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The Column of Liberation 2010

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The Column of Liberation 2010

April 23-25 2010 - Florence and Pisa - Italy

 

What the Column of Liberation is; some information for foreign fellow collectors.

 

During the last few years Gotica Toscana Onlus (not for profit Association) has managed relevant commemorative events in Italy as well as has participated in the most important European events like Tanks in Town (2008-2009), Normandy and Bastogne celebrations (2009). We had the chance to talk to many of you during the above mentioned European events and now we would like to invite you in Italy! Many of you have never seen Italy before, while others have tried to get in touch with other Club in order to visit Italy without receiving response or have come to Italy for holidays only. Anyway, none of you has ever join a WW2 commemorative event in Italy.

 

Often the Italian Campaign is associated with the idea of a secondary front; instead it has been a real war in the war since the Allies have fought step by step along the Peninsula from Sicily to the Alps, suffering heavy losses as well as the Axis forces. The Italian Campaign ended in April 1945, although Italy is no more in the limelight since the Liberation of Rome (June 4th 1944) which little anticipate D-Day in Normandy (June 6th 1944) despite during the second half of 1944 and for the whole winter of 1945 thousand soldiers from both parts have been deployed by/against the last German fortified defense line built up in the Apennines Mountains: the Gothic Line.

Bunkers, emplacements, trenches, battlefield are still visible nowadays on the Apennines Mountains between Toscana and Emila-Romagna regions where everything has remained the same since then on; it is not difficult to find older people in the Mountains still using military equipment like tools, shovels, belts and it is not impossible to find helmets and other WW2 military equipment also. The Gothic Line impressed in the population the permanent and indelible memory of a difficult but overcome period of life. The most frequent images of those days depict columns of liberators marching northbound or the population familiarizing with soldiers during winter lull. Many US soldiers, especially, had Italian origins

 

The Column of Liberation is inspired by this collective Memory with the aim to preserve history and memories of those days which is fading away together with older people, living witnesses of those events; it is right because Italy has not a wide net of WW2 Museums, like Great Britain, France or Belgium, that event such as the Column of Liberation grow in importance in order to keep the Memory alive. Every kind of vehicle German, Italian ,English and American finds room within the Column of Liberation, because being an historic apolitical event it should depict every army involved with the only exception of those unit and formation which committed crimes against the population (right not to harm them again!).

 

Not only: the Column in fact will raise charity funds also, through the city where it will stop, to fund the activity of the Association Giuseppe e Margherita Coletta which is involved in the realization of an orphanage in Burkina Faso already in construction even thanks to the funds raised during the Column of Liberation 2008.

 

Detailed program is available on the Gotica Toscana web site.

 

Andrea Gatti

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Wonderful topic and news! Glad to see this is occurring. It is important to remind people about the Italian Front, for as this stated, it is all too often forgotten. A sad fact indeed.

 

Thank you Andrea

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The Column of Liberation 2010

April 23-25 2010 - Florence and Pisa - Italy

 

What the Column of Liberation is; some information for foreign fellow collectors.

 

During the last few years Gotica Toscana Onlus (not for profit Association) has managed relevant commemorative events in Italy as well as has participated in the most important European events like Tanks in Town (2008-2009), Normandy and Bastogne celebrations (2009). We had the chance to talk to many of you during the above mentioned European events and now we would like to invite you in Italy! Many of you have never seen Italy before, while others have tried to get in touch with other Club in order to visit Italy without receiving response or have come to Italy for holidays only. Anyway, none of you has ever join a WW2 commemorative event in Italy.

 

Often the Italian Campaign is associated with the idea of a secondary front; instead it has been a real war in the war since the Allies have fought step by step along the Peninsula from Sicily to the Alps, suffering heavy losses as well as the Axis forces. The Italian Campaign ended in April 1945, although Italy is no more in the limelight since the Liberation of Rome (June 4th 1944) which little anticipate D-Day in Normandy (June 6th 1944) despite during the second half of 1944 and for the whole winter of 1945 thousand soldiers from both parts have been deployed by/against the last German fortified defense line built up in the Apennines Mountains: the Gothic Line.

Bunkers, emplacements, trenches, battlefield are still visible nowadays on the Apennines Mountains between Toscana and Emila-Romagna regions where everything has remained the same since then on; it is not difficult to find older people in the Mountains still using military equipment like tools, shovels, belts and it is not impossible to find helmets and other WW2 military equipment also. The Gothic Line impressed in the population the permanent and indelible memory of a difficult but overcome period of life. The most frequent images of those days depict columns of liberators marching northbound or the population familiarizing with soldiers during winter lull. Many US soldiers, especially, had Italian origins

 

The Column of Liberation is inspired by this collective Memory with the aim to preserve history and memories of those days which is fading away together with older people, living witnesses of those events; it is right because Italy has not a wide net of WW2 Museums, like Great Britain, France or Belgium, that event such as the Column of Liberation grow in importance in order to keep the Memory alive. Every kind of vehicle German, Italian ,English and American finds room within the Column of Liberation, because being an historic apolitical event it should depict every army involved with the only exception of those unit and formation which committed crimes against the population (right not to harm them again!).

 

Not only: the Column in fact will raise charity funds also, through the city where it will stop, to fund the activity of the Association Giuseppe e Margherita Coletta which is involved in the realization of an orphanage in Burkina Faso already in construction even thanks to the funds raised during the Column of Liberation 2008.

 

Detailed program is available on the Gotica Toscana web site.

 

Andrea Gatti

 

Andrea- I recv'd your e/m of the pics. I cannot get them on screen. I tried what you said but still no luck.

I will e/m you for I want info. on how to go back but not on a tour. Rocky

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I helped Rocky get the files, and in fact, sent them all to him on a CD. This way he can share them with the museum, etc.

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I helped Rocky get the files, and in fact, sent them all to him on a CD. This way he can share them with the museum, etc.

 

Thank you both for the pics. M-1 Do you think you could post them so everyone could see them

then they can get an idea of Italy. There were a few skirmishes there. And I will say that the

Combat Engineers always stirred up a hornets nest before we went in. When they did't have

anything to do, they would put a bridge up so the poor dogface didn't get his feet wet when they

crosssed a river. Rocky They always called me a name and I would answer with a BARK

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“The column of Liberation 2010” event is now over. It was a monumental undertaking for us, but we are very happy about its outcome. About 140 HMV’s reached Florence from three different start points on April 23 and then moved to Pisa. Several participants from UK, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Slovenia and France. The German team drove directly their HMV from Germany to Florence!!!

The first picture shows the vehicles near the "Ponte Vecchio" in Florence, the second one some of the vehicles parked in Pisa near "Piazza dei Miracoli"

post-892-1272752104_thumb.jpg

post-892-1273437927_thumb.jpg

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“The column of Liberation 2010” event is now over. It was a monumental undertaking for us, but we are very happy about its outcome. About 140 HMV’s reached Florence from three different start points on April 23 and then moved to Pisa. Several participants from UK, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Slovenia and France. The German team drove directly their HMV from Germany to Florence!!!

The picture shows the vehicles near the "Ponte Vecchio" in Florence

 

I would love to go back to Italy in September when a Memorial to the 34th Divn. is supposed to be

to be dedicated on Mt. Pantano. We had one hellofa battle there. I am ging to inquire as to the cost

for the trip. My son, Rocky Jr. (Vietnam Vet). wants to go with me. Right now it's just a dream. Rocky

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I would love to go back to Italy in September when a Memorial to the 34th Divn. is supposed to be

to be dedicated on Mt. Pantano. We had one hellofa battle there. I am ging to inquire as to the cost

for the trip. My son, Rocky Jr. (Vietnam Vet). wants to go with me. Right now it's just a dream. Rocky

 

Hi Rocky, keep me informed if the trip to Italy become more than a dream. The 18th and 19th of September we have planned our "Jump into the History" an open air museum near the Mt. Altuzzo, so you could add a detour to Mugello area and we will be very happy to arrange something. Andrea

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Hi Rocky, keep me informed if the trip to Italy become more than a dream. The 18th and 19th of September we have planned our "Jump into the History" an open air museum near the Mt. Altuzzo, so you could add a detour to Mugello area and we will be very happy to arrange something. Andrea

 

Yes, I will. It's still about three months from now so I'll see how things work out. I would really

like to go but not on a tour. I would like to visit Benevento, Cassino,Anzio and Rome. I imagine renting

a car is expensive there.

Rocky

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