Reference Gallery: Saffas in Italy, '44

First City/Cape Town Highlanders South african 6th Armoured Division Italy 1944 1945
© SANDF Archive/SANMMH: Looking more like partisans than regulars, a First City/Cape Town Highlanders patrol sets out.

 

Uniform and vehicle references


A note about the sources of these images: Most have been used in numerous publications, and are to be found in the SANDF archives or the SA National Military History Museum archives. Terence McNally, a Lieutenant in the Army Film and Photo unit, took many of the iconic images in the archives, and in his book of photographs (Camera in my Kitbag, 1988) provides us with invaluable captions that accurately locate many of his images.

First City/Cape Town Highlanders, Prince Alfred's Guard South African 6th Armoured Division Monte Stanco, Italy, October 1944
© SANDF Archive/SANMMH: First City/Cape Town Highlanders top brass with a Prince Alfred's Guard Squadron Commander, October 1944

Imperial Light Horse/Kimberly Regiment, South African 6th Armoured Division, Monte Stanco, Italy, October 1944
© McNally. ILH/KR advance towards Monte Stanco. German gasmask canister second from left?

South African 6th Armoured Division, Italy 1944, 1945
© SANDF Archive/SANMMH: Note the variation in helmet colour. Third from camera probably "Light Mud".

Cape Corps, South African 6th Armoured Division, Monte Sole, Italy 1944, 1945
© McNally: Monte Sole. Cape Corps ammo porter, signaller, with casualty clearing station in background.


South African 6th Armoured Division, Prince Alfred'd Guard, Special Service Battalion,Monte Sole, Italy 1944, 1945
© SANDF Archive/SANMMH: Note the variation in uniform colour. In one publication the caption lists this tank as belonging to a Rhodesian Squadron, suggesting the Sherman is from the SSB C Squadron.

South African 6th Armoured Division, Italy 1944, 1945
© SANDF Archive/SANMMH:

South African 6th Armoured Division, Italy 1944, 1945
© SANDF Archive/SANMMH:
South African 6th Armoured Division, Monte Sole, Italy 1944, 1945
© McNally: Monte Sole. Signaller, and a member of McNally's film/photo unit.


South African 6th Armoured Division, 1st/11th Anti-Tank Regiment, Italy 1944, 1945
© SANDF Archive/SANMMH: 1st/11th Anti tank regiment
South African 6th Armoured Division, First City/Cape Town Highlanders, Monte Sole, Italy 1944, 1945
© SANDF Archive/SANMMH: OC First City/Cape Town Highlanders, Lt Col Angus Duncan, addresses his men before the assault on Monte Sole. He was killed shortly after this photograph was taken. McNally notes that the jeep carrying Duncan hit a mine, but it has been drawn to my attention by P Elliot (see comment below), that his recent research reflects that on the way up to the foot of Monte Sole, one of Duncan's party trod on a lethal "S" mine, and Duncan and his jeep driver were killed immediately.





South African 6th Armoured Division, First City/Cape Town Highlanders, Italy 1944, 1945
© SANDF Archive/SANMMH: First City/Cape Town Highlanders carrier platoon

South African 6th Armoured Division, Artillery, Bivouac Italy 1944, 1945
© SANDF Archive/SANMMH:
South African 6th Armoured Division, Tent, Jeep,15cwt truck, Italy 1944, 1945
© SANDF Archive/SANMMH:
Prince Alfred's Guard, South African 6th Armoured Division Chiusi, Italy 1944
© SANDF Archive/SANMMH: Near Chiusi. Confirmed Prince Alfred's Guard kill.

South African 6th Armoured Division, Cape Corps, Native Military Corps, Indian Service Corps, Italy 1944
© SANDF Archive/SANMMH: Stretcher Bearers drawn from the Cape Corps, Native Military Corps and Indian Service Corps.

South African 6th Armoured Division, Sherman V, River Arno, Italy 1944
© SANDF Archive/SANMMH: An iconic image of the South African 6th Armoured Division in Italy: Sherman Mk Vs crossing the Arno.

Royal Natal Carbineers, South African 6th Armoured Division, Winter Patrol, Italy 1945
© SANDF Archive/SANMMH: Despite a caption in the official history suggesting this was taken on a combat patrol, I am convinced this was taken during a brief "winter combat" training course attended by some 60 members of the entire division. The training was well documented, surely designed to counter press reports in South Africa that the Division was desperately short of winter gear for its troops.

South African 6th Armoured Division, Winter Patrol, Italy 1945
© SANDF Archive/SANMMH: A much more plausible depiction of a patrol during the winter of 44/45.
Special Service Battalion, South African 6th Armoured Division, Victory Parade, Italy 1945
© SANDF Archive/SANMMH: SSB Guard of Honour, Victory Parade, Monza 1945


From US Army in WW2: Mediterranean Theatre of Operations, Cassino to the Alps. Captioned in that resource as "SA 6th Armoured Division Tanks assembled of attack"

Other resources:


There are a number of images in the Digital Collection of the United States WWII Museum:

From ww2online.org: Captioned as 15 Nov. 44. 5/MM44-30172. Fifth Army, Veggio Area, Italy. Coming out of their fox-holes and dugouts for the first time in 6 days and nights these infantrymen of the 6th South African Armored Division start the long walk down the mountain to rest for three days Photo by Baker. 3131 Signal Service Co.” Veggio Area, Italy. 15 November 1944


From ww2online.org: Captioned as: 6th South Africa Armored Division use captured German half track to recover disabled vehicles in Italy on 24 November 1944.
From ww2online.org: Captioned as: “17 Nov 44. 5/MM-44-30001. Fifth Army, Porretta Area, Italy. An Italian woman washes clothes behind a line of American made M-10 T.D’s. of 3/24 A.T. Bat., 1/11 A.T. Regiment, S.A.A. 6th S.A.A. Division firing on German positions flanking Fifth Army front on Hwy [Highway] #64 near Bologna. Photo by Hartman. 3131 Signal Service Co.” Porretta Area, Italy. 17 November 1944


This is a link to some wonderful photographs of Rhodesian forces, including some of those serving in the Pretoria Regiment in the SA 6th Armoured division.

http://rhodesianheritage.blogspot.com/2012_03_01_archive.html


From rhodesianheritage.blogspot.com

Reference documents compiled by some Johannesburg-based Flames of War gamers: J.C von Winterbach, Scott Sutherland, Mike Bersiks, Rex Barret, Andre Wessels and Wayne Turner, together with contributions by the local military historian, Lt. Col. William Marshall:


South African 6th Armoured Division Paint Guide

J.C von Winterbach, Lt. Col. William Marshall & Wayne Turner


South African 6th Armoured Division History

J.C von Winterbach, Scott Sutherland, Mike Bersiks, Rex Barret


South African 6th Armoured Division OOB

J.C von Winterbach, Lt. Col. William Marshall, Scott Sutherland & Rex Barret

They have also begun work on similar documents covering the history of the 1st & 2nd South African Infantry Division (1940-43), so we can look forward to more of these invaluable resources.

Additionally, they have prepared this document concerning the war against Japan from a South African perspective:



South Africa at War with Japan 1941-1945

J.C von Winterbach & Andre Wessels

Other Links:


Why they fought: a site documenting some of the massacres of civilians in the Mount Sole region:

http://www.polcorti.com/fotografia/work/monte-sole-parla-2/



The BBC "WW2 People's War" archive has a series of recollections by Natal Mounted Rifles volunteer Douglas Baker. Of particular interest are his descriptions of action at San Felice in July 1944:

Ambush at San Felice

Ambush at San Felice - Part 2

2 comments:

  1. One of your excellent photos of Saffas in Italy, '44, is captioned:
    "Lt Col Angus Duncan, addresses his men before the assault on Monte Sole. He was killed shortly after this photograph was taken, while driving to his brigade's position. McNally notes that the jeep carrying Duncan hit a mine, but other sources suggest a stray artillery round might have hit the vehicle."
    I have researched and written a full article on the CTH and the battles of Monte Stanco and Monte Sole. See:

    December 2013, 16/ No 2, edition of the South African Military History Journal

    ‘Forever a piece of South Africa’: A return to the area of Monte Sole in the Italian Apennines

    You will read there the account of the battle of Monte Sole and of Lt Col Angus Duncan's death (p 48). The 3rd sentence of the caption to your photo should read: "On the way up to the foot of Monte Sole, one of Duncan's party trod on a lethal "S" mine, and Duncan and his jeep driver were killed immediately."

    ReplyDelete
  2. Many thanks for the feedback. Always appreciated, especially when it contributes to a better understanding of the campaign.

    ReplyDelete