Calabria battle

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NavyCdo412
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Calabria battle

Post by NavyCdo412 » 22 Mar 2021 15:17

How many German prisoners were captured by 8th Army or 1st Canadian Division in September 1943 during the battle for Calabria, a forgotten battle of ww2?

Richard Anderson
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Re: Calabria battle

Post by Richard Anderson » 22 Mar 2021 15:34

NavyCdo412 wrote:
22 Mar 2021 15:17
How many German prisoners were captured by 8th Army or 1st Canadian Division in September 1943 during the battle for Calabria, a forgotten battle of ww2?
44.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Calabria battle

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 22 Mar 2021 16:42

Worth noting that 1st Canadian Division was part of 8th Army.

The German plan was always based on withdrawing in the face of a significant Allied landing, which is what happened.

I think the biggest challenge to 13 Corps advance was from an engineering perspective. Poor roads, good demolitions, insufficient bridging, limited landing craft for coastal supply, etc.

Regards

Tom

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Calabria battle

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 22 Mar 2021 22:19

Richard,

Re “44” - what dates is that for? 3 September until when?

Regards

Tom

Richard Anderson
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Re: Calabria battle

Post by Richard Anderson » 22 Mar 2021 23:01

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
22 Mar 2021 22:19
Richard,

Re “44” - what dates is that for? 3 September until when?

Regards

Tom
Reported through the month of September, by 8 Army. Iirc though most were recorded by 1st Airborne...of couse the 44 were matched by the brigadier the Jerries snaffled up.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Calabria battle

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 23 Mar 2021 19:25

Richard Anderson wrote:
22 Mar 2021 23:01
Reported through the month of September, by 8 Army.
Thanks once again. Would any PW captured by 1st Airborne have been included in 8th Army totals? When first landed into Taranto it was directly under 15th Army Group, IIRC.

I know Urquhart was wounded (231 Bde) but wasn't aware of a Brigadier being captured. Who him? :D

Regards

Tom

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Re: Calabria battle

Post by Richard Anderson » 23 Mar 2021 20:02

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
23 Mar 2021 19:25
Richard Anderson wrote:
22 Mar 2021 23:01
Reported through the month of September, by 8 Army.
Thanks once again. Would any PW captured by 1st Airborne have been included in 8th Army totals? When first landed into Taranto it was directly under 15th Army Group, IIRC.

I know Urquhart was wounded (231 Bde) but wasn't aware of a Brigadier being captured. Who him? :D

Regards

Tom
OOOPS! My bad, I transposed the numbers. British forces captured 136 of the enemy, German forces captured 44, including an unidentified officer stated to be a "brigadier". IIRC we looked and he turned out to be a CRA captured while on recce, but was actually a colonel? I'll see if I can piece it together again, it was near 20 years ago we dug this stuff out.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

NavyCdo412
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Re: Calabria battle

Post by NavyCdo412 » 24 Mar 2021 21:58

Thank you! 8th Army if I not mistake those captured prisoners were from 76th Panzer Corps?

Is there an account for Calabria alone?

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Re: Calabria battle

Post by Richard Anderson » 25 Mar 2021 00:40

NavyCdo412 wrote:
24 Mar 2021 21:58
Thank you! 8th Army if I not mistake those captured prisoners were from 76th Panzer Corps?

Is there an account for Calabria alone?
IIRC quite a few were from 1. FJD, while others were 29. PGD. Also IIRC, most of the PW reported by the Germans were 1st Airborne Division...IIRC the recce that yielded the captured "brigadier" also caught another 28 or 29 O&EM from the division.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Calabria battle

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 25 Mar 2021 18:47

Richard Anderson wrote:
25 Mar 2021 00:40
Also IIRC, most of the PW reported by the Germans were 1st Airborne Division...
Allowing my annoying pedantic side to creep out, apologies, but should 1st Airborne Division activities be included - Isn’t it more accurate (or nitpicking :oops: ) to say that they weren’t operating in Calabria, but in Apulia? To be totally honest, and to my shame, I’m not entirely sure where Calabria stops and Apulia starts. But then, I struggle with Devon and Cornwall, and there’s a big river between them!

Best regards, he says whilst climbing down from his pedantic soap box, :D

Tom

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Re: Calabria battle

Post by Richard Anderson » 25 Mar 2021 18:50

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
25 Mar 2021 18:47
Richard Anderson wrote:
25 Mar 2021 00:40
Also IIRC, most of the PW reported by the Germans were 1st Airborne Division...
Allowing my annoying pedantic side to creep out, apologies, but should 1st Airborne Division activities be included - Isn’t it more accurate (or nitpicking :oops: ) to say that they weren’t operating in Calabria, but in Apulia? To be totally honest, and to my shame, I’m not entirely sure where Calabria stops and Apulia starts. But then, I struggle with Devon and Cornwall, and there’s a big river between them!

Best regards, he says whilst climbing down from his pedantic soap box, :D

Tom
Yes, technically correct, but I do not recall the split between the BAYTOWN and other forces.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Calabria battle

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 25 Mar 2021 19:47

Richard Anderson wrote:
25 Mar 2021 18:50
Yes, technically correct, but I do not recall the split between the BAYTOWN and other forces.
BAYTOWN - 8th Army - 13th Corps - 5th British Division, 1st Canadian Division, 231 Inf Bde and 1st Canadian Army Tank Bde.

SLAPTSTICK (TARANTO) - 1st Airborne Division.

What I'm struggling to find out is when 1st Airborne Division came under command of 8th Army. Can't find it detailed in the British OH. I'll keep looking though.

Regards

Tom

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Re: Calabria battle

Post by Richard Anderson » 25 Mar 2021 21:02

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
25 Mar 2021 19:47
BAYTOWN - 8th Army - 13th Corps - 5th British Division, 1st Canadian Division, 231 Inf Bde and 1st Canadian Army Tank Bde.

SLAPTSTICK (TARANTO) - 1st Airborne Division.

What I'm struggling to find out is when 1st Airborne Division came under command of 8th Army. Can't find it detailed in the British OH. I'll keep looking though.

Regards

Tom
I meant the split between the reports of those reported captured by the British in BAYTOWN and SLAPSTICK (I can never remember SLAPSTICK for some reason and always think the Taranto operation was BAYTOWN. Hi-dee-ho the wonders of aging memory. You would probably have to dig through the Eighth Army WD for that date-time, but it should be there, those records are very complete.

ISTR the 10. AOK Ic reports mostly being of captures by 1. FJD of personnel from 1st Airborne Division, which was mildly ironic, while those reported by the British were mostly 29. PGD, but I may well be mixing that up. That work was now 17 years ago - I recall we were at Kew during the U.S. Presidential elections and I was pissed because 1) the imbecile got re-elected and 2) I was an imbecile too and forget to get my absentee ballot in time. I haven't had my hands on those records though for some time, since I left TDI in late 2008. All those files are now in Chris Lawrence's basement, about 2,800 miles away. I did retain duplicates of the digital records we made, but was only able to photograph a small fraction of the records held by TDI, which went back to the early 1960's and the earlier iterations of TNDA/HERO/DMSi. Given by that time the paper document holdings were well over 100,000 pages (IIRC the paper record of the ACSDB was around 13,000 pages) including about 8,000 pages for WDF and Eighth Army in North Africa and Italy, and about 4,000-5,000 pages for DAK, D-I PzA, HG-C, 10. Armee (full copies of the KTB for September 1943-June 1944, only missing April, which was lost), and 14. Armee, and c. 30,000 pages for earlier work, I hope you understand if I don't have an exact copy of every document I might reference. :lol:
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Calabria battle

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 26 Mar 2021 18:14

Richard Anderson wrote:
25 Mar 2021 21:02
I meant the split between the reports of those reported captured by the British in BAYTOWN and SLAPSTICK (I can never remember SLAPSTICK for some reason and always think the Taranto operation was BAYTOWN.
Oh, I see what you mean, sorry. As for SLAPSTICK, I seem to recall that Winston was not happy with that name. Much too frivolous - he'd previously (I think) ordered more care to be taken over code names for operations.

Re the majority of the prisoners taken by the Germans being 1 FJD taking 1 Airborne Division prisoners. That does seem to make sense, their interaction was pretty fluid IIRC whereas the contact between Germans and British in Calabria was mostly conducted from opposite sides of demolitions.

I'll see if I can rustle up something from the Canadian division.

Regards

Tom

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