Dec. 12, 1943

All packed up and ready to go to No. 1 Can Gen Hospital at Barletta tomorrow. Don’t know what my course will be from there, but probably Naples by rail. Looking forward to the trip. ADMS (assistant director medical services) visited again today.

Soldiers of the 1st Canadian Division carry a dead comrade killed by shell fire while escorting German prisoners. None of the prisoners was killed. 10 Dec 1943, San Leonardo di Ortona, Italy. Canada at War.

Soldiers of the 1st Canadian Division carry a dead comrade killed by shell fire while escorting German prisoners. None of the prisoners was killed. 10 Dec 1943, San Leonardo di Ortona, Italy. Canada at War.

Meanwhile, the Moro River campaign continued. The following information is taken from Clearing The Gully: Army, Part 68 by Terry Copp on the Legion Magazine website:

Montgomery proposed to begin Operation Semblance on Dec. 15, but Allfrey and Major-General Chris Vokes–the Canadian divisional commander–wanted the Canadians to secure Cider Crossroads and the highway before joining in the promised corps advance. Vokes decided to commit his reserve, the 3rd Canadian Infantry Bde., to accomplish this. The West Nova Scotia Regt. made the first attempt at dusk on Dec. 11, but could make no progress. The next morning, the West Nova Scotia Regt. was ordered to try again, despite a driving rain. When this attack failed, Vokes employed all available three-inch and 4.2-inch mortars with their high-trajectory fire on the reverse slope, while the artillery suppressed other enemy positions. The Carleton and York Regt. led the new advance supported by flank attacks. After some early success, “murderous machine-gun and mortar fire” from within and beyond The Gully overwhelmed the battalion, which suffered 52 casualties as well as the loss of 28 men who were taken prisoner when a platoon was cut off.

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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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