Tank fight rages close to Rimini
ROME. Sept. 16 -British and German tanks were locked today in a great battle within three miles of the Adriatic stronghold of Rimini, whose fall would lei the Eighth Army into the Po Valley to roll up the Gothic Line from behind.
Tanks and self-propelled guns widened the crossing of the Marano River southwest of Rimini to five miles. Greek troops on the east moved up to the edge of the airport, less than three miles from the city.
The Fifth Army, assaulting the Gothic Line north of Florence, scored limited gams against savage resistance. Headquarters said that every approach to the defense zone was bitterly contested and heavily mined. The German communiqué said that the Fifth Army had rammed breaches in the defense positions but these had been sealed off.
The German defenders of Rimini had little choice but to stand or die, because along the Adriatic front they were mostly without transport. Along the Marano River and before Rimini the Germans brought up Mark V and Mark VI tanks and self-propelled artillery to bolster their thin line of infantry. They were fighting to keep the Eighth Army off the broad highway from Rimini northwest-ward to Bologna and Milan behind the Gothic Line.
Canadians were the first to cross the Marano River and were engaged by armored grenadiers. British tanks and infantry came up, crossed the stream and captured the villages of Ospedaletto and Patrignano, five miles south of Rimini.
Greek troops fighting up the coast captured San Lorenzo and Instrada, five miles southeast of Rimini, and then forced the Marano and pushed on two miles to the airfield. Farther inland, the British captured Montescudo, almost at the eastern frontier of San Marino.
Prisoners captured since the start of the Adriatic offensive now total 5,500, Headquarters announced.
The New York Times
November 17, 1944