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Lake Trasimene / Lago Trasimeno


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#1 JayKay

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 11:15 PM

Just wondering if anyone can help me to shine a light on what has been going on in the area of Lake Trasimene or as we say in Italy Lago Trasimeno.

In particular I would like to know if there has been any serious battles in the vicinity of the lake and if so, what locations?

Furthermore I have found a number of documents and information talking about a large allied assembly/supply area at the lake, does anyone have any details on this as well?

Do any of the following names around the lake ring a bell ?
CASTIGLIONE, VITELLINO, FERRETTO, PIANA.... all places at the western part of the lake.

A friend of mine who lives in the area has been told by local elder people that there has been some action in the area during the war, but any research so far has not given too much indications.
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#2 Smudger Jnr

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 09:09 AM

JayKay,

Here you go.

This is only from Wiki, but if you search the internet you will find a lot more.

Trasimene Line - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Allied advance from Rome to the Arno, 1944



Regards
Tom
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#3 JayKay

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 11:04 AM

Thanks for the info Tom.
As you can see also on the Wiki page, there is very little detailed information, everything written about 'The battle of Lake Trasimene' is very general and no important details are given.

I was hoping that maybe someone has a diary, a book or some reference detailing the movements around the lake.
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#4 Smudger Jnr

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 11:24 AM

A personal account of action around the lake.

BBC - WW2 People's War - Rome - The Eternal City

WWII Memories

World War Two - Part 5

The two German armies which had separated during the retreat reestablished contact and for five days held up the Fifth Army along Lake Trasimene. Enemy resistance stiffened on the approach to the Arno Valley, but on 18 July the port of Leghorn was captured. Our troops re-grouped along the valley and prepared to attack the Gothic Line, a natural position which was further strengthened by engineering works. Although the key features on each side of the Giogo Pass were captured, and the line actually breached, shortage of troops, artillery and ammunition forced a halt in operations in the mountains south of Bologna. Bad weather led to postponement of any large-scale offensive until the spring of 1945, and the men of the Fifth Army had to spend another winter in the bitter cold and snow of the Apennines.

The above from The Army In WWII - Sicily And Italy

Hope that this helps.

Regards
Tom
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#5 Phaethon

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 01:40 PM

I know a bit about the conflicts east of the lake as the area is mentioned in the war diary i translated for JUNE and JULY. In addition Lake Trasimeno was used as a rest area for a lot of troops during the conflict, once the front had moved to Florence, because the diary mentions they return here on more then one occasion.

Although the lake seems to have formed a natural barrier, and therefore a linchpin to the line around Perugia, Kesselring used it primarally a delaying tactic giving time for the main forces to retreat to the Pisa-Rimini line (aka the Gothic line). One Perugia fell, the axis forces withdrew to the section around Arezzo, which is mentioned on another thread. This was not a full retreat but an ordered withdrawl because the plains around the lake were less defendable then the mountains to the north. It all gave time for for more fortifications to be built in depth around the Gothic line and for the units which had been mauled in the earlier allied advance to retreat north into these defences.

My estimation is that its the diaries of the allied units of the british 78th battleaxe division, and the 6th south african division that you want as their axis of advance went right through the lake area to the west, which is what you're after. My translated diary entries are from the 6th armoured div which was involved in action to the east of the lake around Perugia. The german AOK 10th 76th corps seemed to be the forces defending the lake area although I don't know much myself about these forces.

Edited by Phaethon, 11 August 2009 - 09:05 PM.

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#6 JayKay

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 11:52 PM

Very interesting information guys, much appreciated.

I will continue my research for Lake Trasimene and should anything interesting come up, I'll publish it.

In the mean time if anyone has any further information, please let me know.
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#7 Owen

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 10:15 AM

Old thread I know but do you want to see the pages from the 78th Div history to read regarding the fighting in the nearby villages?
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Edited by Owen, 05 July 2010 - 10:21 AM.

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#8 Owen

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 10:43 AM

Chapter VI from 78th Divisional history.

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Edited by Owen, 05 July 2010 - 10:52 AM.
had put page 147 in twice & left out 146 hope all ok now

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#9 Ron Goldstein

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 10:56 AM

Owen

Have been reading (and enjoying) your pages from the 78th Div history.

Next time you are at this book and if you see any references to the 49th LAA (particularly in their multi-tasking at Cassino) a scan of a few pages would be appreciated.

Many thanks

Ron

ps
Glad I didn't hold my breath whilst waiting for Mr.Hargreaves to reply :)
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If I am not for myself, then who will be for me?
And if I am only for myself, what am I?
And if not now, when?
Rabbi Hillel circa 30 BCE


:peepwalla:

 

I was "called-up", as a 19 year old, on the 1st of Oct 1942 and was one of 5 serving brothers, one of whom, Jack, was in RAF Bomber Command and was killed on March 16th 1945.

I served as a Driver/Op (Wireless Operator) with the 49th Light Anti Aircraft Rgt. (78 Div) from Apr 1943 to Dec 1944 (North Africa, Sicily, Italy, Egypt). The Regiment was disbanded in Dec 1944 and I was retrained (in Italy) by the Royal Armoured Corps.

 

Finally, I served as Loader/Op with the 4th Queen's Own Hussars (6th Armd.,78th & 56 Div) from Mar 1945 to Dec 1946 (Italy, Austria, Germany) finishing up as Tech Cpl. for "A" Sqdrn.  I was "De-mobbed" in Apr 1947

http://www.blogger.c...947129038825503


#10 bexley84

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 11:11 AM

Thank you for letting me contribute to your enthralling site - my first posting.

I have been fired to research memories of the war time period by listening to the stories told to me by my father who served with the 38th (Irish) Brigade in Italy from Septermber 1943 to May 1945. I have been recently able to travel the full route followed by those brave men from Centuripe to Villach, which was extremely enlightening, and of course totally humbling.

Hopefully JayKay has been able to find out a lot more about the battle period in the Trasimene area in June 1944, but perhaps a little bit of context might help to inspire further investigation. My father would speak about this period with the same awe in his tone as the more well known battle period further south in May 1944. And you can gain a sense of the extremes of the fighting conflict near Trasimene by reading the detailed accounts given by Brigadier TPD Scott, in the published book of my father's battalion CO Colonel J Horsfall, and the (more easily obtainable) history of the Irish Brigade written by Richard Doherty. In fact, Pat Scott described this period as "far worse than the Gustav Line", which might give you an idea of what went on during those desperate days.

In rough terms, due to the occasional misstep of the advancing armies (viz the inability to quickly take Citta della Pieve), and a well organised fighting retreat, the German forces were able to set up a massively strong defensive line, part of the Albert Line, in the five mile gap between Lake Chiusi and Lake Trasimene. In the middle of June, the 78th Division were asked to lead a strong thrust to unhinge the strongly held defences between the two lakes, with the South Africans stuck on their western side. The perceived difficulties were such that it was even said that General Keightley had the idea of landing an amphibious landing (by DUKW) behind the German rear !!

After strong resistance had been encountered by the 11th and 36th Brigades, which thwarted the initial assault, the Irish Brigade with their supporting armoured support the 11th Canadian Armoured Regiment were called forward on the 21st June to seek to outflank and attack the strongly held village of SanFattuchio from the rear.

Sufficed to say, the next few days were desperately difficult with tales of vicious hand to hand fighting, acts of great attacking endeavour, and stubborn defensive actions and counter attack. In one instance, the Lancashire Fusiliers telephoned the Irish Brigade's HQ to praise the way the London Irish Rifles' (LIR) attack had gone in on the morning of the 21st June, a very rare occurence of such praise being conveyed between battalions in different Brigade units. But, after many days of great difficulties (an understatement), the Albert line was eventually unhinged by the end of June - unfortunately to lead to even more hardship further north.

The Irish Brigade were taken out of the line on the 27th June after 5 weeks of almost continuous fighting advances from their crossing of the Liri and Piopetto rivers on the 15th May And my father was able to meet the Pope for the second time in 4 weeks.

Today, you can easily retrace the battle field at Trasimene starting from the Irish Brigade's lookout at Panicale, to the LIR start line at the brickworks in Macchie, the advance to the north west of SanFattuchio, the fighting in the cemetery at SanFelice and onto the Pucciarelli Ridge and thence to Ranciano and Pescia.

When I visited last year, villagers in SanFattuchio made the interesting observation that the church and bell tower in the centre of the village were "destroyed by the British" . Strictly accurate, but masking a myriad of nuanced memory and feeling.

Thank you.

Edited by bexley84, 25 August 2010 - 03:39 PM.

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#11 Ron Goldstein

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 11:38 AM

Bexley84

Welcome aboard and congrats on a very good intro.

Best regards

Ron
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If I am not for myself, then who will be for me?
And if I am only for myself, what am I?
And if not now, when?
Rabbi Hillel circa 30 BCE


:peepwalla:

 

I was "called-up", as a 19 year old, on the 1st of Oct 1942 and was one of 5 serving brothers, one of whom, Jack, was in RAF Bomber Command and was killed on March 16th 1945.

I served as a Driver/Op (Wireless Operator) with the 49th Light Anti Aircraft Rgt. (78 Div) from Apr 1943 to Dec 1944 (North Africa, Sicily, Italy, Egypt). The Regiment was disbanded in Dec 1944 and I was retrained (in Italy) by the Royal Armoured Corps.

 

Finally, I served as Loader/Op with the 4th Queen's Own Hussars (6th Armd.,78th & 56 Div) from Mar 1945 to Dec 1946 (Italy, Austria, Germany) finishing up as Tech Cpl. for "A" Sqdrn.  I was "De-mobbed" in Apr 1947

http://www.blogger.c...947129038825503


#12 JayKay

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 03:52 PM

Hi Bexley84

Thanks for the interesting information.

Unfortunately I have not been able to go back to Lago Trasimeno, although I have been
in the direction a bit North of the lake in the mountains around/before Arezzo.

I took some very nice pictures from up top of the mountains facing toward Arezzo, which I will publish in the coming days.

I would say, keep the good stuff coming and I'm sure soon I will be back to Lake Trasimene soon.

Thanks again.
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#13 Tom Canning

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 03:55 PM

Bexley 84-
very interesting posting - just one little correction - the 11th Canadian Armoured - was NOT a Division but a regiment within the 1st Canadian Armoured BRIGADE - who were transferred to support British units after their battle of Ortona in the post Christmas of 1943 and at that time both the British 21st and 25th Tank brigades were attached to the 1st Canadian Infantry Division and took them to the North of Italy when all of the Canadian units departed to NWE to make up the 1st Canadian Army in February 1945.
Cheers
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#14 bexley84

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 06:32 PM

Tom,

thanks very much for your correction - yes CAR was the notation that I should have used. My mistake, indeed. Thanks too for the the encouraging and supportive responses from you all.

I'm travelling back to Italy in August with my brother, this time basing in Todi and will hope again to get to see the various locations spoken about here. We also visit the Cassino area to meet Italian friends and families that we now know quite well in that area.

Of course, what i should have ended my previous note by saying is that the wonderful countryside around Trasimene is a delight to visit and the hospitality of the Italian people immense.

Richard (I'll rename my log in name).
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#15 Tom Canning

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 06:47 PM

Bexley84
you will find that Todi is still in the Etruscan age with all the old crafts still in vogue - we were there about three years ago but based on the Bolsena Lake - Orvieto is also a good area to visit especially the Cathedral with the relics of a famous miracle of the 12th Century - there is also a small cemetery on the road - Orvieto - Todi...
from the clifftop you can see over the valley to Assisi and other towns on the far side - a beautiful area - and well worth lots of time to see it all !
Cheers
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#16 Smudger Jnr

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 06:59 PM

Bexley84
you will find that Todi is still in the Etruscan age with all the old crafts still in vogue - we were there about three years ago but based on the Bolsena Lake - Orvieto is also a good area to visit especially the Cathedral with the relics of a famous miracle of the 12th Century - there is also a small cemetery on the road - Orvieto - Todi...
from the clifftop you can see over the valley to Assisi and other towns on the far side - a beautiful area - and well worth lots of time to see it all !
Cheers


Tom,

Now you brought back memories of a trip I had in that area.

Orvieto and the catherderal really do stand out in my memory as a member of the group was in a wheelchair and his helper had not made the bus trip.

I pushed him up to the cathedral on a really hot day, but what a view he had both inside and outside the Cathedral:)

Assisi and all its beauty. Yes a wonderful place to visit, but there again I wasn't being shot at like our Veterans.

Thanks for bringing back the memories.

Regards
Tom

Edited by Smudger Jnr, 25 August 2010 - 05:45 PM.

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#17 bexley84

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 07:45 PM

This picture of the cathedral at Orvieto might also bring back some fond memories.

Attached Files


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#18 Oldman

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 07:48 PM

Tom
Thanks for giving us your valued knowledge and expertise on the advance from Perugia to Arezzo and onwards.
My DaDs lot supported the 1st Derbyshire Yeomanary on the right flank in late August, and early september they built bridges opening the road to Castiglone which at that time was been held just by 61 Inf Brigade.
Then they where switched to the Sun Route which they opened from Dicomano to Vicchio so the guards could push on .
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"Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees"


#19 bexley84

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 07:53 PM

back on message, a couple of shots from the Trasimene area from my trip last year.

a) a view from Panicale across to the lake
B) the bell tower in SanFattuchio now rebuilt
c) the cemetery at SanFelice, the scene of vicious hand to hand fighting on the 21st June

Attached Files


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#20 bexley84

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 08:12 PM

For those with the stamina and eyesight, this is a narrative written concerning the battle period near Trasimene in June 1944 from an 38th (Irish) Brigade point of view. It is an excerpt of a narrative written by Brigadier Pat Scott in August 1944.

I'll try to resend another set.

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Edited by bexley84, 05 July 2010 - 08:22 PM.

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#21 Tom Canning

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 08:42 PM

Bexley -
I'll take you word for all that Pat Scott had to say about that battle as at 86 the eyes are no longer what they were at aged 20 when we were running up and down the Appenines...

Smudger - when we were at Orvieto the facade of the Cathedral was covered in scafflolding - with no restoration taking place - according the local wags - they could only afford the scaffolding but not the restoration work - since then of course it has been completed and takes it's place alongside many other magnificient Cathedrals of Europe - the Chapel on the right of the nave was decorated by both Fra Angelicao and Coselli and is still ordered for the Traditional Mass of Pius Vth- and is truly a work of art. The chapel on the left holds the sacred relics of the 12th century miracle of the Host of Bolsena and is ordered for the Novus Ordo Missae of Vatican II.

Oldman - as you are aware the 1st Derbyshire 's were the recce regiment for 6th Armoured Div and did an outstanding job all the way from Algiers to Austria.. so he served with a great outfit....

Bexley 84 - I note you live in Windsor - as does/did my old friend Stan Scislowski - if you have minute call the local Legion Hall for his phone # and give him my best wishes - Stan served with the Perth's of 5th Armoured and has written few books and articles including his " Return to Cassino" - which is well worth "googling " - fantastic stuff
Cheers
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#22 bexley84

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 09:01 PM

Tom,

Yes, sorry. Dreadful copy. I hoped to reattach a "better" copy but the other version breaks the memory capacity.

I've been in Windsor for 20 years - but unfortunately it's Windsor, Berkshire. I think you're hosting Queen Elizabeth this week - I saw her two weeks ago coming home from the racing.

On Stan Skislowski's Return to Cassino, a very moving narrative. Thank you.

Richard
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#23 Tom Canning

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 09:55 PM

Richard - I should know better than to assume....as we alreaady have a Surrey -Richmond - New Westminster - Nelson - Coldstream -Chetwynd and Kent which is where I live - all here in B.C.

HM was at the races in Toronto yesterday- don't think she won anything though - she is off to the UN to-morrow - hopefully to tell them where they are going wrong !

Stan does write well - that one is a classic - his book 'We were not all brave" is worth a read as well - highlighting his front line experiences.
Cheers
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#24 JayKay

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 11:05 PM

Just posted some photos of the mountains a little bit further ahead of Lake Trasimene, towards Arezzo.

http://www.ww2talk.c...html#post300526
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#25 bexley84

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 10:51 AM

I hope this link works - I've posted some recent photo shots from my trips to Italy. Apologies that they're not quite in "order" but hopefully they have some interest.

http://www.ww2talk.c...php?albumid=276


Richard
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#26 sofocle62

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 01:17 PM

Hi there! As i wrote in my presentation, 1 week ago I went with my girl-friend to a wood near Frattavecchia, close to Trasimeno Lake, and in a wood I dug up several objects. The RASC badge is quite interesting... the unique book I know about this battle (La battaglia dimenticata) doesn't mention about this unit, what was their purpose? And what about ammo? I know that in that place a german Tiger tank destroyed 5 NZ or Canadian tanks, could 2 big grenades be Tiger or Sherman ammo? Or what else? :unsure:

P.S. Ciao JayKay, nice to meet you here.....:)
P.P.S. forgive me for my awful English.....:(

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Edited by sofocle62, 13 July 2010 - 01:34 PM.

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#27 Tom Canning

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 04:11 PM

Sofocle
The badge of the Royal Army Service Corps(RASC) was the unit which brought the supplies up from the docks etc to the rear of the Corps or Division for onward transmission to the fighting troops - they also drove ambulances and other tasks - the ammo ? - can't help there as I am by no means an expert..
Cheers
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#28 sofocle62

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 10:33 PM

Thank you, Tom, I' ve understood, RASC was the equivalent of italian "sussistenza", a logistic corp... I'll post as soon as possible some other stuff I found.
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#29 Tom Canning

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 10:50 PM

Soficle -
you are more than welcome -I should point out that there were NO N.Z. Tanks in that area at that time of June '44 - the main Tanks at that time were the British 6th Armoured Division - the British 9th Armoured Brigade- the 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade - and the 6th South African Division who were in the Chiusi area mainly
Cheers
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#30 sofocle62

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 11:34 PM

As far as I know, tank battle took place about 12 Kilometers N-NE from Chiusi, along the road from Pozzuolo to Gioiella, closer to Castiglione del Lago. Surely you're right, my girl said that tanks involved were Canadian, N.Z. troops being there as reinforcements. Thanks again, Tom, you're really very kind.
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