British Eight Army in Italy

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Duncan_M
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British Eight Army in Italy

Post by Duncan_M » 26 Mar 2020 16:47

Clark's Fifth Army lost a corps after Rome was liberated in summer 1944, who got pulled from the MTO to invade France. Did the Eighth Army also lose forces to the ETO?

Aber
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Re: British Eight Army in Italy

Post by Aber » 26 Mar 2020 17:52

Yes but it's complicated:

50th and 51st Divisions fought in Sicily, but not on the Italian mainland; 7th Armoured missed Sicily but fought in Italy. 50th Division was part of the D-day landings with the other 2 in the immediate follow up, landing on 6-7th.

5th Division (along with Canadian 1st Infantry and 5th Armoured Divisions) were transferred from Italy to NW Europe in early 1945 to keep up the strength of 21st Army Group.

1st Airborne Division units fought in Sicily and Italy, skipped Normandy, but fought later at Arnhem.

There are also probably a few commando units who will have been involved in several landings.

Also in late 1944 8th Army lost units which went to Greece.

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Andy H
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Re: British Eight Army in Italy

Post by Andy H » 26 Mar 2020 19:53

Duncan_M wrote:
26 Mar 2020 16:47
Clark's Fifth Army lost a corps after Rome was liberated in summer 1944, who got pulled from the MTO to invade France. Did the Eighth Army also lose forces to the ETO?
Hi Duncan

It's also worth noting that the 8th Army also received reinforcements in 1944:-

April, 6th Armoured Division from North Africa and 4th Infantry Division from the Middle East, both going to XIII Corps.

May, 6th South African Armoured Division from the Middle East going into Army reserve.
May, 9th Armoured and 25th Tank Brigades from the Middle East going to XIII Corps
May, 7th Armoured Brigade from the Middle East going to V Corps.

Also it 'lost' the 46th & 56th Infantry Divisions from March and May'44 respectively for R&R in the Middle East, with neither returning till August.
Source: The Mediterranean and Middle East Vol VI Part1 by Molony and Orders of Battle 1939-45 Vol I b Joslen.

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Duncan_M
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Re: British Eight Army in Italy

Post by Duncan_M » 26 Mar 2020 20:41

Andy H wrote:
26 Mar 2020 19:53
Duncan_M wrote:
26 Mar 2020 16:47
Clark's Fifth Army lost a corps after Rome was liberated in summer 1944, who got pulled from the MTO to invade France. Did the Eighth Army also lose forces to the ETO?
Hi Duncan

It's also worth noting that the 8th Army also received reinforcements in 1944:-

April, 6th Armoured Division from North Africa and 4th Infantry Division from the Middle East, both going to XIII Corps.

May, 6th South African Armoured Division from the Middle East going into Army reserve.
May, 9th Armoured and 25th Tank Brigades from the Middle East going to XIII Corps
May, 7th Armoured Brigade from the Middle East going to V Corps.

Also it 'lost' the 46th & 56th Infantry Divisions from March and May'44 respectively for R&R in the Middle East, with neither returning till August.
Source: The Mediterranean and Middle East Vol VI Part1 by Molony and Orders of Battle 1939-45 Vol I b Joslen.

Regards

Andy H
Around mid July '44, after taking Rome, Fifth Army lost VI Corps to the ETO, and ended up giving II Corps nearly two months off the line to rest/reconstitute before the big push to the Gothic Line started. I'm trying to figure if something similar happened to the British.

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Re: British Eight Army in Italy

Post by aghart » 26 Mar 2020 22:46

7th Armoured Division 'The Desert "Rats were transferred from Italy to the UK specifically to take part in Operation Overlord. It was felt that the Invasion forces were too "green" so some veteran units were transferred in so their combat experience could be utilised.

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Kingfish
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Re: British Eight Army in Italy

Post by Kingfish » 27 Mar 2020 09:32

Duncan_M wrote:
26 Mar 2020 16:47
Clark's Fifth Army lost a corps after Rome was liberated in summer 1944, who got pulled from the MTO to invade France. Did the Eighth Army also lose forces to the ETO?
It also lost the French Expeditionary Corp for the same reason.
The gods do not deduct from a man's allotted span the hours spent in fishing.
~Babylonian Proverb

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Re: British Eight Army in Italy

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 28 Mar 2020 01:45

Kingfish wrote:
27 Mar 2020 09:32
...

It also lost the French Expeditionary Corp for the same reason.
They wee 'experienced' Whlie the African ethinics in the French army may have been indifferent, those who considered them selves French had a strong preference for liberating France & not Italy. One of those annoying political things that makes wars so messy for the marshals & historians,

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