56 Recce Operations, Fontanelice, north of Castel del Rio, Italy

Discussion in 'Italy' started by Tony56, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    War diaries contain a good deal of information on movements and operations and the map references can be used to plot approximate positions. Maps themselves are very few and far between, usually limited to the various map overlays, but these can be difficult to pinpoint.

    The 56 Recce diaries contain one detailed map on P2190363, this was issued by their Intelligence Section and was used in operations carried out by the Regiment 70 years ago in October and November 1944.

    P2190363.jpg Map Italy.jpg

    At that time the 78th Division were advancing from Castel del Rio towards Imola a task made difficult by the weather and acts of sabotage carried out by the retreating Germans, particularly blown bridges across the Santerno River.

    The map is centred on reference wM040230 which can be translated to co-ordinates 44.26956,11.54298.

    I have recreated this map using Google.

    Map terrain.JPG Map aerial.JPG

    The Intelligence Section’s write up is on P2190358/9.

    P2190358.jpg P2190359.jpg

    All three infantry brigades of the 78th Battleaxe Division were involved in the fighting around this area and, of course, the campaign is covered in Cyril Ray’s ‘Algiers to Austria’. The exploits of the 38th Infantry Brigade are covered in more detail in Richard’s fine posts like Monte Spaduro which is in the same area.

    I have also managed to find a 1940s War Office map that is, without question, the original used by the Intelligence Section.

    Map original.jpg

    The war diaries for the period are:

    56th Recce War Diary October 1944 | WW2Talk
    56th Recce War Diary November 1944 | WW2Talk

    Using these and the Intelligence Section’s report I have tried to identify some of the various locations the Regiment operated in, these are shown below and on the next post. I doubt that the views have changed that much.

    234 La Costa aerial.jpg
    La Costa aerial
    Pt 167
    Pt 202
    234 La Costa.jpg
    Pt 234 La Costa
    234 La Costa road.jpg
    Pt 234 La Costa road
    234 La Costa looking north.jpg
    Pt 234 La Costa looking north
    Pt 254
    265 Furuna.jpg
    Pt 265 Furuna
    278 track.jpg
    Pt 278 track
    349 C Nola.jpg
    Pt 349 C Nola
    359 C Botte aerial.jpg
    Pt 359 C Botte aerial
    372 La Casetta and 387 Monte Ciavi.jpg
    Pt 372 La Casetta & Pt 387 Monte Ciavi
    372 La Casetta.jpg
    Pt 372 La Casetta
    387 Monte Ciava looking Nth.jpg
    Pt 387 Monte Ciavi looking north
    387 Monte Ciava.jpg
    Pt 387 Monte Ciavi

    EDIT 22/1/2018: Links updated and titles for images
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
    Recce_Mitch, bexley84, Owen and 3 others like this.
  2. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Additional photos to the above post:

    389 Tomberella aerial.jpg
    Pt 389 Tomberella aerial
    389 Tomberella.jpg
    Pt 389 Tomberella
    395 Pradella aerial.jpg
    Pt 395 Pradella aerial
    395 Pradella.jpg
    Pt 395 Pradella
    432 Sqn HQ.jpg
    Pt 432 Sqn HQ
    432 track to Castellaro.jpg
    Pt 432 track to Castellaro
    442 Casa Gualdo aerial.jpg
    Pt 442 Casa Gualdo aerial
    442 Casa Gualdo.jpg
    Pt 442 Casa Gualdo
    442 Casa Gualdo nameplate.jpg
    Pt 442 Casa Gualdo nameplate
    Budriolo aerial.jpg
    Budriolo aerial
    Penzola ridge from Budriola.jpg
    Penzola Ridge from Budriolo
    Diggers House.jpg
    Diggers House
    Para Prato Church.jpg
    Para Prato Church
    Prato di Sotto.jpg
    Prato di Sotto

    EDIT 22/1/2018: Titles to images
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
  3. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Tony- excellent posts and photos.
    Thank you for posting.

  4. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    I have to agree with Lesley.

    A most excellent Recce post.

  5. sanchez

    sanchez Well-Known Member

    brilliant research thanks for the post.
  6. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

    Tony a great 56 Recce Post

  7. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member


    Great..I shall study with great interest when I'm home at the end of the week..

  8. bookwormwmb

    bookwormwmb proud daughter of a 56 Recce/78 infantry vet

    hello Tony, is there a way to save this off? i am putting aside some things for my children about their grandfather Frank De Angeli.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
  9. sanchez

    sanchez Well-Known Member

    hi bookworm
    I did a google my maps of the 56th recce regts movements . I may add with loads of help from tony , who told me about the echo delta site for translating ww2 co ordinates into todays references and also help with how things get done on my maps and tons of help with Tunisia as you had to cross reference old maps held on a Texan unis website with todays google maps . anyway hope the link works and you can see most to the map references from the diaries .
    Recce_Mitch, Tony56, 4jonboy and 2 others like this.
  10. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member


    Brill. Really good.

    Hopefully I'll be walking the ground again in Tunisia next month: Bou Arada to Goubellat, Jebel Madhi, Bettiour/Heidous/Tanngoucha et al.. thence to Sicily and onto Termoli etc....

    Faugh a Ballagh
  11. bookwormwmb

    bookwormwmb proud daughter of a 56 Recce/78 infantry vet

    fantastic tony. thank you for sharing.
  12. sanchez

    sanchez Well-Known Member

    Have a great time richard from the the green faced man .
    4jonboy and bexley84 like this.

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