An account of ops at Sicily and Malati Bridge
On the 14th/15th July 1943 after the invasion of Sicily No.3 Commando were tasked with taking and holding the bridge until the arrival of the 50th Division. After capturing the bridge from the Italians and removing the demolitions they had laid, a counter attack by the Germans with support of Tiger tanks inflicted heavy casualties on the exposed men of No.3 Commando. Eventually they were ordered to withdraw but the bridge was saved from the demolition that the Germans had planned. After the fall of Catania, General Montgomery ordered that a stone be carved with “3 Commando Bridge” and this stone cemented into the Punta dei Malati bridge
These recollections written by Lieut. John Channon Erskine, RE attached No 3 Commando, are provided to this Archive courtesy of his son Andrew Erskine. The original transcript is currently stored in the Australian War Memorial archives.
More can be read about the author here: Lieut. John Channon Erskine, RE and No 3 Commando.
Some recent photos of the bridge are in our gallery [view images].
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