September 13, 1944, Italy
T he day was on or about September 13, 1944. I will try to describe the vista upon which I gazed on that day but I will probably fall short as to what it really looked like.
I was with the Headquarters Company of the Saskatoon Light Infantry (MG) at this time, back a bit from the front. I was standing on the top edge of a steep escarpment observing a grand panorama of a vast green valley with the Adriatic on the right. Mountains to the left and hills, here and there, in the valley made the scenery even more resplendent in the miles of landscape spread out at my forefront. It was a nice view to look upon but I took no pleasure from it. About 4 miles south-west of Riccione was a rather elongated hill, called Coriano Ridge, all green, with a sharp crest stretching north to south. At one o'clock that morning, 700 guns bombarded any area that may be considered a strong point, including the hump rising from the valley floor. Now, in daylight, our troops had been assailing this hill for sometime. A furious fight was in progress. Mortar bombs were bursting along the summit, first from one side and then, again, from the other. Men were being killed and blooded as this objective was taken, lost, and then retaken. Finally, victory was in our hands.
B eauty may be in the eyes of the beholder but this time it was an aberration, an illusion.
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