gothicline-conceptofoperationolive1944.gifRobert Bruce Boswell was wounded several times during his service in the 26th Battalion, 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Forces, 8th Army, through Italy in the second world war.

His brother, Cameron, was one of the many killed during the assault on Monte Cassino.

It was during the final camapign in the Italian theatre: the assault on the Gothic Line, that he lost his leg as a result of mortar fire, and was finally removed from combat operations just scant days before the official declaration of the end of hostilities. Though he was not clear on the matter, he was after all being shot at and was only an infantryman and not someone who was issued with a map, he received this last wound in the crossing of the Senio river. But there were a lot of rivers to be crossed.

springoffensiveitaly1945.gifHe missed out standing alongside his mates to “Pee in the Po”, a much desired objective of the allied forces crawling up the Italian peninsular.

Very little has been written about this theatre of operations. But everyone has stories of how their familiy members were short-changed by history. My sympathies go out to the decendants of those men that fought and died in that unforgiving terrain, on both sides.

Bruce was my Dad. Dead now. Resting at last. A gentlemen.

Here are a couple of maps that show the Gothic Line campaign – from the Allied point of view, of course.