THE PRO PATRIA PROJECT
ROBINSON Hugh Amuri
1046, Lieutenant Colonel, 20th New Zealand Armoured Regiment

CITATION
Distinguished Service Order
Gazetted
Lieutenant Colonel Robinson commanded 20 New Zealand Armoured Regiment in the campaign for the crossing of the River Senio to the end of hostilities in Italy, during most of which time his Regiment was under command 6 New Zealand Infantry Brigade.

The successful co-operation between tanks and infantry which was an outstanding feature of the campaign was greatly due to Lieutenant Colonel Robinson who co-ordinated the armoured thrusts in conjunction with the infantry plan.  By his untiring efforts, energy, resourcefulness and ability to make full use of flexibility once the battle was joined, the tanks under his command never failed to reach forward infantry by first light in all the major attacks.  These attacks were made over formidable defended water obstacles and often the plan for onrouting the tanks after the initial crossing had to be drastically changed.  Always in the minimum of time and never with any indication of a hitch the required result was achieved although all operations were carried out during the hours of darkness when armour is most handicapped.

During the advance over open ground between water obstacles the tanks, under Lieutenant Colonel Robinson’s command were always with the forward troops and this officer’s presence with his squadrons was an inspiration to the men and imparted an extraordinary vigour and drive to the advance.

At the River Po this officer personally reconnoitred, discovered and operated a ferry for the passage of armour across the river before the pontoon bridge was complete.  The deployment of his tanks across the river by this means consolidated the bridgehead and made possible the further rapid advance of the Division.

While Lieutenant Colonel Robinson’s Regiment was under command 6 New Zealand Infantry Brigade up to and including the crossing of the river Adige, 85 miles were covered and eight rivers crossed without the loss of any equipment through mechanical defects.  This high standard of tank maintenance insisted on by the Regimental Commander directly affected the battle. Had the maximum number of tanks not always been present, the amazingly swift thrusts made would not in many cases been possible.

After passing from command of 6 New Zealand Infantry Brigade, Lieutenant Colonel Robinson’s Regiment went on to mop up the last organised enemy resistance in Trieste.  Thus the whole campaign Lieutenant Colonel Robinson’s courage, initiative and complete disregard for personal danger were an inspiration to those who were privileged to serve under him, or work alongside him.  He has displayed throughout powers of leadership of the highest order.

Military Cross
Gazetted

Mention in Despatches
Gazetted

AWARDS
Distinguished Service Order
Military Cross
1939-45 Star
Africa Star
       8th Army
Italy Star
Defence Medal
War Medal 1939-45
       Mention in Despatches
New Zealand War Service Medal
Coronation Medal 1953
Efficiency Decoration and 3 bars

NOTES
Born 29 September 1912, New Plymouth, New Zealand
Died