Provincia di Catania
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
Catania War Cemetery is 7 kilometres south-west of Catania. From Catania Airport follow the tangenziale (main road) towards the A19 (in the direction of Palermo). Before reaching the A19 the cemetery is signposted.
The cemetery may be visited at anytime. Pedestrian access is always possible, but vehicular access is not and a gate has been erected approx 500 metres from the entrance. Wheelchair access to site is possible, but may be by alternative entrance.
On 10 July 1943, following the successful conclusion of the north African campaign in mid May, a combined allied force of 160,000 Commonwealth and American troops invaded Sicily as a prelude to the assault on mainland Italy. The Italians, who were to shortly make peace with the Allies and re-enter the war on their side, offered little determined resistance but German opposition was vigorous and stubborn. The campaign in Sicily came to an end on 17 August when the two allied forces came together at Messina, but failed to cut off the retreating Axis lines. Catania War Cemetery contains burials from the later stages of the campaign, from Lentini northwards. Many died in the heavy fighting just short of Catania (the town was taken on 5 August) and in the battle for the Simeto river bridgehead. Catania War Cemetery contains 2,135 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, 113 of them unidentified. (text adapted with permission from CWGC)