Provincia di Forli
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
Forli War Cemetery contains 738 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War. It is located on the outskirts of Forli, 3 kilometres southwest of the town, in the locality of Vecchiazzano, Via Borghina.
Directions: From the SS9 to the west of the Forli, take the SS67 toward Florence. After 3-4 km there is a signpost pointing left to Vecchiazzano.
Historical Information: On 3 September 1943 the Allies invaded the Italian mainland, the invasion coinciding with an armistice made with the Italians who then re-entered the war on the Allied side. Following the fall of Rome to the Allies in June 1944, the German retreat became ordered and successive stands were made on a series of defensive lines. In the northern Apennine mountains the last of these, the Gothic Line, was breached by the Allies during the Autumn campaign and the front inched forward as far as Ravenna in the Adriatic sector, but with divisions transferred to support the new offensive in France, and the Germans dug in to a number of key defensive positions, the advance stalled as winter set in.
The cemetery site was selected soon after the British Eighth Army took Forli in November 1944 and graves were brought into it from the surrounding battlefields. Many of those buried there lost their lives in the heavy fighting between Rimini and Ravenna which took place in appalling weather in October-December 1944.