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

 

Termoli
 
 

Termoli 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, landed in the deep southern reaches of Italy in September 1943 and linked up with the American 5th Army beachhead at Salerno to north as the 1st Canadian Division advanced on Potenza in 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. In the meantime, the 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade found itself attached to the British 78th Division, itself tasked with an advance along the coastal highway as part of a "tidying up"phase by the Eighth Army.1 While the ultimate goal, even at this early date, was Rome, the lateral road running from Termoli was an important intermediate objective of both the 78th Division and the Canadian Division. The road linked Termoli - a port on the Adriatic - with Naples and crossed the axis of advance of the entire 8th Army.2

 

 

German Defences

 

Termoli, three miles north of the mouth of the Biferno River and near the junction of the coast road with Highway 87, was the anchor of the extreme left end of the German defensive line in Italy. It was nonetheless not strongly garrisoned, and on 30 September 1943, Lieutenant-General Richard Heidrich, commander of the 1st German Parachute Division, sent a platoon of Fallschirmjäger to reinforce the garrison - a single understrength company of railway troops and another company of medical troops. He lacked the authority to send stronger forces without permission from his corps commander, and the 10th Army was made aware of the security concern late on 1 October by General-der-Panzertruppen Traugott Herr, in command of the 76th Panzer Corps. In response to these concerns, the 16th Panzer Division, withdrawn into army reserve a few days earlier, was sent to the east coast on the afternoon of 2 October.

 

Commando Landing on Termoli

 

"The most concentrated Commando landing in Mediterranean operations" occurred at 02:15hrs on 3 October when a Special Service Brigade, including No. 40 Royal Marine Commando, went ashore at Termoli with orders to capture the town and prevent the demolition of the valuable harbour and port facilities. The 11th Brigade of the British 78th Infantry Division was sent up Highway No. 16 to link up with them. Within six hours, the surprise landing had achieved its goal, and the port and town were secured in an undamaged state, the 11th Brigade crossing the river near a ruined road bridge and forming a defensive perimeter around the town.

 

Over the next two days, the remaining brigades of the 78th Division (the 36th and 38th (Irish)) reinforced the bridgehead, while guns and tanks were pushed across the river as aircraft duelled for possession of the skies overhead. Two Royal Navy destroyers also assisted with offshore fire in support of enemy positions.

 

The enemy, as always, was quick to react to this new threat, and on 4 October, two battle groups of the 16th Panzer Division hurried down the west side of the Biferno River, and launched a two-pronged effort from the road fork at Palata. Kampfgruppe von Doering (79th Panzergrenadier Regiment) moved from the south through Guglionesi and Kampfgruppe Stempel (64th Panzergrenadier Regiment) made a wide left flanking movement towards the coastal road to the west of Termoli itself.

 

They attacked early on the 5th, and in a series of sharp infantry-tank thrusts drove the defenders back to the outskirts of Termoli itself and all but broke through to the vital junction of Highway No. 16 and the Larino road. The position of the Termoli force was precarious (at one stage, when the enemy was reported within "three cables" of the town, the Senior Naval Officer began preparing for an evacuation); for more than 36 hours it had been virtually without armour-only six tanks of the 3rd County of London Yeomanry (Sharpshooters), which was supporting the 11th Brigade, had been able to ford the rain-swollen Biferno. By mid-afternoon, however, the completion of a tank-bearing bridge enabled the remainder of the Sharpshooters to cross the river and enter the fray. Such was the situation when, shortly after 3:00 p.m., two squadrons of the Three Rivers Regiment arrived at Campomarino, a small village overlooking the right bank of the Biferno from Highway No. 16. On the night of 2-3 October Brigadier Wyman had been hurriedly ordered to place the Three Rivers under command of the 78th Division, as Eighth Army intelligence staffs gave warning of a probable armoured counterattack against the Termoli bridgehead. The long move from Manfredonia, where the regiment's tanks had just arrived by sea from Taranto, was made by forced stages over a route which followed many miles of muddy crosscountry trails.3

Terrain

 

The terrain at Termoli offered Canadian armour crews the best "tank country" of the war so far, with generally flat terrain and "attractive tactical possibilities (for) both the attack and the defence." Some "relatively high ground" facilitated stubborn German resistance, and while gullies blanketed with vines and olive groves could cover a friendly tank and infantry team, it "might also at the same time conceal hostile machine-guns or anti-tank weapons."

West of the broad Biferno flats the ground rose above Highway No. 87 in a low clay ridge, which was overlooked by the Piano della Croce, a long plateau about a mile wide stretching southward from Termoli and rising to a height of 1200 feet at Guglionesi. Along its western edge ran the secondary road from Termoli to Palata, passing through the village of San Giacomo about four miles inland. To sweep this double barrier from east to west and clear the San Giacomo road became the tasks of the Three Rivers Regiment. The next day (6 October) saw the 16th Panzer Division's supreme effort. The seizure of the eastern hinge-pin of the German line in Italy had caused concern at the highest enemy level. "The eyes of the whole Armed Forces High Command are on Termoli", the Tenth Army Operations Officer telephoned to his opposite number at Corps level late on the 4th, and added significantly, "The Führer wishes to be informed about the situation...." Vietinghoff's headquarters recorded: "The developments of the battle of Termoli are being watched at (Army Headquarters) with extreme suspense. "The attack is of considerable importance, and must succeed", the Army Commander told Herr. At the actual scene of operations the effect of this cumulative pressure appeared in von Doering's order of the 5th: "Termoli will be captured on 6 Oct." But Sieckenius had missed his chance by one day. By the evening of the 5th all three brigades of the 78th Division had joined the Special Service Brigade in the bridgehead, and with the timely reinforcement by the Canadian armour, the Divisional Commander, Major-General Vyvyan Evelegh, gave orders to go over to the offensive.4

 

Renewed Offensive

 

The three squadrons of The Three Rivers Regiment were employed separately on 6 October 1943, with varying degrees of success.

 

"C" Squadron

 

At 07:00hrs on 6 October, "C" Squadron of The Three Rivers Regiment, under command of the 3rd County of London Yeomanry, began its westward advance with the objective of cutting the lateral road, and securing the town of San Giacomo from the south. One battalion of the 36th Brigade (5th Battalion, The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment)) was ordered to follow the armour and consolidate any gains made. Heavy fire was met from an anti-tank screen placed in front of Guglionesi by the 79th Panzergrenadier Regiment. The British lost four tanks and the Canadians two, and the attack was halted by mid-morning short of the Croce plateau.

 

While unsuccessful, three soldiers were decorated for bravery under fire for the action. The citation of a Military Cross awarded to a troop commander reads:

On 6 October 1943 south of Termoli when his squadron was in action under command 3rd County of London Yeomanry, Lieutenant Wallace was in command of a troop when he was seriously wounded in the thigh and leg and his tank put out of action by enemy armour-piercing gunfire. While in  considerable pain and unable to get out of his tank he continued to throw smoke grenades until his crew could evacuate. By his coolness and presence of mind while seriously wounded and under heavy fire he undoubtedly saved his crew from further injury while evacuating their tank.

And for a Military Medal awarded to another tank commander:

On 6 October 1943, south of Termoli, when his squadron was in action under command 3rd County of London Yeomanry, Corporal Campbell's tank was repeatedly hit by armour piercing shells from (the) enemy and caught fire. Displaying great coolness and control, Corporal Campbell supervised the  evacuation of his crew, including one man wounded who he helped carry 100 yards to cover, and then returned for a seriously wounded British anti-tank gunner and Sergeant, who were both evacuated under heavy fire to safety.

And finally a second MM to a tank crewman:

On 6 October 1943, south of Termoli, when his squadron was in action under command 3rd County of London Yeomanry, the tank in which Trooper Collins was acting as Gunner Operator was put completely out of action by gunfire from enemy tanks. The Gunner was killed and the Troop Officer and driver seriously wounded, and the tank was burning. Trooper Collins, using skill and courage while under heavy fire from enemy tanks and small arms fire of enemy infantry dug in only 200 yards away, removed the wounded driver from the tank and dragged his wounded Troop Officer 50 yards to the shelter of another tank, and then returned and evacuated the driver, who died shortly afterwards. The coolness and bravery this soldier displayed undoubtedly saved the life of his Troop Leader and was a fine example to his comrades.5

"B" Squadron

 

During the left flanking movement of the 36th Brigade, "B" Squadron of The Three Rivers Regiment supported an attack by the 38th Brigade, attacking south-west from Termoli down the road toward San Giacomo. They also met fierce resistance, losing three tanks, but the way was cleared for an assault by the 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers (Princess Victoria's) and the 6th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. The regimental association of the Royal Irish Rifles notes the following:

Operating with the 78th Division at this stage was the 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade, and a troop of the Three Rivers Regiment was attached to the battalion. They were absolutely first-class in every attack, and there was not a building, haystack, or suspicious piece of ground that did not receive their whole-hearted attention whenever an opportunity came.6

The squadron's attack was described in the award citation of its commander, Major James R. Walker:

At Termoli on 6th September 1943, Major Walker was in command of "B" Squadron of his regiment ordered to support an attack by 1st Battalion, the Royal Irish Fusiliers on the high ground north of San Giacomo and enemy positions along the road from that point towards Termoli. Almost immediately after leaving the start line, opposition was encountered in the thick olive groves from enemy infantry with anti-tank guns and Mark III and IV tanks. One Sherman was knocked out and the attack slowed down. Major Walker, by skilfully manoeuvring his tanks in the closest cooperation with the leading companies, rapidly destroyed four enemy tanks and enabled the infantry to get into a large brick factory which was one of the principal enemy strong points.

During the subsequent advance to the high ground (Point 161), Major Walker's squadron knocked out two more Mark IV tanks and silenced machine gun posts, thus putting the leading companies on to the final objective. Subsequently, Major Walker assisted mopping up the position and remained forward until anti-tank guns had been established in position.

The skilful and offensive handling of the tank squadron by Major Walker was mainly responsible for the success of this attack and the low casualties caused by enemy small arms fire.
7

The Canadian official history notes that the Canadian tanks "skillfully supported the infantry on to the objective" and that a large number of Germans were killed, in addition to claims by the squadron that eight enemy tanks were destroyed in addition to many transport vehicles.

This well executed thrust was the key to success in the battle for Termoli. With the enemy's hold on San Giacomo broken the 36th Brigade resumed its attack from the left and mopped up disorganized pockets of resistance on the Piano della Croce. At 4:35 p.m. the 16th Panzer Division reported to Corps Headquarters: "Enemy attack in brigade strength has crushed exhausted left wing of Battle Group Doering .... Orders have been given to withdraw to the area north of Guglionesi."8

"A" Squadron

 

"A" Squadron of The Three Rivers, coming up from reserve on the morning of 6 October, was able to assist the Irish Brigade in their mission of extending and securing the extreme right flank. They advanced west from the town of Termoli, supporting the 2nd Battalion, London Irish Rifles, clearing ground between Highway 16 and the Torrente Sinarca two miles west. Several German machine-gun positions were destroyed and retreating enemy infantry was heavily punished.

 

Aftermath

 

At day's end, the Germans had been left thoroughly disorganized and in retreat, forced to withdraw well inland and further up the coast. The Three Rivers returned to divisional reserve the next day having lost 10 men killed or wounded, and five tanks destroyed or disabled.

Before the Regiment left the 78th Division the Commander of the Irish Brigade, Brigadier N. Russell, bestowed the brigade battle flag on Major J.R. Walker, commander of "B" Squadron. A warm tribute reached Brigadier Wyman from the 13th Corps Commander. "I have been speaking during the last two or three days to several of the units of the 78th Division and the S.S. Brigade which took part in the operations at Termoli", wrote General Dempsey. "Wherever I have been I have heard nothing but praise of the way in which Lt.-Col. Booth's regiment fought. There is no doubt that they played a very important part in bringing about the defeat of the 16th Panzer Division."9

Field-Marshal Kesselring, the Supreme Commander of German forces in Italy, paid a visit to the headquarters of the 16th Panzer Division on the evening of 7 October, just a day after the British and Canadian victory at Termoli, to help ascertain what had gone wrong for the German forces there. A month later, the German divisional commander left the division to enter the "Reserve of Higher Commanders" of the Armed Forces High Command.

 

Four Canadians were awarded bravery decorations for their part in the Termoli fighting. Major J.R. Walker, commanding "B" Squadron, and Lieutenant J.F. Wallace both received the Military Cross, while Corporal R.C. Campbell and Trooper J.W. Collins received Military Medals.

 

Tank crewmen of the 12th Canadian Tank Regiment (The Three Rivers Regiment) pose with the remains of a knocked out German PzKpfw IV at Termoli on 9 October 1943. From left to right, Lieutenant J.L. Jemmett, Trooper J.A. Reardon, Trooper R. Tremblay, and Lieutenant E. Stelfox. LAC photo

A tank crew of the 12th Canadian Tank Regiment (The Three Rivers Regiment) pose with their Sherman tank at Termoli on 15 October 1943. From left to right; Sergeant John Gallagher, Troopers Herb Easton, Bill Reid, Henry Brown and Frank Wurmlinger. LAC photo.

 

Battle Honours

 

The following Canadian unit was awarded the Battle Honour "Termoli" for participation in these actions:

 

Image:1tankbde.gif 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade

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

Notes

  1. McKay, Donald A. Gaudeamus Igitur "Therefore Rejoice" (Bunker to Bunker Books, Calgary, AB, 2005) ISBN 1894255534 p.77

  2. Nicholson, Gerald Official History of the Canadian Army in the Second World War: Volume II: The Canadians in Italy (Queen's Printer, Ottawa, ON, 1957) p.235

  3. Ibid, p.253. The source notes a "cable", a nautical term, is equivalent to six feet.

  4. Ibid

  5. Blatherwick, John and Hugh Halliday. Courage & Service: Second World War Awards to Canadians (Service Publications, Ottawa, ON) ISBN 1894581229

  6. London Irish Rifles Association website. Accessed online at http://www.londonirishrifles.com/history-2/significant-events/83-october-1943-termoli on 20 Feb 2013

  7. Blatherwick, John, Ibid

  8. Nicholson, Ibid

  9. Ibid p.255


© canadiansoldiers.com 1999-present