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Re(5): pbs channal
IP: 86.176.115.3


Vince
You say as a question " 2nd LF played part in it`s defence? "
Well no they didn't. See the link I placed above re the 11th Bn
The 2nd Bn were involved in North Africa and later were part of the Battle Axe Division that fought their way from Sicily up through Italy. The 11th Bn following the seige of Malta GC joined the 2nd Bn in Italy and they too formed part of the Battle Axe Division in 66 Infantry Brigade until the end of WW2.
From the 11th Bn Page
Once the threat to Malta had disappeared,11th Bn LF sailed on the French ship Ville D'Oran to Italy, disembarking at Naples on the 21st May 1944.
They then moved by Lorry to a transit camp near Afragola.
The plan was for these heroes of Malta to be disbanded and the men to be sent piecemeal as reinforcement/replacements wherever they were needed.
Fortunately, common sense prevailed and they were kept together, but had to undergo a winnowing out process where only those still fit for battle were retained.
The newly refreshed and fully trained Bn was then sent to Greve, where they became part of 66 Infantry brigade.
The Germans were at that time withdrawing to the Gothic Line and on the morning of 1st September the 11th Bn took up the pursuit.
B and C Company were up fron having crossed Monte Rinaldo and immediately were faced by a minefield.
Picking their way cautiously through this,D Coy were engaged by enemy Mortar fire, killing one Officer and 4 Ors, as well as wounding 9 others.
A patrol from C Coy made a firm position on the outskirts of the village of Montorsoli and as an attempt was made to join them by A and C Coys,they came under very heavy mortar fire, well directed.It was suspected that a German Red Cross station, atop a hill, was direcing the fire and acting as an OP.Radios chose that moment to stop working, so no comms.
Heavy casualties.
The Bn were involved in a number of scraps during the next few days until on the 12th October the Bn was established on the Western slope of Mount Ceco.
Their mission was the capture of two features NE and SE of it's current position.
There had already been 5 failed attacks by other Units.
The plan was to attack at night against trenches,which got off to a bad start and at dawn the forward LFs began to take heavy casualties.
It became clear that a Company attack would not succeed,it would require at least a Bn attack.
During the recce for this Bn attack, the Germans opened up on a B Coy patrol with grenades and Spandaus.

Captain R P Sawkins attacked them single handedly, causing some casualties amongst them but was wounded himself and fainted from blood loss.
When he came round he found himself amongst other Fusiliers who had also been wounded and he set about treating them.he and three fusiliers crawled back to their Company and they were later joined by a fourth man who had lain doggo for 2 whole days behind enemy lines.
The Bn attack on Cico then took place and in spite of heavy losses managed to secure both positions.

Awards for gallantry were:-
DSO to the CO,DSO to Major Walker OC D Coy,2 MCs were won and five MMs.

Fus Gill won the MM exposing himself to heavy fire whilst cooly and determinedly giving help to a wounded comrade.

Heroes all.

Geoff P

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