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

 

Sanfatucchio

Sanfatucchio was a Battle Honour granted for actions during the fighting at the Trasimene Line in June 1944 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 Germans successfully withdrew more than 100 miles north, to the Gothic Line running from Pisa to Rimini and barring the way to the Po Valley. The defensive works on the line were unfinished, and the Germans intended to buy time by manning incomplete defences further south. The Albert-Frieda Line centred on Lake Trasimene (Lago Trasimeno in Italian)."3

The 8th Army began its advance on 21 June. The 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade was tasked with supporting the 4th and 78th Divisions as they attacked over two natural axes of attack, Highway 71 and a secondary road along the Tiber River.


The Trasimene 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)

Sanfatucchio

The commander of the 13th Corps, Lieutenant-General Sidney C. Kirkman, realized a full-scale attack would be needed to move the Germans from the Trasimene Line. Captured enemy documents stated the Germans' intent to stand firm on the line and permit an orderly withdrawal to the Gothic Line.4 Kirkman committed his reserves and ordered the 4th Division under Major-General A.D. Ward with the 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade to move up left of the 78th Division. The Ontario Regiment was placed temporarily under the command of the 78th Division while the 4th moved into the centre of the corps front opposite Vaiano. Early on the 21st, two squadrons of the Ontario regiment's tanks went into action in support of two battalions of the 38th (Irish) Brigade.5

The operation began at 0400 hours June 21st, a fair, cool morning. At 1917 hours, "B" Squadron was established on the west side of Sanfatucchio. In spite of their orders, the Germans did not offer very strenuous resistance. The infantry mopped up the town and turned their prisoners over to the guardianship of the tanks. The town was cleared by 1130 hours and the advance moved on to the northwest.

Beyond Sanfatucchio, enemy resistance stiffened. The advance came under heavy mortar and shellfire. Lieutenant Hopkins and Corporal Toye had their tanks knocked out by an anti-tank gun. Somewhat displeased by the belligerence of this gun, Lieutenant Hopkins was successful in directing artillery fire upon it, and it was satisfactorily destroyed. But the toll of the Ontario's tanks was high. Within a rather short time "B" Squadron had only seven tanks in operating order.

"A" Squadron, with the (6th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers), was moving up the right flank of the advance and by 1030 hours had rached Carraia, northeast of Sanfatucchio, and midway between the highway and the lake. An objectionable anti-tank gun 1,500 yards to the northwest was deftly written off by the 392nd Battery. With the able assistance of the artillerymen, enough of the resistance to the advance was wiped out to let the tanks and infantrymen move forward again.

The advance was continued towards Pucciarelli, with "B" Squadron edging in from the left and "A" Squadron from the right. One of "A" Squadron's tanks was knocked out just before the town was reached. Lieutenant T.A. McIver seized the initiative and pushed on through the town to consolidate a line across the railway tracks toward the lake shore. The position was held for the night while the town was being mopped up.6

The Canadian Official History differs with the account above by the Ontario Regiment, stating that Sanfatucchio was cleared only "after extremely bitter hand-to-hand fighting" by the infantry.7 The Ontario history identifies them as the 2nd Battalion, London Irish Rifles. The War Diary of the 38th (Irish) Brigade has the following entry on 21 June:

0800 Zero hour for attack by 2 LIR on Sanfatucchio. There was considerable resistance from this village, which was the enemy main defence line and, as was afterwards found out, he had been ordered to hold for three days at all costs.

The attack by 2 LIR supported by B Squadron CAR was completely successful. Heavy fighting took place with fierce exchanges of small arms fire. Most of the opposition came from the west edge of the town. 36 PoWs were taken in all, coming from I Bttn 755 IR, I and II Bttns 754 IR..

2 LIR consolidated their positions after clearing up the western edge of the village and the cemetery at San Felice 405895.

Troop of M 10s (released by 11 Brigade) now going to B Squadron 11 CAR.

A counter attack by about a company came in on the left of the London Irish at about 1625 hrs. The fighting took place mainly in the cemetery area and was successfully repulsed by E Coy.

The bridge at 408920 was captured intact and steps taken by 17 Field Regiment to ensure that it would not be destroyed by the enemy DF.
8

The history notes that German counter-attacks failed to regain the eastern end of their forward line. The Ontario Regiment history mentions that the LIR were "strongly counterattacked" and that the attack was "beaten off with heavy loss to the enemy."9

By evening on 23 June, the left flank of the 78th Division had been taken over by the 4th Division between Vaiano and Chiusi, and preparations for an attack on the 24th were completed. Two battalions of the 38th (Irish) Brigade stepped off on the morning of the 24th to the left of Highway 71. The Ontario Regiment once again provided armour suppor, tasked with protecting both flanks of the advance from Pucciarelli.10 "C" Squadron supported the Royal Irish Fusiliers in their attack on Pescia while the 5th Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment of the 11th Brigade sent a company on the right, with a troop of "A" Squadron in support.11

As the Fusiliers neared Pescia, German tanks attacked from a collection of farmhouses known as Case Ranciano, on the left flank.12 "A" Squadron, operating left of the highway, made first contact with the enemy. Incredibly, a PzKpfw V "Panther" was knocked out and another damaged, and within a few minutes a third Panther was destroyed.

This engagement produced one of the most remarkable pieces of gunnery in the Italian campaign. The Shermans were outgunned by the Panthers, but when a "post-mortem" was held, it was found that the gun on one Panther had been burst open. Shards of the barrel were curled back like the skin of a banana; the Ontarios had placed one well-directed and fortunate shot right in the muzzle of the gun.13

The remaining tanks withdrew while "C" Squadron continued its advance with the Royal Irish Fusiliers to Pescia and Case Ranciano.14 The two forward troops were attacked by a trio of PzKpfw IV tanks approaching from Ranciano, to the west. Opening fire at 500 yards range, one enemy tank was knocked out and another damaged, forcing the last to withdraw. The village was cleared by 11:00hrs. "A" Squadron meanwhile encountered more tanks, losing one Sherman to enemy action. Anti-tank guns of the 392nd Battery drove the German armour off. "C" Squadron continued on with the infantry west from Pescia to Ranciano, which was secured by 16:00hrs. It was there that the third Panther tank that they had encountered earlier was discovered, in woods left of the village. It too was quickly knocked out. In recognition of the day's fighting, the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the 8th Army, Lieutenant-General Sir Oliver Leese, wrote to the Commanding Officer of the Ontario Regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel R.L. Purves:

I send to you and the squadron concerned my warmest congratulations on the fine engagements at Pescia and Ranciano, in which you knocked out a number of Panthers and Mark IV tanks. Please congratulate squadrons concerned.15

The Ontario Regiment had suffered 7 killed and 18 wounded in four days of fighting. That evening the 78th Division crossed the Pescia River astride the highway. That the German 334th Infantry Division had put up stubborn resistance as ordered was attested to by the fact many of the 200 prisoners taken across its front had been wounded.16

Battle Honours

The following Canadian unit was awarded the Battle Honour "Sanfatucchio":

Image:1tankbde.gif 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade

  • 11th Canadian Armoured Regiment (The Ontario 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. Ibid

  4. History of the 11th Canadian Armoured Regiment (The Ontario Regiment) in the Field, 1939-1945 (n.p., n.d.) accessed online at the following URL
    http://localhistory.oshawalibrary.ca/pdfportal/pdfskins/11th/pg_0001.toc.php?book=11th via the Oshawa Public Library website 24 May 2015

  5. 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.467

  6. Schragg, Lex History of The Ontario Regiment 1866-1951 pp.217-218

  7. Nicholson, Ibid, p.467

  8. Transcribed version of online image of 38 (Irish) Brigade War Diary page, accessed at www.irishbrigade.uk.co website 24 May 2015:
    http://www.irishbrigade.co.uk/pages/original-war-diaries---1942-to-1945/war-diaries-of-38-irish-brigade/war-diaries-of-38-irish-brigade---1944/june-1944-transcript.php

  9. Schragg, Ibid, pp.217-218

  10. Nicholson, Ibid

  11. Schragg, Ibid, p.218.

  12. Nicholson, Ibid

  13. Schragg, Ibid, pp.218-219

  14. Nicholson, Ibid

  15. Schragg, Ibid, p.219

  16. Nicholson, Ibid

 


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