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Cortona, South East Tuscany, Italy, in his Heavy Humber armoured car, There was no fight for Cortona as the Germans had withdrawn into the hills behind the town, but 4 British Division, advancing up the Val di Chiana supported by the Ontario and Calgary regiments (1 Canadian Armoured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 After the triumpant arrival of 56 Recce 78 Division were withdrawn from the line and the advance was taken over by 6 British Armoured Division The photo is by Luigi Lamentini, a prolific local photographer.

17.  Lt. Charles Ridley 56 Recce enters  Cortona 3 July 1944
vitellino, Jun 23, 2014
    • vitellino
      This is Vitellino here. Ignore the number 17, which refers to the number given to this photo in my book, Cortona 1944
    • 4jonboy
      Lovely photo Janet, not seen that one before. Thanks for posting

    • gtblackwell
      Truly wonderful photo. I have a great fondness for Cortona and wish I could have seen this but I was only 4 .
    • vitellino
      Isnt it magnificent? I am often in Cortona and every time I see the archway this photo comes to mind. The photographer, local man Luigi Lamentini, took some excellent shots at the time and one of these days I will ask the family if they would be interested in publishing them. In
      order to see them you have to go into their shop and leaf through a
      large file.

      This particular one is missing - I took it from a book in which Lamentini did not get a mention. I suspect that it was lent to the local newspaper Etruria and was never given back
    • mowgli
      I had the pleasure of visiting Cortona last month. Its really beautiful albeit a tourist hot spot now. I reached the town via an outdoor escalator! I took a photo of the archway and it is very interesting to see the comparison 70 years difference. Whilst in the area I visited Lake Tresimeno and Casiglione del lego. My father was in C squadron 56 recce.
    • LesMartin
      This was my father's troop, although from what I can work out he was not present at this time as he had been wounded earlier and evacuated. Further research shows he was returned to his unit on 30th May so he would have been with 8 troop as they entered Cortona, I discovered this small youtube film at the time.
      Owen likes this.
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    Cortona and the Val di Chiana July 1944
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