Episode 8 – The Adriatic

Following the victory in taking the vital city of Florence from the Germans, the New Zealand Division rested and re-equipped at Impoli for a short period. They also took on reinforcements here. Then when ready again for action the Div moved back east across the Appenines to rejoin the fight. Now they were formed into the Canadian Corps, with their first task being to support the Allied moves to take Rimini.

Between September and December 1944 the New Zealand Infantry were a spearhead in moving the Allied lines forward through Rimini, onto Forli and then taking the city of Faenza. But winter arrived and the Allies could go no further than the southern banks of the Senio river. The Germans were poised on the northern banks, and from December through till the last day of March 1945 a stalemate of sorts ensued. This did not mean the work stopped, and the kiwi infantry carried out daily and nightly patrols, manned listening posts and lobbed mortar and artillery shells across the river at the enemy.  The enemy did the same back.

In this episode we hear from men who were there, in that cold, bleak landscape risking it all.

In order of appearance we hear:

– Gordon Briggs (23 Battalion)
– Ned Nolan (22 Battalion)
– Nolan Raihania (28 (Maori) Battalion)
– Te Puhi Patara (28 (Maori) Battalion)
– Don Adams (21 Battalion)
– Harry Shirley (21 Battalion)
– Ted Waters (21 Battalion)
– Ted “Bluey” Homewood  (21 Battalion)
– Harry Hopping (24 Battalion)
– Brynn Hughes (22 Battalion)
– Fred Preece (28 (Maori) Battalion)
– Charlie Honeycombe (21 Battalion)
and
-Norm Harris (24 Battalion)

Thanks to the Te Awamutu Returned and Service Association, Richard Carstens, Harima Fraser, and the 28 (Maori) Battalion Association for their assistance in making this episode

7 comments to Episode 8 – The Adriatic

  • Recall it so well as we are battling away at San Martino on the Coriano Ridge as the Kiwi’s came through until th 27th when we bought it and I lost great deal oof interest in the war as I spent thee next 6 months in various hospitals even down to Catania back in Sicily….

    Cheers

    Tom C

    • Dave Homewood

      Thanks Tom. Sounds nasty! I always appreciate reading your memories, and I really appreciate your feedback here. It’s great to have another veteran onboard.

      For those who don’t know Tom, he’s a regular contributor to the excellent WW2Talk forum’s Italy section
      http://ww2talk.com/forums/index.php

      Cheers,
      Dave

  • Gordon Briggs

    Hi Dave you done of reminding us of our past one small mistake I was in the the youngest serving member of the 23Bn Kinest Regards to and yours Gordon Briggs

    • Dave Homewood

      Hi Gordon, sorry about that typing error, I’ll change it. There is a fair bit to come yet. The next episode will focus on the infantry again as you guys moved from the Senio River up to Trieste and the end of the war in Italy for the NZ Infantry. But there’s more after that.

      Episode 10 will be called “Life in the P.B.I.”, and as you know that is the “Poor Bloody Infantry”. This will be a collection of stories and memories of life in general among the infantry guys and their impressions of Italy and the war – all the same chaps who have previously appeared in the series but stories that didn’t quite fit in the previous chronological episodes. This will be the last Infantry-focused episode (for now, anyway).

      Once that one is out there, following episodes will turn to the other kiwis who also fought in the Italian Campaign, with episodes focused on the Artillery; the Engineers; the Armoured Regiment tankies; the Medical staff; the RNZAF pilots; and the Navy crew. So there’s possibly another 7 or 8 episodes to come after the Infantry story is told. These other guys and ladies all had a bit of a different war from the P.B.I.who were up in the front line sangars and foxholes!

      Cheers,
      Dave

  • Richard O'Sullivan

    Dave,

    Thank you – another excellent episode.

    Richard

  • jenny reynolds

    Thank you for another great episode Dave.

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