PIAZZA ROMA 8, 47855 GEMMANO RN IT
During the Second World War, in the autumn-winter of 1943-44, the German command in Italy prepared a defense plan to slow down the advance of the Anglo-Americans from the south to the north.
Initially called the Green Line, later known as the Gothic Line, it ran from the Magra river, between La Spezia and Massa Carrara, to Pesaro. In Emilia Romagna it included the territory from Riccione to Parma.
The Gothic was 320 kilometers long and exploited the ruggedness of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines. Along the route, 479 guns, 2,375 machine guns, 100,000 mines, approximately 4,000 pillboxes and 16,000 sniper positions had been placed. Hundreds of kilometers of barbed wire had been laid and countless anti-tank trenches dug.
The Gemmano "fortress" located in a strategic point of the Gothic Line was garrisoned by the 100th Gebirgsjäger Regiment ,
The Ten Col. R. Ernst , commander of the 100th Regiment, had deployed his three battalions across the hill of Gemmano, on a line that went from Croce to Montefiore Conca. The town and its surroundings were defended by the II Battalion ( II/100 ), which had on its left the III/100 , from the hamlet of La Villa up to Croce, and on the right the I/100 , whose deployment covered the high ground of Farneto and the cliffs of the hill up to the Rio Ventena and then up to Montefiore Conca. The strength of the 100th Regiment totaled approximately 4,500 men, of which approximately 3,000 were combat troops.
The battle of Gemmano took place between 4 September and 15 September 1944 .
It was one of the fiercest fights of the entire Italian campaign. The British forces had to launch four attacks, in the space of over ten days, the town of Gemmano was occupied during the second attack on 9 September, while the other two subsequent actions led to the surrender of the other Wehrmacht forces in the area . The blood toll that both the populations and the warring parties had to suffer was very heavy. According to British sources, the German fallen were over 900 (Lt. Col. Ernst estimates the losses in dead, wounded and missing of his regiment at over 2,400) .
Gemmano was completely destroyed.
Even today the memory is vivid in many Gemmanesi, who, even if they were children at the time, pass on this touching life experience through their moving stories.
SILVANA CERRUTI, in 2004 undertook a stupendous journey in the memory of the Gemmanesi and people displaced from neighboring countries at the time of the war, making a unique and unrepeatable documentary, interviewing the survivors of that terrible attack in September 1944, mainly women and thanks to these memories have been saved forever testimonies on the moods and actions of a period that will remain the focal point of the total change of a Gemmano deeply affected but with the strength of a new heart to rebuild one's identity and dignity.
The documentary RED: THE FRONT is entirely visible on the site of the Municipality of Gemmano, furthermore Silvana has collected all the depositions in a book entitled "The war all of a sudden".
TRAVELING THE GOTHIC LINE