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Ortona - The Canadian Battle - December 1943
Loyal Edmonton Regiment Museum
Edmonton , Alberta

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   Beginning December 21,
1943, troops from Canada
fought a savage battle to
oust German soldiers from the
Italian coastal port of
Ortona, on Italy's Adriatic
coast. To put that struggle
into context, the exhibit
follows a Canadian unit
through the preliminary

stages of the war—forming in
Edmonton, then spending
frustratingly long years of
training and waiting in
Britain. Finally the mostly
young soldiers are blooded in
the invasion of Sicily, their
first experience of actual
combat, where casualties
bleed and die. The exhibit

next tracks the Canadian army
through the easy days
following the invasion of the
Italian mainland, as
"Tedeschi" — the Germans
—fought to delay but not
seriously to stop the
advancing Allied troops. Then
the Canadians were ordered to
cross the Moro River, a scant

eight miles south of Ortona.
At the Moro they began to
learn what it was like to be
locked in full combat against
a determined, first-rate
opponent. Finally, on
December 21, the Edmonton
troops were part of a force
sent to secure the town of
Ortona. The next eight days

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