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Irish Brigade

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

Faugh a Ballagh        Nec Aspera Terrent         Quis Separabit


War Diaries – 18th April 1943

Brigade HQ – Chaouach

1400 Corps Commander visited this HQ. Went to OP with Brigade Commander.

1600 Brigade Commander saw Divisional Commander. It was decided that there was no object in attacking Heidous and Tanngoucha at present and that it would be better to coordinate a new plan.

Warning was received of enemy activity and laying of booby traps behind the lines in the Si Nsir sector.

PM Pt 491 and Olive Grove 5340 were shelled during the afternoon.

1500 Army Group Commander visited Brigade HQ. Brigade Commanders were introduced. Brigade Commander conducted him to OP at pt 491, whence Tanngoucha and Heiodus could be observed.

Night Artillery HF programme on Heidous was followed by 2 LIR harassing patrol (2100hrs), which fired LMG, Piat, and mortar into the village 2200hrs. This was followed by recce patrol of 56 Recce Regiment.


1 RIrF – KEF EL TIOUR.

0800 Bttn HQ moved to 549453 its previous location being too exposed to Tanngoucha and Heidous, both still in enemy hands.

1000 Patrol from B Coy went out to area 548.

1400 Patrol returned with nothing to report.

Captain J Ray and Lieut D Sutherland joined the Bttn.

Fusilier Leslie Bishop, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fusilier James Jewels, Royal Irish Fusiliers.


6 Innisks – TANNGOUCHA.

One Coy Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders  holds Djebel Bon Diss 5244 and 1 RIrF hold pt 622 (5645) and ridge 556454. Djebel Ang position is valuable OP looking north and is consequently a target for possible enemy artillery and mortar fire. By day, only, one platoon C Coy occupies forward slopes with the remainder of the garrison on the reverse slopes. One OR was wounded by artillery splinters. Movement Djebel Ang is nearly restricted to hours of darkness. Bttn suffers from water shortage particularly Djebel Ang, where there is no material supply, water is limited by the number of containers available and amounts to 32 gallons per day for all purposes. Many French and German trenches and equipment are evidence of previous occupation.

Enemy mortar played on Djebel Ang occasionally during the day.


2 LIR.

0800 Sitrep – Recce yesterday revealed a camouflage net on Heidous. This was subsequently engaged by ‘Mediums’ and proved to be an A/Tk gun which with ammunition was destroyed. Buffs reported that feature immediately south of Heidous was shelled yesterday and casualties inflicted on enemy – the feature is still held. 6 Innisks relieve 1 Surreys and 2 Lands Fusiliers on Djebel Ang and Mahdouna. 2/LIR – 1 RIrF – 6 Innisks – 5 Buffs and 56 Recce Corps and 1 Surreys under command 38 (Irish) Brigade. 1 Surreys south of Rherarif (5243) 38 Brigade supported by 132 and 138 Field Regiments.

11th Brigade less 1 Surreys moving out night 17 April 43.

1040 1 shrapnel shell 522433 another at Kelbline from E direction.

1600 Observation post reports artillery shelling Heidous. Hit pill box and several enemy ran away into village.

1700 2 enemy tanks of self-propelled guns observed east of Longstop.

1800 From tomorrow 19 April 43 observation post will be established x48444. Known as Ginger Company observation post 544445 ‘Pepper’.

1800 Mortars ranging on Heidous. Village south of Heidous set on fire by mortar fire.

2030 Operations with artillery support to discover DF tasks of Heidous area. Table of events.

2030 Artillery shell Heidous for 10 minutes intensive fire.

2031 Enemy machine guns firing from Tanngoucha.

2040 Occasional mortar shell on Bettiour and east of it.

2050 Shelling of Heidous ceased.

2100 Corporal Palmer’s patrol leaves F Company. Our machine gunners fire from above F Company HQ. Enemy shell Bettiour from north-east of Tanngoucha.

2105 Enemy continues to shell Bettiour with groups of three shells. Own MMGs firing bursts from F Company HQ. Light machine gun open up from Corporal Palmer’s section on right of F Company position. Own mortars fire on Heidous.

2107 Purple verey light fired on Heidous.

2110 Light machine guns fire from right flank and F Company HQ. More shells on Bettiour.

2115 Enemy machine gun firing towards their left flank across the plain also from right flank between Tanngoucha and Bettiour. Enemy mortar Bettiour.

2117 Own machine gun fire from right flank and further forward also sections fire PIAT on Heidous.

2120 Machine gun from F Company and mortar fire on Heidous. Enemy shell Bettiour.

2140 Corporal Palmer and patrol returns.

Enemy shelling low ground south west of Heidous from area of Longstop. 2 guns firing. We send up red verey light. Own artillery shell beyond Tanngoucha.

2145 Light machine gun right of F Company position, Enemy shell in front of Heidous and Bettiour.

2150 We fire green verey lights.

2200 Own artillery send intensive fire on right side of Tanngoucha.


 

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