The start of December 1944 saw the Irish Brigade still awaiting firm orders for the planned divisional offensive in support of an 8th Army wide assault and a regular pattern of patrolling and intermittent shelling and mortaring exchanges continued. On 13th December, 36 Brigade’s attack went in, but due to determined German defensive actions and some appalling weather, this quickly came to a halt and the Irish Brigade were not in fact required to launch their own attack.
With this postponement, there now commenced a period of large scale raiding on known German positions and the first of these was undertaken by the Faughs against Casa Tamagnin. Following a second assault and whilst reviewing its outcome, the Commanding Officer of 1 RIrF, Lt Colonel John Horsfall, was severely wounded and was immediately evacuated by Brigadier Scott.
The end of 1944 in the mountains near San Clemente saw heavy snowfall and Christmas Day was celebrated in relative peace, although hostilities recommenced over the following days.
Read Pat Scott’s account of the period in early December 1944 as the Irish Brigade readied itself for further offensive action.
13th December: 78th Division commences its attack on Monte Maggiore.
22nd December: Lt Col Murphy Palmer takes over command of 1 RIrF from John Horsfall.
December 1944 Roll of Honour:
December 1944 War Diaries: