Operation Husky

Location

Augusta, Sicily
Italy
37° 16' 26.5908" N, 15° 12' 57.8304" E
Date commenced: 
Friday, July 9, 1943

The invasion of Sicily.  In addition to Commando units the Special Raiding Squadron (SRS) also participated. Whilst the SRS were engaged at Bagnara and Augusta and other areas, No 3 Commando's time in Sicily included one particular action at Agnone. 

On the 14th/15th July 1943 No.3 Commando were tasked with taking and holding a bridge at Punta dei Malati  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 tanks inflicted heavy casualties on No.3 Commando.

Eventually they were ordered to withdraw, but the bridge had been saved from demolition. General Montgomery later ordered that a stone be carved with “3 Commando Bridge” and this stone cemented into the Punta dei Malati bridge. An excellent account of the action can be found here : 

Recollections of Sicily and Malati Bridge by Lieut. John Channon Erskine RE & No.3 Commando

One of the pillboxes still remains at the bridge and it can be viewed HERE.

The graves of some of the fallen from No 3 Cdo during this operation can be viewed on this link to our gallery for Syracuse War Cemetery


On the 22nd July 1943 No 2 Commando were sent to the action in Sicily. Read more about their part here in our No 2 Commando History section.



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