Monte Grande Bologna 1st Infantry Division Anniversary

Discussion in 'Italy' started by Uncle Target, Nov 24, 2023.

  1. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Mist over Dartmoor

    Book posted on #80:

    2nd Battalion The Sherwood Foresters 1939-45
    by Captain John W A Masters

    Captain Masters was in this action, mentioned bottom of page 83



    M Calderaro 101244 sketch.jpg

    My sketch map showing Purple Heart Lane and Tank House
    An interpretation of the 2 Foresters description.
    Dates of events on Castellaro and Cerere
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2024
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  2. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Mist over Dartmoor

    It might now be prudent to check that we have War Diary and History pages from all the units in 1 Div and their neighbours and if possible, the enemy.
    In an attempt to record a more diverse opinion of the activities in Monte Grande Sector during this period.
    On their left flank was the American 85th Div, and to the right the Irish Brigade (78 Div).

    Three Field Regiments were in Direct Support backed up by an AGRA

    6 Army Group RA - The Royal Artillery 1939-45
    6th Army Group Royal Artillery - Wikipedia
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2024
  3. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Mist over Dartmoor

    Last edited: Apr 11, 2024
  4. Tim Lee

    Tim Lee Member

    I have his excellent book as my Dad was in 4 platoon at Monte Grande , there is a resemblance to Pt Donald Barr, there was also a Ben Borley in the platoon (Bor ?) Regards, Tim
     
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  5. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Mist over Dartmoor

    Tim,
    Not sure if Stu has followed this up or have I missed the reply?

    A name to face is always of interest.

    Few of the photos contain named individuals who might turn up in other unit diaries.

    A brief explanation as to who they are would be useful to place them in context.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2024
  6. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Hi Tim, no, I've not had the chance to email John regarding his latest version of his brilliant book that is A4 size. I would like it. If my memory is correct over numerous years, then I've given about three copies away. Might be two? One to my cousin via my Uncle Eric, who's Farther was my Grandfather who served in The 2/7 Mx Regiment throughout the Italian Campaign. The other was given to a lovely chap on this board. In this hobby it's not best rushed for any book. I did send John a cheque last year for a copy of his latest version, but it a took a age for him to get it.

    I'm easy for when I get his latest version. Excuse the French Tim, and all. The book is the dog's what's it. When you say 4 Platoon, which Coy? My book has fallen to bits after much use. Did you ever go to any of the reunions? I had the honour of going to two. Year after year I think.

    Chris, I will jog on with what I'm doing. Sure that is okay with yourself? I'm only at the end of November 44. Not even started on the other Brigades that was attached. Will try to include who supported which units. One last thing Tim, I'm sure I've some photos of Pte Donald Barr? Probably. I'm sure I once had the honour of meeting a relative of him. Not convinced, has time has past by. May be his daughter?

    Need to show the platoon photo again with my Grandfather with a fag in his left hand sat behind a machine gun. I do have most of the names that are in that photo. Some old boy sent it to John, many, many years ago. That list of chaps is not shown in John's book that I can remember?

    Edit. Not in its original form.

    R,
    Stu.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2024
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  7. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Mist over Dartmoor

    Jog on Stu, might take a break for a while.
     
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  8. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    From my last post Tim. You will have seen this photo in John's book. What you will not of seen is the original that follows listing the names. Unless John has added it in his latest version. This photo has been posted in the past, but not the original that was sent to John many years ago. Not sure when. If I never buy a book again, then I would like he's latest version.
    PDFtoJPG.me-1 (1).jpg
    TimberWoodPhotoList.jpg

    Its not Frank Innes. It's my Grandfather. I was given this photo many years ago from my Aunty who kept hold of it for years. Even my Mum never knew about. It was taken in Tivoli, after the Anzio Campaign. For what ever reason, there was not a date nor place on it. He did with others.

    Edit. Its not Jackie Johnson SGT. Its My Grandfather. Darky Martin is to his right.. He was known for making a Vickers machine gun sing.

    Will jog on later regarding 2 RS in time.
    R,
    Stu.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2024
  9. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    I was not thinking about showing the War diaries of 2 Foresters for the month of November until I had a look through them. The sketch maps are rather good, even more so for C Coy 2/7Mx.:smug:. I do tend to say away from sketch maps. Each to there own. Got distracted I know. Seems to be the same Adjutant that was at Anzio. Not checked. His handwriting is somewhat more legible & (still no typewriter) used on the main pages. Chris, you will like these maps. I do. Appx's to follow.
    2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0092.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0093.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0094.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0095.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0096.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0097.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0098.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0099.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0100.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0101.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0102.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0103.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0104.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0105.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0106.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0107.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0108.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0109.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0110.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0111.JPG

    Regards.
    Stu.
     
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  10. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Here are the Appx's and there are a few. Can anyone provide a decent copy of the map Italy 1/25,000 Sheet 88 III SW please? Also, map sheet 87 III SW same scale. The 2 RS don't have them has I can see. They do have about half-a-dozen in one month. 174970 Lt. T(Temporary) Capt. Masters JWA was originally from the Warwick's. The Adjutant was 172314 Lt. T/Capt. Marking ME. Taken on strength Aug 41. He's seen a bit, and been around. I really do like the sketch map 'C' Coy 2/7 Mx MMG DF (Defensive Fire) & Fixed Line Tasks. Is anyone willing to take the time, and put it on the map that its from? I would much appreciate it from my point of view. That's a hint to Frank seeing he has much time on his hands these days.;) Frank's maps are rather good.

    The sketch map on file 132 gives much detail. Perhaps someone else might be able to do the same? Not had the chance to read all of these at the moment. Will show the rest in my next post along what's left of the 2RS.

    Regards,
    Stu.


    2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0112.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0113.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0114.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0115.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0116.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0117.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0118.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0119.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0120.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0121.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0122.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0123.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0124.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0125.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0126.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0127.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0128.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0129.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0130.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0131.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0132.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0133.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0134.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0135.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0136.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0137.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0148.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0149.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0150.JPG
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2024
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  11. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0132.JPG
    TRACE SHOWING ENEMY POSITIONS & ESTIMATED ORDER OF BATTLE ON 1 DIV FRONT PERIOD UNDER REVIEW 3-13th NOV. SCALE 1/25,000. I'm puzzled. How do they stich four maps together and come up with this sketch map whilst in the field? Scale 1/25,000 SHEETS 87 II SE, 88 III SW, 98 I NE & 99 IV NW. I can see 354 Infantry Division coming in from the East, may be NE, and 98 Division just above them. I PARA DIV further north. I'm thinking its the 334 Infantry Division. 334 Fusilier Bn, 754 Grenadier Regiment, 755 Grenadier Regiment, 756 Grenadier Regiment & the 334 Artillery Regiment. This Division was virtually destroyed in Tunisia; reformed. 98 Grenadier Division: 94 Fusilier Bn, 267 Grenadier Regiment, 274 Grenadier Regiment, 276 Grenadier Regiment & 198 Artillery Regiment. Source for the above: Page 458 GERMAN ORDER OF BATTLE.. From Salerno to the Alps 1943-1945 A History of the Fifth Army By Lt. Col. Chester G. Starr. Infantry Journal Press. Here are the remaining Appx's from the 2 Foresters. A shed load. A page is missing.:oops:

    If I had the inclination, and the time, then I would add to Master's book. Not likely.

    Regards,
    Stu.
    2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0132.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0150.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0151.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0152.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0153.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0154.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0156.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0157.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0158.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0160.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0161.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0162.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0163.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0164.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0165.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0166.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0167.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0168.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0169.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0170.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0171.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0172.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0173.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0174.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0175.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0176.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0177.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0178.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0180.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0181.JPG 2_Sherwood_Foresters_Nov_44_0182.JPG
     
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  12. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Mist over Dartmoor

    Thanks Stu you have been busy!
    Need time to go through these latest posts will come back later in the week.
     
  13. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Carrying on from page 246. Was looking at a A5 book that I bought some time ago that's been on the shelf for a while. It do's not have many pages, 105 in total. HERTFORDSIRE FIELD GAZETTE ITALIAN CAMPAIGN AUG-1944 - JAN-1945. You would not think that such a small book would give much detail. I think it's fabulous. My understanding is that it was put together on the 29th June, 1945 by G.W.H.Peters. Lt. Col. More likely that its the date of the preface. More reading Stuart.

    Although the odds had been been heavily against the Royals, the loss of the positions on Monte Castellaro was a bitter pill; and it was little comfort to reflect that the difficulty in getting supplies 1 up to this precarious forward position had become so great that, in the words of a Divisional Staff Officer, (what's is name)? " it is doubtful if troops could have been maintained there for many more weeks." My own words here about what Richard Whitfield had to say in his book on page 222: It's somewhat disingenuous to say " The Royal Scots had been caught with there pants down and where taken out of the line in (DISGRACE) and given a month's (intensive training). They where confined to their training area (and not allowed to visit Florence or any other town)". More like they needed rest, & refit (sod all of them left)! What would he thought of the 2 Foresters, & 1 Herts? I'm guessing he read all of the Divisional History for this period, and clocked the battle casualties that I posted earlier? One of the most stupid statements I've ever read in any book. By-the-way, he has used the maps from the divisional history. I move on with my slight rant over.
    The Royal Scots detachment at Casa Nuova held out stoutly. They were still there on Thursday, the last day of November, while​
    counter-attacks of the Foresters were being launched. That day Lieutenant Renfrew was sending

    1 The supply difficultry had been more formidable than anyone had ever anticipated. One of the Royal Scots Officers who took​
    over at Castellaro wrote: " On the first day I saw these positions I asked if we could have some wire to strengthen them, but all we could get was a couple of coils of Dannert." By ironic coincidence, the two coils arrived at Castellaro on a mule while the Germans were in act of launching there attack. Which officer? The War diaries may give a answer? These will follow in time.

    ITALY: THROUGH THE GOTHIC LINE 247
    back a message to Royal Scots HQ asking that his ammunition be replenished. Late that night the Reconnaissance Regiment sent forward a patrol from Morzolina who reported that fighting was still going on in the vicinity. Brigade HQ ordered a patrol to go out from another battalion (probably 1 Herts, may be 2 Foresters) to relieve Casa Nuova, but they failed to locate it in the darkness at a time when fighting had died down. Three separate parties were sent out by the Royal Scots themselves and the depressing news was brought back before dawn on Friday, 1st December, the enemy had managed to set on fire the house and barn. Which house, and barn? This was the beginning of the end for Lt. Renfrew and his men. Although they had [been given explicit permission from Divisional level "] to withdraw if in danger of being surrounded," they fought on to to the last in the hope that the situation on Castellaro would be restored.

    XII
    LAST DAYS IN THE GOTHIC LINE​
    The Corps Commander exerted pressure on the 1st Division to make another effort to retake Castellaro: but it was pointed out to him that " the troops there would again be left in a tactically unsound position with the enemy looking into their left flank." General Kirkman then agreed that " the requisite condition for launching a new attack on Castellaro was that it should be in conjunction with a parallel move forward of the formation on the left" - a move which the ( Americans) refused to undertake. My own words here: why would the 1st Division go out again and have there middle finger sticking out creating a salient? Not likely. We have lost enough thank you very much. But that is not the full story of Castellaro. After the Germans had taken it they realised that what had been sauce for the goose now became sauce for the gander, and any troops they might put permanently on Castellaro would be under the clear observation of the British on Monte Grande. It was well known at (XIII Corps HQ that Castellaro was a tactically unsound position; and it was only for
    "political" reasons [since the Americans had originally taken the place] that it was not designated an Outpost Zone where, in the words of the Divisional Commander, "troops if faced with superior forces should have permission to withdraw at their own discretion, imposing as much delay on the enemy as possible, their most important task being to get back information of the strength and direction of the enemy attack." My own words here: they was used has a recce regiment is my thoughts, and paid the price for political reasons. Rather sad if you ask me. Someone had to do it.

    Here are the war diaries of the 2RS for the month of November, 44. I'm not sure if the remaining pages are needed from Augustus Muir's book? If any would like me to carry-on with them, then say so. In the Monte Grande area, the Royal Scots had the highest casualties in the Division. It must also be mentioned that 66 Brigade suffered the most of all four Brigades from Florence to Monte Grande. The Appx's will follow in time.

    Regards,
    Stu.
    2_Royal_Scots_Nov_44_0001.jpg 2_Royal_Scots_Nov_44_0002.jpg 2_Royal_Scots_Nov_44_0003.jpg 2_Royal_Scots_Nov_44_0004.jpg 2_Royal_Scots_Nov_44_0005.jpg 2_Royal_Scots_Nov_44_0006.jpg 2_Royal_Scots_Nov_44_0007.jpg 2_Royal_Scots_Nov_44_0008.jpg 2_Royal_Scots_Nov_44_0009.jpg 2_Royal_Scots_Nov_44_0010.jpg 2_Royal_Scots_Nov_44_0011.jpg 2_Royal_Scots_Nov_44_0012.jpg 2_Royal_Scots_Nov_44_0013.jpg 2_Royal_Scots_Nov_44_0014.jpg 2_Royal_Scots_Nov_44_0015.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2024
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  14. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    I've been having a think if I should continue with the last few pages of Muir's book? I will probably do so if only for the dates of when they left the Italian Campaign, thinking that the Division would probably be back in Italy to see the end of the campaign after much needed rest, and refit? The Division ended up being Policemen between the Arabs, and the Jews for another long period of time (the stuck division again)! What a sorry end to a fine division. Nothing to do with us! What are we doing here? Lets get the hell out of here. At least they had the time to put together two brilliant divisional histories for the twelve months in the Italian Campaign if doing nothing else.:):D.

    In the diaries of 2RS there is eight, may be nine maps. September, & October. Two for sure in the latter. I've managed to source four that are in the former that are in a scanned version. Gary Tankard copied all of the diaries of 2RS that I've got. Maps are tricky to copy.

    In the month of October: here are the maps. 1. VARIGNANE SUPERIORE SECOND EDITION SHEET 88 III S.W.
    2. FONTANELICE SECOND EDITION SHEET 99 IV N.W.

    For what ever reason, these maps can only be found in the Jock's war diaries. Not in 11 LF (Lancashire Fusiliers) and 1 Herts. Will need to check if any are in any of the other battalions of 2, and 3 Infantry Brigades.

    Edit: I don't have any of these three HQ Brigade diaries for this period! If Gary has managed to copy them, I would much like all?

    Regards,
    Stu.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2024
  15. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    248 THE FIRST OF FOOT​

    And if it had thus been designated, actions on Castellaro, in which troops of the 1st Division suffered severely, (would never-and need-have taken place.)1
    The Royal Scots were preparing to send out further reconnaissance patrols over Castellaro on the night of Friday, 1st December,​
    when they received orders to hand over to the 1 Herts (1st Battalion) of the Hertfordshire Regiment. Not looked how many days they where on on Castellaro has yet. There are two other books that cover the 1 Herts from the one I mentioned in a earlier post: 1. CAP BAP BADGE The Story of Four Battalions of The Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment and The Hertfordshire (TA) 1939-1947 R.H. Medley. 2. The Story of The Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment (The 16th Regiment of Foot) VOLUME II 1914-1958. Compiled by the Royal Anglian Regiment (Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire) Lt, Col T.J. Barrow, D.S.O., Major V.A. French & J. Seabrook, Esq. Before dawn the relief had been completed and the battalion was moving to the head of Western valley, a track parallel to the Boston Byway. In what had become known as ( the Butlin Holiday Camp), dug-in bivouacs had been made and shelters had been scooped out of the hillside. Some holiday camp, the British being sarcastic. Taken from The Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire) 1919-1953.

    CCF19032016_0026 (2).jpg

    After a couple of nights there the Royals were sent on a long journey south to Vallombrosa, some fifteen miles east of Florence. There, they spent several weeks training and reorganising. Part of the Battalion was at Torre a Monte, and headquarters was established at the Villa Grottanelli. It was at these locations that the Jocks had their Christmas dinner. On Christmas Day the Brigade Commander ( Brig.
    M. Redmayne, DSO.) visited the Battalion and announced that by the last day of the year they would be back at the Monte Grande sector, occupying positions at Frassineto, a little south of Monte Cerere. See map above.
    Although their positions were unfamiliar, the Jocks had the same struggle under heavy loads over ground that now frozen where it​
    had previously been deep in mud. Over the Monte Grande hills snow lay four inches deep, with drifts of four feet in places. The relief was completed about three hours before the Old Year came to to an end; and as dawn broke on that Monday, 1st January 1945, the Jocks looked down from the heights of Frassineto upon a white countryside over which German troops were dispersed in locations where they had done their best to conceal themselves, their weapons, and their stores. Muir has not mentioned who they relieved less 'A' Coy of 2 RS. I read it has 2 Foresters who had only been in the line for [FOURTEEN] days! See page 166-167 from the divisional history. Also, see from the Divisional History Appendix 'A' SECTION II BATTLE CASUALTIES- DEFENCE of "MONTE GRANDE"
    SECTOR 2 NOVEMBER 1944 TO 19 JANUARY 1945

    1 In the Monte Grande area, the Royal Scots had the highest casualties in the Division. Mentioned in a earlier post. In that earlier​
    post I think I may have mentioned that 2 RS suffered the most between Florence to Monte Grande of 66 Brigade. It was the 1 Herts. Total all ranks 338 which is on page 145. Will edit if needed? Clock the figures of 1 Division Attached Troops Under Command. 566 wounded OR's. That's nearly two thirds of a Infantry Battalion. Nothing left apart from the HQ and pencil-pushers, I mean (Admin).

    166 & 167..jpg

    146 & 147..jpg

    ITALY: THROUGH THE GOTHIC LINE 249
    By this time both the men of the 1st British Division and those of the German Parachute Division, who had barred the way to the​
    Bologna supply route, had been issued with winter clothing. Their white smocks made them less conspicuous as they moved on that white landscape. Officers and men were glad of their string vests, scarfs, heavy sweaters, and windproof jackets. There had ( been no issue of special boots) for this campaign in the snow and at times the Jock's chief preoccupation was to keep his feet warm. Most men found that to wrap a sack over their boots helped to ward off the intense cold. It was the duty of all platoon commanders to see that they paid special attention to their feet once every day-an irksome task, particularly for a man coming off a long spell of duty, when all he wanted was to crawl into his waterproof kapok sleeping-bag. Thanks to the care of junior commanders (not a single case) of frostbite was reported while the Royal Scots were on the Monte Grande heights. I'm finding that hard to believe.
    Back at Vallombrossa, Lt. Col. Campbell had left the Battalion and it had temporarily been commanded by Major J.H.A.C.​
    Crawford, Second-in-Command throughout. Now at Frassineto the troops were met by their new C.O., Lt. Col. R. Delacombe, D.S.O., M.B.E., who had recovered from the wound he had received while commanding the 8th Battalion of The Royal Scots in Normandy. For this experienced and resourceful officer there was unfortunately no chance to lead his new Battalion into action against the enemy, and it was a trying experience for him to be engaged in static warfare, with the certain knowledge that, for a long time to come, there could be no large offensive action or even an opportunity to put in a company against an enemy position.
    Battalion mortars were more in evidence than they had been for many weeks. Recce patrols went out to locate minor strong-points,​
    and map references were transmitted to the commander of the mortar platoon. One point, Penzla, below the Frassineto spur, gave a good deal of trouble and was indeed to be a nuisance during their entire tour of duty. There were times when patrols had to turn back because

    250 THE FIRST OF FOOT

    of deep snowdrifts and the steep frozen sides of the wadis. My own words here: The Wadis are not a nice place to be in, you can just about put up with them whilst the heavens have opened for a long period of time whilst you are in them like the division did in the Anzio Campaign. It must of been hell not knowing if you was about to fall in one whilst they was covered in snow. One is walking blind, which is not cricket at all. Must of been like being in a minefield. Even at dusk and the half-light of dawn it was difficult, on that white glistening landscape, to creep up undetected to an enemy post. So that the troops on the Monte Grande hills should not be taken by surprise there came into use something quite new to the Jocks in Italy: this was artificial "moonlight", created by searchlights throwing their rays on low cloud, which reflected a dim glow over the countryside. Which smart chap came up with this idea? Anti-personnel mines and wire laid in front of company positions gave added security at night.
    Sometimes, in an interval of silence when every tiny sound seemed to be intensified, the troops would be startled to hear their own​
    mule-trains coming up with supplies. I've much time for these mules of which all would of been goosed without them. The clanking of equipment slung over the animals seemed almost to ring out like bells. So that tell-tale noises would not be heard by the enemy the Jocks made a merry tattoo by firing light machine-guns and mortars: in this way, they believed, they saved their mule-train many a plastering by enemy artillery. Another brilliant idea.
    Rain fell and began to wash away the snow, but on 5th January there came another heavy snow fall with a drop in temperature, which made life more unpleasant. A few days later word came through that the American 85th Division would take over the Monte Grande salient. The descent of the of the frozen hill-side from Frassineto to the Boston Byway was the Royal Scots' last memory of the Monte Grande sector. In the darkness of the evening of Monday, 8th January 1945, they set out on their journey south over roads dangerous with ice and snow. After one night at I'Olmo they began a much longer journey which took south to Perugia in the heart of Italy; and twenty-four hours later after their arrival orders came through that the 1st Division was to sail for Palestine and that the Royal Scots would sail with it. They arrived at Tarranto for embarkation. They went on board the troopship Bergensfjord on the 26th January and reached Haifa in Palestine on the last day of the month.

    Here ends the tale of the 2RS. Will post the Appx's of November in my next post. I've not shown all of the last couple of pages.

    Regards,
    Stu.











     
    Last edited: May 4, 2024
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  16. Vladuka

    Vladuka New Member

    Good morning everyone. I followed the post with great interest as I live in Emilia Romagna and while riding my motorbike through the hills of Bologna I accidentally traveled along Boston By Way and then discovered its history and it sparked my curiosity. Wanting to know more about the history of the area I found this site and thank you for the information you share. I can't wait to return this month to discover more carefully the places you have covered, Monte Grande, Calderaro, Cerere and Castellaro. Can someone tell me on google maps the precise location of "Casa Nuova" (if the farm still exists or has it been demolished), "Ca di Cò" (I don't understand what the house is exactly as there are a couple along the road) and "Casa Raggi" (on whose location no building appears nowadays)? Furthermore, I cannot clearly understand where the German attack on 12 December 1944 came from, towards Frassineto - Monte Cerere.
    Thank you in advance
     
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  17. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    Does this help?

    upload_2024-5-3_17-1-42.png

    Regards

    Frank
     
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  18. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Mist over Dartmoor

    This map relates to the one above posted by Frank.

    Cadi Co is on Mt Castellaro North West from Calderaro. Via Monte Calderaro was called Purple Heart Lane (see my sketch #81)

    Casa Nuova was to the South West down the gully.

    Things might have changed a lot since then.
    I dounbt that the roads highlighted by google were there.
    Google Maps
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2024
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  19. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Mist over Dartmoor

    Last edited: May 4, 2024
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  20. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Hi Vladuka,

    I'm coming to that shortly. A decent map from the 6 RFF RIF. The attack came in from the North East in between Fressineto, & Casa Nuova. This map may be of use that I've resized. It needs to be resized (again).. The attack also came directly from the North, and the North West of M. Cerere. Will probably scan the pages of the 1A &SH has there are a few which will take some time. Will type out the pages from the The Frontier Force Rifles.

    Regards,
    Stu.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2024
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