Sept. 5 & 6, 1943

Sept. 5: Rode through the Town of Reggio – thousands of citizens lining the streets – neither cheering or looking very downcast. The north part of the Town is deserted and terribly blown to pieces. The main part is full of civilians and not badly knocked around. It is a beautiful city. The people much more intelligent and clean than in Sicily. The Italians are surrendering by the thousands. Full Regiments with equipment intact. There is an anti-air craft battery with us – we are both cooking in the same fire. They were notified today not to fire on any Italian Plan, as Envoys are landing today on Reggio Air Port. We start inland tomorrow, up through the hills onto the plateau. It looks as if Italy is going to surrender soon. The war may be over this year yet.

Personalities: The Commander of the Eighth Army, Lieutenant General Sir Bernard Montgomery, watches troops as they pass through the streets of Reggio. Personalities: The Commander of the Eighth Army, Lieutenant General Sir Bernard Montgomery, watches troops as they pass through the streets of Reggio. © IWM (NA 6220)

Personalities: The Commander of the Eighth Army, Lieutenant General Sir Bernard Montgomery, watches troops as they pass through the streets of Reggio.
© IWM (NA 6220)

Sept 6. One Co. Of Inf., Carlton York, Saskatoon, M.G. Co., 1 Co. 1st Div. Recce, 1 Co. Engineers, 2 Troops Calgary Tanks, 2 H.Q. Tanks, Medical Jeep, small part of “A” Echelon start at 6 p.m. As a column to go up the coast road as far as possible. We start at Reggio and travel due south, past the Air Port, through towns at first not interested in us, but sill curious. We pass through lovely scenery – some real mt. Climbing, overlooking drops of hundreds of feet and laager in an orchard on the south coast of Italy, about six miles west of Melito.

Sherman tanks in Reggio, 3 September 1943. © IWM (NA 6490)

Sherman tanks in Reggio, 3 September 1943.
© IWM (NA 6490)

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About Rob Alexander

I am a writer, photographer and historian and the author of The History of Canmore, published by Summerthought Publishing of Banff, AB.

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