Irish Brigade

The story of the 38th (Irish) Brigade in the Second World War

Faugh a Ballagh        Nec Aspera Terrent         Quis Separabit


Operation Buckland

Preparing for the push to the Po on 24 April 1945

The plan for the day was as follows: The Brigade would pass through the bridgehead with as little delay as possible and, with the Inniskillings leading, would seize the village of Saletta. This was chosen as the first Brigade objective because the small village of Tamara between Fossalta and Saletta, had been occupied during the…

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21st April 1945

The attack went in as planned in the early hours of 21st April, with 1 RIrF on the left and 2 Innisks on the right. On the north side of the railway, 5 Northamptons gave protection to the right flank and, beyond the twin canals in the south, 5 Buffs conformed with the advance.  Both…

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Operation Buckland The Irish Brigade’s last battle

At 1920 hours on 9th April 1945, Operation ‘Buckland’, the name given to 8th Army’s attack on German defensive positions in Northern Italy, was launched. Over the following 16 days of constant assault, Allied Forces secured a comprehensive victory and were able to cross the mighty Po river. On 2nd May 1945, all German forces…

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18th April 1945

11 Brigade had borne the main weight of the fighting north of the Reno and had done well: the infantry were tired. 38 Brigade, with its two battalions had been committed, had fought on, had gained a further thousand yards and was also tired. This was no time to try levering the gap open with…

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19th April 1945

During the night 18/19 April, general activity continued over the whole front. On the extreme right, 1 RIrF moved forward on the east side of the railway and occupied the triangle of ground, bounded by waterways around Casa Biscie. This move secured for the Division a firm right flank beyond the railway. Further west, at…

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22nd April 1945

During the morning of 22nd April, 56 Recce Regiment, still under command of the Armoured Brigade, pushed on towards the Po di Volano in a north westerly sweep on a broad front from Cona and Quartesana. Enemy infantry were by-passed and useful information was obtained on the state of the roads and bridges. At 1230…

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23rd April 1945

The morning of April 23rd showed us little major change on our own front, with the Division now closed up to the line of the Po di Valano and the Diversivo di Volano round the Fossalta pocket. 5 Northamptons had a firm bridgehead over the river and the sappers began work on the bridge site…

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The end of the war in Italy

As dawn approached on 25 April, organised resistance was at an end. A plan made overnight for the swift and thorough clearance of the whole divisional area was put into effect at first light. One squadron of the Recce Regiment passed to under command of each of 11, 38 and 2 Armoured Brigades and these…

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20th April 1945

At 0145 hours, 2 LF began to move across and very soon afterwards, whilst the area was still under fire from enemy mortars, the sappers completed a bulldozed crossing of the twin canals and tanks began to pass across. The operation of moving into and through this small bridgehead proved more complicated than had been…

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