THE PERTH REGIMENT OF CANADA

 

THE CORIANO STORY

LT.- COL. M. W. ANDREW, D.S.O., E.D., Q.C.

(as published in the Perth 10th anniversaryre-union programme, September 15th and 16th, 1956)

It seems along time ago since the days when the 5th Canadian Armoured Divisionled by the 11th Brigade stormed the Heights and captured Coriano,the thorn in the flesh to the Eighth Army advancing along the east coast ofItaly between the mountains and the Adriatic.

We recallthe days of patient waiting on the Besanigo Feature with the enemy trying hisbest to pound us off it with his tanks and artillery.  The Perth Regiment dug in on the feature opposite Coriano, theCape Breton Highlanders to our right, and to the right of them again the IrishRegiment of Canada, forming contact with the 1st Canadian Division,which covered the intervening space to the sea.

ArmyHeadquarters were laying on the greatest artillery support available for theshow to come--over six hundred guns.

H hour was0100 hours 13 September 1944. "The Perths" and"C.B.H."  was to attack theheights on either side of the village of Coriano and upon consolidation, the"Irish" were to clear the village. Sharp on the dot of the Hour the guns, wonderfully synchronized, startedall hell loose.  "C" and"A" Companies, leading "The Perths" left the "FormingUp" point and advanced to the attack on the ridge left of thevillage.  Strong enemy posts wereencountered and much counter artillery and small arms fire.   At 0230 hours "C" Company reachedits objective and commenced Consolidating. Both companies fought desperately to stave off heavy counter attacks byenemy tanks.  "B" and"D" companies advanced to the support of the leading companies andwithin a few hours the Regiment was consolidated.  Almost at once the enemy commenced concentrating for a strongcounter attack in the valley west of Coriano Ridge.  Thanks to our friends on the left, the 4th Gurkhas,the counter attack was broken.

The Perthswere the first Regiment on Coriano Ridge by some six hours, with no tanksupport and flanks open.  By 0600 hoursand almost superhuman effort by those in charge of getting tanks over the RioMelo, "A" Squadron 8 N.B.H., a troop of M10's and 4 anti-tank guns ofour Support Coy. were on the Coniano Ridge in support of the Regiment.

The Perthsare proud of this victory.

Return to Main Perth Regt. Page

Prepared by: J. McRae PerthR@yahoo.com

January 24th., 2001