breaking of the Hitler Line and Melfa River Crossing. (Chuck Mackinnon)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4542726)

Sherman tanks and troops taking part in combined arms training, Exercise Pedal II in Italy, April 1944.

The Westminster Regiment (Motor)

1st Corps Troops

1st Corps Defence Company[3]

First Special Service Force (FSSF)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3395526)

Members of the First Special Service Force preparing a meal, Anzio beach-head, Italy, late April, 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3397561)

Canadian personnel of the First Special Service Force awaiting medical evacuation, near Venafro, Italy, January 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3302126)

Sergeant of the First Special Service Force, wearing the distinctive USA-CANADA spearhead shoulder title, Anzio beachhead, Italy, 20 April 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3396063)

Canadian and American paratroopers of The First Special Service Force, posing with captured automatic weapons and an Italian colt in the Anzio beachhead, Italy, 20 April 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, PA128976)

Members of First Special Service Force await lunch, Anzio Beach, April 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3396066)

FSSF patrol briefing, Anzio beachhead, Italy, 20 Apr 1944.

1st Canadian Special Service Battalion

Royal Canadian Army Service Corps

1st Armoured Brigade Company

1st Infantry Divisional Troops Company

1st Infantry Brigade Company

2nd Infantry Brigade Company

3rd Infantry Brigade Company

5th Armoured Divisional Troops Company

5th Armoured Divisional Transport Company

5th Armoured Brigade Company

11th Infantry Brigade Company

12th Infantry Brigade Company

No. 31 Corps Troops Company

No. 32 Corps Troops Company

1st Corps Transport Company

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 5176174)

Canadian Military Pattern (CMP) truck with Private E.A. McKay, at a fountain and an old castle in background, Castel Lagopesole, Italy, 1943.  

No. 1 Motor Ambulance Convoy

No. 1 Headquarters Corps Car Company

No. 41 Army Transport Company

Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3599960)

Nursing Sisters of No. 15 Canadian General Hospital, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, El Arrouch, Algeria, 15 July 1943.

No. 15 General Hospital

The staff of No. 15 General Hospital disembarked at Philippeville on 11 July. Onthe 13th, an advance party proceeded to the site selected for the hospital near El Arrouch, approximately 21 miles inland from Philippeville. The remaining personnel followed within a few days, except the nursing sisters, who were left behind to await the provision of accommodation. Equipment and stores were unloaded at Bone, and reached the unit with little delay. The site at El Arrouch was anything but ideal. On a steep slope, in an undulating valley about six miles long by four miles wide, it was exposed throughout the day to the direct rays of the tropical sun. The soil was clay, so that in the rainy season poor drainage and deep mud could be anticipated. Malaria of the malignant type was prevalent in the area. The distance from No. 1 Canadian Convalescent Depot and No. 1 Canadian Reinforcement Depot, both located along the coast near Philippeville, was unsatisfactory from the administrative standpoint. The commanding officer was strongly of the opinion that his unit had been located most disadvantageously, as it appeared to him that there were almost ideal hospital sites potentially available along the coast. This was passed on to Lieutenant-General McNaughton, then visiting North Africa, who took the matter up with senior British officers during a conference held at Headquarters Tunis District on 17 July. He was promised that the situation would be reviewed. Unfortunately no alternative site was ever found.

Before the unit could function at all, a tented hospital had to be erected literallyfrom the ground up. There had been a minimum of preparatory work: a central road had been excavated; water, derived from the main Philippeville source, had been piped in anda 7200 gallon storage tank erected; a second tank was in the course of construction; one cookhouse had been entirely completed, two others partially; of the cement floors required, only one had been laid. The British construction plans called for a widedispersal of single hospital tents, which the unit considered impracticable with the existing sanitary facilities and in the absence of roads. New plans had consequently to beprepared on the spot. Nevertheless, by dint of strenuous efforts in temperatures thathovered around the 100 degree mark, it proved possible to accept patients on 24 July, only 12 days after the unit landed in North Africa.Much of the work to be done was an engineering responsibility, and beyond the capacity of unit personnel. Inevitably, therefore, it was some considerable time after thefirst patients arrived before all facilities desirable in a hospital became available.Electricity, supplied by a generator of a nearby British hospital, came into limited use on 27 July. The operating room was completed on the 28th, but the cement floor was of such poor quality that it had subsequently to be re-laid. Laboratory and x-ray facilities werenot in full operation until 8 August. Electric lighting became available throughout thehospital only on the 17th. It was ten days later, after repeated complaints to higher authority, before the installation of a proper drainage system was begun. It was still laterbefore the remaining engineer projects were under-taken, notably a road system. Despite these construction difficulties and the ravages of a severe wind storm or"sirocco", which early in August blew down half the tents, the hospital handled a large number of patients from 24 July onwards. Every effort was made to have all Canadians arriving in the areaadmitted directly. The difficulty was to secure advance information as to the number of Canadian patients aboard ambulance trains reaching Philippeville from the forwardhospital area in Tunisia. As a result, many Canadians were admitted initially to a Britishhospital and later transferred; conversely, many British patients were admitted to theCanadian installation. It was not until the latter part of August, when some hospital shipsbegan to dock at Philippeville, that this situation materially improved.On 31 July there were 347 patients on hand, of which only 61 were Canadian. On 31 August the total number of patients was 1013, and on the previous day alone 220 Canadians had been admitted, mostly malaria convalescents transferred on the hospitalship Dorsetshire from No. 5 General. Altogether, from the date of its opening to 31 August, No. 15 admitted a total of 2226 patients, of which 1386 were Canadian.*Despite the initial forebodings, malaria did not in fact prove a serious menaceeither to the efficient functioning of the hospital or to the health of the staff and patients.This was due primarily to the introduction of efficient control measures. In addition to thenormal personal precautions insisted upon, some dozen members of the unit, assisted bymore than three times that number of Arabs, were permanently employed in locating anddestroying mosquito breeding areas. Although there were numerous malaria patients inhospital, the number of cases among unit personnel was negligible.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3205979)

Nursing Sister D. Mick reading patient's chart during rounds of a ward at No. 15 Canadian General Hospital, RCAMC, likely near Phillipeville, Algeria in August 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 423293 )

Nursing Sisters in Italy, 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3227113)

Nursing sisters of the Royal Canadian Medical Corps (RCAMC) aboard the hospital ship, Lady Nelson, Naples, Italy, 29 January 1944. (L-R): Nursing Sisters R. MacLennan, J. Goodston, Reta Moffat, E. Covey, D.E. MacTier, E. Bateman, Y. Carr, J. Jackson, Captain C.I. Nixon (Matron), M. McLeod, R. Hughes, H.J. Battram, E.K. Sutherland and M.B. Meisner.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3206360)

Nursing Sister Constance Browne of the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps (RCAMC) sitting in a jeep, Leonforte, Italy, 7 August 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3314438)

A jeep ambulance of the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps (RCAMC) bringing in two wounded Canadian soldiers on the Moro River front south of San Leonardo di Ortona, Italy, 10 December 1943.

1st Armoured Brigade

No. 2 Light Field Ambulance

1st Infantry Division

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3207609)

Personnel of No. 4th Field Ambulance, RCAMC, carrying a wounded man on a stretcher at an Advanced Dressing Station, Ortona, 15 Jan 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3191738)

Major P.K. Tisdale, 4th Field Ambulance, RCAMC, checking the condition of a wounded man before Sergeant W.H. Brigham and Private L.P. Lemieux donate blood before his transfer to a Field Surgical Unit, 15 January 1944.

No. 4 Field Ambulance

No. 5 Field Ambulance

No. 9 Field Ambulance

5th Armoured Division

No. 7 Light Field Ambulance

No. 8 Light Field Ambulance

No. 24 Field Ambulance

1st Corps Troops

No. 4 Casualty Clearing Station

No. 5 Casualty Clearing Station

G.H.Q. and L. of C. Troops

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3534499)

A wounded German officer, who was found by Lieutenants Alex Stirton and George Cooper, being evacuated to hospital, Carleto, Italy, 18 September 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3599965)

Nursing Sister Elaine Wright, No.1 Canadian General Hospital, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps (RCAMC), Andria, Italy, February 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3599964)

Nursing Sisters Eloise MacDiarmid and Frances Caddy on night duty, No.1 Canadian General Hospital, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps (RCAMC), Andria, Italy, February 1944.

No. 1 General Hospital

No. 3 General Hospital

(DND Photo via Ron May)

Wounded Canadian Soldiers lie on stretchers at reception tent of No. 5 Canadian Field Hospital in Italy.

No. 5 General Hospital

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3509525)

Private R.E. Pavely (lower right) of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade talking with nurses and patients at a hospital in Avigliano, Italy, ca. 21-22 September 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3395934)

Nursing sisters of No. 14 Canadian General Hospital, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps (RCAMC), who survived the sinking of SS Santa Elena landing at Naples, Italy, 8 November 1943.

No. 14 General Hospital

No. 15 General Hospital

No. 28 General Hospital

No. 1 Convalescent Depot

Canadian Dental Corps

No. 1 Dental Company

No. 3 Dental Company

No. 8 Dental Company

No. 11 Base Dental Company

Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3576481)

Private Albert Vincent, Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps (RCOC), emerges from his tent north of Ortona, Italy, 15 February 1944.

Old soldiers say just as soon as you were confident of not moving for a while, and scrounged some bricks to keep the water and mud at bay from your bivvy, you would be ordered to up stakes and go. (Steve Guthrie)

No. 201 Infantry Ordnance Sub-Park

No. 205 Armoured Ordnance Sub-Park

No. 1 Corps and Army Troops Sub-Park

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3526000)

A Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RCEME) display supporting the Fifth Victory Bond campaign, Campobasso, Italy, 27 October 1943.

(Stuart Phillips Photo)

Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RCEME)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3240423)

Personnel of one of the 1st Armoured Brigade Workshop visiting Gradara Castle, Gradara, Italy, 5 February 1945.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3842426)

Canadian soldiers on the drawbridge of Gradara castle, Italy, c1944. The sign in the photo states, "Out of bounds to all troops except conducted parties".

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3574228)

Personnel of the 1st Armoured Brigade Workshop, RCOC working on the engine of a Sherman V tank of the 5th Canadian Armoured Division, Italy, 13 October 1943. It is a Chrysler A57 multibank. Five 250.6 cu.in. L-head inline six cylinder engines placed around central shaft ,driven by a sun gear arrangement. 30-cylinder 1,253 cu.in. 370 hp. M4A4 Sherman's used this engine, it had a longer hull to fit it. Most were used for Lend-Lease.

1st Armoured Brigade Workshop

No. 1 Army Tank Troops Workshop

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3533590)

Private W.A. Lloyd repairs a tarpaulin while Lance-Corporal W.L. Milburn mends rope, 1st Infantry Brigade Workshop, RCOC, San Leonardo di Ortona, Italy, 13 December 1943.

1st Infantry Brigade Workshop

2nd Infantry Brigade Workshop

3rd Infantry Brigade Workshop

5th Armoured Brigade Workshop

11th Infantry Brigade Workshop

12th Infantry Brigade Workshop

No. 1 Infantry Troops Workshop

No. 5 Armoured Troops Workshop

1st Corps Troops Workshop

No. 1 Recovery Company

(Stuart Phillips Photo)

Canadian Provost Corps

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4166603)

Canadian Provost Corps motorcyclist with the 5th Canadian Division at Orsogna, Italy, 27 January 1944.  

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3403723)

Corporal Joe Babcock (left) talking with Private Herb Thompson, both of the Canadian Provost Corps, at Provost Detachment Headquarters before starting his nightly motorcycle patrol of Taormina, Sicily, Italy, December 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3599872)

Lance-Corporal D.G. Stackhouse, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), directing traffic, Campobasso, Italy, 21 October 1943.

(Stuart Phillips Photo)

No. 1 Provost Company (RCMP)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3228143)

Sergeants W. McKeown and S.R. Forse, both of the Canadian Provost Corps (C Pro C), Taormina, Italy, ca. 23-24 November 1943.

No. 3 Provost Company

No. 5 Provost Company

No. 1 L. Of C. Provost Company

No. 35 Traffic Control Company[4]

Miscellaneous

Canadian Section G.H.Q. 1st Echelon A.A.I.

Canadian Section G.H.Q. 2nd Echelon A.A.I.

No. 1 Base Reinforcement Group:

No. 1 Base Reinforcement Depot

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3405393_

Personnel of Headquarters Company, No. 2 Canadian Base Reinforcement Depot (Canadian Army Miscellaneous Units), who survived the sinking of SS Santa Elena, disembarking from the SS Monterey at Naples, Italy, 8 November 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3405622)

Personnel of the Canadian Women's Army Corps (C.W.A.C.) disembarking from a troopship at Naples, Italy, 22 June 1944.

No. 2 Base Reinforcement Depot

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3509521)

Personnel restoring a captured Italian Breda machine gun, No. 1 Base Reinforcement Depot, near Syracuse, Italy, 11 August 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3240323)

Troopers W. Ballinan and A. Gallant of the Royal Canadian Dragoons carrying an unexploded 6-inch naval artillery shell (likely fired by an American light cruiser off the coast), at the request of Allied Military Government, Bagnacavallo, Italy, 3 January 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3578062)

Canadian war correspondents in a jeep, Modica, Italy, 13 July 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3378550)

Troopers Ed Owles, Jim Simmons, Sandy Cartner and Harry Clark from "B" Squadron, the Ontario Regiment, with a Sherman tank on a railway flatcar en route from Italy to Northwest Europe, Mouscron, Belgium, 24 March 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 2266405)

Second World War, 1939-1945. The Italian campaign, 1993 stamp.

Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF)

No. 331 Wing

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4435173)

Vickers Wellington bomber Pilot J. Mason and his bomber Crew, No. 420 "Snowy Owl" Squadron, RCAF, 1942-1943.  

No. 420 (Bomber) Squadron

No. 424 (Bomber) Squadron

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4752227)

Vickers Wellington bomber with its aircrew, Flight Sergeant Roland Dallaire, Flight Lieutenant Saint-Pierre, Flight Sergeant André Péloquin, and Pilot Officer Don Larivière. No. 425 "Alouette" Squadron, RCAF, 1942-1943.

No. 425 (Bomber) Squadron

No. 244 Wing

No. 417 (Fighter) Squadron

No. 417 (F)Squadron was the RCAF's 16th - seventh Fighter - Squadron formed overseas, The unit was ordered to the Middle East in the spring of '42. Equipped with Hurricane and later Spitfire aircraft, it spent five months in the defence of the Suez Canal and the Nile Delta. In April 1943 it became the only Canadian Squadron in the Desert Air Force and was to provide air defence and close support to the British Eighth Army through the closing stages of the Tunisian campaign, and throughout the Sicilian and Italian campaigns. The squadron was disbanded at Treviso, Italy on 30 June 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 5196718)

Squadron Leader Hay with Flight Lieutenant Turvey, No. 417 (F) Squadron, RCAF, Italy, ca 1943-44.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 5196716)

F/L Everad, S/L A.U. “Bert” Houle, DFC*, F/L Whitside, No. 417 Squadron, RCAF, Italy, 1943-1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4997400)

 Supermarine Spitfire Mk. V, No. 417 (F) Squadron, RCAF, near Lentini, Sicily, 26 August 1943.

The RCAF’s No. 417 Squadron was transferred from Fighter Command to the Desert Air Force and sent to the Middle East in June 1942. In February 1943, after a few months of drudgery work and uneventful patrols over the Nile, No. 417 was moved to Tripoli and incorporated into No. 244 Wing. That unit was later stationed in Malta, some 96 km off the coast of Sicily, from where it provide air support to the British 8th Army – which included the 1st Canadian Corps – during Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily by the Allies on 10 July 1943. No. 417 Squadron later took part in the fighting for the liberation of Italy.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3205814)

RCAF Flying Fortress mail plane taking off from Italy heading back to Canada, 30 December 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4113915).

Firefighters hosing down a crashed Italian Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 Sparviero three-engine bomber, possibly at an RCAF forward operating strip on the Italian front, Dec 1943.

[1] As of 19 August 1944, except for 1st Canadian Special Service Battalion which had left Italy to fight in Southern France.

[2] Before 13 July 1944, the 1st Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment RCA (1st Corps Troops).

The Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3524567)

An officer of The Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment) stencilling the regiment's identification number on a jeep, England, ca. 30 May-1 June 1943.

[3] Provided by The Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment), which also furnished platoons for defence and/or employment duties at divisional and brigade headquarters.

[4] Formed on 15 June 1944 from the 35th Light Anti-Aircraft Battery RCA (1st LAA Regt).

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3260956)

Gunner V.C. Northey, loading 40-mm Bofors AAA rounds, 5th Battery, 2nd Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, RCA, Campobasso, Italy, 29 October 1943.

(IWM Photo, NA 11256)

Gunner Howard Potter has a shave near his 40mm Bofors anti-aircraft gun, while other members of the crew scan the skies over Ortona, January 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3240422)

Gunners of the Royal Canadian Artillery with a Canadian-made 40-mm Bofors anti-aircraft gun mounted on a Canadian-made Ford chassis, Russi, Italy, 18 February 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3509523)

7th LAA Regt, RCA disembarking at Catania, Sicily, 8 Dec 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3601824)

Fall of Catania, Sicily, 6 August 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3601825)

Fall of Catania, Sicily, 6 August 1943.

(IWM Photo, NA5522)

Sherman V tank with the 11th Canadian Tank Regiment (The Ontario Regiment) advancing near Catania, Sicily, 4 August 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3356632)

Private Dave King, a driver with the Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit, talking with an Italian who lived in his own hometown of Burlington, Ontario, for a number of years, Delianuova, Italy, ca. 5 September 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3206658)

Lieutenant R.O. Campbell (left) of the Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit and Corporal H.H. Mowbray with a movie camera mounted on the turret of a Sherman V tank near the Hitler Line, Italy, 23 May 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3206660)

Lieutenant Robert O. Campbell of the Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit near the Hitler Line, Italy, 23 May 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3194314)

Assault landing craft alongside HMCS Prince Henry during preparations for Operation Dragoon, 22August 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3964054)

American and Canadian troops which took part in the pre-invasion exercises for the Mediterranean Operation, loll around on a LCA as they return to Prince Henry, the mother ship who waits out in the stream, 22 August 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3964051)

HMCS Prince David and HMCS Prince Henry supporting pre-invasion exercises for the Mediterranean Operation which took place off the coast of Italy, 22 Aug 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 13964045)

HMCS Prince David and HMCS Prince Henry supporting pre-invasion exercises for the Mediterranean Operation which took place off the coast of Italy, 22 Aug 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3202223)

An injured German seaman being taken aboard HMCS Prince David from an American PT Boat during operations in the Mediterranean Sea, August, 1944.

.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 31930790)

One day, the war ended - but not the story of Canadians overseas.  Many brought back a family...Mrs. Elizabeth Rae and daughter Anne aboard the train taking them to Liverpool, where they are to embark on the S.S. Mauretania as part of the first large group of British war brides to sail to Canada, 4 February 1946.

Badges and Insignia worn by Canadians in Italy

While tracking one's way through various elements of the Library and Archives Canada web pages, sometimes you catch a glimpse of a photo of a cap badge or shoulder patch on a soldier but without a description of which unit he belongs to. Attached is a rough compilation I have put together from various Internet sources of images of the badges of the Canadian units in the Italian Campaign, that may help with the recognition process.

file:///C:/Users/user/Downloads/PDF%20Canadians%20in%20the%20Italian%20Campaign,%201943-1945,%20badges,%2015%20Apr%202018.pdf

https://www.silverhawkauthor.com/post/skaarup-harold-j-corporal-g753-5th-armoured-regiment-8th-princess-louises-new-brunswick-hussars-book