image: A road leading to a hillside town with a line of marching men, lorries and armoured vehicles.
In early November 1943 the British 8th Army under Montgomery pursued the enemy to the Sangro river. The advance to the Sangro was slow and hindered by extensive demolitions and bad weather. On 20 November, the 8th Army begin an offensive across the river, which continued until a firm bridgehead was established in late December. Ardizzone records his visit with the 8th Army to the Sangro in his diary on 21 November 1943: 'Leave rather late for the Sangro... Two beautiful little hill towns on the way, Casalbordino and Torino di Sangro. the main street of the latter a bustle of mules being loaded up, marching men and vehicles. The road with verges deep in mud, occassional bogged vehicles and tanks', and on 25 November 1943: 'Down into the Sangro valley with the rain beginning to fall, everything looking very sombre and quiet. The usual no sign of life.' An ink sketch for this work is found in the diary under the entry for 23 November 1943 (IWM LD 7850 [A])
commission 1940 (War Office Artist)