Index » World War II Battles » Savio Bridgehead
Savio Bridgehead
This page contains general information about this battle, fought during the Second World War.
 Information
 War  World War II
 Theatre  Italy
 Campaign/Op  Italian Campaign
 Date  Oct. 20-23, 1944
 Force Size  -
 Casualties  ? killed, ? wounded
 Content Page  The Italian Campaign
 Gallantry Awards
Pte. Ernest A. Smith - Victoria Cross
Under heavy fire from the approaching enemy tanks, Private Smith, showing great initiative and inspiring leadership, led his P.I.A.T. Group of two men across an open field to a position from which the P.I.A.T. could best be employed. Leaving one man on the weapon, Private Smith crossed the road with a companion and obtained another P.I.A.T. Almost immediately an enemy tank came down the road firing its machine-guns along the line of the ditches. Private Smith's comrade was wounded. At a range of thirty feet and having to expose himself to the full view of the enemy, Private Smith fired the P.I.A.T. and hit the tank, putting it out of action. Ten German infantry immediately jumped off the back of the tank and charged him with Schmeissers and grenades. Without hesitation Private Smith moved out on the road and with his Tommy gun at point-blank range, killed four Germans and drove the remainder back. Almost immediately another tank opened fire and more enemy infantry closed in on Smith's position. Obtaining some abandoned Tommy gun magazines from a ditch, he steadfastly held his position, protecting his comrade and fighting the enemy with his Tommy gun until they finally gave up and withdrew in disorder.

One tank and both self-propelled guns had been destroyed by this time, but yet another tank swept the area with fire from a longer range. Private Smith, still showing utter contempt for enemy fire, helped his wounded friend to cover and obtained medical aid for him behind a nearby building. He then returned to his position beside the road to await the possibility of a further enemy attack.
 Battle Account
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 Notes
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 Regiments  Killed   Wnd. 
 Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry    
 The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada    
 The Loyal Edmonton Regiment    
 The Saskatoon Light Infantry    
 The West Nova Scotia Regiment