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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 – 20th April 1943

Brigade HQ – CHAOUACH.

78 Division OO No 9 was received expressing the intention “78 Division will attack and secure the high ground at Terbourba Gap to protect the left flank 1 Division and be prepared subsequently to operate towards Chouigui or Djebel Djedieda.”

It was indicated that First Army was attacking in conjunction with Eighth Army with the object of expelling the enemy from North Africa.

A message to First Army from Air Marshal Coningham was received.

1230 A Brigade Commander’s Conference was held at CP to discuss a joint attack on Tanngoucha and Heidous.

1400 Brigade Commander and Battalion Commanders attended cloth model discussion at 78 Division HQ and were informed of the larger picture.

PM Camp Commandant went to 538439 to prepare a new command post for the battle.

2100 Conference of Brigade staff with Bttn Commanders, Commanders 138 Field Regiment, and 214 Field Company RE was held at Brigade HQ. Ways and means of attack were discussed and a subsidiary operation by 1 RIrF was planned. For the discussion, annotated air photos and marked enlargements of the battle area were provided.

Night 5 Northamptons moved into position 5243 as ordered. A patrol of 6 Innisks 540457 was engaged by MG. 2 LIR patrols found signs of occupation round Heidous and recce-ed routes for the attack.


1 RIrF – KEF EL TIOUR.

Lt-Col BH Butler went to Brigade for a conference. Major H Rogers arrived to take over the Bttn.

Nothing of interest happened during the day. The company areas were under constant mortar fire. Most of the day, we retaliated with artillery.

Captain J Ray attached US 1st Division.


6 Innisks – DJEBEL ANG.

Djebel Ang is mortared and shelled during the day. Casualties – 7 ORs wounded.

1400 CO attends conference at Brigade at which both Corps and Army Commander spoke.

2000 CO attends conference at Brigade HQ.

2300 Patrol to J544576 found the enemy occupying it. The patrol dogs were used for the first time. So far, 1 dog and 1 dog handler are missing.


2 LIR.

0800 Shell report: 4 air burst shells above Bettiour. 4 above Djebel Ang. 2 shrapnel shells over point 404 5344.

0900 Enemy air burst shells over 545435, 538440, 535446 and 543444 from gun firing very close from general direction east.

0945 Red flag seen flying on top of Longstop.

0950 Enemy shelling point 604 and north slopes of Djebel Dar Mahouna. Gun quite close possible direction 557463.

1500 Artillery reports house blown down in Heidous revealed A/Tk gun. This they subsequently destroyed.

1615 Enemy mortar Bettiour from north to south with 21 bombs. 1 man killed in G Company.

1800 Enemy again mortar Bettiour with 18 bombs. Bombs fall on the main rock above H Company, Battalion HQ and E Company causing a few casualties by falling rock. Companies send out local patrols. Voices heard on Heidous at 2030 hrs and sounds of digging at 2215 hrs.

Rifleman Charles Mizon, London Irish Rifles.


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