Talk:Battle of Ortona

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This is a biased article be careful! It says 7 days in the begining and then says after 8 days of fighting

If we include each day of the December 20-27 period, it would be 8 days. Don't have a heart attack. Captain Jackson 20:04, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
Anyway how would that make it "biased"? It's just a discrepancy.Historian932 (talk) 15:12, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

I notice it also says December 20-28 at the top of the article but December 20-27 in the template box thing just underneath the picture. Perhaps someone should find the correct figure and fix the descrepancy. - green_meklar 16:03, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

both the Juno and the Canada at War websites give 20-28 as the battle dates so I've regularised it and put in a footnote reference. Stephen Kirrage talk - contribs 18:37, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Stuff for a battle box[edit]

I'll move this once it's in the article page.Mike McGregor (Can) 21:26, 24 March 2006 (UTC) Image:Ortona1.jpg

Casualties 2[edit]

There are 1,400 Canadian burials in the Moro River Canadian War Cemetery in Ortona.

Some need to understand that the battle of Ortona wasn't just within "city limits," as for example with Stalingrad, fighting took place out and around the city. 2339 were killed or wounded in the battle, and the overall battle was not 8 days.

From the Loyal Edmonton Regiment Museum:
"Rewriting the manual on fighting in built up areas and developing new "mouseholing" techniques as they advanced through the town, the Canadians blasted their way from one house through the walls and into the next in a painstakingly slow operation. By 28 December, they had taken Ortona. In nineteen days of fighting, the battle had registered 2,339 Canadian casualties." 1

"In terms of loss of life, on the Allied side over 1600 men died in just eight days. Looking at those statistics, it is easy to understand why Ortona was called a "Little Stalingrad.""


"The Canadians suffered 1374 casualties, almost 25% of all Canadian casualties in the Mediterranean theatre." Sounds very wrong to me, perhaps someone confused the number of casualties in Italy with the number of dead and ended up with a skewed percentage? According to here [1] Canadian casualties in Italy alone were 25,264, with 5,900 dead. I'll do some poking around to see if I can find numbers for casualties and the number of dead in Ortona. In the mean time, does any one have any insight on this? mhunter 07:22, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Found it, seems that the number quoted was representative of the number of dead, not number of casualties. I have changed the article accordingly. mhunter 07:37, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
the juno beach center's article on ortona yeilded the numberes that i plugged into the infobox...Mike McGregor (Can)

The casualties listed are very incorrect. This was an extremly bloody battle inwhich 1,000+ Canadian soldiers died. Erik

I suspect the problem here is that this article covers the battle for Ortona itself which was (as the article says) relatively small scale but noted for its bloody hand to hand street fighting over a period of about a week at the end of December. It seems likely that the Juno center figure of 650 casualties (killed, wounded and missing) is correct for this specific action. I believe the larger casualty figures quoted cover Canadian casualties for the whole of the autumn campaign on the Adriatic which started in November, including the Sangro crossing, Gustav / Winter Line defenses and Ortona. We need some clear citations from the literature. For the present I have stuck in a [citation needed] mark. Stephen Kirrage talk - contribs 00:58, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

If you look at the reference article on Ortona in the external references section you'll see that it is clear that the Battle of Ortona was the 8 days fighting it took to enter and take Ortona (this is reflected in the infobox). The main fighting was conducted by two infantry battalions, the Loyal Edmonton and the Seaforths (and lattery the Princess Patricia's, all making up 2nd Inf Brigade) plus supporting elements (tanks from the Three Rivers Regiment, artillery, engineers etc). This would suggest a total force of no more than 2500. Total casualties for the two infantry units are given as 292 including a little over a hundred killed. These figures are more or less confirmed (a bit lower) by the junobeach article (which adds that total casualties for all the Allied forces in this battle, inclusding support units, were some 650). The canadiansoldiers article suggests some 200 Germans were killed. The casualty figures previously quoted in the battle of Ortona article are clearly for the whole of December and should not be used here unless someone wants to re-jig the whole article to cover the autumn campaign. Stephen Kirrage talk - contribs 09:47, 16 March 2007 (UTC)


It seems as though this page seems to be a magnet for vandals.

Uh...yeah. Maybe we should block new users or unregistered users from editing. It's what they did on Battle of Stalingrad, because that page was a magnet for vandals for an extremely long time, and now the problem is pretty much solved. I don't know how many times exactly this page has been vandalised, but it's been vandalised a lot. 23:37, 1 May 2007 (UTC)


The Canadian casualties are for the entire month of December which encludes fighting at "The Gully", on the outskirts of the city. It should also be noted that the german casualties of 450 do not add up with the defender's numbers, before and after the battle, according to Mark Zuehlke's Ortona.

German Casualties[edit]

Is there anyone who knows the following:

1: Canadian Forces Strength [I need a reliable source, I've emailed a few of my history nut friends, but they haven't replied yet] 2: German Forces Strength 3: German Casualties [I know that this figure is extremely hard to get a good solid and reliable number for, since the casualty figures are so "wishy-washy", but if anyone could get one, that would be really great!]

If anybody knows any of these statistics, please let me know immediately by sending me a message. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 16:04, 14 March 2007 (UTC).

Yes I think these would be important too. Personally it made me wonder whether German casualties weren't *relatively* low since they weren't reported (Allied history tends to highlight it whenever they lose fewer men than their adversaries in a given battle, ergo if the obverse happens their enemy's casualties tend not to be listed). However, this may not be the case here, of course.Historian932 (talk) 15:18, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
Here goes the only source i have found regarding German Casualties(+800) its in Italian but can be undestood by simple reading, use a translator if you are not a Itaian speaker. Page 10.Mr.User200 (talk) 18:48, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

Civilian casualties[edit]

I found a reliable source for what the civilian casualties were in the Battle of Ortona. They were approximately 1300, according to the Canadian War Musem. The German casualties were at least 1400, since all sources I can find, although they can't give an exact number, say that the German casualties were "More than the Canadians". Anything else that I find will be told to everybody. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 03:00, 16 March 2007 (UTC).


I've given this article protection, since there seems to be a ton of edits by anonymous users who we can't track, or a ton of vandalism by anonymous users. As such, I've given this page semi-protection, so that only users who are registered are capable of editing it.

if anyone disagrees with my choice, please contact me on my talk page.

Cam 05:02, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

Moving the Table of Contents[edit]

Is there a reason why the Table of Contents is 'under' a lot of the sections? Would anyone be opposed to moving it up just above the 'background' section?

As Thu Jul 26 22:24:38 EDT 2007, I have made the change that I mentioned [above]. It seems that having the Table of contents directly after the introductory paragraph is more in line with other similar Wiki articles. This seems to have cleared up a couple of other minor problems with the look of the page as well.


Kirrages & I are preparing to do a revamp of this article. I've come up with a short list of things that should probably be accomplished:

  • Expand Background
  • Create section outlining German preparations & defenses
  • Split the battle section into timing-subsections
  • Incorporate the "gallery" at the bottom into the article itself.

Feel free to add. Cam (Chat) 06:50, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Greatest Achievement???[edit]

I've terminated the existence of this clause with extreme prejudice from the intro: and was considered among Canada's greatest achievements during the war.

I can't honestly fathom why anyone would have written such drivel. Vokes was heavily criticized for his conduct of the entire Moro River campaign - the first real divisional level battle Canadians fought in the Second World War, as a unified division, it will be pointed out. In it, he continued to push forward brigades into hopeless frontal assaults. Instead of sensibly bypassing Ortona, he once again slammed two full battalions straight up the gut, and then for an entire week, they couldn't take the town due to miserly allocation of reinforcements. They didn't cut off the northern end of the town to prevent the Germans from escaping nor did they have the means to apply firepower to prevent such a withdrawal, and as was usual for fighting in Italy, the battle did not end when the Allies achieved a masterful stroke of victory, but when the Germans decided they had attrited the Allies enough and broke off the engagement. And this is somehow a "greatest achievement" of the war? PLEASE.

I don't have sources for any of this, naturally, though the criticisms of Vokes are easy to find in Copp's articles in Legion Magazine or more recent books by Dancocks etc. More to the point, the original author of this silly statement can't possibly have a serious quote to back up this non-sensical assertion. Canada's greatest achievements in the land war were probably more in the area of its penetrations on D-Day in Normandy, it's holding firm post D-Day, the clearance of the Scheldt Estuary (after the British unfortunately dropped the ball at Antwerp), and the Rhineland-post Rhine fighting. As far as Italy went, just keeping a corps in the field was achievement enough, though even there, healthy criticism abounded for draining manpower to keep an unnecessary corps headquarters active and then sending the wrong generals to run it - Burns was too dour, Crerar was no one's favourite and should have been knocked down to run a division first according to some, and Foulkes and Vokes were mixed up via clerical error.

If having the snot pounded out of you for a week by German paratroopers who then screw off when it suits them is Canada's greatest military achievement, it makes one wonder what else is at the top of the list. Post-war apologists seem to place "noble defeats" such as Hong Kong, Verrieres Ridge and Dieppe up there too so they can get down deep and wallow in the blood but it really has no place in an encyclopedia article. (talk) 20:27, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Casualties again[edit]

Why do we have the entire months worth of casualties in a battle that lasted for 8 days? The article is about the battle of Ortona and is listed from Dec 20th to 28th. It doesn't make sense for the whole months losses to be there. Wokelly (talk) 22:36, 26 June 2009 (UTC)