We include below links to the month by month details of the journey of the Irish Brigade from their landings in Algiers during November 1942 to the time of victory in Tunis during May 1943.
In the monthly guides, you will find a summary of key actions and dates, links to the transcribed brigade and battalion war diaries, personal narratives, and further links to recent photographs taken at the CWGC cemeteries in Tunisia.
2 London Irish Rifles (2 LIR) and 6 Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (6 Innisks) boarded two ships – HMT Duchess of York, and Nea Hellas – in Glasgow on 10th November and, accompanied by 38 (Irish) Brigade’s HQ team, set sail from the River Clyde estuary on 14th November…..
During the first part of December 1942, both 6 Inniskillings (Innisks) and 2 London Irish Rifles (2 LIR) established themselves in western Tunisia before taking part in defensive and forward patrolling activity…..
During the first ten days of January 1943, all three battalions of the Irish Brigade continued patrolling activity near to Goubellat. Overnight patrols provoked regular fierce fire fights with German patrols who had a similar intention in contesting the large areas of open plain to the south and east of Goubellat, with the wide ranging front line being unsecured for either side…..
With the Irish Brigade regaining strength after suffering significant levels of casualties in the battles north of Bou Arada during January, the first two weeks of February 1943 saw all three battalions continuing patrolling activities between Bou Arada and Goubellat….
During the first few days of March, the three battalions of the Irish Brigade continued to clear German forces from the areas near to Stuka Ridge and Grandstand and by 9th March, it became evident that all enemy offensive activity in the area had been completely thwarted, and the brigade was able to reassert routine patrol activity…
The Irish Brigade spent the first few days of April 1943 preparing for their part in a coordinated 78 Division assault on German positions in the mountains north of the Beja to Medjez-el-Bab road. This would be the first time that the division had gone into action as a complete formation….
At the start of May 1943, the Irish Brigade continued their pursuit of retreating German forces, before being withdrawn on 4th May for a short rest period near to Medjez-el-Bab. The final attack towards Tunis commenced on the morning of 6th May, with the brigade, along with the rest of 78 Division, being held in reserve as a firm base for the advancing troops….
The Irish Brigade spent most of June 1943 undertaking training exercises for all men, and across all disciplines, whilst they were based in the Guelma area in eastern Algeria. At this time, their strength was supplemented by large numbers of much needed reinforcements for all three battalions….