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

 

Piazza Armerina

Piazza Armerina 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

Early on 16 July, The Loyal Edmonton Regiment and a squadron of tanks from The Three Rivers Regiment led the 2nd Brigade Group up Highway 124 from Caltagirone, passing through San Michele di Ganzeria which was not occupied by the enemy, and turned north onto Highway 117, the Gela-Enna highway. The battle group found itself three miles south of Piazza Armerina by noon; this was yet another small rural town of 22,000 people, and at 2,366 feet above sea level was the highest in altitude of any town yet encountered by Canadian troops on Sicily.

The Battle
 

 

As the lead elements approached a sharp bend in the road, descending from a long level ridge to where it skirted a narrow and steep gully, they came under fire from machine guns, mortars and artillery. The road to Piazza Armerina was exposed all the way to the town, where the Germans had once again selected good positions with a commanding view. Two companies of the Edmontons worked forward to high ground on each side of the road, but mortars sited on two prominences a mile north and north-east continued to fire accurately on them.
 

The Edmontons, less “D” Company, still in Ragusa, were ordered to move against the hills, with “A” and “B” Companies making the initial attack and “C” in reserve. “A” Company managed to fight onto its objective through enemy fire, and “C” was sent to reinforce this success. The battle had been an infantry-only engagement, as the tanks were unable to elevate their guns to reach the German positions; only the battalion’s integral 3-inch mortar platoon had been available for fire support. Later in the day, the Royal Devon Yeomanry were able to provide indirect artillery fire, and the 5.5-inch guns of the 7th Medium Regiment also added weight to artillery support.

 

“B” Company, however, faced more trouble as it attempted to fight uphill during the course of the afternoon, and lost contact with battalion headquarters. Part of the company was pinned down in an orchard, but eventually a single platoon crested the hill and precipitated a German withdrawal.

 

The 2nd Battalion of the 104th Panzer Grenadier Regiment was not yet ready to leave the town of Piazza Armerina itself, and 7.5cm artillery fire continued to hit the Canadian positions until the British 5.5-inch medium guns silenced the German batteries. It wasn’t until after nightfall that the Germans pulled out of the town, which was declared secure by 0600 the next morning.

 

It was the first combat action for The Loyal Edmonton Regiment, and had cost them 27 casualties. The town itself had served as the location of an Italian corps headquarters, and signal equipment and gasoline were obtained in large quantities from enemy stocks.

Once again, the enemy had fought an effective delaying action, holding the 1st Canadian Division up for 24 hours; it was noon on the 17th before the 3rd Brigade was able to pass through the 2nd in Piazza Armerina and resume the advance on Enna, taking the lead in the Canadian vanguard for the first time on Sicily.

 

There was a real need for urgency for the 1st Division to make progress, on the left wing of the 8th Army, as the 13th Corps on the right wing was facing determined resistance at the Simeto River. General Alexander, commanding the 15th Army Group to which both Allied armies on Sicily belonged, issued a new directive on 16 July laying out three axes of advance for the 8th Army; firstly north from Catania, secondly from Leonforte to Adrano, in order to “sever communications this side of Etna” and finally via Nicosia-Troina-Randazzo to sweep around the northern slopes of Mount Etna.

 

The general plan was thus to move quickly before the Germans could crystallize an effective defence, with the Canadians moving behind Mount Etna from the west. Enna itself passed into the planned American area of operation, with the 7th Army tasked to protect the rear of the 8th Army.

 

None of these plans would be effective without the fall of Catania, and even by 17-18 July, British operations continued to falter. According to the Canadian official historian:

It will be observed that the directive based future operations for the Eighth Army upon the capture of Catania. Enemy resistance before the port, however, showed little sign of diminishing; a costly attack by the 50th Division on the night of 17-18 July to enlarge the Simeto bridgehead achieved little. This stalemate in the east heightened the importance of the Eighth Army's other axes of advance, and caused a modification of Montgomery's plans for the proposed northern sweep by the 30th Corps on the left flank. In a signal to Alexander on the 17th he reported that the 51st Highland Division was moving north from Scordia to "capture Paterno to-morrow with luck", and declared his intention of sending the Canadians--whom he expected to reach Enna that night-eastward from Leonforte to Adrano, rather than along the wider arc through Nicosia and Troina. "I will then operate with 30 Corps round the west and north of Etna and will cut off any enemy who stay east of Etna and about Catania." He further suggested that the Americans after capturing Petralia should drive to the coast road and "make faces eastwards" along the coast, thereby completing the bisection of the island and hemming the enemy within the Messina peninsula. For the Canadian Division this programme in the main was to remain unchanged.

The 3rd Brigade, setting off for Enna, could see that the distance from Piazza Armerina, even over winding hillside roads, was only 22 miles. However, the initial goal of reaching Enna on 17 July fell out of reach after only four miles, when a blown bridge was found and sappers of the 4th Field Company, Royal Canadian Engineers, were brought forward to build a diversion. When the 3rd Brigade was just eight miles from Piazza Armerina, they reached a junction branching off of Highway 117, towards Valguarnera. The Germans were in a position to delay advance in two directions by obstructing the junction, both northwest towards Enna, and northeast to Valguarnera, which looked out over the Dittaino valley and the western flats of the Catania plain.

 

Troops of the 2nd Battalion, 104th Panzer Grenadier Regiment, having just withdrawn from Piazza Armerina, now lay in ambush here just before the junction, at a spot that Highway 117 stretched through a narrow gap in a long ridge. The Canadian historian surmised that troops of their 1st Battalion, pulling back from the American front, joined them here. They set up outposts on the hill tops, including the Monte della Forma, 2,700 feet high on the west side of the pass, and sited mortars on the reverse slope.

In the action that followed the enemy demonstrated that two determined battalions by exploiting naturally strong positions could effectively hold up two brigades for more than twenty-four hours.

The first Carleton and York Regiment, travelling in the lead of the 3rd Brigade column, cane under fire shortly after 0430, having traversed the bypass and come into the ambush zone. Under mortar and machine gun fire, the Carleton and York infantry dismounted, while tanks of the Three Rivers Regiment fired on the Germans from one and a half miles south. The enemy was driven back to their main line of defence, and the Carleton and York proceeded to within a mile of Grottacalda pass.

Battle Honours

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

Image:1tankbde.gif 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade

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

Image:1gif2bde.gif 2nd Canadian Brigade

  • The Loyal Edmonton Regiment

References

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


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