Thursday, June 04, 2009


Sixty nine years ago today the Dunkirk evacuation was completed and Winston Churchill gave his "we shall fight on the beaches......we shall never surrender" speech. 

Four years later.

Sixty five years ago today Rome became the first Axis capital to fall to Allied Armies after fierce battles over many months at Monte Cassino and Anzio. Italy may have changed sides after the fall of Sicily, but this was still the city where Mussolini had strutted and boasted of a new Roman Empire.

["I would rather see Italians terrify the world with their aggressiveness than charm it with their guitars" Mussolini 1937]

Two days later on the 6th of June 1944 the D Day invasion of Normandy took place and the Italian theatre of war was relegated to a side show. The multinational forces in Italy became a forgotten army and their hard fought victories became a footnote in history compared to Normandy.
As we prepare to remember the sixty fifth anniversary of D Day I think we should also remember the brave men who fought all the way from El Alamein or took part in Operation Torch and then battled on to Tunisia, Sicily, and Italy.


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