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

Verričres 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

Foręt 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

 

Grammichele

Grammichele 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 1st Canadian Division had landed on Sicily on 10 July and due to the weakness of the opposition, coupled with a high state of training and individual physical conditioning, had performed well. The division, despite challenges in acclimating to the tropical conditions, as well as shortages of motor transport, had advanced 30 miles as the crow flies in three days and collected hundreds of Italian prisoners. The "breaking in" period was capped by an administrative pause at Giarratana. However, apart from a handful of German Air Force personnel captured in the opening hours of the landing, the Canadians had yet to meet soldiers of the German armed forces in battle on Sicily.

Location

Grammichele is located at 37°13′N 14°38′E

Overview

In the late hours of 13 July, the third phase of the operations forecast laid out by General Alexander, the commander of 15th Army Group, was complete, in that a firm base to ensure the capture of Catania and a cluster of airfields at Gerbini had been established. Major counter-attacks were pressing only against the Americans, firmly established on their beaches. The next major objective to be gained was Enna, with the purpose of splitting the island in two and disrupting enemy east-west communications.

A decision to send the 30th Corps towards Enna meant redefining the boundary between the U.S. 7th and British 8th Armies, and Highways 124 and 117 were reassigned from the Americans to the British, with the American axis of advance turned west. The 30th Corps was ordered to advanced through Leonforte and Enna towards San Stefano, with the 23rd Armoured Brigade leading. The general plan was to capture Vizzini on 12 July, take Calatagirone on the next night, and then advance on Enna on 14 July. The 51st (Highland) Division was to start by advancing the right flank of the corps towards Scordia and cleaning up the area around Vizzini. In the event, though, Vizzini remained in German and Italian hands until the 14th, the plan to send the 23rd Armoured Brigade to Caltagirone was scratched, and the 1st Canadian Division, instead of holding between Ragusa and Vizzini, was ordered through Vizzini to advance on Enna.1

The Hermann Göring Division, one of the best equipped armoured divisions in the German military (possessing, among other things, an organic unit of Panzerkampfwagen VI "Tiger" tanks), was concentrated in the Caltagirone area on D-Day, with a battle group (Kampfgruppe Schmalz) detached to the west in the Catania area. Italian plans for the defence of the island had centred on the notion of withdrawing to the interior of the island following enemy invasion, to defend a "triangle" of territory in the centre of the mountainous highlands, making use of short interior lines, acknowledging the weak coastal defences and shortages of troops necessary to garrison the entire island. The Germans, for their part, had wanted to position both the 15th Panzer Grenadier and Hermann Göring divisions directly on the likeliest invasion sites ready to counterattack enemy landings. The Italians agreed in principle, but when it came time to fight in places like Syracuse and Augusta, Italian divisions necessary to the German defence of those sectors were found to have disappeared - withdrawn to the "inner triangle" of their earlier plans.2

The Battle

It was thus at midnight on 14-15 July when a column of motor transport carrying the 1st Brigade left Giarratana, with the RCR in the lead. At 0300, the Royal Canadians deployed in Vizzini, and the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment assumed the lead, moving again at 0600. Highway 124, a paved road, followed a narrow gauge railway line through fertile farming country. The terrain was hilly, with towns on hillside commanding the countryside and lateral roads; German rearguards were well able to convert such locations into strongpoints.

The road into Grammichele ran through a wide valley, free of houses, with large fields that had been denuded of trees and rocks over centuries. Grammichele itself was ten miles from Vizzini and home to 13,000 people, many farmers from the surrounding fields who preferred to live in the hilltop towns rather than in the valleys. The town dated to 1683 and was built on a hexagonal plan radiating from a central square, on a hill 250 feet above the surrounding countryside and commanding the road approaching from the east. The Canadian column rounded a bend in the road and first came into view two miles away at 0900.

Reconnaissance vehicles of the Three Rivers approached the town with the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment close behind; German weapons firing from ambush quickly knocked out a Sherman tank and three universal carriers as well as several other vehicles. Self-propelled guns of the Devon Yeomanry deployed off the road and into the fields to bring fire onto the town while the Hastings' infantry reacted, sending three companies into the town from three different directions while a carrier forward marked positions with tracer fire for tanks of the Three Rivers Regiment, which eventually knocked out three German tanks and some self-propelled flak guns.

The Hermann Görings began to evacuate as the lead Canadian infantrymen appeared in their perimeter, and by noon the town was firmly in Canadian hands. The enemy had left behind a large number of stores as they withdrew to the west; the battle had cost the Canadians 25 casualties.3

Aftermath

The 48th Highlanders, using carriers provided by the Saskatoon Light Infantry, gave chase with tanks in support, but a mined road slowed their progress, and they did not reach Caltagirone until midnight, having dismounted along the way. They entered the town early on 16 July to find the former headquarters of the Hermann Göring Division heavily damaged by Allied bombs.

In the meantime, the 2nd Brigade had left Ragusa late on the 14th, with only enough tranport to move one battalion by vehicle. As the Loyal Edmonton Regiment, with Brigade Headquarters, rode to Vizzini, PPCLI and the Seaforths were left to march over 30 miles in extreme heat.

The Germans, for their part, were conscious of the failings of the Italians to carry their share of the load in the fighting, and were shifting their forces to the east to prevent a drive towards the ferry crossings at Messina, which would trap substantial forces on Sicily. The Hermann Göring disengaged from the Vizzini-Caltagirone area and moved to the assistance of Battle Group Schmalz at Lentini. In the words of their history:

The Italian troops had, as far as the Schmalz Brigade could determine, left their positions in the coastal area, even where they weren't being attacked. As a result the entire coast was denuded of troops and left open to seizure by the enemy. The Schmalz Brigade was left alone on a broad stage, its rear and flanks completely unprotected...If the attack succeeded, all German-Italian units on the island would be cut off from their lifeline across the Strait of Messina...

The completely open Catania Plain remained (Schmalz's) main concern. If the plain was lost, a defence of Malleoli and Lentini would be pointless.4

The Napoli Division joined the Hermann Görings, having suffered the most of the Italian regular divisions so far in the invasion. The 15th Panzer Grenadier Division was recalled hastily from a redeployment to the west of the island, to position itself on the flank of the HG Division and the Italian Livorno Division settled in the gap between them. Further withdrawals toward Mount Etna tightened up positions, but there was no real defensive line to fall back on such as would later be encountered in Italy. The HG began a six-day series of withdrawals to a line running from Catenanuoa-Catania following the Dittaino River. Hilltop towns now became vital, and commanding positions at Caltagirone, Piazza Amerina, Valguarnera, Enna and Leonforte overlooking lateral roads leading to the east onto the Catania plain. Towns became strongpoints as the HG sought to hold off the thread of encirclement.

Special forces were brought in to continue the advance of 13th Corps along the coast, meeting strong opposition; No. 3 Commando landed from the sea at Catania to secure a bridge on the Syracuse-Catania highway, and the 1st Parachute Brigade dropped at the Primosole Bridge six miles south of Catania; troops of the 50th Division driving to link up met fierce opposition. The Canadians were urged to keep pushing hard on the left flank, and so it was that the 1st Canadian Division was urged on again towards Enna.

Battle Honours

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

Image:1tankbde.gif 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade

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

Image:1gif1bde.gif 1st Canadian Brigade

  • The Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment

Notes

  1. Nicholson, Gerald Official History of the Canadian Army in the Second World War: Volume II: The Canadians in Italy

  2. Kurowski, Franz The History of the Fallschirmpanzerkorps Hermann Göring (Soldiers of the Reichsmarschall) (English translation by J.J. Fedorowicz Publishing Inc., Winnipeg, MB, 1995) ISBN 0-921991-25-8 pp.139-151

  3. Nicholson, Ibid

  4. Kurowski, Ibid, p.152


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