Battles of Collecchio and Fornovo di Taro
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseOn 23 Apr 1945, remnants of German 148th Infantry Division began advancing from the Genoa area toward Parma, Italy, which had recently suffered a partisan uprising that drove out the occupying German forces. Upon detecting the German movement, units of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force moved out from Parma in the morning of 26 Apr. By about 1200 hours, Brazilian M8 Greyhound scout cars came in contact with German armored scout cars 13 kilometers southwest of Parma, just beyond the town of Collecchio; shortly after, troops of 281st Regiment of German 148th Infantry Division were also detected. By 1830 hours, two infantry companies (5th Company of 2nd Battalion of Brazilian 11th Regiment, and 9th Company of 3rd Battalion of Brazilian 6th Infantry Regiment) and a machine gun platoon (of 8th Company of 11th Infantry Regiment) were brought up. The attack was launched at 1930 hours. Brazilian troops of 5th Company captured the church at the southeastern corner of Collecchio quickly (which would soon be used to house captured German troops), while 9th Company probed German lines from the northeast. At 2100 hours, 2nd Company of 1st Battalion of Brazilian 6th Infantry Regiment and a small number of tanks of US 751st Tank Battalion arrived to reinforce the attack. Allied troops breached the main German defensive line at 0200 hours on 27 Apr, but German troops continued to fight back fiercely. A German counterattack launched just before dawn was repulsed, and German resistance waned gradually after that point. Brazilian troops reported having control of the town by 1200 hours. Surviving troops of German 148th Infantry Division withdrew to Fornovo di Taro 9 kilometers to the southwest. At 1800 hours on 28 Apr, Brazilian 6th Regiment and US tanks attacked Fornovo di Taro, quickly overwhelming the Germans. At 2200, General Otto Fretter-Pico of German 148th Infantry Division dispatched a messenger toward the Allied lines to express his intention to surrender; Fretter-Pico would surrender to Brazilian General Mascarenhas de Moraes on the following day.
Last Major Update: Jan 2013
Battles of Collecchio and Fornovo di Taro Timeline
|23 Apr 1945||In Italy, remnants German 148th Infantry Division began advancing from the Genoa area toward Parma.|
|25 Apr 1945||US 34th Infantry Division occupied Parma, Italy, which had recently been liberated by Italian partisan fighters.|
|26 Apr 1945||Brazilian scouts detected German troops near Collecchio, Italy; Brazilian infantry supported by US tanks attacked at 1930 hours.|
|27 Apr 1945||Brazilian infantry and US tanks drove out German troops at Collecchio, Italy.|
|28 Apr 1945||Brazilian infantry and US tanks attacked the remnants of German 148th Infantry Division at Fornovo di Taro, Italy.|
|29 Apr 1945||German 148th Division, Italian 4th Alpine Division "Monte Rosa", Italian 3rd Marine Division "San Marco", and German 29th Waffen-SS Grenadier Division (Italian troops) surrendered to Brazilian General Mascarenhas de Moraes near Parma, Italy.|
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Thomas Dodd, late 1945
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