The BATTLE for PRIMOSOLE BRIDGE
the Devils Stood
Sicily, July 14th, 1943. Due to both friendly and enemy anti-aircraft fire, only 295 of the original 1,856 man contingent of the British First Parachute Brigade were able to reach this bridge over the Simeto River. They immediately removed the German demolition charges and set up a defensive perimeter, but theirs was a tiny force to attempt to hold such a key position in the drive on Catania.
Coincidentally, at nearby Catania airfield a few hours earlier, the German general Albert Kesselring had watched while a regiment of the German First Parachute Division had made its first drop into Sicily.
Understandably, the Fallschirmjäger reacted violently to the British incursion, and a fierce battle was launched on the morning of July 14th. Despite heavy losses the British Paras held the bridge throughout the day, and at nightfall withdrew to the high ground overlooking Primosole, and there awaited the arrival of British armor.
Abashed the Devils Stood depicts the beleaguered men of the British First Airborne Division clinging desperately to their toehold on the Simeto River.
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