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2nd New Zealand Divisional Artillery



To go on leave, gunners were issued with rations (because of the food shortage in the city) and British military currency, all in paper notes down to the value of a shilling. The exchange rate was 400 lire to the pound sterling, but the lowest note fixed the price of the cheapest articles on sale in the battered city, which therefore soon became known as Bobtown.

page 463

At first the long city streets were almost empty of Italians and there was nothing but trinkets and tourist souvenirs to buy, with vast quantities of razor blades. It was only round the harbour that bomb damage was severe and there it was greatly augmented by huge demolitions and by block ships sunk in the entrance. The Spanish Mole and Quay, the Naval Basin Quay, the Karamanli Mole, and the South-West Quay were all destroyed or badly damaged, and the bridge linking the Spanish Mole with the land was demolished. The wide and otherwise impressive waterfront drive was littered with blocks of masonry and other debris. There was much to be done before Eighth Army supplies could arrive by sea in quantities large enough to permit the Division to resume its forward march.