Operation Baytown (ii)

This was a British special forces operation by the Special Raiding Squadron (1st Special Air Service renamed after the end of the North African campaign) under the command of Lieutenant Colonel R. B. Mayne to seize the port of Bagnara in southern Italy within the context of ‘Baytown’ (i) (3 September 1943).

One of the two landing craft suffered a mechanical failure on the approach to the port, and eventually the troopers of the SRS had to be transferred to four smaller landing craft, which then landed the men and their equipment on the wrong side of Bagnara bay. The British force encountered only light resistance and thus quickly captured the port, but soon came under increasingly heavy machine guns and mortar fire from the German forces in the surrounding hills. Skirmishing continued for three days before the SRS, having suffered 22 casualties (five killed and 17 wounded) made contract with British forces advancing from Reggio di Calabria.