Further reading

Clear The Way! A history of the 38th (Irish) Brigade, 1941-47, by Richard Doherty

This is the definitive account of the brigade from formation to dissolution. It includes a detailed record of its campaigns in Tunisia and Italy, including many photographs and maps.

The Wild Geese are Flighting, by John Coldwell-Horsfall

This is the first in a two volume sequence which brilliantly paints a picture of the Irish Brigade from one of its most distinguished members. Coldwell-Horsfall was a company commander in 1 Royal Irish Fusiliers during the battle for France in May/June 1940. His battalion joined 6 Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and 2 London Irish Rifles to form the Irish Brigade during the winter of 1941/42 and Coldwell-Horsfall kept a diary about his experiences that encompassed all the major events of the Tunisian and Italian campaigns. ‘The Wild Geese are Flighting’ covers the Tunisian battles and provides a vivid, eye-witness account of the successful attack on Hill 622 by the Faughs on 23 April 1943.

Fling Our Banner to the Wind, by John Coldwell-Horsfall

This covers the Italian campaign from the time of the author’s appointment as second-in-command of 2 London Irish Rifles, and his command of the same battalion at the battles of Cassino and Trasimene up to the time when Coldwell-Horsfall was seriously wounded in the winter of 1944, whilst commanding 1 Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Victory in Italy, by Richard Doherty

This covers the final campaign of the Allied Armies in Italy and focuses on Operation Grapeshot when the 8th and 5th Armies combined to overcome determined German defences to bring final and comprehensive victory on 2nd May 1945.

Monte Cassino : Opening the Road to Rome, by Richard Doherty.

One of the bloodiest European battles of the Second World War was that from January to May 1944 for the Gustav Line, anchored on Monte Cassino, famous for its Benedictine Abbey. Cassino: January-June 1944 examines the campaign from the political/strategic levels to the tactical, using official records, accounts from commanders and participants, including interviews.

The Battle Of The Peaks and Long Stop Hill – Tunisia, Ian Mitchell

The Battle of the Peaks is the first book to be devoted to a series of forgotten battles in the spring of 1943 in the hills of northern Tunisia and includes sections on the Irish Brigade’s fighting advance through the djebels north of Medjez-el-Bab in April of that year.

Other books about the history of the Irish Brigade.

The London Irish at War.

A History of the two Battalions of the London Irish Rifles during the Second World War.


All My Brothers: A London Irish Family at War, by Edmund O’Sullivan (2007)

In his own account of his life from birth until his marriage in 1946, O’Sullivan records in detail his experiences as a young conscript to 2 London Irish Rifles during October 1939 until the battalion was disbanded more than six years later.


Time at War, by Nicholas Mosley (2006)

Mosley was a young platoon commander in E Company of 2 London Irish Rifles from 1943 until the end of the war and beyond. This is an excellent account of his experiences, including being temporarily taken prisoner by the Germans in January 1944 and of the battle period near to Monte Spaduro in the autumn of 1944, where he was awarded the Military Cross. The book also contains rare photographs, some taken by himself.

Books about the Italian campaign


Cassino: The Hollow Victory, by John Ellis, 1984

One of the first revisionist accounts of the Battle of Cassino which is full of coruscating criticisms of the conduct of the battle and of the entire Italian campaign.


Monte Cassino: The Story of the Hardest Fought Battle of World War Two, by Matthew Parker, 2003

Other Sources.


Humphrey (Bala) Bredin

Commander of 6 Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers during the battle of Cassino and of 2 London Irish Rifles from July 1944 onwards. His obituary can be found by clicking here.

A link to Bala Bredin’s oral testimony here. 

John Coldwell-Horsfall

The obituary of one of the key figures in the Irish Brigade, who commanded both 1 Royal Irish Fusiliers and 2 London Irish Rifles in Italy, can be found by clicking here.

Desmond Woods

OC, H Company 2 London Irish Rifles during 1944. His obituary can be found by clicking here and a full oral testimony here of his time with the RUR in Palestine and with 2 LIR in Italy.

Harry Lionel Corfield, A Company, 1st Bn Royal Irish Fusiliers.

A link to an audio recording on the IWM website recalling the period of overseas service with the Irish Brigade from 1942 to 1945.

Sir John Wilton, 6th Bn Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and 1st Bn Royal Irish Fusiliers.

A link to an audio recording on the IWM website recalling his period of overseas service with the Irish Brigade from 1942 to 1946.

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