Italy. November 1943. Sangro River.

Discussion in 'Italy' started by RJL, Jun 4, 2009.

  1. RJL

    RJL Senior Member

    Dear All,

    I had a relative who was killed on November 29th 1943 and is buried in Sangro River cemetery. Using Geoff's search engine I see that 17 soldiers of the Royal Irish Fusiliers (mostly 1st Bn) were killed that day.

    I would be greatful if anyone would share any knowledge they had on what was happening around that time.

  2. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    RJL -
    The Royal Irish Fusiliers were a vital part of 38th bde of the 78th Infantry Division and had landed by sea at Termoli some weeks before into areal mess with 16th Panzer Div being reinforced by the 1st Para Div - that battle was won and so the advance to the Sangro was next on the menu - and 78th Div finally crossed the Sangro by 24th November alongside the 8th Indian Div who went on to fu8ght around
    Mozzagrogna- the 78th took over again backed by the New Zealaders - who had just arrived in Italy - this was the start of the Bernhardt Line or winter line for the enemy which was strongly reinforced.

    The 78 Div then rested and the 1st Canadians went on to Ortona which was fought over the Christmas season.

    A fair book on that campaign is - "The Eighth Army in Italy 1943-45' by another Irishman Richard Doherty - ISBN - 1,8441,5637-0
    Your Local Library should be able to get it for you ...
  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    From Battleaxe Divsion by Ken Ford page 176

    German shelling continued unabated so that little rest was possible as the brigade prepared for the next day's offensive.
    The Royal Irish Fusiliers suffered particularly when a German self-propelled gun fired two shells into a gully in which two companies were sheltering.
    Nineteen men were killed outright , with a further twenty-three being injured.

    From the 78th Div History Algiers to Austria by Cyril Ray page 102

    up to the escarpment.....the Irish Fusiliers assembled at it's foot , where they were heavily shelled and suffered , among more than forty casulaties the loss - badly wounded - of Capt Lang , the battalion's MO since North Africa.
  4. RJL

    RJL Senior Member

    Thanks Tom & Owen for the info and reading recommendations. I just found out recently that a library near me has a copy of "Clear The Way" by Richard Doherty. I'm going to check it out and see if they've any others too.
  5. Condie

    Condie Member

    Hi All, Hi again Tom,
    RJL - what is Geoff's search engine?? Does it show those type of statistics?

    For reference: The 78th Division (Maj Gen V.Everlegh) was composed as below:-

    11th Infantry Brigade (Brig. E.E.E.Cass)
    2nd Lancashire Fusiliers, 1st Surreys, 5th Northamtons

    36th Infantry Brigade (Brig. B. Howlett)
    6th Royal West Kent, 5th The Buffs, 8th Argyle & Sutherland Highlanders

    38th (Irish) Infantry Brigade (Brig. N.Russell)
    6th Inniskillings, 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers, 2nd London Irish Rifles

    56th Reconnaissance Rgt, R.A.C; 17th, 132nd & 138th Field Rgts R.A.
    64th Anti-tank Rgt, R.A; 49th Light A.A rgt R.A;
    214th,237th, 256th Field Companies, R.E; 281st Field Park Company R.E;
    1st Kensingtons (M.G)

    Taken from the Mediterranean and Middle East Volume V Brig CJC Molony p.152
  6. RJL

    RJL Senior Member

  7. Condie

    Condie Member

    Hey Thanks mate, i'll check it out

    :)) G
  8. Davidrodger

    Davidrodger Junior Member

    Hi saw your post and think this website may be useful. Created by my uncles who have done many tours relating to the Italian campaign which their father served in. We have recently returned from Umbria in Italy having seen battle areas.
    Irish Brigade - Welcome...
    bexley84 likes this.

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