Italy / Battlefield
In the territory of Battipaglia, in the hamlet of Spineta, south of the Tusciano river, there was a landing point of the British 56th Division. At the time of the landing, the British battalions landed about one kilometre south of the predetermined point, which according to the plans was to be directly opposite the enemy stronghold.
The old medieval tower, which was the observation point of the German stronghold, is now just a few steps away from the beach, near the bridge over the river. Near the beach, a marble plaque on a trunk brought in by the sea commemorates the soldiers who died there.
The Battipaglia beach landing sector was assigned to the 8th and 9th Battalions of the Royal Fusiliers of the 167th Brigade of the British 56th Division. The area was defended by the 64th Panzergranadier Regiment and occupied the coastal stronghold Scharnorst, whose artillery caused many problems for the Allied naval forces. When they reached the shore, the men of Company Z of the 8th Battalion, with a side assault on the German stronghold, silenced the gun battery. The 9th had the objective of annihilating another German battery with 88 mm cannons located near the coast. However, it was preceded by the destroyer Biscaynz, which destroyed it with its cannons. The 9th Battalion had no choice but to conquer some German machine-gun nests stationed on the beach and then continue the advance towards Battipaglia.
In 2017, the Mu.Bat project was launched, offering to undertake a path to re-evaluate the town's history through the preservation of memory, the emergence of collective knowledge and its dissemination, beginning by reaffirming the key role that Battipaglia played in the days of Operation 'Avalanche'. Subsequently, the '9 settembre' Study Centre was also founded by the Mu.Bat Association to carry out research and dissemination activities, with the aim of emphasising the importance of the Italian campaign in the context of WWII.
Furthermore, every year the Mu.Bat Association organises a historical re-enactment of the landing: a true representation of the moments of September 1943 with the possibility for the public to observe reconstructions of the fighting.