About Coriano Ridge War Cemetery
Coriano Ridge War Cemetery in Italy is a World War Two Commonwealth cemetery located in what was a vital strategic site in 1944.
In order to allow them to liberate Rimini from German forces, it was vital for the Allies to take Coriano Ridge. Hampered by severe rain and German resistance, the battle for Coriano Ridge, whilst eventually successful, led to significant casualties.
Coriano Ridge War Cemetery history
The Allies invaded the Italian mainland on 3 September 1943. The invasion coincided with an armistice agreed with the Italians who re-entered the war on the Allied side. After the fall of Rome to Allies in June 1944, the German retreat led to several stands on a series of defensive lines.
The Gothic Line was one such area: breached by the Allies during the Autumn, the Germans dug into their position in the northern Apennine mountains and managed to stall the advance. Coriano Ridge was the final important ridge preventing the Allies from advance and capturing it was key to Rimini and the River Po.
In early September, German parachuters and panzers, along with bad weather, resisted attacks. They were attacked on 12 September 1944 by British and Canadian Armoured Divisions, successfully taking the Ridge. However, the following week saw some of the heaviest fighting seen in months with massive losses for the Eighth Army particularly.
In April 1945, the area was chosen for the cemetery and would include graves from surrounding battlefields.
Coriano Ridge War Cemetery today
Today, Coriano Ridge War Cemetery contains the neatly tended graves of 1,939 Commonwealth soldiers from the British and Canadian divisions that fought there, notably the Eighth Army, the 1st British Armoured Division and the 5th Canadian Armoured Division. The cemetery can be visited anytime and there is wheelchair access to the site.
Getting to Coriano Ridge War Cemetery
Coriano Ridge War Cemetery is 3.5 kilometres west of Riccione, a seaside resort on the Adriatic coast, and is reached easily by car. Turn west off the main Rimini/Riccione road – the SS16 – about 1 kilometre north-west of Riccione. At this turning there is a sign leading to the cemetery. Follow it in the direction of Coriano turning left at a T junction and the cemetery is on the right-hand side.