Category Archives: Battlefield Visits

Pillbox by Ponte Grande bridge, Syracuse, Sicily - Operation Ladbroke

Posts and articles that include photos or descriptions from battlefield visits, showing the battlefields as they exist today. Also information about tours and tour guides.

SAS Special Raiding Squadron (SRS) – The Cliffs of Cape Murro di Porco

The cliffs below the gun battery at Cape Murro di Porco are daunting. Did the SAS Special Raiding Squadron really climb them to attack and destroy the guns? Recently discovered documents shed new light. The southern coast of the Maddalena … Continue reading

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Operation Ladbroke Sites – the Coup-de-Main Objectives

Ever wondered exactly where the Operation Ladbroke sites are in Sicily? Here’s a handy battlefield guide to the South Staffords’ coup-de-main objectives.  Please note: it may not be safe or possible to visit some of the Operation Ladbroke sites. See the warning at the bottom of … Continue reading

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The Story of Glider 26 – Combat Medics in Operation Ladbroke

Glider 26 carried a surgical team in the invasion of Sicily. According to contemporary reports, the medics not only saved lives, but they also fought to do so. Glider: CG4-A Waco 26, serial no. 243811. Tug: C-47 or C-53, serial 41-18418, nose (squadron) … Continue reading

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Unseen US document reveals impact of glider battle at Maleme

Glider troops of Germany’s airborne forces landed around Maleme Bridge in Crete in May 1941. They were decimated. The Germans decided never again to mount an airborne assault. The Allies drew the opposite lesson, as a previously unseen American document shows. “Stand … Continue reading

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The Story of Glider 126 – Operation Ladbroke

Glider 126 made a good landing not far from the LZs, a rare occurrence in Operation Ladbroke. This is the story of the men who flew in her and fought for the Ponte Grande bridge. Glider: Waco 126, “Lil Miss-Take”, serial no. … Continue reading

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Terror off Terrauzza – Operation Ladbroke gliders in the sea

 A peaceful beach today was once a scene of death. Its horror was painstakingly photo-graphed by the cameramen of a US film unit. Their images reveal a harrowing truth about Operation Ladbroke. In the corner of the bay where the cliffs of the Maddalena … Continue reading

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Galpin’s Glider – New photo of Operation Ladbroke’s star landing

Staff Sergeant Dennis Galpin’s glider landing during Operation Ladbroke was famously perfect. But where was it exactly? And is that his glider in the well-known photo? There is a well-known photograph of a Horsa glider taken in Sicily after Operation Ladbroke (see it … Continue reading

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Seizing Bridges, Building Bridges – Battlefield Tour Guide Roberto Piccione, Syracuse, Sicily

In 1943 British glider troops seized the Ponte Grande, a bridge near Syracuse, Sicily, launching the Allied invasion of Italy. Now Roberto Piccione builds bridges between former enemies. Beside a perfect tourist cove, where no tourist goes, opposite the golden walls of … Continue reading

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Admiral Leonardi takes on the Royal Navy and the SAS

It’s an extraordinary story: in July 1943, Italian Admiral Leonardi manned an abandoned gun battery almost alone against the might of the Royal Navy. Firing several shots, he forced a British ship to turn and flee. But is the story … Continue reading

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Eben-Emael: The Glider Assault Myth is Born

The seizing of the fortress of Eben-Emael was an extraordinary coup. Germany’s best glider pilots gave Hitler much to crow about, and the Allies much to fear. Was this spectacular glider assault strategically necessary, or was it a barn-storming diversion and … Continue reading

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The Longest Weekend: D-Day Normandy 2004

Your correspondent dropped behind the lines on the weekend of D-Day 2004 to send back an eyewitness despatch from the struggle to organise and celebrate the anniversary of the greatest airborne operation in history.  NORMANDY, 4-7 JUNE 2004. 60 years … Continue reading

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Greatest Feats, Feats Forlorn: Jim Wallwork, Pegasus Bridge & Operation Ladbroke

The Horsa glider coup-de-main landings in Sicily and Normandy are umbilically linked. The one gave birth to the other. Glider pilot Jim Wallwork, justly remembered for his extraordinary feat at Pegasus Bridge, was also present in Sicily, although with somewhat different … Continue reading

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