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

 

Campobasso
 
 

Campobasso was a Battle Honour granted for participation in fighting near this town in Southern Italy during the Italian Campaign of the Second World War.

Background

The British 8th Army, landing in the deep southern reaches of Italy in September 1943, linked up with the American 5th Army beachhead at Salerno to north as the 1st Canadian Division reached Potenza after a rapid 250 mile drive. Despite the success of this rapid advance in September, the 8th Army's ability to maintain communications and supplies was stretched and an administrative pause was necessary. As they regrouped at the end of September, the 8th Army's commander, General Montgomery, planned to move the 1st Canadian Infantry Division towards Vinchiaturo and Campobasso, where the Germans, staging a fighting withdrawal, were once again in mountainous terrain well suited to the defence. While the 1st and 3rd Brigades were to make the main thrust down Highway 17, the 2nd Brigade was tasked to protect the division's left flank by moving through "bleak country" to the south.1

 


Click to enlarge

 

Advance on Campobasso

 

The 1st Canadian Division was skillfully harrassing the Germans in the difficult terrain of the Appenines to the west of the Foggia plain, leaving them in a constant state of retreat. The reward for their efforts was the relative ease with which the final objectives of this phase of the campaign were completed. Testimony to the Canadians' skill may be found in the war diary of the 26th Panzer Division, who noted that:

Opposite the 29th Panzer Grenadier Division the First Canadian Infantry Division had appeared again, which explains the rapid advance of the enemy.2

German records recorded heavy casualties, often a result of Allied artillery, and enemy commanders faced the constant dilemma of whether to continue resistance in the face of heavy supporting fires, risking further heavy losses they could not afford, or further withdrawals. The German 76th Corps was faced in its sector with two Allied corps, and on 11 October, General Montgomery strengthened the 13th Corps by moving the 5th British Division to the right of the 1st Canadian Division. The Adriatic sector, on the coast, was turned over to the 5th Corps. The 78th Division, on the far right of the line, extended its hold along Highway 87 to a point eight miles south of Larino, and units of the British 15th Brigade made it as far as Bonefro, five miles from the lateral road that was the intermediate objective for British and Canadian forces. The road was described as "the only road back for the 29th Panzer Grenadier Division".

Brigadier Vokes' first sight of his objective may have come when he was still east of Jelsi; for the highway near Mount Verdone afforded a distant view of the 13th-century citadel which rose 350 feet above Campobasso, to look eastward down the Tappino valley and westward across the headwaters of the Biferno. Campobasso, a provincial capital of 17,000 people, consisted of an old town clustering about the rock on which the citadel stood, and a modem section, whose wide streets were flanked by imposing municipal and provincial administrative buildings, banks and schools-all built during the Fascist era. About two miles to the south the village of Ferrazzano crowned a spike of rock 600 feet above the plain. Ferrazzano had the unreal appearance of a fairy castle; but a determined force might well make it a formidable defensive position dominating the approaches to the town beyond.


On 11 October the Divisional Commander had assigned the capture of Campobasso to the 1st Brigade, which marched forward to the Jelsi road fork during the night of the 12th-13th. Brigadier Graham planned his attack in two phases. At 6:30 a.m. on the 13th the 48th Highlanders began to advance astride the Campobasso road; by mid-morning, without sighting the enemy, they had secured a line two miles south-east of the city. One company went up into Ferrazzano and occupied it after a brief skirmish with a handful of defenders. A small-scale counter-attack on the Highlanders' main positions was beaten off without much trouble, but news of this German reaction, together with heavy shellfire which now began to fall along the road, delayed the arrival of the other two battalions of the brigade. It was dark when the R.C.R. reached the 48th, and Lt.-Col. Spry obtained the Brigadier's permission to postpone the final assault until next morning. The Hastings and Prince Edwards were ordered to take over Ferrazzano during the night and from there to simulate an early morning attack on Campobasso.


At 5:30 a.m., while the Hastings' rifles, carbines and Bren guns banged and chattered in a noisy demonstration from the outskirts, the R.C.R. entered the city. For Spry's battalion this assault was "absolutely bloodless". though a Hastings company commander was seriously wounded by a parting shot from the last withdrawing enemy. For reasons best known to its Commander, the 29th Panzer Grenadier Division's morning report referred to "heavy fighting in and around Campobasso" following a penetration into the town by "the entire 1st Canadian Infantry Brigade". That evening the Division reported the evacuation of Campobasso "after a hard battle".
3

One historian has offered a possible explanation for the German war diarist's exaggeration, noting the Campobasso was at one time the headquarters of Field Marshal Albert Kesselring, the Axis Commander-in-Chief in Italy.4

 

Aftermath

 

As Campobasso fell to the Canadians, the 2nd Brigade continued its operations on the flank of the division, and battalion actions at Baranello and Colle d'Anchise followed. With the securing of the southern end of the Termoli-Vinchiaturo lateral road, the 1st Canadian Division's part in General Montgomery's plan for the 8th Army was complete. As foreseen, the next phase was to be conducted with "light forces" and other formations were to take time for administration and building up for a major advance. Lieutenant-General George Kitching, General Staff Officer I of the 1st Canadian Division, announced at a conference on 14 October that the Canadians in Italy would reorganize in the vicinity of Campobasso. A pause in major operations was predicted, and patrolling and harrassing fire programmes laid on. The enemy, noticing the cease of Canadian operations, wrongly assumed that casualties had caused a halt in operations.

 

Campobasso itself was soon converted into "Maple Leaf City":

Long before Campobasso fell elaborate plans had been made to develop it as an administrative and recreational centre. Despite the German shelling, which continued intermittently for a week, the 13th Corps lost no time in establishing a Forward Maintenance Centre there, and every afternoon long convoys arrived from the east with vast stocks of the complex paraphernalia of war. Under the energetic direction of the 1st Division's A.A. and Q.M.G., Lt.-Col. W.P. Gilbride, Auxiliary Service organizations--the Canadian Legion, the Knights of Columbus, the Y.M.C.A. and the Salvation Army provided recreational facilities for the troops, Canadian and British, in the area. Within a week of the German withdrawal officers and men to the number of 4000 a day were being brought into "Maple Leaf City" to see moving pictures at the "Savoy" and the "Capitol", and enjoy the hospitality of the "Aldershot Officers' Club" or the soldiers' "Beaver Club", which a certain sense of dramatic justice had established in the former local Fascist Youth Headquarters. On the second day of the city's occupation the R.C.R. initiated the practice of units in turn mounting ceremonial guards in the town square. The newly appointed Town Major read a proclamation and the pipes of the 48th
Highlanders played. But German shells were still falling on the city, and, according to the Brigade Major, the gesture was "rather wasted, as the population very sensibly remained deep in their cellars."
5

 


Pipers of the 48th Highlanders of Canada play in Campobasso shortly after its capture, 18 October 1943.

 

Battle Honours

 

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

 

Image:1gif1bde.gif 1st Canadian Brigade

  • The Royal Canadian Regiment

  • The Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment

  • 48th Highlanders of Canada

Notes

  1. Roy, Reginald. The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada 1919-1965 (Evergreen Press, Vancouver, BC, 1969) p.215

  2. Nicholson, Gerald. Official History of the Canadian Army in the Second World War. Volume II: The Canadians in Italy, 1943-1945 (Queen's Printer, Ottawa, ON, 1957) p.251

  3. Ibid

  4. Dancocks, Daniel G. D-Day Dodgers: The Canadians in Italy 1943-45 (McLelland & Stewart Inc., Toronto, ON, 1991) ISBN 0-7710-2544-0 p.139

  5. Nicholson, Ibid

 


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