Ortona : A Battle Forgotten
During World War Two, there were many decisive battles that took place. Some on land, some on the sea, and some in the air, the battles even took place in all three. The most decisive battles that we remember, Dieppe, Omaha, D-Day, and Stalingrad. These battles are great in their own views, but the battle of Ortona, was also significant in it's own lead. It lost many lives, yet it made a great impact on the rest of the war, as it was the vocal point for fighting and freeing Italy. Italy will always remember the Canadians that took part in their independence, and their story will live on in history, whether it is as high respected as the others, in Italians hearts, it will always be number one.
"Ortona will be defended at all costs" was the slogan going into the battle from Germanys stand point.
Facing a battle on the west and north sides, an attack from the south would cripple Hitler's regime. Ortona, located on southern Italian coast, on the cliffs above the Adriatic sea, with a population of around 22,029
It blocked the Allies path to Rome, with the many streets, buildings, and civilian homes, all filled with the Germans, waiting for them. The major exports coming from the town include Grapes, Vines, and their commercial fishing ports and resorts in present day. Major landmarks include the towns cathedral, which was completely destroyed during the attack by a 45 millimetre tank shell, and was rebuilt in 1965. Ortona was the perfect place for the German soldiers to set up their camp.
Prior to the battle the Canadian and Allied forces were staged in Dieppe. Dieppe was a scapegoat for the Canadian soldiers. They were sent to Dieppe on August 19th, 1942,