Admirer of Florence, the Author (Right)
Maps a Raid with his Pilot, Capt. Leonard
S. Ackerman (Left)
was sitting on the cement ledge that runs along the
north side of the Arno River in Florence watching some
Italian civilians loading the smashed bodies of three
of their fellows into a boat moored twenty feet below
me. As the three had been trying to cross the broken
and twisted rubble of the blown-up bridge, one of them
had lifted a wire and set off a German mine.
day before, I had seen five civilians killed climbing
over the rubble at the south end of the ancient and
famous Ponte Vecchio, where the Germans had blown up
the houses to block the bridge and had then planted
mines in the rubble.
over the city there were mines and booby traps. The
British sappers were clearing these up; yet little groups
of careless civilians were being blown up almost hourly.
the hills south of the city a battery of British guns
thundered and expostulated at some target in the other
hills, far north of the city, where the Germans were.
It was almost midday, and the city lay inert under the
heat as if poleaxed. (Continued)