2 Somerset Light Infantry

11th May.

The bttn lay up in the Assembly area. Messages from General, the Honourable Sir Harold RLG Alexander GCB CSI DSO MC, Commander Allied Armies in Italy and Lieut General Sir Oliver Leese Bt KCB CBE DSO. Commander 8th Army were read out to the troops.

The Crossing of the Gari.

The plan in brief was for 2 Kings, in conjunction with units from other formations on right and left to cross the River Gari in assault boats and advance to a well defined objective; for 2 Somerset LI to cross behind 2 Kings and pass through them to a further objective and for 2/4 Hampshires to provide ferrying parties for assault boats, organise the ferries and subsequently come into brigade reserve. Zero hour, when the first boats of 2 Kings entered the water was to be 2345 hrs 11 May. The crossings were to be at two places – X the right crossing point and Y the left crossing point.

At 2300 hrs, the artillery programme started with a terrific roar.

At 2345 hrs, the head of the bttn passed the SP on route for the river. At 2345 hrs, the head of the bttn caught up with the tail of 2 Kings on the railway. It was already evident that the Kings programme had been somewhat delayed.

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