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

 

Arezzo

Arezzo was a Battle Honour granted to Canadian regiments participating in battles near the city of Arezzo during the Advance to Florence, a phase of the Italian Campaign during the Second World War.

Background
See also main article on Advance to Florence

Allied troops captured Rome on 4 June 1944. While the two Allied armies in Italy (United States 5th Army and British 8th Army) pursued the disorganized German armies north, the 1st Canadian Corps went into reserve. The 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade went into action in support of British divisions as they pursued the Germans north towards Florence.1

Following the loss of Rome, the German objective in Italy was greatly simplified: to buy time for a stand further north.2

Advance to Florence

 Advance to FlorenceTrasimene LineSanfatucchioArezzoCerrone


The Arezzo Line
(adapted from map compiled by Historical Section, General Staff and originally published in Official History of the Canadian Army in the Second World War, Vol II)

See also main article Trasimene Line

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.3


British infantry advance near Arezzo, Italy, 16 July 1944. The lead soldier wears a cloth jerkin made from Italian camouflage material. Second man is wearing what appears to be a civilian straw hat to shield himself from the summer sun. The American .45 calibre Thompson machine carbine was standard issue to Allied forces in the Italian theatre and unlike Northwest Europe, never replaced by the Sten Gun. Since the Americans also used .45 calibre weapons (pistols and Thompsons) there was a desire to minimize the need for additional shipping space to the theatre.  Imperial War Museum photograph

The Arezzo Line

The 28th Brigade continued the advance on the west side of the Canale Maestro della Chiana with 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.

In the 13th Corps' sector what we came to call the Arezzo Line ran about seven miles south of the main road from Arezzo to Florence (Highway No. 69). With their customary tactical sagacity the Germans had selected positions of great natural strength along the height of land between the valleys of the Arno and the Chiana. Steep hillsides covered with rocky outcroppings and deep gullies clothed with oak thickets made movement off the roads by infantry extraordinarily arduous and by tanks virtually impossible-and the enemy controlled all roads. From the hilltop town of San Pancrazio General Heidrich dominated the Monte San Savino-Florence road, which provided the 4th Division's main avenue of advance, while his hold on the equally inaccessible village of Civitella, four miles to the east, barred the only other passage across the mountain ridge in the divisional sector.4

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.5

Early in the morning of July 4th, "C" Squadron (of the Ontario Regiment), with the (2nd/4th Battalion, Hampshire Regiment), pushed through "A" and "B" Squadrons up the highway and struck out northward to Tegoleto on Route 73, thence northeast along Route 73 to Mugliano, less than five miles from Arezzo. the Hampshires and "C" Squadron met nothing more serious than harassing fire.

The other two squadrons followed the same route and on July 5th, "A" Squadron moved ahead of "B" Squadron at Dorna, passing on to the hamlet of Tuori, some 2,000 yards north. Again the opposition stiffened. "A" Squadron came under heavy fire and found that the country was impassable to tanks. "C" Squadron was compelled to stand fast at Mugliano because the right flank was exposed.

In the night, "B" Squadron tried to slip through "A" Squadron and continue the advance. But the "B" Squadron tanks could make no progress. The chief obstacle in the way was a ridge north of Tuori and to the south of the Arezzo-Florence highway. If the ridge could be taken, fire could be directed in support of the 6th Armoured Division which was moving towards Arezzo on the other side of the valley.

Tanks of the three squadrons were dispersed about Tuori in the morning of July 6th in an attempt to support the infantry's drive up the ridge. The enemy brought fierce and accurate defensive fire upon the infantry attackers and upon the tanks. The first assault was thrown back. Another attack was launched in the evening and this time the infantry overran the ridge. The area was at once consolidated and the Brigade rested on its new position. Four days later the Ontarios were relieved and moved to a rest area...6

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 patrols.7

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.

Battle Honours

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

Image:1tankbde.gif 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade

  • 11th Canadian Armoured Regiment (The Ontario Regiment)

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

  • 14th Canadian Armoured Regiment (The Calgary Regiment)

Notes

  1. Greenhous, Brereton "Italian Odyssey, 1943-45" We Stand on Guard: An Illustrated History of the Canadian Army (Ovale Publications, Montreal, PQ, 1992) ISBN 2894290438 p.280

  2. Dancocks, Daniel G. D-Day Dodgers: The Canadians in Italy 1943-1945 (McClelland & Stewart Inc., Toronto, ON, 1991) ISBN 0771025440 p.293

  3. 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, ON, 1957) p.470

  4. Ibid pp.471-472

  5. Ibid, p.472

  6. Schragg, Lex History of The Ontario Regiment 1866-1951 pp.224-225

  7. Nicholson, Ibid


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