Monte Grande Bologna 1st Infantry Division Anniversary

Discussion in 'Italy' started by Uncle Target, Nov 24, 2023.

  1. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Mist over Dartmoor

    Great idea from the official list.

    Especially the mules.

    IMG_6928b.jpg
    Mule Point Cassaglia.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2024
  2. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Here is page 79 following on from the post above. The eagle-eyed may have clocked that I did not show the Annexure 1 to Chap. VII which is on page 80 in my #47. Oops. Must learn how to use to both hands & fingers on keypad. My Grandfather was with 6 Platoon 'B' Company 2/7 Mx. Will show the four pages of Annexure at the end of this page. I do like your last photo re the mules. A face stands out.

    Squadron 1 Recce dismounted under command of 66 Brigade, to take over the de-
    fence of the Clemente Valley astride the main axis. 78 Division, on our right, to ass-
    me the commitment of the reserve battalions of 362 RCT.

    (c) One battalion of 3 Brigade in Divisional reserve, and the remainder of the supp-
    orting arms and services to follow.

    (d) 88 US Division to command all troops in the sector until 66 Brigade relieved the
    right sector: thereafter command of all troops to pass to 1 Division.

    (e) US medium artillery to remain, and US Corps artillery to deal with counter- battery
    requirements until British medium and heavy artillery and counter battery staffs could
    take over.

    (f) Units to take over position for position, and make any adjustments considered nec-
    essary subsequently.

    (g) The relief of the right sector of 85 US Division, on the left of 88 US Division, to be
    carried out after local readjustments with 1 Division had been made. It's at this point
    that I would like to add that The 85th Infantry Division In World War II seems to be a
    good book. Its by Paul L. Schultz. Washington Infantry Journal Press & It's a reprint.

    (h) Traffic control by a joint movement staff at the new Divisional Headquarters, con-
    trolled by which Division was in command of the sector. Responsibility for road main-
    tenance similarly to rest with the division in command.

    The move to the new sector was of very considerable complexity. The Division was
    being relieved in its old sector by both 8 Indian and 6 Armoured Divisions, on narrow
    roads of (very limited capacity, controlled by a joint traffic office, with members of
    staffs off all three divisions, under 1 Division control.) Roads were breaking up with
    the heavy rain, and in places collapsing, causing delays and postponements.

    From the old sector, units moved back to Borgo San Lorenzo- (a five hour drive--
    where they staged.) From Borgo to the new sector moves took place over routes
    controlled by II US Corps and then over those controlled by joint 88 US Division &
    1 Division movement staff, but part of which 78 Division were also using. As already
    mentioned, reconnaissances had found huge traffic blocks on the routes, and arran-
    ments to obviate these during the relief were essential, particularly since the road was
    within enemy gun range and parts of it under shellfire. The take over of the new sector
    had to start before hand-over of the old sector was complete. Floods and road wash-
    outs in the Borgo area made unpredictable delays, and further complicated the problem.

    Fortunately, by this period the Divisional Road Movement staff were experts at their task,
    and, considering the difficulties to be overcome, the moves went surprisingly smoothly,
    though with numerous delays from floods and road wash-outs.

    1-5 Nov. 1 Loyals, after numerous adventures, delays by floods and a miserably wet
    journey, reached the new area late on 3 November, and took over Monte Grande on
    4 November, coming under command 350 RCT. 19 Field Regiment had moved up on
    2 November and 4 Platoon 2/7 Middlesex on 3 November. 2 Field Ambulance estab-
    lised an ADS in the new area on 4 November, but the condition of the roads caused all
    other moves to be postponed untill 5 November, when Headquarters 2 Brigade and
    6 Gordans with 6 Platoon 2/7 Middlesex arrived, 6 Gordons took over Monte Calderaro,
    and 2 Brigade assumed command of the left sector from 350 RCT.

    For what ever reason, of which I'm not sure why these files are the last four pages of the history....

    Regards,
    Stu.
    172 & 173..jpg
    174 & 175..jpg
    176..jpg
    All of the maps for this divisional history are folded up in order. To scan them all was rather difficult which meant cutting the binding. If I do come across a copy again at reasonable price, then it will be left alone- and it will not be taken apart.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2024
  3. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Mist over Dartmoor

    Last edited: Jan 28, 2024
  4. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    There divisional history is quite thick. I'm guessing the above may have been used it in parts. Can't remember it's full title. It's a decent reprint that was a decent price.

    Thanks for the link.

    Regards,
    Stu.
     
  5. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Chris, don't take this has a silly question, but do you have a date for this photo? Some names have been mentioned. I can't be 100% sure, but I think at least one of these chaps is from the 2/7 Mx Regiment? I need to email this photo over to a chap who will say yes, or no. The book I have on these lot is well past it's best. I'm trying to order the author's latest version which is a nuisance seeing has he lives in Spain. He is member of the forum but never uses it. Not used it for ages.

    I will email it over to him if that is okay with you?

    Regards,
    Stu.
     
  6. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Mist over Dartmoor

    Taken in the entry into the Lamone Valley probably Casaglia Mule Point.
    From A History of the 67th Field Regt page 69
    PM used photos from Ubique.
    Interesting mention of an Indian Mule Company (not clocked this before).
    Photos from Peter Mennells Album pages labelled North of Florence no date.

    The album is a bit like your book all jumbled up no numbers.
    Emailed to me by Peter Mennell's son on his phone from a pavement cafe in Florence a few year ago.
    I have copied and clipped then enhanced the photos, the album was found in an attic in poor condition.

    Casaglia.jpg

    Casaglia map.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2024
  7. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Before I carry on with page 94: I would like to mention the books I'm looking at regarding 19 INDIAN BRIGADE. 1 A &SH, 3/8 Punjab & 6/13 RFF Rif. I don't have any of this fine brigade's war diaries. The only one I can get my hands on is the 3/8 Punjab's from a lovely lady who's Farther served with them I think? Will send a email. I will be seeing Sue Hughes soon. Sure I once had the diaries of 1 A &SH some time back? Lost them me thinks. Muppet.

    The 1 A &SH have two battalion books that I know of..

    1: HISTORY of The ARGILL AND SUTHERLAND HIGHLANDERS 1ST BATTALION 1939-1954 BY BRIGADIER R. C. B. ANDERSON, D.S.O., M.C. With a Foreword by General Sir Gordon MacMillan of MacMillan AND Knap. K.C.B., K.C.V.O., C.B.E., D.S.O., M.C., D.L., Colonel The Argyll and the Sutherland Highlanders.

    2: History of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders 1st Battalion (Princess Louise's) 1939-1945. By Lt-Col. F. C. G. Graham D.S.O. With a forward from the Colonel above.

    3: The Frontier Force Rifles. Complied by BRIGADIER W. E. H. CONDON O. B. E. Aldershot Gale & Polden Ltd. 1953. This book is rather good. The last one is huge. Official History of the Indian Armed forces in the Second World War 39-45. Probably one of the most detailed official history of any country that had the misfortune to serve in this campaign. Some day in the future when I've got nothing else to do regarding driving a wagon (and month off work) then I'll read it from start to finish.:rolleyes:;):D

    Regards,
    Stu.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2024
  8. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Mist over Dartmoor

    Last edited: Mar 17, 2024
  9. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

  10. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    For those that are following this thread, here is some news that has been a long time in the making of this recce. It started in Rimini, sometime around September, 2019? I would have to check the study pack if I've still got it? A book was passed to Frank de Planta. Frank, get a wiggle on and do something different. Over time things got in the way (namely that horrible word that begins with C). We nearly got there in October, 2020? It did not come about for obvious reasons. After much changing on Frank's part on who we are going to study then he has made his mind up.

    Has can be read of the programme of events they are relevant to this thread. Probably the last most important study that one will go on when it comes to this division. Frank could, & will say that I've got on his case! That is true on my part.:oops:

    Regards,
    Stu.:).. Frank, Gary & Stuart.
    0001.jpg

    0002.jpg 0003.jpg
    0004.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2024
  11. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Here is the original. Been looking at the diaries of No.12. Indian Mule Coy. May post them later when looking at 19 Indian Brigade. Some of the other diaries are tricky to read. Will need tweaking to add more light to them so that they can more legible. That will take some time. Also here is page 94-98 from the Divisional History with Map No.8a along with the Annexure 1 to Chapter VIII. Will also show the war diaries from the 2 RS for 25-30 Nov along with the pages covering THE LOSS OF MONTE CASTELLARO. Page 240-247. THE FIRST OF FOOT THE HISTORY OF THE ROYAL SCOTS (THE ROYAL REGIMENT) By Augustus Muir. The loss of MONTE CASTELLARO was a kick-in-the rear for this division. Some Comments on the loss of Castellaro on pages 97& 98 says much.

    ATTACK ON THE GOTHIC LINE. MAP No 3..jpg

    94 & 95..jpg
    96..jpg



    96b..jpg

    97..jpg

    97. (2).jpg

    98 & 99..jpg

    MONTE GRANDE AREA. No 8a..jpg

    156 & 157..jpg
    158 & 159..jpg

    Starting with page 240 THE FIRST OF FOOT XI THE LOSS OF MONTE CATELLARO.

    While resting at I'Olmo and Borgo San Lorenzo, after their (nine day) spell in the Monte Grande sector, the Royals received orders to return and relieve the 1DWR in the northern part of the salient. The take-over was completed by 0400 hrs on the morning of Saturday, 25 November; and before dawn the steady erosion of the Battalion by casualties had begun once more. The Royal Scots were [now farther north than any other unit] of the Allied forces in the Apennines. It really is a shame that it was lost. My own words.

    They had found it a longer and harder climb than to their locations on the Bazzano spur, and they were soon to realise even more forcibly than before that " the Monte Grande sector, as a position to be held for a long time in bad weather, had nearly every disadvantage and very few compensating advantages." An officer on the staff of 1 Division used these words and added that the sector had (never been a planned) defensive position: on the contrary, " the front line was simply one where the partially successful American offensive had happened to come to an end..... Did it? My own words. More research needed. Its serious lack of depth made it more difficult to recapture any position that might be lost."

    This applied with special force to the hilly ground on the north, and the best had to to be made of a bad job. The Battalion Command Post was established at Callenco, six hundred yards north of the Monte Grande peak. A quarter of a mile farther forward Major Simpson with C-Company occupied Rovine, a few small houses on the shoulder of Monte Calderaro, and he was now facing the enemy on the broken terrain between II Poggio and Bursano. On the left was a deep declivity beyond which the ground rose to Mt Castellaro, nearly [only sixteen hundred feet high]. On the right of that mountain-top Captain Dick with A-Company occupied a long straight ridge that ran westward from Ca di Co, then curved to the rear. The only subaltern in A-Company, Lt. Cathcart, commanded the platoon on the company's right flank at Ca di Co. Not sure which platoon at the moment, the diary may give a answer?

    Page 241.
    To the left of Captains Dick's positions the ground dipped into a gentle hollow, then rose to the north-west, where Major Makenzie was ordered to establish B-Company. His HQ were to the left of a knoll which formed the highest of Mt. Castellaro. Here was the most isolated and precarious of all the company positions, but Major Mackenzie was an experienced officer and, it will be recalled, had won the Military cross on 22 September in a particularly difficult situation when his company had captured Cavalmagra. Anyone have his citation? The strength of his company was now fifty-six N.C.O.s and men; but from these he had to provide a detachment of his only officer ( Lt. Renfrew) with a Sgt and sixteen men who, under a Divisional order, were sent down into the valley on the west between the Royal Scots and American forces a mile away, and to the rear, on opposite hills. So steep and treacherous was the slope between the company and the detachment's base at the small farmhouse called Casa Nuova that it (only took three hours) to make the double trip.

    To be continued.
    Regards,
    Stu.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2024
    Uncle Target likes this.
  12. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Following on from my last post. Do's anyone have the Citation for Major Mackenzie for his Military Cross please? I've not yet read the months of September, and October. May give some more detail? According to this book, the 1 Fallschirmjager- Division had a full mortar battalion under command. Which battalion was it? Would it not surely be under command of Fallschirm-MG-Battalion 1?

    In their new positions, on the Saturday morning, the Royal Scots waited for dawn. The fact they were facing troops of the 1st Parachute Division, acknowledged to be among the toughest troops in the German Army at the time, did not depress them so much as the warning that their positions were overlooked. Men of the two forward companies ( find out which two) on Castellaro were told that they would be
    view of the enemy from their right front, their front, their left, and their left rear." Almost boxed in then from all three side (lambs to slaughter I think.) What a stupid thing to do. A battalion waisted for nothing (out of action for a month) has can be read on pages 97&98 of The Divisional History. They must therefore expect German fire from all these directions. It was somewhat of a relief to find at daybreak that a heavy mist lay upon the hills and concealed them from view. Nevertheless, the Germans mortared and shelled the positions, and there intermittent bursts of Spandau fire. Among the artillery ranged against our men was a type of "super-heavy howitzer which made an enormous crater and was a real earth-shaker." What was it called? But the mortar fire was the most galling: which was to be expected since the 1st German Parachute Division had a full mortar battalion under command.

    During the next three days the casualty roll slowly increased . At night half the Jocks worked to improve the defences, while the other half manned position. The only opportunity
    Page 242 for any of them to rest would of been during the hours of daylight: but the continued misty weather meant that all positions had to be strongly manned during the day. The result was that the Jocks had had practically no rest from the time they had arrived at Monte Grande until that critical Tuesday, 28th November. An entry in the Battalion War Diary (of which will be shown later) for that morning runs:-

    "0815 hrs.-Shelling and mortaring of Bn area commenced.
    This continued throughout the day approx 400 mortar bombs
    and shells falling in the Bn area up to 1545 hrs. Owing to heavy
    rain during the last 24 hours considerable damage done to posns."​

    Slit trenches were collapsing, some of them burying the occupants. Bren fire and Spandau fire were exchanged between our patrols and the Germans during the day. The weather suddenly improved. In the moonlight Lt. Renfrew with his detachment down in the valley at Casa Nuova could hear enemy patrols moving on the hill-side between him and the company positions, and shortly after eleven o'clock Germans armed with automatic weapons and a Panzerfaust opened fire. He rallied his men, who were driven in from the flanks and made a stand at the farmhouse. The German paratroopers pressed home the attack with hand-grenades. As soon this attack on the outpost was reported to B-Company HQ Major Mackenzie sent out a fighting patrol to support the Casa Nuova detachment. A little later he spoke on the telephone to Capt. Dick at A-Company HQ to tell him of this, and said that he wondered whether the attack on Casa Nuova was a enemy ruse to draw off men from their main positions on on the hill-top. He added that he was going to investigate.
    It was presently reported to Captain Dick that on his right flank Germans were advancing up the hill towards his positions at Ca di Co.
    He had four listening-posts out beyond the long ridge; and as soon as the presence of the Germans was known the company's Bren guns came into action and halted them. It seemed to Capt. Dick that Major Mackenzie's suspicions had been well-founded, & he reported

    To be continued from Page 243.

    Regards,
    Stu.

     
    Uncle Target likes this.
  13. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    the situation to Battalion Headquarters. Colonel Campbell ordered him to send out a patrol to make contact with B-Company and obtain information about the situation on the top of Mt. Castellaro.
    This patrol ran into trouble. The enemy had managed to by-pass the listening posts, and hand-to-hand fighting between the jocks​
    and paratroopers was going on around the main positions. Major Mackenzie had hastily returned from his reconnaissance on the hill-side to the west and had rallied his men, who were now trying to drive the Germans from the large knoll where the company had been established. By the time Captain Dick made his way forward to see what had happened to the patrol he had sent over to the Knoll this fierce and confused fighting prevented him from making contact with Major Mackenzie. Concerning the patrol he had sent to B-Company, his own words were: " I never saw it again." On his way back to reorganise his two remaining platoons, Dick both heard and saw a party of Germans advancing towards his own headquarters. They were so close that he was doubtful whether he would get back in time to place his men where they could best repel this attack. But suddenly, from the forward slope of his own company's position, a Bren gun opened fire. The gunner held on doggedly and succeeded in turning back the enemy party. When Captain Dick got up to the slope he found Private John Preston, a snipper attached to A-Company, had taken the initiative and manned a Bren gun. This removed the threat to A-Company HQ, but the respite was only temporary. Fighting was still in progress in Major Mackenzie's positions on the far side of the hollow, but it was impossible to reckon how long the men there could hold out.
    Because his Company was now exposed to fire, Captain Dick was forced to move to the rear side of the ridge. To thicken up the​
    defence he withdrew Lt. Cathcart's platoon from Ca di Co and placed it near his new headquarters; but before he could take any further action Major Mackenzie was brought back wounded. This officer had put up a stubborn fight to restore the situation in his own Page 244 company area, but with ( less than two platoons) at his disposal the strength of the enemy had been overwhelming. Captain Dick informed the commanding Officer that the enemy was in B-Company's position, and he was ordered to hold fast. Arrangements were made for a concentration of all available artillery on the top of Castellaro, preparatory to a counter-attack. This unfortunately meant a delay of three-quarters of an hour. Something went pear-shaped here probably a big-time F...-up. How come? What a waist of time. Did the 2 RS not have a forward observation officer from the R.A. that was in support? Need to check who was in support. The answer will probably be in the Appx's. Back to page 244. By the time concentrations were put down, enemy reinforcements had come up and all resistance had ended in the B-Company area.

    A new threat had quickly developed on A-Company's right flank. The enemy had occupied Ca di Co and a party was already​
    working its way round Captain Dick's right rear. He ordered Company Sergeant-Major Cameron to hold this threat in check and he telephoned a request for artillery concentrations in the Ca di Co vicinity as soon as the guns had stopped firing on the B-Company area. When the direction of artillery fire swung eastward he began to lead his men forward into the hollow.

    If the shell-fire had driven the enemy from the captured positions they were very quickly back again: for no sooner had Dick's men​
    begun to advance than a machine-gun opened fire on them from the knoll on their right front. This knoll, the highest point of Monte Castellaro, commanded the whole of the ridge where Captain Dick's company had been stationed. Private Preston (what a private this chap ended up being in my own words.) I never new that any battalion of 1 Division had any snippers when it came to this campaign. Not a scooby-do if any was in the Anzio Campaign? Private Preston managed to put the enemy machine-gun out of action, but no sooner had he done so than a new gun-crew took over. This happened three times within half an hour. Did Preston knock out all three? Some going if that is the case? His Citation will give a answer. With this machine-gun duel in progress overhead, Captain Dick took his men forward: but when they got across the hollow he realised how strong was the German force now in possession, and knew he could not hope to launch a successful counter-attack with so few men. I'm wondering where is D-Company? Both A, & B Companies are getting it in the neck, along with there backsides. C-Company get a brief mention earlier on. Dick now had no more than six men left. Ordering Cathcart to remain on the ground with them, he went back to bring up the last platoon in his company. Although enemy mortar fire made it difficult, he collected the men. Leaving Company Sergeant-Major Cameron and about half a dozen others some of them wounded, to hold the base.

    The more I read of the 2RS then I have to doff my cap to a battalion that really did not have to be there ( even the 2 Foresters who​
    would take over from them said that this was a waste of time and said it was stupid.) Pissing up any mountain is no good when its of no use. That's my take on it at moment. More to follow in time.

    Hoping to show some Citations. Private John Preston is someone else.

    Regards,
    Stu.
     
    Uncle Target likes this.
  14. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    Fallschirm-Granatwerfer-Bataillon 1 was formed in June 1944. It consisted of three companies, each with (theoretically) 12 x 12cm mortars (4 per platoon).

    IMG_7275.jpg

    IMG_7276.jpg

    In the Appenines, it seems one company supported each FJ Regiment (1. Kp. with FJR 3, 2. Kp. with FJR 1 and 3. Kp. with FJR 4).

    IMG_7279.jpg

    List of appointments.

    IMG_7277.jpg

    IMG_7278.jpg
     
    Uncle Target and Stuart Avery like this.
  15. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Mist over Dartmoor

    Last edited: Apr 2, 2024
    minden1759 likes this.
  16. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Gary, where did you get that from? Is it a book thats on one of your shelves? If so, what is it called?

    Edit : I've a idea what its called. If its the same one? It has many illustrations. I was looking at the rear of it over the weekend.

    Thanks for the answer.
    R,
    Stu.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2024
  17. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Page 222 makes interesting reading. The 2RS where a complete bag of spanners (useless.) Got R.Whitfield's book, plus the war diaries. That is rather blunt. I'm guessing that he's own thougths that they was has much use has dog- .... or a bag of spanners. " Caught with there pants down, and taken out of the line in disgrace". Whitfield being the main man when it comes to the infantry. The Jock's in the 66 Inf Brigade will probably not like that. Whitfield only being in the R.A. and (he's not in the infantry.) Not a pop at him of course.

    A good book by the way to say he only served in the R.A. ;)

    Regards,
    Stu
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2024
  18. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    Its called "Geschichte des Fsch. MB Btl. und des Fsch. Gr. Werferbtl. 1 1940 - 1945". It is a monograph by G. Glitzing.
     
    Uncle Target and Stuart Avery like this.
  19. Tim Lee

    Tim Lee Member

    My Dad fought with the 2/7 Middlesex Machine Gun Company at Monte Grande, he recalled how tough it was, freezing cold !! He lost his Platoon Commander to friendly fire shortly before their final relief and withdrawal from the line - he remembered hearing the Germans singing Christmas Carols in the distance on Christmas Eve ?
     
    Uncle Target and minden1759 like this.
  20. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    My thanks to the Squire for digging out the following Citations (even though I've the two diaries somewhere).:)
    Page 245: he led the platoon across the bullet-swept hollow. In these circumstances was the counter-attack launched.
    After a desperate effort by all ranks Captain Dick's company succeeded in driving the enemy from the high ground. The knoll from​
    which the troublesome machine-gun had been firing was cleared. A rapid consolidation was needed to meet the fresh attack that would almost inevitably develop; but before Dick could do anything further (he was wounded). When he found that Cathcart had (also been wounded) and that there had been other casualties, he realised that he had not sufficient men to hold the position. If the enemy attacked it would be merely a matter of time before every one of his skeleton force was wiped out. Reluctantly he decided to withdraw to his own base, where he found Company Sergeant-Major Cameron still holding on. Although the ridge gave the men cover from frontal fire they were exposed to the Germans at Ca di Co and to those on rough ground still farther to the right rear. This seems to me what was left of them, that they was almost boxed-in with no other option but to withdraw. Save your what's left when it becomes a forlorn hope. A forlorn hope to kick-off. With the coming of daylight the enemy would be able to pick them off at leisure. When Dick, John Alexander reported the situation by telephone to the Commanding Officer, Colonel Campbell (ordered him to withdraw with all survivors) to Major Simpson's company (C Coy) positions at Rovine. The following says much about this young Private Preston. It would be interesting to find out how old he was if possible?
    It is doubtful if any of them would have got back but for the action of Private Preston. He had already gone forward under fire to the​
    help of Lt. Carthcart who, in his wounded state, failed to get back over the ridge. While the others retired, Preston covered their withdrawal with machine-gun fire. This is where I differ that he was (only awarded a Military Medal). Preston covered their withdrawal with machine-gun fire. Perhaps he should of got the D.S.O. which is the one below the Victoria Cross which is my understanding? He had received (NO ORDER to do so from a officer or N.C.O.,) and he remained at his gun until he felt he was justified in following his comrades on their way back to Rovine. For this and ( HIS previous conduct) in front of his company HQ, Private Preston was awarded the Military Medal.
    Preston.1.jpg

    Just before I carry on: here is what it says on page 147 Section II Appx 'A' BATTLE CASUALTIES- DEFENCE OF "MONTE​
    GRANDE" Sector 2 November 1944 TO 19 January. Total 66 Brigade Killed OR 50, Wounded Offs 10 OR 136, Missing Offs 2 OR 59. TOTAL Offs 12, OR 245. TOTAL ALL RANKS 257. TOTAL % DIV 40.40. Will show the page later.

    Another award was given for outstanding work that night. Captain Dick received the Military Cross. In the Citation stress is laid​
    upon the way in which he moved about under fire to rally his men for the counter-attack and for the high standard of leadership which he displayed throughout Page 246 a series of action which became so confused in the darkness of Monte Castellaro that only an officer of coolness and determination could have got as clear a grip as he did of a situation that held ominous possibilities. Only his lack of men had prevented him from holding Monte Castellaro which he had won back for the Royal Scots. Thanks to Frank for the map.
    0001.jpg
    20240410_152652.jpg

    The question of further support from Major Simpson's Company at Rovine had already been considered, and Simpson himself had​
    volunteered to go forward and launch yet another counter-attack on the lost position. The Commanding Officer decided that any weakening of the defence of the Battalion's right flank would be dangerous unless (immediate reinforcements) were forthcoming from another unit: and this could not be expected for a considerable time, any further counter-attack by the Royal Scots that night was clearly out of the question. Wonder which Officer of the 2 Foresters wrote the following?
    The next day, 30th November, the 2nd Battalion of The Sherwood Foresters (3 Brigade)​
    came forward and counter attacked. Of this gallant attempt to retake Monte Castellaro, one officer wrote: "The attack was doomed to failure before the Foresters had even started.
    The conditions were really frightful, and it was a case of scrambling upwards on hands and knees, slipping back every few yards, Little wonder the Foresters were pulled back from a hopeless Job." The following is from the 2nd Bn. The Sherwood Foresters 1939-1945. Can't remember the author's name at the moment. Will return to page 246 in my next post. Never been able to buy this book which is rare has hen's teeth.
    80 & 81..jpg
    82 & 83..jpg
    84..jpg

    85..jpg
    CCF06062016 (4).jpg

    Regards,
    Stu.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2024
    minden1759 and Uncle Target like this.

Share This Page