Medical Units of 2 NZEF in Middle East and Italy
THE WAR in Italy had not stood still since the fall of Rome. The Germans had made a long withdrawal towards their next important barricade across the peninsula. This was known as the Gothic Line, and ran from Massa on the Gulf of Genoa, through north of Florence, to Pesaro on the Adriatic coast. It was the Allied intention to hasten the enemy's withdrawal as much as possible and to attack the Gothic Line before he had opportunity to complete its defences. But to do this a series of strongly defended intermediate positions south of Florence had to be overcome.
To assist in attaining this objective, 2 NZ Division was needed by 13 Corps, and this brought to an end the pleasant respite from active operations. Moving secretly at night, the Division travelled 250 miles northwards through the outskirts of Rome and on to an area just south of Lake Trasimene. On the night of 9-10 July the first convoys left Arce, and three nights later 6 Brigade was once more in the line, 15 miles north of the lake, ready to attack the mountain heights overlooking the approaches to Arezzo.