Operation Date
11-13 April 1945


Ref Map :- ITALY 1:50,000 (Sheet 89 IV ALPHONSINE)

Operation 'Impact' was carried out by 169 In Bde with tk and arty spt. The op commenced on the night of 10 Apr 45. 40 RM Cdo were to move under cover of darkness along the ARGINE running from UMANA Pump House 494556 to MENATE Pumping Station 423607 - after securing these objectives to exploit along rd STR DELLA PIOPPA running from br at 421596 and thence to Bde right flank protection.

2. Tps of 2/5, 2/6 and 2/7 Queens were to move up in first light in fantails - 2/5 on the R. to take over the br thence to secure MENATE 4158 to arrive at the br approx 0830 hours 11 Apr 45. 2/6 on L. to assault and capture LONGERSTRINO 4157. 2/7 as Bde res.

3. The blow in the ARGINE at 455592 and the mouth of the dyke 426604 were to be crossed in 6-men rubber asslt boats which were to be carried by the leading Tp. It was expected to find the blow at 455592 mined. Tg was carried out the day and night previous to the op in the ferrying of tps in rubber dinghies across a dyke - this was found to be a slow process, but apart from one or two punctures reasonably satisfactory.


1 Sec Fd Coy R.E's
2 FOO's
2 'Little Johns'.
5. In the forming of the plan 4 main pts had to be considered:-

(a) Time to ferry unit across the blow and mouth of the dyke.
(b) Time to lift any minefields.
(c) Time to be in posn for attack.
(d) Time for the passage of 'Little Johns'.
(e) Time for the passage of Hy Wpns.
(2) Minefields - No accurate inf was rcd except from Partisan sources who said they thought the ARGINE was mined.
(3) L of C - SAA, rations and batteries. If Bde were late only L of C was ARGINE so it was decided to tow stormboat which was SAA and rations.
(4) Importance of Br and plan to secure and hold it.
6. 40 RM Cdo moved up to the assembly area at 525528 at 1630 hrs, 10 Apr 45 where we married up with attached tps at 1900 hrs. Movement rcvd from the assembly area to the FUP at the UMANA Pump House was not allowed in daylight as the route was under observation - the route being one way a great number of vehs were not allowed, so the tps moved from the Assembly Area to FUP by march route, and stores, hy wpns, 'Little Johns' and boats were moved up in vehicles under the cover of darkness. The Cdo was formed up at Assembly area in the correct order of march and was then ferried across the RENO - this was not expected and took considerable time; the unit being ferried over 30 men at a time - however, the unit was formed up again on the far bank of the RENO and proceeded to the FUP arriving at 2115 hrs and moved to a posn 500 yds along tje ARGINE. The loading store truck became bogged and no boats had arrived; however six asslt boats were included in the stores. After a certain amount of towing pulling and pushing vehs began to trickle through - Q Tp had been warned that they may be required to paddle asslt boats if rubber boats did not arrive. The asslt boats were rigged and placed in the water - two leaked badly and another not quite so badly. Stores and 'Little Johns' were loaded on to Stormboats. Time was getting on and it was decided to push on leaving Hy Wpns Tp to follow up. Stormboats carrying 'Little Johns' could not manouvre in the shallow water and were left behind. The Cdo commenced to move forward at 2330 hrs - Order of March :-

R.E's covered by 3 Bren Guns of "Y" Tp who were advance guard were to assist in the clearing of mines.
"P" Tp with task of securing br.
"X" Tp with task of securing Pumping Station.
Tac HQ
"A" Tp res.
Main HQ (incl RAP and stores in Stormboats).
"Q" Tp as boat party.

Owing to the late start the march became a speed march. RAF marker flares dropped for the bombing of LONGERSTRINO and MENATE became an embarrassment as the Cdo moved fwd. The blow was reached at 0130 hrs. Sappers and "y" Tp tested depth and found it too deep and muddy to wade. "y" Tp commended to ferry and were landed 50 yds past the blow. At this juncture leading elements hit the trip wire of a minefield causing 9 casualties (2 officers, 6 Mnes and 1 RE). A lane was made in the minefield and at 0300 hrs, "Y", "P", "X" and Tac HQ passed through and force marched to the end of the ARGINE leaving Main HQ, "A" and "Q" Tps to follow up. Boats were left well behind and "P" Tp, covered by "Y" Tp, pushed through and over the dyke to their objective.

7. About this time the Cdo became subject to hy and accurate 88 mm, 75 mm, 81 mm mortar, spandau and sniper fire. Fire was brought down on enemy posts by the F00s.

8. "P" Tp went on to their objective under hy arty, spandau and sniper fire.

9. Further attempts were made by "X" Tp to cross the dyke but were held by accurate crossed spandau and sniper fire.

10. "P" Tp were desperately short of ammunition and were right on their objective when an enemy SP gun crossed the br followed by infantry. The SP Gun moved to the Pumping Stn. "X" were ordered to attack under cover of a RAF fighter/bomber stonk this they did, wading the dyke, assaulting the Pumping Stn taking 33 PW. "X" Tp were ordered to move up to the br. "Q Tp taking over the Pumping Stn. "X" Tp captured the SP Gun intact which was used with some effect against the enemy.

11. Fantails with the 2/5 Queens aboard began to arrive at the br and were shot into their posns by "A" Tp and the remnants of "P" and "Y" Tps. A further 14 PWs were taken by "X" Tp. "X" Tp were still fresh with few casualties and were moved to take up their posn as Bde Rt Flank Protection. "A" Tp were moved up with a counter-attack role.

12. The Cdo then went into the role of holding br and Pumping Stn and patrolling to 2/5 Queens on the left - contact was made at 04.00 hrs 12 Apr 45.

13. At 1600 hrs, 12 Apr 45, "A","X" and "P/Y" Tps were moved to MENATE Area with task of holding MENATE Br at 417586 and original br 421596. "Q" Tp were in their original posn holding the Pumping Stn.

14. At 1600 hours 13 Apr 45, twenty-four ton TCV's arrived and said that they were to be used to return 40 RM Cdo to RAVENNA. This was checked with 169 Inf Bde and the unit moved out of the area at 1945 hrs arriving PORTO CORSINI 0230 hrs 14 Apr 45.


KILLED3 (incl 1 Tp Comd)22816
WOUNDED4 (incl 3 Tp Comds)-3830
16. Casualties inflicted on the enemy - PW approx 50 (a certain number being returned via Fantails thro' Bde), Killed - 12.

17. Enemy equipment captured:-

2 Semovente 75 SP Guns
2 Enemy Asslt River Craft
Quantities of small arms and SAA.
Tps Battle Reports.
"I" Report
Codes and Places

Lieut Colonel, R.M.
Cdg 40 R.M. Commando
Next page: Siterep