17. Lt. Charles Ridley 56 Recce enters Cortona 3 July 1944
Morning, 3 July 1944. Lt Charles W.H. Ridley, 8 Troop, A Squadron, 56 Recce, enters the town of Cortona, South East Tuscany, Italy, in his Heavy Humber armoured car, There was no fight for Cortona as the Germans had withdrawn into the hills behind the town, but 4 British Division, advancing up the Val di Chiana supported by the Ontario and Calgary regiments (1 Canadian Armoured Brigade) sustained a fair number of casualties. To their right was 36 Brigade, 78 Division, supported by tanks of the Wiltshire Yeomanry. The USAAF had carried out a sustained bombing campaign below the town in an attempt to damage the main Florence-Rome railway line, down which supplies were passing to Anzio and Cassino, through the period January-June 1944 but Cortona itself was not damaged. After the triumpant arrival of 56 Recce 78 Division were withdrawn from the line and the advance was taken over by 6 British Armoured Division The photo is by Luigi Lamentini, a prolific local photographer.