Friday, March 18, 2011

Italian Campaign War Diary Snippets

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R.T. Currelly, "Report on Operations of 12 CAR (TRR) for the period 1 Apr to 6 May 44...", 1 Canadian Field Historical Section, Directorate of History and Heritage, 31 July 1944, 4.

"Cassino was like a ghost town. It is completly demolished. The jagged remains of the house walls stand up stark and white like bleached bones in a desert and there is not a tree or a bush that is still alive. At night the enemy would emit weird bloodcurdling cries like the call of wild animals. The eerie silence which normally prevailed was periodically shattered by the scream and crash of an incoming salvo of shells. The whole atmosphere was most death-like, and was by no means improved by the pervading stench of rotting corpses in the rubble of the shattered buildings."

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6 British Armoured Division, 1 June 1944

From captured document of 1 German Parachute Division written by General Heidrich.

"(a) Elimination of the word "catastrophe". In accordance with the directive of the Ministry of Popular Enlightenment the word "catastrophe" is to be eradicated from general usage. The word "catastrophe" will be replaced by the phrase "circumstance of great peril" and the phrase "catastrophic action" by the phrase "air-raid action".

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4th British Division, 25 June 1944

"3. Manners Makyth Man
It has come to light that one of our patrols located a German position yesterday by a singular chance. The patrol was passing along a track when a rude and quite unmistakable sound was heard. On stealthy investigation, a German was found, and when he endeavoured to warn his comrades, was shot at point-blank range. Had he been able to restrain his bestial impulse, he might be living."

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Kensingtons Regimental News, May 1944
"A.T.S. girls are now warned to look before they Jeep and so avoid being Yanked into maternity."

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138th Field Regiment RA War Diary 20th May 1944

"A lull in the fighting. Three objects for the day: 1. To kill Boche; 2. to calibrate the guns in order to kill Boche in the future; 3. to kill more Boche."

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75th Heavy Field Regiment RA War Diary

2 May 1944
"At 0830 hrs O.P. on M. Trocchio reported Swastika Flag flying on top of Hangman's Hill (pt 435). After Airburst practice by 504 Bty at 1230 hrs an ambulance was observed proceeding to tgt area."

17 May 1944
"At 1020 a report was recieved that the enemy in the Monastery had put up the white flag but subsequently fired on the Polish Infantry. The Poles said they would take no more prisoners."

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17th Heavy Field Regiment RA War Diary
12 May 1944

2306hrs "Barrage reported to have shaken a bottle of beer off the table in 228 Bty Comand Post - broken."

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66th Medium Field Regiment RA War Diary
15th May 1944

- 1045hrs "B.O.P reports 'enemy recce cavalry in our area. Am prepared to use own armament if necessary' later reported to be 2 enemy on mules who gave themselves up."

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17th Medium Field Regiment RA War Diary
17th May 1944

1230hrs "Corps artillery fired on MONASTERY - still in German hands - enemy had shown white flag and then machine gunned, Polish infantry as they emerged form cover. Incidient reported of wounded paratrooper stabbing Polish medical orderly in an A.D.S as he tended another casualty."

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259th Field Company Royal Engineers War Diary

1430hrs "O.C., Lt Price to recce bridge site. They swam the river and recced far approach without any trouble, which they were not in a position to combat anyway, having no clothes."
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German Propaganda Leaflets
Roosevelt the Reaper

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