Tag Archives: Operation Ladbroke Sicily 1943

Chatterton vs Hopkinson – the Facts

There is a story about Lt Col Chatterton and Maj Gen Hopkinson and the genesis of Operation Ladbroke that is so pervasive that it has almost become gospel. Certainly it seems to go completely unchallenged. But there is no evidence … Continue reading

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Glider Pilots to Blame for Operation Ladbroke Disaster? Part 3

In his post-war book, the CO of the glider pilots blamed their ‘limitations’ for the ‘near disaster’ of Operation Ladbroke. Is the accusation true? In Part 1 we saw how the use of gliders in Operation Ladbroke, the opening assault in … Continue reading

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The Story of Glider 70 – Disaster for Medics in Operation Ladbroke

Waco glider 70 landed in the sea off Sicily. So did the other two gliders full of medical men attached to 1 Border Regiment in Operation Ladbroke. This was a disaster not just for the medics, but also the men … Continue reading

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Glider Pilots to Blame for Operation Ladbroke Disaster? Part 2

The CO of the glider pilots blamed their ‘limitations’ for the ‘near disaster’ of Operation Ladbroke. That was later. What did he say at the time? In Part 1 we saw how Operation Ladbroke, the glider assault that opened the invasion 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.Glider carrying: Surgical team of 181 Air Landing … Continue reading

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Glider Pilots to Blame for Operation Ladbroke Disaster?

After the failures of Operation Ladbroke, recriminations flew in every direction. The glider pilots were not exempt. Surprisingly, their own commander later blamed them the most. “It was … the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life”, the … 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 a major airborne assault. The Allies drew the opposite lesson, as a previously unseen American document shows. … Continue reading

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South Staffords near Syracuse – rare photograph

South Staffords glider troops photographed near Syracuse on the day after the epic battle for the Ponte Grande bridge – a unique picture, a dramatic story. Photographs of airborne troops taken during Operation Ladbroke, the glider assault that began the Allied invasion … Continue reading

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Unpublished shot of a tank on the Ponte Grande

A previously unseen film shows what the heroic defence of the Ponte Grande bridge by British glider troops was all about – tanks and vehicles crossing, headed into Syracuse. This is the remarkable story of how that footage came to be taken. … Continue reading

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The Story of Glider 126 – A Rare Good Landing

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: CG-4A Waco 126, “Lil Miss-Take”, serial … Continue reading

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The Lost Photos of Operation Ladbroke

Somewhere somebody has an album with some unique, unpublished photographs of Operation Ladbroke in it. Historians have seen them, but nobody knows where they are now. A plea for bringing them to light. I’m hoping readers may be able to … Continue reading

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Nothing Is Impossible by glider pilot Victor Miller – Book Review

‘Nothing Is Impossible’ is the best account we have of Operation Ladbroke by somebody who was there. Now the second edition greatly expands Victor Miller’s original telling. Review of ‘Nothing is Impossible – A Glider Pilot’s Story of Sicily, Arnhem … Continue reading

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PARAS Voices of the British Airborne – Book Review

If you like undiluted collections of veterans’ accounts of airborne operations, this book is for you. If however you prefer your history with, well, a bit of history, then you could find this book frustrating. Review of ‘PARAS – Voices … Continue reading

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Battle plans for Staffords glider troops in Operation Ladbroke in Sicily

The 2nd battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment was chosen as the leading glider assault troops for Operation Ladbroke, the opening move of Operation Husky, the Allied invasion of Sicily. These are the orders they were given just days before the battle. … 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 (left) (or … Continue reading

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Italian Artillery of WWII – Book Review

Books about the Italian artillery of WWII are rare, even in Italian. This one in English is extremely welcome, but may slightly disappoint students of Operation Ladbroke and the fall of the Piazzaforte Augusta-Siracusa (PA-S). Book Review: ‘Italian Artillery of the … 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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Peter Davis of the SAS – a precious first-hand account

Until now, book-length personal records of the SAS in Sicily, written while memories were fresh, totalled exactly one.  For fans and historians who find such first-hand accounts invaluable, Peter Davis’ exciting new book has doubled our treasure. Book review: ‘S.A.S. Men … Continue reading

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