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

 

Regalbuto

Regalbuto was a Battle Honour granted to two Canadian infantry regiments that fought at that town from 30 Jul to 3 Aug 1943 during the Battle of Sicily, a phase of the Italian Campaign during the Second World War.

Background

After the victories at Assoro and Leonforte, the 1st Canadian Infantry Division began to push east. On 28 Jul 1943, rain fell for the first time on Canadian soldiers in Sicily, and the 3rd Canadian Brigade won a victory at Catenanuova on 29 Jul. To the north, the 1st Canadian Brigade became involved, along with British soldiers, in the action at Regalbuto, one of many actions during the final drive to Adrano.

Defences

The Hermann Goering Division's operations order of 27 Jul 1943 stated clearly that Regalbuto was to be held, and with Centuripe formed the main defensive outpost in front of Adrano, itself the key position of the Etna defensive line. Generalmajor Paul Conrath, commander of the division, felt this right flank was the key to his entire defensive line.

To strengthen his flank, Conrath ordered the Hermann Göring Armoured Engineer Battalion to take over the defence of Regalbuto and to retain or take under command a squadron of tanks and certain sub-units of artillery. The Armoured Engineer Battalion, which had previously formed part of one of the Division's battle groups (Kampfgruppe von Carnap), now came directly under Conrath's command. For the first time since their encounter at Grammichele the Canadians were to meet the Hermann Görings again.1

Further orders by the engineer battalion the same day as the divisional operations order "reminded the battalion that enemy action had 'hitherto not forced a withdrawal to a new line'."2

The garrison at the time of the battle consisted of eight tanks, a battery of artillery, an infantry company of Parachute Regiment 3, and "a few rocket launchers (Nebelwerfern)." Conrath, exercising personal command of the garrison, ordered the defence hold at all costs.3

From the 2000-foot peak of Mount Santa Lucia, which marked the summit of Regalbuto Ridge, the Germans could completely dominate the eastern and southern approaches to the town. Regalbuto, built 1600 feet above sea level, lay at the convergence of three prominent hill features. South-west ran the mile-long Regalbuto Ridge; the the north-west a somewhat longer spur bearing the name Mount Serione projected about the same distance into the Salso valley; and to the east, separated from Santa Lucia by a deep ravine which admitted the road from Catenanuova, rose almost precipitously "Tower Hill", the western extremity of the great barrier of heights reaching over to Centuripe.4

Approach to Battle

The battle for Regalbuto drew near as the 1st Canadian Division moved through almond and olive groves on 28 Jul to within one mile of the town. In the early morning of the 30th, British 231st Infantry Brigade was hit by German rocket fire on their Start Line. Pushing on despite heavy casualties, the brigade was ambushed by German paratroopers and armoured engineers, and forced to fall back.

As night fell (on 29 Jul, the Hampshire Regiment) received orders to launch an attack against a long ridge which stretched south of the highway within a mile of Regalbuto. Unlike most of the other ridges in the area, this one ran parallel to the road, which it commanded along its entire length. On this rocky rise the Hermann Göring Engineers had decided to make their stand to prevent or delay the capture of Regalbuto, a fact of which the Hampshires became unpleasantly aware when a wicked burst of nebelwerfer fire met them as they formed up on their start line. One platoon was practically wiped out. In spite of this inauspicious beginning the battalion pressed on bravely, only to be caught in the deadly cross-fire of machine-guns. In the face of rapidly mounting casualties and a realization of the enemy's numbers, the attack was called off.5

The ridge overlooking Regalbuto would not fall until 0235hrs on 31 Jul "after a severe series of firefights."6 With the enemy in control of Santa Lucia and Mount Serione, entry into the town on Highway No. 121 was impossible.

The naturally strong Regalbuto ridge was covered by troops on the nearby Tower Hill and Monte Tiglio. The approaches were treacherous, necessitating the crossing of numerous steep ravines and rocky spurs. The 231st Maltese, who had moved into position after a very tough cross-country approach, launched the attack on the night 30-31 Jul.7

The 2nd Battalion of The Devonshire Regiment went forward late on 30 Jul, executed a flanking attack, and with the supporting fire of 144 guns from four field (1st RCHA, 2nd RCA, 3rd RCA, 165th RA (British)) and three medium (7th Medium RA, 64th Medium RA and 70th Medium RA) artillery regiments, seized the hill. Counterattacks by the Hermann Görings as well as Parachute Regiment 3 failed to dislodge them, though 109 officers and men of the Dorsets became casualties. During the late morning of the 31st, the Dorestshires attacked Mount Serione, with one company capturing an uncompleted railway station and another company gaining possession of a cemetery defended by the Germans. By late afternoon, the Dorsets dominated two roads leading into Regalbuto from the north and the northwest. The 48th Highlanders, placed temporarily under command of the 231st Brigade, relieved them before dusk.

The Canadian Attack

Conditions here were not unlike those at Nissoria, for the real strength of Regalbuto lay in a commanding ridge beyond the town, and in two flanking hills to the south. Here the enemy...sat firmly in position and no amount of frontal battle could dislodge him.8

The Royal Canadian Regiment launched a night attack on Tower Hill on 31 Jul after a six mile approach march followed by a hasty reconnaissance. The failure to secure the Start Line was also problematic, and after a delayed start the assault companies attacked into a steep ravine. Halted by heavy fire, the RCR were trapped at daybreak and left under a hot sun with no food or water. A withdrawal came only under the cover of darkness that night.

Also after last light on 1 Aug, The Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment launched an attack, this time with a proper reconnaissance, and moved from hill to hill arriving at dawn to attack Tower Hill.

...when the (Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment) was ordered to attack during the night of August 1, it was given a free hand to do the job in its own way. The Regiment, too, had learned a lesson and the new CO, Major A.A. Kennedy, was a mat to profit by experience.

Regalbuto was to be no buccaneering rush into the unknown - the sort of thing that had brought renown at Assoro, and disaster at Nissoria - but, as far as the CO could make it, this battle was to be a carefully calculated action. Kennedy started by sending long-distance patrols far to the east with orders to penetrate deeply into the enemy's flank and report his dispositions, and the best routes of approach. The CO himself, with his company commanders, then carried out a detailed reconnaissance, and laid the battle plans with care and caution. The operation was to be a wide right flank attack, but not a blind one. Nor would it be unsupported. The artillery FOOs were ordered to travel with the CO, and the mortar platoon was ordered to come along on foot, and manhandle its heavy weapons and ammunition over the five miles of the approach march.9

The companies moved over rough terrain, but the advance patrols were able to provide guides and the movement went smoothly with their assistance, as well as the battalion scouts. Both "A" and "B" Companies crested Mount Tiglio, the southern bulwark of the defences at Regalbuto, finding fresh weapons pits but no Germans. Three days of battle had possibly convinced the Germans no attacks would come from the south.

Major Kennedy realized as dawn broke that a premature attack would be disastrous. He gave his mortar crews time to establish themselves, allowed his company commanders time to assess the ground for the attack on Regalbuto, and permitted the FOOs to survey the terrain and report on likely enemy concentrations.

At noon on 2 Aug, "D" Company attacked across the broad valley as a diversion, firing from more than ten separate positions. "D" Company went to ground as planned and held the attention of the Germans. As the enemy exposed their weapons positions to fire on the company, 3-inch mortar fire and artillery was called down to neutralize them. "B" and "C" Companies were able to cross the valley practically unopposed and attacked up onto the heights opposite Mt. Tiglio. The heights were cleared within thirty minutes, capturing machine gun positions and driving the Germans off.

A patrol of the 48th Highlanders simultaneously entered Regalbuto itself, to find the enemy there had left.

By eight o'clock in the evening the (Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment) was in firm possession of the ridge. The last enemy stronghold on the road to Adrano had fallen.10

Aftermath

After the battle, the 1st Canadian Division continued the drive eastwards, down the beds of the Salso and Troina rivers. The 1st Canadian Brigade went into a rest area on 7 Aug. For the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment, according to regimental historian Farley Mowat,

The capture of Regalbuto was a fitting conclusion to an arduous apprenticeship. In twenty days the unit had been well blooded and hardened into a superlative machine for battle.11

For the inhabitants of the town, the battle had grimmer consequences:

When the Canadians entered Regalbuto on the heels of the occupying troops of the Malta Brigade, they came upon a scene of destruction far more extensive than any they had previously encountered in Sicily. The town had received a full share of shelling and aerial bombardment, and hardly a building remained intact. Rubble completely blocked the main thoroughfare, and a route was only opened when engineers with bulldozers forced a one-way passage along a narrow side-street. For once there was no welcome by cheering crowds, with the usual shouted requests for cigarettes, chocolate or biscuits. The place was all but deserted; most of the inhabitants had fled to the surrounding hills or the railway tunnels. They were only now beginning to straggle back, dirty, ragged and apparently half-fed, to search pitifully for miserable gleanings among the debris of their shattered homes.12

Tanks of the Three Rivers Regiment enter the remains of Regalbuto after the battle. LAC photos

Battle Honours

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

Image:1gif1bde.gif 1st Canadian Brigade

  • The Royal Canadian Regiment

  • 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, 1943-1945 (Queen's Printer, Ottawa, ON, 1957) p.146

  2. Ibid, p.146

  3. Mitcham, Samuel and Friedrich von Stauffenberg The Battle of Sicily: How the Allies Lost Their Chance for Total Victory (Orion Books, New York, NY, 1991), p.239

  4. Nicholson, Ibid, pp.147-148

  5. Nicholson, Ibid, p.147

  6. Mitcham, Ibid, p.239

  7. Mackay, A. Donald Gaudeamus Igitur "Therefore Rejoice" (Bunker to Bunker Books, Calgary, AB, 2005) ISBN 1894255534 pp.62-63

  8. Mowat , Farley. The Regiment (McClelland & Stewart Inc., Toronto, ON, 1955) ISBN 0771066945 (paperback edition) p.135

  9. Mowat, Ibid, p.132

  10. Nicholson, Ibid, p.152

  11. Mowat, Ibid, p. 132

  12. Nicholson, Ibid, p.152


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