Primosole Bridge Sicily 1943

Discussion in 'Italy' started by Verrieres, Nov 15, 2008.

  1. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Senior Member

    Found it! It was taken close to the German Airbase of Catania-Fontanarossa.
     
  2. Sandbox

    Sandbox Member

    Just as an addendum.

    At Primosole some DLI casualties were caused by Italian Arditi (commando/assault troops). Arditi elements silently crawled to DLI outposts and killed or wounded the surprised defenders using combat knives. When after the failed Arditi assault on the bridge a number of Arditi, unable to withdraw as their vehicles had been destroyed, were captured, the Durham's were about to kill them in retaliation, and only the intervention of a British officer saved their lives.

    Along the Fosso Buttaceto there were not just Germans but also the Italian 372nd Coastal Battalion with two machinegun and one infantry companies. The commander, Major Nino Bolla, came from the (tougher) Alpini troops, and the two MG company commanders as well. Unlike other coastal units, the 372nd stood its ground until the Germans retreated without informing the Italians about their withdrawal. Bolla was able to extricate his troops and escape British encirclement.

    Sandbox
     
  3. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Evening Sandbox,

    What is the provenance for your assertions? Do you have Italian War Diaries other contempranious records that support your statements?

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  4. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Sandbox the Italian Arditi have no mention in any DLI History The raid you refer too appears to have been against British Paratroops prior to the DLI arrival ? The DLI were attackers not defenders . Heres a passage which is unfortunately (for me) in Italian but recalls the Arditi raid on the Paras,


    Kyle
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
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  5. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    A simple Google translation of Kyle's quoted source. It doesn't translate very well but, I believe you can follow it:
    Kyle - I originally believed that Sandbox was referring to a later time after the 151st Infantry Brigade (6th, 8th & 9th Bns Durham Light Infantry) had secured Primosole Bridge and were positioned at/near the Fosso Bottaceto, but I think that circumstances he and your quote describe are too similar to be different occurrences.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
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  6. albert86

    albert86 Member

    Senza titolo-1.jpg
     
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  7. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Thanks Albert , the Arditi on Sicily were from 112a and 113a Compagnie of the 2nd Battalion they fought in Armoured Cars so could well have been those responsible for the failed attack but there`s no mention of the silent attack which `Sand Box` referred to against the DLI but there is accounts of 10 Regiments Arditi skirmish with the Paras ? The action which Cpl Rose won his MM pre-dated the Primisole attack by one day ? Fog of war six trucks or seven armoured cars?
    Thanks for posting Rose`s MM. :)

    Kyle
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
  8. albert86

    albert86 Member

    the attack was successful, because it allowed the Germans to capture the bridge, up to the field hospital (MDS) at the foot of johnny 1, in which the paratroopers had withdrawn during the afternoon of July 14th.

    The arditi went as far as the jazzotto junction (memorial in the photo) and 4/6 armouured cars were destroyed and there were 11 dead, about 22 missing and 4 wounded on a force of 57 men; they also fought on foot

    However the attack started at 1.45 am on the 15th july and ended after 1 hour and 40 minutes, after having penetrated the defenses for 6 km (jazzotto crossroads, see memorial photo)

    The attack is mentioned by the durahm because the first division was in high positions on the johnny and at least durahm platoons had reinforced the paratroopers (mention in Frost's 2bn diary) and already at 11pm the DLI was preparing for the attack of the daybreak (always Frost diary’s battallion).

    Strangely, the diaries of the 1st parachute brigade, do not mention the attack of the Arditi indeed says "night passes quitely".

    In fact the attack is mentioned by the L / C Rose of 9 DLI, because on the road which reaches the bridge there was already the DLI at 1.45 am .

    However, there are these docuent; Major Marcianò diarym the medal decoration diaries that talk about this action and we have also contacted some relatives who have lost someone during this attack
     

    Attached Files:

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  9. albert86

    albert86 Member

    From the book of Lorenzo Bovi
     

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  10. albert86

    albert86 Member

    the place of the battle (then & now)
    Bivio jazzotto
     

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  11. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    I was there on Monday with Marco and Edward Graham:

    IMG_2922.JPG IMG_2920.JPG
     
  12. albert86

    albert86 Member

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  13. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Kyle
     
  14. albert86

    albert86 Member

    the armoured cars according the italian diaries were six; four were knocked out; further there are 11 dead, about 22 missing and 4 wounded on a force of 57 men (Diary of Major Marcianò).
    In every paras diaries that i red, nobody speak about the arditi's attack, just that a platton of DLI reinforced the 2 bn para onto the hill called "Johnny 1", whick look at the bridge and the main street road.
    In the para diary is written that at "1945 - 1st tks of 8th Army arrived at 2nd Bn area and left one tp to support the Bn. They reported 8th Army inf moving up fast to relieve us; 2400 - Tanks and leading inf arrive. 2 Bns D.L.I. pass through to bridge area. 1 Bn of D.L.I. take over 2nd Bn posns; 2340 - One Coy of D.L.I. reinforce the Bn on the high ground - Night passes quietly..
    The attack of arditi started at 1.45 and finished about 3.30 (1 hours and 40 minutes later according the diary of Major Marcianò of arditi).

    After the attacck all the area around the bridge was under german hand,
    precisely allowed to consolidate the position, infact the Airborne "Main Dressing Station", below Johnny 1, was captured by germans and italians (paras diaries are agree).

    There is just a problem: why the paras didnt write anything about the six armoured cars? Instead the cpl rose yes?
     
  15. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Yes presumably if they advanced on the DLI you would have thought they would pass through the Paras?

    Kyle
     
  16. albert86

    albert86 Member

    Why not? The para were short of ammunition (mostly mortars or piat); otherwise the para could have hit even the Germans near the bridge, but they didint even because they settle on johnny 1, but in the southernmost part to avoid being hit
    Obviously the exact time will never be known, there will always be discrepancies; the bold are also paratroopers, raiders, etc. in a nutshell a regiment of special strengths
     

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