The Irish Rifles support the Skins

The Irish Rifles also had been involved on our left flank.

Their account of this particular phase is interesting:

“At this stage, the Inniskillings were put into attack south from behind the Faughs to clear up the Piumarola area, which was strongly held and included tanks and paratroopers withdrawn from Cassino. Our task was to come in on the left of the Skins and hold the river line.

(NA 15033) Original wartime caption: Tanks move forward towards the next objective after they 2nd Bn. London Irish Rifles had established themselves in positions on either side of the lateral road. Copyright: © IWM. 

This battle was well underway by mid afternoon with the Germans plastering the road to Piumarola with an intensity that left memories of 622 quite cold.

The Skins, of course, waded in, in their usual fashion and as we came up on their flank, the only company who met serious opposition was G Company, which was commanded by Peter Grannell since Geoffrey Phillips took it. G Company got involved with some paratroopers and a very large SP but the latter was shot by a tank and after a brisk scrap, G Company took a number of prisoners and established themselves. E and H Companies got in without opposition except shelling.

The latter never stopped in intensity until dusk by which time the Hun artillery was pulling out in front of the Skins, and most of their OPs in the bag. We counted over a hundred prisoners coming back – mainly from 1 Para Division, and there was even a few of our old friends, the Hermann Goering boys. However, it was an unsatisfactory day for us personally, as it was mostly take and not very much give. We got about 15 Huns and an OP and lots of loot but we lost twenty five good chaps.

After dark, E Company landed a small German patrol from the north. The great loss of the day for all of us was Colonel Bala Bredin of the Inniskillings. He was shot through both legs but remained in command until the final assault, propped up on the front of the jeep.” 

Click to read more.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments