By the last week of August 1944, the Allied forces in Italy had crossed the Foglia River and faced the "Gothic Line," the last German line of defence in northern Italy. The commander of the British 8th Army, General Sir Oliver Leese, selected the 1st Canadian Corps, commanded by Major-General E.L.M. Burns, to lead the Allied assault.
On 31 August 1944, the 5th Canadian Armoured Division and 1st Canadian Division broke through the German defences. The Perth Regiment, The Cape Breton Highlanders, and 5th Canadian Armoured Regiment (8th Princess Louise's [New Brunswick] Hussars) attacked the German positions in the village of Montecchio on the eastern flank. In the centre, The Loyal Edmonton Regiment, The Seaforth Highlanders, and Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, supported by the 12th and 48th Battalions of the Royal Tank Regiment stormed the town of Osteria Nuova. On the western flank, The West Nova Scotia Regiment and Le Royal 22e Régiment overwhelmed the German defenders.
The following day, with a huge gap torn in the German lines by the Canadian assault, The Loyal Edmonton Regiment and Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, together with the 12th and 48th Battalions of the Royal Tank Regiment, led the advance. Once the Gothic Line had been breached, the German defender withdrew to the north. With the onset of heavy autumn rains, the Allied advance halted.