The main interest was getting our guns and vehicles in condition to fight again.
The majority of the vehicles had been “finito” when they were first taken
over from the Desert Rats and that they were kept on the road at all was due only to the
almost superhuman efforts and interest of the drivers, mechanics
The condition of the guns was little better.
This state of affairs continued for almost the entire stay in Italy.
A vehicle or gun had to be absolute scrap before it was
There was apparently little or no replacement policy until just before the
unit left Italy, and this neglect was the most discouraging feature
of the Italian campaign.
LIRI VALLEY - 17 May 44.
On the 17th May the Regiment moved up for the assault on the GUSTAV and HITLER
lines to a concentration area in the valley below CASINO.
It was an extremely dark night until Jerry
dive bombers arrived and lit everything up like day with parachute flares.
Things were very interesting for a short while but no casualties were suffered.
The following morning a gun position near PIGNATARO was occupied
but there was no firing and the Regiment moved forward again the following day in
order to be in position to fire the barrage on the HITLER line.
As a result of the enemy occupation of Mount CAIRO and the mountainous
ridge on the right all gun positions were exposed and suffered as a result.
The barrage position was heavily and continually shelled.
There was a heavy concentration of troops, tanks and vehicles in and around the
area and it was evident that
had observation despite the efforts at concealment
including smoke generators.
Casualties suffered here were 6 killed and 12 wounded which was remarkably
light considering the amount of enemy shelling taken.
Once again good gun pits, slit trenches, quick reactions and insistence that no
one take unnecessary risks paid dividends.