History

Wars & Campaigns

Boer War
First World War

►►Western Front

►►►Trench Warfare: 1914-1916

►►Allied Offensive: 1916

►►►Allied Offensives: 1917

►►►German Offensive: 1918

►►►Advance to Victory: 1918

►►Siberia
Second World War
►►War Against Japan

►►Italian Campaign

►►►Sicily

►►►Southern Italy

►►►The Sangro and Moro

►►►Battles of the FSSF

►►►Cassino

►►►Liri Valley

►►►Advance to Florence

►►►Gothic Line

►►►Winter Lines
►►North-West Europe

►►►Normandy
►►►Southern France
►►►Channel Ports

►►►Scheldt
►►►Nijmegen Salient

►►►Rhineland

►►►Final Phase
Korean War
Cold War
Gulf War

Operations 

GAUNTLET Aug 1941

(Spitsbergen)

HUSKY Jul 1943

 (Sicily)

COTTAGE Aug 1943

 (Kiska)

TIMBERWOLF Oct 1943

(Italy)

OVERLORD Jun 1944

(Normandy)

MARKET-GARDEN Sep 44

(Arnhem)

BERLIN Nov 1944

(Nijmegen)

VERITABLE Feb 1945

(Rhineland)

Battle Honours

Boer War

►Paardeberg

18 Feb 00

First World War
Western Front
Trench Warfare: 1914-1916

Ypres, 1915

22 Apr-25 May 15

Gravenstafel

22-23 Apr 15

St. Julien

24 Apr-4 May 15

Frezenberg

8-13 May 15

Bellewaarde

24-25 May 15

Festubert, 1915

15-25 May 15

Mount Sorrel

2-13 Jun 16

Allied Offensive: 1916

►Somme, 1916

1 Jul-18 Nov 16

►Albert

.1-13 Jul 16

►Bazentin

.14-17 Jul 16

►Pozieres

.23 Jul-3 Sep 16

►Guillemont

.3-6 Sep 16

►Ginchy

.9 Sep 16

Flers-Courcelette

15-22 Sep 16

Thiepval

26-29 Sep 16

►Le Transloy

. 1-18 Oct 16

Ancre Heights

1 Oct-11 Nov 16

Ancre, 1916

13-18 Nov 16

Allied Offensives: 1917

►Arras 1917

8 Apr-4 May 17

Vimy, 1917

.9-14 Apr 17

Arleux

28-29 Apr 17

►Scarpe, 1917

.3-4 May17

►Hill 70

.15-25 Aug 17

►Messines, 1917

.7-14 Jun 17

►Ypres, 1917

..31 Jul-10 Nov 17

►Pilckem

31 Jul-2 Aug 17

►Langemarck, 1917

.16-18 Aug 17

►Menin Road

.20-25 Sep 17

►Polygon Wood

26 Sep-3 Oct 17

►Broodseinde

.4 Oct 17

►Poelcapelle

.9 Oct 17

►Passchendaele

.12 Oct 17

►Cambrai, 1917

20 Nov-3 Dec 17

German Offensive: 1918

►Somme, 1918

.21 Mar-5 Apr 18

►St. Quentin

.21-23 Mar 18

►Bapaume, 1918

.24-25 Mar 18

►Rosieres

.26-27 Mar 18

►Avre

.4 Apr 18

►Lys

.9-29 Apr 18

►Estaires

.9-11 Apr 18

►Messines, 1918

.10-11 Apr 18

►Bailleul

.13-15 Apr 18

►Kemmel

.17-19 Apr 18

Advance to Victory: 1918

Amiens

8-11 Aug 18

►Arras, 1918

.26 Aug-3 Sep 18

►Scarpe, 1918

26-30 Aug 18.

►Drocourt-Queant

.2-3 Sep 18

►Hindenburg Line

.12 Sep-9 Oct 18

►Canal du Nord

.27 Sep-2 Oct 18

►St. Quentin Canal .29 Sep-2 Oct 18
►Epehy

3-5 Oct 18

►Cambrai, 1918

.8-9 Oct 18

►Valenciennes

.1-2 Nov 18

►Sambre

.4 Nov 18

►Pursuit to Mons .28 Sep-11Nov

Second World War

War Against Japan

South-East Asia

Hong Kong

 8-25 Dec 41

Italian Campaign

Battle of Sicily

Landing in Sicily 

   9-12 Jul 43

Grammichele 

15 Jul 43

Piazza Armerina

16-17 Jul 43

Valguarnera

17-19 Jul 43

Assoro 

  20-22 Jul 43

Leonforte

 21-22 Jul 43

Agira

24-28 Jul 43

Adrano 

29 Jul-7 Aug 43

Catenanuova

29-30 Jul 43

Regalbuto

29 Jul-3 Aug 43

Centuripe

  31 Jul-3 Aug 43

Troina Valley

 2-6 Aug 43

Pursuit to Messina

 2-17 Aug 43

 Southern Italy

Landing at Reggio

 3 Sep 43

Potenza 19-20 Sep 43
Motta Montecorvino 1-3 Oct 43
Termoli 3-6 Oct 43
Monte San Marco 6-7 Oct 43
Gambatesa 7-8 Oct 43
Campobasso 11-14 Oct 43
Baranello 17-18 Oct 43
Colle d'Anchise 22-24 Oct 43
Torella 24-27 Oct 43

The Sangro and Moro

The Sangro

19 Nov-3 Dec 43

Castel di Sangro

.23-24 Nov 43

The Moro

5-7 Dec 43

San Leonardo

8-9 Dec 43

The Gully

..10-19 Dec 43

Casa Berardi

 ..14-15 Dec 43

Ortona

20-28 Dec 43

San Nicola-San

.31 Dec 43

Tommaso

.
Point 59/ 29 Dec 43-

Torre Mucchia

4 Jan 44

Battles of the FSSF
Monte Camino

.5 Nov-9 Dec 43

Monte la Difensa-

2-8 Dec 43

 Monte la Remetanea

.
Hill 720

25 Dec 43

Monte Majo

3-8 Jan 44.

Radicosa

4 Jan 44

Monte Vischiataro

8 Jan 44

Anzio

22 Jan-22 May 44

Rome

.22 May-4 Jun 44

Advance

.22 May-22 Jun 44

to the Tiber

.
►Monte Arrestino

25 May 44

►Rocca Massima

27 May 44

►Colle Ferro

2 Jun 44

Cassino
►Cassino II

11-18 May 44

►Gustav Line

11-18 May 44

►Sant' Angelo in

13 May 44

Teodice

.
►Pignataro

14-15 May 44

Liri Valley
Liri Valley

18-30 May 44

►Hitler Line

18-24 May 44

►Aquino

18-24 May 44

►Melfa Crossing

24-25 May 44

►Ceprano

26-27 May 44

►Torrice Crossroads

30 May 44

Advance to Florence
Advance

17 Jul-10 Aug 44

to Florence

.
Trasimene Line

20-30 Jun 44

Sanfatucchio

20-21 Jun 44

Arezzo

4-17 Jul 44

Cerrone

25 - 31 Aug 44

Gothic Line
►Gothic Line

25 Aug-22 Sep 44

►Monteciccardo

27-28 Aug 44

►Montecchio

30-31 Aug 44

►Point 204 (Pozzo Alto)

31 Aug 44

►Monte Luro

1 Sep 44

►Borgo Santa Maria

1 Sep 44

►Tomba di Pesaro

1-2 Sep 44

►Coriano

3-15 Sep 44

►Lamone Crossing

2-13 Sep 44

Winter Lines
►Rimini Line

14-21 Sep 44

►San Martino-

14-18 Sep 44

San Lorenzo

.
►San Fortunato

18-20 Sep 44

►Casale

23-25 Sep 44

►Sant' Angelo

11-15 Sep 44

 in Salute

.
►Bulgaria Village

13-14 Sep 44

►Cesena

15-20 Sep 44

►Pisciatello

16-19 Sep 44

►Savio Bridgehead

20-23 Sep 44

►Monte La Pieve

13-19 Oct 44

►Monte Spaduro

19-24 Oct 44

►Monte San Bartolo

11-14 Nov 44

►Capture of Ravenna

3-4 Dec 44

►Naviglio Canal

12-15 Dec 44

►Fosso Vecchio

16-18 Dec 44

►Fosso Munio

19-21 Dec 44

►Conventello-

2-6 Jan 45

Comacchio

.
►Granarolo

3-5 Jan 44

Northwest Europe
Dieppe

19 Aug 42

Battle of Normandy
Normandy Landing

6 Jun 44

Authie

7 Jun 44

Putot-en-Bessin

8 Jun 44

Bretteville

8-9 Jun 44

       -l'Orgueilleuse .
Le Mesnil-Patry

11 Jun 44

Carpiquet

4-5 Jul 44

Caen

4-18 Jul 44

The Orne (Buron)

8-9 Jul 44

Bourguébus Ridge

18-23 Jul 44

Faubourg-de-

18-19 Jul 44

       Vaucelles .
St. André-sur-Orne

19-23 Jul 44

Maltôt

22-23 Jul 44

Verrières Ridge-Tilly--

25 Jul 44

         la-Campagne .
Falaise

7-22 Aug 44

►Falaise Road

7-9 Aug 44

►Quesnay Road

10-11 Aug 44

Clair Tizon

11-13 Aug 44

►The Laison

14-17 Aug 44

►Chambois

18-22 Aug 44

►St. Lambert-sur-

19-22 Aug 44

       Dives

.

Dives Crossing

17-20 Aug 44

Forêt de la Londe

27-29 Aug 44

The Seine, 1944

25-28 Aug 44

Southern France
Southern France

15-28 Aug 44

Channel Ports
Dunkirk, 1944

8-15 Sep 44

Le Havre

1-12 Sep 44

Moerbrugge

8-10 Sep 44

Moerkerke

13-14 Sep 44

Boulogne, 1944

17-22 Sep 44

Calais, 1944

25 Sep-1 Oct 44

Wyneghem

21-22 Sep 44

Antwerp-Turnhout

   24-29 Sep 44

Canal

.

The Scheldt

The Scheldt

1 Oct-8 Nov 44

Leopold Canal

6-16 Oct-44

►Woensdrecht

1-27 Oct 44

Savojaards Platt

9-10 Oct 44

Breskens Pocket

11 Oct -3 Nov 44

►The Lower Maas

20 Oct -7 Nov 44

►South Beveland

 24-31 Oct 44

Walcheren

31 Oct -4 Nov 44

Causeway

.

Nijmegen Salient
Ardennes

Dec 44-Jan 45

Kapelsche Veer

31 Dec 44-

.

21Jan 45

The Roer

16-31 Jan 45

Rhineland
The Rhineland

8 Feb-10 Mar 45

►The Reichswald

8-13 Feb 45

►Waal Flats

8-15 Feb 45

►Moyland Wood

14-21 Feb 45

►Goch-Calcar Road

19-21 Feb 45

►The Hochwald

26 Feb-

.

4 Mar 45

►Veen

6-10 Mar 45

►Xanten

8-9 Mar 45

Final Phase
The Rhine

23 Mar-1 Apr 45

►Emmerich-Hoch

28 Mar-1 Apr 45

Elten

.
►Twente Canal

2-4 Apr 45

Zutphen

6-8 Apr 45

Deventer

8-11 Apr 45

Arnhem, 1945

12-14 Apr 45

Apeldoorn

11-17 Apr 45

Groningen

13-16 Apr 45

Friesoythe

14 Apr 45

►Ijselmeer

15-18 Apr 45

Küsten Canal

17-24 Apr 45

Wagenborgen

21-23 Apr 45

Delfzijl Pocket

23 Apr-2 May 45

Leer

28-29 Apr 45

Bad Zwischenahn

23 Apr-4 May 45

Oldenburg

27 Apr-5 May 45

Korean War
Kapyong

21-25 Apr 51

Domestic Missions

FLQ Crisis

International Missions

ICCS            Vietnam 1973

MFO                 Sinai 1986-

Peacekeeping

UNMOGIP

India 1948-1979

UNTSO

 Israel 1948-    ....

UNEF

Egypt 1956-1967

UNOGIL

Lebanon 1958    ....

ONUC

 Congo 1960-1964

UNYOM

Yemen 1963-1964

UNTEA

W. N. Guinea 1963-1964

UNIFCYP

 Cyprus 1964-    ....

DOMREP

D. Republic 1965-1966

UNIPOM

Kashmir 1965-1966

UNEFME

Egypt 1973-1979

UNDOF

Golan 1974-    ....

UNIFIL

 Lebanon 1978    ....

UNGOMAP

Afghanistan 1988-90

UNIIMOG

Iran-Iraq 1988-1991

UNTAG

Namibia 1989-1990

ONUCA

C. America 1989-1992

UNIKOM

Kuwait 1991    ....

MINURSO

W. Sahara 1991    ....

ONUSAL

El Salvador 1991    ....

UNAMIC

Cambodia 1991-1992

UNAVEM II

Angola 1991-1997

UNPROFOR

Yugosla. 1992-1995

UNTAC

Cambodia 1992-1993

UNOSOM

Somalia 1992-1993

ONUMOZ

Mozambiq. 1993-1994

UNOMUR

 Rwanda 1993    ....

UNAMIR

Rwanda 1993-1996

UNMIH

Haiti 1993-1996

UNMIBH

Bosnia/Herz.1993-1996

UNMOP

Prevlaka 1996-2001

UNSMIH

Haiti 1996-1997

MINUGUA

Guatemala 1994-1997

UNTMIH

Haiti 1997    ....

MIPONUH

 Haiti 1997    ....

MINURCA

C.Afr.Rep. 1998-1999

INTERFET

E. Timor 1999-2000

UNAMSIL

Sie. Leone 1999-2005

UNTAET

E. Timor 1999-2000

Exercises

 

Agira

Agira was a Battle Honour granted to Canadian regiments that fought at that town during the Battle of Sicily, a phase of the Italian Campaign during the Second World War.

Background

The fighting at Leonforte had cost the Canadians 56 dead and 105 wounded, but moreover cost the Germans a position crucial to their outer defensive perimiter. The flank of the US 1st Infantry Division was now secure and they were free to drive north from Enna to Troina.

To the east, the 8th Army was still battering at Catania; Montgomery's new plans called for an attack on the Etna defences from the west. Advancing parallel to the US 1st Division, the Canadians were to strike up the centre of the island, and were given the British 231st "Malta" Brigade under command. The Canadians were ordered to advance immediately on Agira, and he passed his orders down on the afternoon of 22 Jul. The Malta Brigade was ordered to advance from the south, seizing high ground east of Agira while the Canadians attacked along six kilometres of highway leading to Catania. It was assumed the enemy would defend the high ground at Agira. The presence of German troops at Nissoria, a village located in low ground along the highway between two low ridges, was not expected.

Defences

The Germans, an infantry battalion of the 15th Panzer Grenadier Div., supported by a few tanks and self-propelled guns, had been surprised by the "remarkable athletic accomplishments" of the "British" troops who had appeared "in our backs during the night" at Assoro. They decided to defend Agira using the reverse slopes of the two ridges at Nissoria as the first and second lines of defence. Simond's plan to use aircraft and field and medium artillery to support 1st Bde.'s move into Agira assumed that a relatively light barrage--lifting 200 metres every two minutes--would be enough to neutralize the enemy and permit the Canadians to close and destroy.1

The Battle

The Royal Canadian Regiment advanced with tank support under an artillery barrage as the battle opened; enemy resistance was fierce however and ten Sherman tanks of the Three Rivers regiment were knocked out. Reserve companies of the RCR swung to the right, discovering a deep gully parallel to the road which they followed to a position past the town of Nissoria, halfway to Agira itself. Unable to make radio contact with 1st Brigade headquarters, the battalion was reluctant to continue the advance without orders.

Out of contact with the RCR, the 1st Brigade commander ordered a deliberate attack on Nissoria in the early minutes of 25 Jul. The town was secured by The Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment, but a second ridge to the east was strongly held and by early morning, the Hasty P's had suffered 80 casualities - the highest single day loss of any Canadian unit during the Battle of Sicily.

The RCR in the meantime been withdrawn to avoid subjecting them to Canadian artillery fire. The 48th Highlanders next went into action, ordered to capture the heights of Monte di Nissoria to the north of the village, clearing the way for the 2nd Brigade to continue the advance. The lead company made it onto the objective on the evening of 26 Jul but heavy fire prevented their reinforcement, and the 48th were forced to withdraw.

Simonds, under pressure from his corps and army commanders, had little choice but to press ahead. The 1st U.S. Infantry Div. was meeting fierce resistance at Nicosia, north of Nissoria, and so a new attack was planned for July 27. From Nicosia, Highway 120 ran east along the northern edge of Mount Etna. This offered an opportunity to outflank the enemy holding up Montgomery's advance. The Canadians and the newly arrived British 78th Div. were playing a vital supporting role and an all-out effort was required. Unfortunately, this meant that Agira would be attacked while the enemy held the northern flank.2

On the night of 26 Jul, a platoon of The Edmonton Regiment force marched over eight miles of rought terrain and managed to cut the road from Agira to Nicosia. Digging in and holding on, they managed to ambush several trucks and even knocked out three tanks and a tank recovery vehicle. Lieutenant John Dougan was awarded the Military Cross for his leadership (and would later win a bar to the MC at San Leonardo). A third attempt to take Agira acknowledged the German's strong defence on a low ridge (code named "Lion" by the Canadians) to the east of Nissoria. Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry launched an attack under the largest artillery barrage fired to date on Sicily, and supported by two squadrons of Shermans from The Three Rivers Regiment. The attack was a success, and follow up companies were ordered to take the "Tiger", a low ridge 1,000 meters further east. This attack did not go as well, and the rough terrain caused the soldiers to fall behind the barrage.

Regardless, The Seaforth Highlanders were committed to attacking "Grizzly", a third piece of high ground still further east, on the western edge of Agira itself. "C" Company on the right flank foudn the enemy still in strength on "Lion" who remained there until daybreak. On the left, "A" Company reached "Tiger" at first light and drove the enemy back.

Award Citation: Lieutenant John Alpine Dougan

On 5 August 1943, Spot Height 236, a high feature north of Regalbuto, was the objective of "D" Company, Edmonton Regiment. The approaches to it were devoid of cover and the feature was strongly held by a number of mortar and machine gun posts. Lieutenant Dougan commanding the forward platoon, successfully led his platoon forward to within 300 yards of the objective when it came under heavy machine gun fire. Lieutenant Dougan was wounded in both arms and both hands; he could hold his revolver only by gripping it with both hands.

Under intense pain he led the platoon across the 300 yard stretch of open ground under continuous observed fire, led the charge on the objective and captured it. After directing consolidation of the platoon objective, this officer was carried out of action. The gallantry of Lieutenant Dougan merits the highest praise.3

For once, the Germans did not mount a counter-attack; their reserve - an uncommitted battalion of Panzergrenadier Division 29 came forward to defend "Grizzly" while Panzergrenadier Regiment 104 reorganized. Monte Fronte, high ground dominating "Grizzly", was defended by several machine guns and mortars. The Seaforths left a single platoon at the base of Fronte, while the rest of their company manoeuvred to the flank, through orchards and vineyards to a 300-foot cliff. Scaling the cliff, the company was reinforced and cleared Monte Fronte.

Cemetery Hill, dominating the northern end of "Grizzly" was then cleared by The Edmonton Regiment after hard fighting, and the hill was declared secure on the morning of 28 Jul.

Aftermath

Taking no chances, Simonds arranged for full artillery support to attack Agira. The Patricias and the sorely tired citizens of the town were spared further casualties when an artillery observation officer discovered that the streets to Agira were filled with friendly people anxious to welcome the Canadians. The barrage was cancelled and the Patricia's entered the town as liberators. Agira cost the Canadians 438 casualties, the costliest battle of the Sicilian campaign.4

Sherman Tank of The Three Rivers Regiment passing through Agira. LAC Photo Allied jeeps on the road to Agira pass by disabled German vehicles. 28 Jul 1943. LAC Photo.

Battle Honours

The following Canadian units were awarded the Battle Honour "Agira" for participation in these actions:

Image:1tankbde.gif 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade

  • 12th Canadian Armoured Regiment (The Three Rivers Regiment)

Image:1gif.gif 1st Canadian Division

  • The Saskatoon Light Infantry (MG)

Image:1gif1bde.gif 1st Canadian Brigade

  • The Royal Canadian Regiment

  • The Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment

  • 48th Highlanders of Canada

Image:1gif2bde.gif 2nd Canadian Brigade

  • Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry

  • The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada

  • The Loyal Edmonton Regiment

Notes

  1. Copp, Terry. "From Leonforte To Agira" Part 61, article in Legion Magazine

  2. Ibid.

  3. Blatherwick, John and Hugh Halliday. Courage & Service: Second World War Awards to Canadians (Service Publications, Ottawa, ON) ISBN 1894581229

  4. Copp, Ibid.


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