Location:Take the A1 Rome to Milan road and
exit at Firenze Sud. Follow the road SS 67 towards Pontassieve and Arezzo.
Florence War Cemetery stands on the north bank of the River Arno about
5 kilometres east of Florence. The cemetery is permanently open and
may be visited anytime. Visiting Information:PLEASE NOTE: The Commission
is aware that
during the night of 24/25 April 2001, extensive vandalism was carried
out to Florence War Cemetery. The authorities have been informed and
Commission Staff are currently working to rectify the damage.
Historical Information:On 3 September 1943 the Allies invaded the Italian
mainland, the invasion coinciding with an armistice made with the Italians
who then re-entered the war on the Allied side.
Allied objectives were to draw German troops from the Russian front
and more particularly from France, where an offensive was planned for
the following year. Following the fall of Rome to the Allies in June
1944, the German retreat became ordered and successive stands
were made on a series of defensive positions known as the Trasimene,
Arezzo, Arno and Gothic Lines. Florence, which was taken by the Allied
forces on 13 August 1944, was the centre of the Arno line and the point
from which the attack on the German Gothic Line defences in the Apennines
was launched. The site for the war cemetery was selected in November
1944 for burials from the hospitals established in and around Florence
but the greater part of those buried here lost their lives in the fighting
in this area from July to September 1944. After the war, 83 graves were
moved into the cemetery from nearby Arrow Route Cemetery, when it proved
impossible to acquire the site in perpetuity. Most of these burials
were from the fighting in the Apennines during the winter of 1944-1945.
Cemetery now contains 1,632 Commonwealth burials of the Second World