78th Division - Capture of Longstop, 22 - 26 April 1943

Discussion in 'Higher Formations' started by Gerry Chester, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. Gerry Chester

    Gerry Chester WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    78th Divison

    78th Divison

    Part of an ongoing process, the 78th Infantry (Battleaxe) Division's report on the capture of Longstop Hill, the gateway to Tunis, in April 1943.
     
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I have the 78th Divisional History.
    Any queries, I'll have a look, feel free to ask.
     
  3. Niccar

    Niccar WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    I have the 78th Divisional History.
    Any queries, I'll have a look, feel free to ask.

    any information concerning the landing in Bari of the 78th divisions there in September 1943

    many thanks donald
     
  4. Kieron Hill

    Kieron Hill Senior Member

    Hi Gerry,

    Just seen this post and remember that a veteran
    of the 78th Division had given me a copy of a
    BBC broadcast Titled "Battle Honours" "The 78th
    Division" In this broadcast there is a little bit that
    I thought you'd like

    "And Longstop Hill fell...not because of tanks or guns
    ....not because of the terrific Artillery barrage which
    I watched creeping up the slope of the Hill... No, it fell
    because a few hundred men with rifle and bayonet forced
    its surrender...because they charged up those death-
    swept slopes not once - but four times."

    Gerry this BBC broadcast is 3 pages in total if you would
    like a copy for your records send me a e mail.

    Cheers
    Kieron
     
  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    any information concerning the landing in Bari of the 78th divisions there in September 1943

    many thanks donald
    Hello Donald, this is what it has to say about Bari.
    No mention of a landing.
    Did you mean the landings at Termoli on October 3rd?

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Niccar

    Niccar WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Owen your reply was greatly appreciated, as I have seen referances to the 78th landing at Bari several times by other veterans and was wondering how I missed this
    as my recollection was I landed at Reggio de Calabria and was never seaborne again until it was all over incidently my regiment was the Kensingtons as mentioned on your
    page and was aware of the other landings at Taranto many thanks again donald
     
  7. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Donald,
    Am I reading your post correctly?
    You are a Veteran of 78th Div.
    Please tell us more.
    How long were you with them?
    From what dates?
    Ever been back to any of your former haunts?
    I'm off to Italy soon, any of your mates still resting there?
     
  8. Niccar

    Niccar WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Donald,
    Am I reading your post correctly?
    You are a Veteran of 78th Div.
    Please tell us more.
    How long were you with them?
    From what dates?
    Ever been back to any of your former haunts?
    I'm off to Italy soon, any of your mates still resting there?

    Owen

    You were reading correctly and I am a 78th div veteran I joined them in North Africa after the fighting there had finished and met my older brother who was in the East Surreys and had seen action there at Longstop Hill etc he asked a stupid question like what the ******* hell are you doing out here? he didn’t know that I had joined the army but knew I was slightly under age like many thousands of others that did the same thing of course from there to Sicily then on to sunny Italy and eventually Austria the campaigns are all well recorded and do not need any description by me
    not that I could anyway . In 2004 we went on holiday to Sorrento and I hired a car
    and we visited Cassino Cemetary the day was beautiful sunny and peaceful and
    there was nobody else there as we went up the steps I started to tremble and couldn’t
    get much farther than the first few rows of beautifully kept markers as my wife walked away to take some photographs I got to the end of the row and the tears came
    at the end of the different rows on the last marker the simple words just got me
    “A soldier of the second world war known only to God” our Battalions marker for no known graves is on the last colonnade on the left side of the ornamental lake
    At the top it simply reads 1st Battalion Princess Louise Kensington Regiment as we left my wife asked if I wanted to visit my cousin’s grave at Minturno Cemetery he fell
    crossing the Garigliano with the Royal Fusiliers he was an only child and it devastated my Aunt and Uncle I replied no I’ve had enough emotion for one day and during the whole day I refused to look up at the Monastery hope this doesn’t sound to depressing

    donald
     
    Owen likes this.
  9. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Donald,
    We'll be going to Minturno, do you want us to visit your cousin's grave?
    Can you tell me who he is?

    Thanks for your reply.
    So the Monastary at Cassino still haunts your memory?
     
  10. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Hi Donald

    As another 78 div man may I give you a hearty welcome to the site.

    I started off in North Africa and joined the 49th Light Ack Ack. They were eventually disbanded in December '44 when I was retrained in Rieti to be a "tankie" in the 4th Queen's Own Hussars, but that's another story :)

    We will talk more when we both have time.

    Cheers

    Ron

    Moderators.....a question...... Where is Donald's Veteran status ?

    ps
    Have just returned from six days in Prague and am catching up on my e-mails and numerous postings on various WW2 websites.
     
  11. Niccar

    Niccar WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Hi Donald

    As another 78 div man may I give you a hearty welcome to the site.

    I started off in North Africa and joined the 49th Light Ack Ack. They were eventually disbanded in December '44 when I was retrained in Rieti to be a "tankie" in the 4th Queen's Own Hussars, but that's another story :)

    We will talk more when we both have time.

    Cheers

    Ron

    Moderators.....a question...... Where is Donald's Veteran status ?

    ps
    Have just returned from six days in Prague and am catching up on my e-mails and numerous postings on various WW2 websites.

    Owen

    I really appreciate your offer to visit my cousins resting place at the Minturno War Cemetery the entry below are the details supplied by the CWGC

    Name: CARTER, HENRY WILLIAM
    Initials: H W
    Nationality: United Kingdom
    Rank: Fusilier
    Regiment/Service: Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)
    Unit/Text: 9th Bn
    Age: 20
    Date of Death: 19/01/1944
    Service No: 14307895
    Grave Reference No V111, H, 13.

    Many thanks in anticipation donald


    Ron

    First a sincere apology we have already commented with each other on Peter Gs site and in my complete ignorance being rather new to computers I was under the impression that if you joined another site you had to have a different joining name
    you would know me as niccar on Peters site and I look forward to many more trips down memory lane with you

    donald
     
  12. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Ron

    First a sincere apology we have already commented with each other on Peter Gs site and in my complete ignorance being rather new to computers I was under the impression that if you joined another site you had to have a different joining name
    you would know me as niccar on Peters site and I look forward to many more trips down memory lane with you

    donald

    Donald

    Non fa niente, as we used to say in Italy, or, as Bill Shakespeare would say "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet " :rolleyes:

    I've also been known to use different aliases on different sites, my most common one being "ex4thhussar", so I know the problem.

    The important thing is that you have arrived on a first class site and I look forward to seeing further postings from you.

    Ciao !

    Ron
     
  13. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Donald,
    Your cousin is now on my ever growing list of graves to visit and photograph.
    I'll post a photo on here on my return.

    Cheers
    Owen
     
  14. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Donald/niccar.
    Here is a photo of your cousin's grave.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Niccar

    Niccar WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Donald,
    We'll be going to Minturno, do you want us to visit your cousin's grave?
    Can you tell me who he is?

    Thanks for your reply.
    So the Monastary at Cassino still haunts your memory?
    Hi Owen
    Many thanks for the photograph of my cousin Harrys marker stone it means so much to me as I said he was an only child and I dont think my Aunt and Uncle ever got to see where he was interred they both passed away many years ago so many thanks once again and best wishes

    niccar
     
  16. RickGlanvill

    RickGlanvill Junior Member

    Hello all.

    I'm researching the war experiences of my grandfather, Sgt. Percy Boddington, known as ‘Skip’. He very rarely spoke about this period himself.

    He was a driver with the 78th infantry ROAC and although we were aware that he served in North Africa and Italy, we have never known any of the detail.

    I’m hoping to shed some light through this forum and would appreciate some pointers.

    I’m London based and visit TNA quite regularly.

    Thanks

    Rick
     
  17. Peccavi

    Peccavi Senior Member

    I have taken an interest in Longstop since a Coldstream Guardsman friend of my Father told me that they had taken the Hill, handed over to the Americans who lost it and then the Guardsmen were turn around to re-take it again - one can imagine their indignation. But that was the earlier time. It was later surrendered to the Germans again.

    I have the book "Bloody Road to Tunis" and although the 5th Buffs and 6th West Kents 1st East Surreys were heavily involved. The taking of the summit was down to the 8th Argylls and the leadership of Major Jack Anderson who shot and bayoneted his way to the top - only four officers and 30 men reached the summit out of 300 Argylls at the start. Anderson got the VC for this action but regretably was killed soon after.

    Unless I missed something can't see anything of this in the link report.

    Anyway I would have thought that the book I refer to (by David Rolf) would help put everything into context.
     
  18. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce

    Welcome to the forum Rick. My father also served with the 78th Div. Have you any photos you would like to post?

    Note to mods: do you think this should be moved to the 78th British Div (Battleaxe )thread?

    Lesley
     
  19. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    A couple of photos of Longstop that I took last week - I didn't get the chance to climb up here as my major interest was in the area behind: Djebel Tanngoucha, Djebel Bettiour, Kef El Tior, Pt 622 and the village of Heidous, where my father and his comrades spent a difficult April 1943.

    best wishes
     

    Attached Files:

  20. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Hello all.

    I'm researching the war experiences of my grandfather, Sgt. Percy Boddington, known as ‘Skip’. He very rarely spoke about this period himself.

    He was a driver with the 78th infantry ROAC and although we were aware that he served in North Africa and Italy, we have never known any of the detail.

    I’m hoping to shed some light through this forum and would appreciate some pointers.

    I’m London based and visit TNA quite regularly.

    Rick

    Rick,


    Hello and welcom to the forum.


    Regards
    Tom
     

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