Sharpshooter News

70 Years On – 3CLY land at Taranto, Italy, 22 Sept 1943

3CLY were landed at the port of Taranto on the ‘instep’ of Italy, three weeks after the initial landings, with a view to moving up the east coast.

Extracts from War Diary of 3rd County of London Yeomanry (Sharpshooters)

21 Sept 1943

Sailed at 0600 for TARANTO, uneventful voyage. Catering arrangements were very bad

22 Sept 1943

Landed TARANTO 1130 and leaguered approx 2 miles East of town. B Sqn received orders at 2359 to proceed to BARI and report to 78th Div

22 Sept 1943

B Sqn moved to BARI area 0630. Regiment then moved at 0730 TARANTO - MASTAFRA - MOTTALA and leaguered in an area South of GIOJA DEL COLLE map ref 4845.

Comment : Italy had surrendered to the Allies a week earlier and had thrown open her ports on the southern coast. Jimmy Sale’s photograph indicates that the landing at Taranto was no worse than arriving on a car ferry at Calais in August.

4CLY land at Salerno, Italy, 22 Sept 1943

By coincidence 4CLY landed in Italy on the same day as 3CLY. Over the previous year, they had fought their way from El Alamein to Tunis, which had been taken four months earlier. They were then based at the port of Tripoli, From they were transported to Salerno on the East coast of Italy just south of Naples. The main, opposed, allied landings had been made there earlier in the month.

Sadly 4CLY had no Jimmy Sale taking photos all through the war, so we have limited coverage of their war.

Extracts from War Diary of 4th County of London Yeomanry (Sharpshooters)

19 Sept 1943 Tripoli

Echelons moved from marshalling area to wharves at 0600. About 1000 hrs LSTs arrived and commenced loading. By 1430 all loading was complete and we moved out of harbour at 1630. Convoy consisted of 10 LST escorted by 3 small corvettes; proceeded slowly. Weather calm. No enemy air activity

20 Sept 1943

At sea. Calm weather. Men's quarters and food very good. Ships are new USN craft.

21 Sept 1943

Weather calm and sunny. Passed through MESSINA STRAITS at 1500. No enemy air activity.

22 Sept 1943

Calm but misty in the morning. Approaching SALERNO many other convoys sighted moving towards coast. Reached anchorage 1100. Periodic shelling by the enemy. Not possible to land until 1800. Reached Regtl area near BATTIPAGLIA at 2200. Remainder of Regt continued arriving throughout the night.

Comment : Sharpshooters found conditions in Italy very different from those that they had experienced in North Africa. Gone were the wide open spaces with whole armoured divisions moving as one body. Instead they had to contend with close hilly terrain interspersed with frequent rivers and during their time there weather all but ruled out tank movement, Most of their fighting therefore consisted of small-scale engagements in support of infantry or in a static artillery role

Back to List