The city was cleared by 1030 hours on Aug. 19 after a two-day battle. German troops in the action represented the 338th, 242nd and 244th infantry divisions along with the 189th Reserve Division. During the next 24 hours, Third Division troops would advance another 30 miles

The Germans defended Brignoles in vain with two battalions of the 338th Infantry Division. The battle for Brignoles was the toughest fight during the breakout from the beachhead for the Second Battalion of the 30th Regiment and a patrol of the Third Recon Troop.

GI resting on small wall of park in Brignolis

Little has changed in this small park. The tree has grown older since then and the ornament at entry has disappeared.




On Gold Beach in Normandy, the situation of Arromanches-les-Bains was particular : the beach was embedded between two twenty meters height cliffs, where the defences had been built by the Germans. At 7:30 a. m, on 6 June 1944, the British troops – the 1st Hampshire and the 1st Dorset – landed eastward from Arromanches, in Le Hamel, without artillery support.

In this area the fortifications of the beach were built up with two strong points : the WN 36 and the WN 37. In a short time the 1st Hampshire lost three commander-in-chief facing WN 37. The breakthrough was achieved in the afternoon with the landing of tanks and reinforcements. Vehicles and infantry quickly moved inland. A company of New-Hampshire liberated Saint-Côme-de-Fresné, after heavy shelling of open sea anchored battleships. The British entered in Arromanches-les-Bains in the evening around 9:00 p. m.

Arromanches beach front. Click to enlarge


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Near Persano stood a tobacco factory which was like a revolving door: after first being attacked on the September 11 by the 157th Regiment, it changed hands twice the following day before coming under American control. On September 13 a strong German counterattack recaptured the tobacco factory, and they remained unshakable there for five more days and in so doing were able to block any American advance further inland.

Nowdays the fram houses different companies, but for a part it is still not rebuilt. It looks like ages stood still and some rebuilt buldings are collapsed again.

Persano tabac_past
Persano tabac_present

A well-described account of the fierce fighting surrounding the tobacco factory can be found here: A Journey to World War II Battlefields Part 7


On September 9, 1943, Paestum was the location of the landing beaches of the U.S. 36th Infantry Division during the Allied invasion of Italy. German forces resisted the landings from the outset, causing heavy fighting within and around the town. Combat persisted around the town for nine days before the Germans withdrew to the north.

Road leading from Temples to inland
Paestum 03_past
Entrance opposite of ‘Temple of Neptune’
Paestum 03_present
Paestum 04_past
Staff of 408th battalion inside Temple of Neptune
Paestum 04_present
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Along with the 3rd Division, which had just landed, and, as one of the few “fresh” units available, 2nd Battalion was given the task of pushing inland out of the beachhead in pursuit of the retreating enemy. They moved through Battipaglia, a town totally destroyed in which each single building had been reduced to flat, dusty rubble. Eboli a few miles away was almost as badly devastated.

Eboli bridge
Eboli railwaybridge with German panzer near te entrance of the village
Eboli bridge today
Little has changed in this small park. The tree has grown older since then and the ornament at entry has disapeard.

Above Eboli, at the dead end of a winding mountain road in an oppressive cul-de-sac between ridges, we liberated the village of Campagna, which had been used as an internment camp for political prisoners. There, huddled together in miserable squalor, we found almost a thousand civilians from southern and eastern Europe, most of them Jews.

Eboli town destroyed
Eboli town destroyed
Eboli town center
Eboli center, remark the tower as reference point
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