Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy

Into the Attack

Into the Attack

The New Zealand infantrymen, helped by ropes, waded across the Sangro in an icy current which reached to their waists. On the enemy's side of the river the force formed up, and under artillery cover five battalions advanced along a front of 6000 yards. The enemy was taken by surprise and by daylight the infantry battalions were firmly established on the north bank. Meanwhile, the engineers had erected a Bailey bridge and partially completed a pontoon bridge, which was ready for use the following night.

The river, the bluffs, and the mud presented the most serious problems of the advance. Mules were used to supply the forward troops with food and ammunition, and supporting arms could be brought up only after a slow, hard struggle. Counter-attacks were repelled, and enemy fighter-bombers attacked the bridges. Strength was built up, and on 29 November the assault was resumed and continued slowly by day and night, with the infantry successively climbing and digging in, hampered at every step by mud and saturated clothing. Colle Barone was taken on 29 November and Castelfrentano on 2 December. The Division had gained the first of a series of ridges and now looked across the deep Moro valley to the next objective of Orsogna on the second ridge.

page 503