VILLANOVA CANADIAN WAR CEMETERY
|Total identified casualties||211 Find these records|
|Casualties from||Second World War|
Villanova lies in the Commune of Bagnacavallo in the Province of Ravenna. Take autostrada A14, Bologna-Ancona, and branch off to Ravenna. Turn left along the SS16 towards Ferrara and at 7.5 kilometres, at the village of Mezzano, turn left to Villanova, about 4 kilometres. If travelling by train, the nearest station is Mezzano but there is no taxi service from there. Taxi's are available however, from Ravenna train station. Cemetery address: Via Chiesa 11 - 48020 Bagnacavallo (RA) Emilia Romagna. GPS Co-ordinates: Latitude: 44.45150, Longitude: 12.05180.
The cemetery is permanently open and may be visited anytime. Wheelchair access is possible via the main entrance. For further information and enquiries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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 Appenine 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 Adratic 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 site of this cemetery was chosen by the 5th Canadian Armoured Division for battlefield burials. It was in the vicinity of Villanova that troops of this Division succeeded in establishing a bridgehead over the River Lamone in the night 10/11 December 1944. West of this bridgehead there was heavy fighting in the following days, when attempts were made to cross the three canals that run from Faenza to the sea. From 12 to 15 December, the Lanark and Renfrew Scottish Regiment and the 4th Princess Louise Dragoon Guards suffered heavily in these attempts, and 85 of the burials in the cemetery come from these two regiments. Others include those killed in the advance to the final line held by the Canadians on the River Senio before they left Italy in February 1945. Villanova Canadian War Cemetery contains 212 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War.