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"The Italian “Stalingrad” When 2,600 Canadian..." Topic


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World War Two on the Land

835 hits since 6 Sep 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP06 Sep 2019 9:26 p.m. PST

… Men Were Sacrificed for a General's Pride.

"Some 141 miles due east of Rome is the small city of Ortona. If Italy is a boot, then Ortona lies north of the heel and on what some call a "bone spur" between the ports of Bari and Termoli. In 1944, the population of Ortona was about 10,000, and it was built up somewhere between a town and a city.

In December 1943, the Canadians and Germans fought such a savage battle there that it became known as the "Italian Stalingrad."

In the history books and documentaries about the Italian Campaign of WWII, the drive up Italy's western coast gets overlooked, as does the fighting which took place in Italy after the seizure of Rome one day before D-Day…"
Main page
link

Amicalement
Armand

BrockLanders06 Sep 2019 10:41 p.m. PST

Interesting article about a battle I was unfamiliar with

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP07 Sep 2019 4:44 a.m. PST

Hard fought battle – the Royal Canadian Regiment (our local unit) was there and they have a lot on this in their musuem

Legion 407 Sep 2019 8:03 a.m. PST

Italy's terrain in many places made it easier for the Germans to fight some very deliberate and dogged defenses. Especially in any kind of urban and/or mountainous terrain.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP07 Sep 2019 12:43 p.m. PST

Glad you enjoyed it my friend!. (smile)

Amicalement
Armand

Marcus Brutus07 Sep 2019 2:51 p.m. PST

I had a man in my church who fought at Ortona in the infantry (Perth Light Infantry). He didn't go into details but he did mention the hell of street fighting. He also mentioned not getting too attached to people because they could be here one day and gone tomorrow. He remembers replacements arriving and dying before they had ever had a chance to fire their rifles. Yet there he was a veteran of Italy and North West Europe and he somehow made it through with only minor injuries.

Legion 408 Sep 2019 7:30 a.m. PST

God Bless Him …

WARGAMESBUFF08 Sep 2019 10:20 a.m. PST

A lot of misinformation there as well the Canadians were being watched by Russian Officer, as Stalin thought we were not doing wnough in the West. Therefore Ortona became tactically and politcally crucial and to the Russians in convinced them we were fighting hard..

Montgmery did not waste Canadian lives yet again more Monty phobia.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP08 Sep 2019 10:25 a.m. PST

Poor Blooming Canadians (I was going to use another adverb, suggesting haemorrhaging).

Dieppe…massacred, through no fault of their own.

Hong Kong…not a hope…

Juno…not a mention in any film or book, Oh, by the way, were there not also some airborne? Find me one account of their contribution.

The approaches to Antwerp and the Low Countries. Boring. Who cares about up to your waist in the North Sea? Not exactly spectacular.

Never mind the navy.

Aussies and NZ are acknowledged. Indian and African Commonwealth in Far East, maybe. South African, controversial.

Why were the Canadians the poor relations?

WARGAMESBUFF08 Sep 2019 10:14 p.m. PST

Candaians Paras are mentioned several times in the books ive read.
Canadians troops are talked about in books on Dieppe, Italy Noramandy and Holland also, so I have no idea where you think they are not talked about. odd

Marc at work09 Sep 2019 5:02 a.m. PST

Liam, GHQ do a lovely supplement for the Canadians in WW2. I'd tell you more but that would be advertising

deephorse09 Sep 2019 2:14 p.m. PST

Juno…not a mention in any film or book, Oh, by the way, were there not also some airborne? Find me one account of their contribution.

Try reading "Gold, Juno, Sword" by Georges Bernage, and "D-Day Paratroopers, The British, The Canadians, The French" by Jean Bouchery & Philippe Charbonnier.

deephorse10 Sep 2019 7:56 a.m. PST

Also try "Stopping the Panzers" by Marc Milner. Good coverage of the Juno Beach landing, but mostly about the Canadian's battles further inland.

These are just three books that I happen to have copies of. There must be more that I'm not aware of.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2019 8:13 a.m. PST

I obviously got that wrong then. I have always had the idea that the Canadian contribution was underrated in WWII, compared with WWI. Thanks for putting me right, genuinely rather encouraging!

Fred Cartwright10 Sep 2019 9:11 a.m. PST

Montgmery did not waste Canadian lives yet again more Monty phobia.

Indeed Monty had left Italy before the battle really got under way.

Marcus Brutus10 Sep 2019 11:24 a.m. PST

deadhead, your basic point is still probably correct. The Canadian contribution is definitely overshadowed by the British and American contributions.

Legion 410 Sep 2019 1:02 p.m. PST

True but they were always there. But again, they even had Juno Beach at Normandy. They pulled their weight and then some.

As a sidebar, some 30,000 Canadians came South and joined the US Military during the Vietnam War. Albeit it was "illegal" according to Canadian Law. AFAIK none were charged.

wmyers10 Sep 2019 1:24 p.m. PST

One thing to remember, is that Canada was considered British. The whole unique "Canadian Identity" concept was not really introduced until well after the Korean war by various political interests. (changing the flag from the Union Jack in the latter 1960's, attempted (and failed) elimination of the Royal title from the branches of the Navy and Air Force, wanting to change the Head of State of Canada to NOT being the Crown (failed), etc)

It is still a continuing attempt by some elements.

deephorse11 Sep 2019 2:12 p.m. PST

Yet another book I have that is relevant to the "Juno is not mentioned in any book etc." aspect is "Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall" by Richard Anderson. He devotes 30 detailed pages to the initial assault on Juno beach. He covers all the other beaches too, in case you were wondering.

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