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Finale Furioso ...

Was the name of the last tactical maneuvers of the Radfahrerregiment 6 in April 2003. A last time was demanded a big deal of the cyclists.
All the things they were famous for: Power, Initiative and Stamina

A big effort was demanded of everyone, as the corps climbed countless meters of altitude difference on their almost 200 km ride. No lack of initiative could have been spotted of the big collective. The Fact to write down a piece of Swiss tradition, was stimulation for each of the members. The will to bring something to an end, was demonstrated under extreme weather conditions and physical exertions by everybody.

The „integrated“ Cyclist Company I/9 in their final Mission „Finale Furioso”
The Calm before the Storm

For the Cyclist Company II/9 the big final began with a training section in urban warfare on a drill ground in Bernhardzell. In the later afternoon, it was commanded into a area around Bildegg where they waited in alert for the order to move towards in an unknown direction.

At 9:00 am the comany got the order to decamp towards Waldkirch. Over Gossau, Herisau and Waldstatt the platoons reached St. Peterzell around 11:00 pm. The weather during the climb to this point, was perfectly warm for this time of the year. The soldiers all were in a sweat soon.

It went on over the  Wasserfluh and afterwards down to Wattwil. Then the baggage climbed again nearly 200 m altitude dirrerence, to crest the Ricken. In the meantime it started to rain but stopped again soon, so that the troops arrived pretty dry at Rüti in the Zürcher Oberland.

The Company II/9 cantoned in an old barrack and set up a watch plan fort he next few hours.Bicycles were repaired clothes changed and hands and dishes were  washed, all under adverse circumstances. After that pasta was served from the field kitchen. Then the tired soldiers lied down after 5 am, expecting to get some hours of sleep.

Day 2, crack of dawn

Two hours later the night was over for the cyclist. After an extemporaneous breakfast outdoor, they had to move on, meanwhile in heavy rainfall. The following kilometers had been the hardest ones for many of the guys. Tired and with weak legs, temporarily in snow or hail and cold temperatures, the company fought its way up to Wald. After that it went over Fischental, Steg and Bauma to Saland..

At 10:00 am the camera team of the Swiss Public TV station, which attended the company since daybreak, saw  animpressive scene. Cold and completely wet soldiers stood in an garage and drank tea and ate bread an chocolate.Some were excited because of the bad weather, others were only starring into space, trying to ignore the terrible coldness. Those who have been wearing their gloves had as cold hands as those who didn’t because the leather had been soaking wet in minutes.

The next destination was Gachnang in the canton of Thurgau. After Thurbenthal, the Rüetschberg  had to be crossed. After another 18 Km the company reached Gachnang where it had been waiting for new orders.

Surveillance of the Thurbrücke and return of the Troops Colors

The platoon 4 got the order to take and hold the bridge over the Thur at Niederneuforn. The soldiers drove via Ellikon an der Thur to Altikon. A first group passed the bridge and locked and saved it for the following rest of the company.
While the platoons 1 – 3 had to fulfil other tasks the 4. platoon had to defend its bridge twice against aggressive scouts, which were dropped by helicopters. The afternoon passed pretty calm and in the evening the soldiers found shelter in cowshed. After dawn night sensing equipment was used to watch the area. The first half of the night passed without any incindent for the Panzerfaust teams. Around midnight the operation ‘Finale Furioso’ was. From that time, the guard have been reduced to save some sleep for the the others. At 6:00 am after breakfast, the whole platoon made itself ready for the last stage. Via Altikon Thalheim, Welsikon and Seuzach they drove to the barracks of Winterthur. On the way the other platoons got to together and the rolled together towards the batallions collection point.

After some instruction the whole Cyclist Regiment 6 met for the last return of the (troop) colors.



All stages in an overview

Stage 1

16 km
Neukirch - Wittenbach - Bernhardzell

Stage 2

14 km
Bernhardzell - Edliswil - St. Pelagiberg - Wilen - Bildegg

Stage 3

80 km
Bildegg (21.20) - Waldkirch - Gossau - Herisau - Waldstatt - St. Peterzell (23.00) - Wasserfluh - Wattwil - Ricken - Goldingen - Wald - Rüti (04.00)

Stage 4

60 km
Rüti (08.20) - Wald - Fischenthal - Steg - Bauma - Saland (10.00) - Turbenthal - Rüetschberg - Elgg - Gachnang - Ellikon an derTthur - Altikon - Niederneunforn

Stage 5

18 km
Niederneunforn - Altikon - Thalheim - Welsikon - Seuzach - Winterthur

Total Operation "Finale Furioso"

188 km

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