With the East Surreys in Tunisia and Italy 1942 - 1945: Fighting for Every River and Mountain
The East Surreys were in near continuous action from November 1942, when they landed in North Africa (Operation TORCH) through to May 1945 Armistice. By that time they had cleared the Germans from Tunisia, taken part in Operation HUSKY, (the Sicily invasion TORCH) and fought up through Italy as far as River Po.Trained as mountain troops, the East Surreys saw bitter action in the Atlas Mountains, on the slopes of Mount Etna and Monte Cassino, and in the unforgiving hills and valleys of the Apennines. They were called upon to cross many rivers, often opposed by a determined enemy, culminating in the River Po and its huge exposed and waterlogged valley.VeteransOCO stories illustrate the horrendous nature of the East SurreyOCOs task, whether in set piece formation battles or patrol actions.Especially interesting is the part played by Lieutenant John Woodhouse who commanded the SurreysOCO Battle Patrol. His experiences enable this fine officer to revolutionize SAS training and tactics in the 1950s and 1960s in Malaya and Africa and he is credited with revitalizing the SAS when in grave danger of being disbanded.This story of the East Surreys shows how a single battalion can make a huge difference. It also gives the reader a better understanding of the campaigns involved."
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1/6th Surreys 11 Brigade 5th Grenadiers 78th Division Accounts Adriatic airfield Alexander Allies Anzio Apennines April armour Army’s artillery assault attack Battalion battle for Cassino Battle Patrol Battleaxe Division bridge bridgehead British captured casualties Centuripe coast command Company Corps crossing dead defences Despite Division’s Djebel East Surrey Regiment Eighth Army enemy Fifth Army fighting fire forces forward front German positions Gothic Line ground guns Gustav Line Harry Skilton Ibid infantry Irish Italy Jack Chaffer Kesselring killed Lancashire Fusiliers land Larino Lieutenant Colonel Lieutenant Woodhouse Longstop Hill lst Surreys machine-gun Major March Medjerda Valley Medjez Memoirs unpublished miles Monastery Monte Cassino mortar mountains moved night offensive officers Operation TORCH platoon rain Rapido Rapido River ridge river road Rome Sangro Sergeant shelling Sicily side soldiers Squire and Hill Surrey History Centre tanks Tebourba Termoli took trenches troops Tunis Tunisia Veterans winter wounded yards