Battlefield tour of Anzio & Cassino, Sept 08

Discussion in 'WW2 Battlefields Today' started by Capt Bill, Oct 19, 2008.

  1. Capt Bill

    Capt Bill wanderin off at a tangent

    Went in a group of 35 to follow 38 (Irish) Brigades part in the 4th battle for Monte Cassino, but took in the full feeling starting from the landings at Anzio and the first three battles for Cassino.

    Why the interest ? 1. I currently work for 38 Brigade, and 2. my father (see avatar) was with the 8th Army - came up through Egypt via S.Africa, along the east coast of italy. He was a 25pounder gunner (Quads and Sextons) and was at Cassino. He was taken prisoner on the Gothic Line.

    So - flight to Rome, uneventful. Land late Sunday evening, and straight on the coach to Nettuno. Evening meal booked for 2100hrs, we got off the table at midnight ! 7 courses and many bottle of the local red later - off to the hotel to sleep in preperartion for the next day.

    Photo 1 - the view of Nettuno from the hotel at 6 in the morning
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    Breakfast done and back on the coach for the move to Cassino via Anzio

    Photo 2 & 3 - Memorials at Anzio Harbour
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    Photo 4 - HMS Spartan is out in the harbour
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    Phots 5,6 & 7 - CGWC Beach Head Cemetery
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    Off to Cassino, via The wadi's, Casale della Mancia & Isola Bella

    CASSINO - there from Monday evening until Thursday morning

    Photo 8 - view of Castle Hill & The Monastery from my bedroom window!
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    Photo 9 - the Monastery from Hill 593
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    Photo 10 - Mt Trochea
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    Photo 11 - Polish Memorial on Hill 593
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    Photo 12 - Polish CemetEry, Hill 593 & Mt Ciaro as viewed from the Monastery
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    Photo 13 - View of Mt Cassino via the river Gari at San Angelo
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    Photo 14 - the bell of peace, San Angelo
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    Photo 15 - looking along the lines of the fourth battle
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    Photo 16, 17 & 18 - The Monastery
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  2. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique MOD

    Superb photos - brought back some great memories of our own trip back in May.

    I see one of your party with what looks like a repro WW2 map of the area? Are copies available?
     
  3. Capt Bill

    Capt Bill wanderin off at a tangent

    Wednesday - CWGC & German equiv visits

    Photo 19 - Graves and Mt Cassino
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    Photo 20 - The cross
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    Photo 21, 22, 23 & 24 - the german graves
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    Thursday morning - move to Rome, via Piana Della Orme Museum

    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/ww2-museums-events-places-see/15370-piana-della-orme-museum-italy.html

    Photo 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 & 30 - more museum pics
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    Thursday evening - more italian food and red wine, and a wander around Rome

    Photo 31 - Vatican at night
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    Photo 32 - fekkin tourists!
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    Friday - whistle stop tour of Rome on foot!

    Photo 33 - the colossium (take a guided tour and get all the info)
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    Photo 34 - Forum, temple of the vestil virgins
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    Photo 35 - triumph arch
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    These are just a few of the 2500 photos I took in a 6 day whirlwind battlefield tour. hope you enjoy:rolleyes:
     
    Smudger Jnr likes this.
  4. Capt Bill

    Capt Bill wanderin off at a tangent

    Superb photos - brought back some great memories of our own trip back in May.

    I see one of your party with what looks like a repro WW2 map of the area? Are copies available?

    One of the merits of working within the military im afraid - copies of the original April 1944 1:25,000 brigade maps of Cassino(with young subbies scribblings in the margin too).

    8/9/10
    lying up area, light shellign from heavy art and enemy mortar, releived Beds and Herts

    11/12 May 1944

    zero 22.59hrs
    s.l.8941`73
    C.D.A.B 30th Fd W/T
    BARRAGE.
    23.59 - 0059
    command post .1.
    arrived FP 01.12
    heavy enemt fire
    from mortar and
    MG 01.15 onwards
    all RE and Hamps
    B.P. killed
    no bridge

    w/t nil except
    to Bde after 03.05

    smoke bar from
    30th field 30 mins

    03.15
    no penetration
    further than
    brown line.
    boats destroyed.
    more boats
    carried by SLI
    led by CO SLI
    heavy casualties.

    sent back by
    CO to get Reinf
    from Bde 05.57

    saw bde & Div
    Commdres.No
    reinf. formed
    small force of
    Kings/SLI under
    Major snee
    releived Hamps
    HQ St Lucia 13.20
    moved into position
    21.59 Hamps
    releived

    CO/SLI Kings killed
    CO Hamps killed

    12/05/44
    dawn attack 14
    by 78 Div Irish
    Bde. 4th Ind Div
    6th Armd div
    Bridge Amazon

    penetration of
    brown blue yellow
    red by armour
    resistance crumbled.

    formed burial
    party of reinf.
     
  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    temple of the vestil virgins

    I couldn't see any.

    2500 photos
    How many???
    Lovely photos, I can now look at them and know where they were taken, the place isn't a mystery anymore.
    The autumn light is so different to what it was back in May despite the same blue skies.
    I think my favourite photo of yours so far is the view of Cassino & Monte Cairo from the Gari, something about that photo I just really like.
     
  6. Capt Bill

    Capt Bill wanderin off at a tangent

    I couldn't see any.


    How many???
    Lovely photos, I can now look at them and know where they were taken, the place isn't a mystery anymore.
    The autumn light is so different to what it was back in May despite the same blue skies.
    I think my favourite photo of yours so far is the view of Cassino & Monte Cairo from the Gari, something about that photo I just really like.

    the joys of digital photography - it would have cost me a fortune back in my 35mm days, or i would have possibly only taked 76 shots!
     
  7. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Capt Bill
    Superb photo's of your tour - your first one showing the beach at Nettuno - that Church is the "Church of many graces" which we visited in 2000 as my wife shares her birthday with the Saint entombed in the crypt of that Church - St Maria Goretti..we had a good vist and as my wife came out of the Church - she slipped - fell and broke her tib and fib close to the ankle.

    the medics were there in minutes and the hospital was a no nonsense type of institution but our tour guide felt it was not as sanitary as it might be and so next morning we were back in London - and owing to the lack of co-operation from a bolshie Cab driver who refused to drive her to St Georges hospital - he dumped us at Hillington - which was about 5% more sanitary than the Nettuno.

    Another point of that church is the Statue of the Madonna and Child above the main Altar - this was sent out from England to Naples for safe keeping at the beginning of the Reformation - the Ship sunk off Nettuno - the statue floated onto the beach and was "rescued" by the Church and has been there ever since - it was re painted just before we got there !

    Your map on #4 posting marginalises the OB at Amazon bridge by noting that 78th - 6th Armoured and 4th Indian were lined up to go - think you might find that it was 8th Indian as the 4th had been pretty well battered around in both 2nd and 3rd battles and were on their way to the Adriatic sector....

    Cheers
     
  8. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    Capt. Bill , you have a great eye for a good photo opportunity , really enjoyed seeing your excellent photographs.
    Thank you for sharing your photos.:poppy::)
     
  9. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    These are just a few of the 2500 photos I took in a 6 day whirlwind battlefield tour. hope you enjoy:rolleyes:


    ... and a few of them were for lil ol' me, thanks again Bill. :)

    Great thread! I still love those skies; strange to look at the beauty of that place and to link it with what happened there ...

    D
     
  10. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Capt Bill,

    Wonderful photographs, thanks for sharing the great views and the well tended cemeteries.

    Regards

    Tom
     
  11. Capt Bill

    Capt Bill wanderin off at a tangent

    Your map on #4 posting marginalises the OB at Amazon bridge by noting that 78th - 6th Armoured and 4th Indian were lined up to go - think you might find that it was 8th Indian as the 4th had been pretty well battered around in both 2nd and 3rd battles and were on their way to the Adriatic sector....
    Cheers

    Tom,

    thanks for the update - but I've simply copied what was written in the margin.
     
  12. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Capt. Bill
    Yes I understand that and also the excitement of those days when the writer probably saw a few Ghurkas and thought - here's the 4th Indian again - we were losing Colonels by the handful and he probably thought - "oops - I'll be in charge shortly " !
     
  13. thiepval1916

    thiepval1916 Junior Member

    capt bill
    brilliant photos of what looks like a great trip,hope the vino went down well:Hallutinations:
     
  14. Capt Bill

    Capt Bill wanderin off at a tangent

    capt bill
    brilliant photos of what looks like a great trip,hope the vino went down well:Hallutinations:
    too well at times !;)
     
  15. Capt Bill

    Capt Bill wanderin off at a tangent

    very kindly, someone has scanned the maps



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    dbf likes this.
  16. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique MOD

    Can't get into that link as it's asking for a password.
     
  17. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Capt Bill -
    Many thanks for PM'ing me with the map - I can see that the author has indeed noted the 4th Indian Division as being involved -

    and I still hold that 4th Indians were so badly battered in the 2nd and 3rd battles that they didn't recover for a long time -

    similarly with the Kiwi's they were pulled back to the Campobsso area to recover and the Canadian 1st Infantry and 5th Armoured divs were moved in as replacements for the Kiwi's for the Diadem operation -

    the 4th Indian took over a sector on the Adriatic - 8th Indian took over the left flank of the 1st Canadians- along the Secco river - the left flank of which was held by the French North Africans .....

    The Kiwi's recovered in time for late entry at the Gothic Line whereas the 4th Indian went over to Greece...

    The right flank of the Canadians was indeed looked after by the 6th Armoured and 78th Div with 4th Britsh div moving towards a meeting with the Poles coming down from the Monastery ....

    at least that's as far as my memory goes - plus a few history books ..but then perhaps Ron - Niccar - Footslogger and Gerry Chester and others who were there at the time have different views of the beginning of that battle....

    Cheers
     
  18. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Top Photo's ..... Many Thanks for sharing :)
     
  19. Capt Bill

    Capt Bill wanderin off at a tangent

  20. Capt Bill

    Capt Bill wanderin off at a tangent

    Cassino Map - right side of

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