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Italy Volume II : From Cassino to Trieste



New Zealand

CassinoSoraAvezzano.’ War History Branch narrative by R. Walker.

From the Arce Rest Area to Monte Lignano’, by A. G. Protheroe.

Florence’, by R. Walker.

‘The Italian Campaign, August – November 1944’, by A. G. Protheroe.

‘The Italian Campaign, November 1944–May 1945’, by R. L. Kay.

The End of the War and Disbandment of 2 NZEF’, by R. L. Kay.

These preliminary narratives are based on the divisional, brigade, and unit war diaries of the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force, supplemented by miscellaneous reports, records of interviews, eyewitness accounts, signal messages, strength states, sketches, citations, and unofficial material yielded by correspondence and interviews with participants.

GOC's Papers: a diary kept by Lieutenant-General Freyberg (or for him by his Personal Assistant), supplemented by relevant papers and reports grouped in files.

File 46. GOC's Diary, Part IV, 3 September 1943–17 October 1944.

File 52, Cassino, Terelle and Atina.

File 53, Sora – Rome – Arezzo.

File 54, Florence advance – Across to the Adriatic.

File 55, Attack on the Gothic Line.

File 56, Rimini-Pisciatello, and out of the line. Major-General Weir's diary, 5 September to 13 October 1944.

File 57, At Matelica.

File 58, Faenza operations.

File 59, Static period on Senio River line.

File 60, Static on Senio – Exercise ‘Ubique’. Visit of General Mark Clark.

File 61, Relief of 2 New Zealand Division by 5 Kresowa (Polish) Division and withdrawal to Matelica area. Planning and training for coming offensive. Move forward to line again.

File 62, Orders for Operation Buckland. Crossings of the Senio, Santerno, Sillaro, Gaiana, Idice, Reno, Po and Adige – capture of Padua and Venice – crossing the Piave.

page 606

File 63, Crossing of Isonzo and first contact with troops of Marshal Tito. Advance to Trieste. Surrender of German Armies in Italy. Defensive measures in Trieste. Visit of General Mark Clark. Visit of General McCreery.

File 64, Visit of Field Marshal Alexander. Yugoslav troubles at Trieste. Conference, future policy on war in Far East.

File 65, Farewell message to 2 New Zealand Division from Eighth Army Commander. Final days in Trieste-move to Trasimene – farewell articles in Trieste newspapers.

File 66, Conference on force for Japan. Move to Florence.

File 67, GOC's Diary, Part V, 18 October 1944–January 1945.

File 68, GOC's Diary, Part VI, 1 January- 17 October 1945.

File 69, Cables to Prime Minister on policy matters, appreciations, etc., 3 October 1942 to 15 August 1945.

File 70, Furlough Scheme – Ruapehu, Wakatipu and reinforcements.

File 71, Furlough Scheme – Taupo. Release of 4th Reinforcements.

File 72, Replacement Scheme – Tongariro. Use of 3 Division as replacements.

File 73, Replacement Scheme – HAWEA, WAIKATO, TEKAPO, APARIMA. Release of 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th Reinforcements.

File 75, Employment of Division. Effect of future policy on replacement of long-service personnel.

File 76, 3 Greek Mountain Brigade under command of 2 New Zealand Division.

File 77, Short-term and long-term reorganisation for operations in Italy.

File 78, Future employment and problems of changeover: GOC's early appreciations for New Zealand Government on role in Far East war.

File 79, Further appreciations by GOC on role in Far East. GOC's visit to London. Coronet project. VJ Day alters situation. Shipping troubles and schemes for repatriation of long-service personnel.

File 80, Occupation force for Far East (file labelled ‘Jayforce’).

File 81, Difficulties in obtaining shipping for repatriation of remainder of NZEF to New Zealand.

File 82, Disposal of equipment.

File 83, Leave scheme to United Kingdom.

page 607

File 84, Hand over of command of 2 NZEF. Report on various funds under control of GOC.

File 85, Memorial services – Crete, Sangro, Cassino and Alamein.

United Kingdom

Admiralty, Naval Intelligence Division: Geographical Handbook Series Italy, Vol. I, 1944.

British Historical Section, Central Mediterranean: Operations of British, Indian, and Dominion Forces in Italy, Part II: The Campaign in Central Italy. Section A, Allied Strategy. Section B, Eighth Army Advance to Rome. Section D, Eighth Army Advance to Florence. Section E, 5 Corps on the Adriatic Coast. Section F, German Strategy. Part III: The Campaign in the Northern Apennines. Section A, Allied Strategy. Section B, Eighth Army – The Gothic Line and Romagna Battles. Section E, 1 Canadian Corps Operations. Section H, German Strategy. Part IV: The Campaign in Lombardy. Section B, Eighth Army – The Final Offensive. Section C, 5 Corps Operations. Section D, 13 Corps Operations. Section E, 10 Corps Operations. Section F, 2 Polish Corps Operations. Section G, German Strategy.

Leese, General Sir Oliver: Eighth Army Operations: Battles for the Gustav Line and for the Adolf Hitler Line, May 11th to May 30th 1944. From the Capture of Rome to the Entry into Florence, 31st May to 11th August 1944. From Start of Preparations for the Battle for the Gothic Line on the Adriatic, 12th August, to Breakout from Rimini into Po Valley, 21st September 1944.


Many of the enemy documents captured during the progress of the war were translated and appended to the relevant war diaries. After the war the bulk of the material captured in Germany – generally speaking, documentation at divisional level and above – was transferred to the United States War Department, Washington. Mr W. D. Dawson was sent to Washington by the War History Branch to appraise this material and translate whatever had reference to the War History Branch programme. He also traced copies of maps and diagrams. Unfortunately the enemy documents, except for one or two brief reports, peter out in October 1944. No records of 76 Panzer Corps during the period it controlled divisions opposing the New Zealand Division were available.

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Documents from which extracts were translated:

Tenth Army war diary and appendices.

Tenth Army reports and conversations.

Fourteenth Army war diary and appendices.

Fourteenth Army reports.

51 Mountain Corps war diary and appendices.

14 Panzer Corps reports.

29 Panzer Grenadier Division report, 16–20 December 1944.

C-in-C South-West daily reports to General Headquarters, Berlin, December 1944.

Biographies of German Army officers prominent in the Italian Campaign, 1943–45.

The following report, also based on German military documents in Washington, was consulted:

Historical Section, Canadian Army: The Italian Campaign (11 Aug–31 Oct 44). Information from German military documents regarding Allied operations in general and Canadian operations in particular.