War Diaries – 21st April 1943

Brigade HQ – CHAOUACH.

During the day, there was some shelling and mortaring 1 RIrF area. Casualties were however light. 138 Field Regiment reported enemy guns located at 567523, 576524, 603467, 625462.

1205 An order was issued for moves preparatory to the attack 22/23 April.

1245 78 Division issued message enjoining strict vigilance by all ranks on account of the enemy’s anticipatory attack night 20/21 April in 4 Division area. A similar message was issued to Bttns at 1620.

1400 Brigade Major explained to all ranks, with the aid of a sand model of Tunisia, made by Intelligence Section, the general situation and plan of attack. He hazarded a guess that our troops would reach Tunis by 7th May.

1630 38 (Irish) Infantry Brigade OO No 20 was issued, expressing the intention: “38 (Irish) Infantry Brigade will clear the high ground north west of the River Medjerda between Tanngoucha and Djebel El Aroussa 7054.”

1800 38 (Irish) Infantry Brigade Admin Order No 4 was issued in conjunction with the above OO.

1955 138 Field Regiment’s move forward was postponed and 1 RIrF, who had been warned to provide protection for the move and new location, were informed accordingly.

Night Patrols has no contact, but it was considered by recce that Tanngoucha was held in the same strength as previously. During the night, there was intermittent shelling of olive grove 5340.


A quiet morning.

1400 Lt-Col BH Butler returned from Brigade.

1600 Bttn HQ severely mortared. Lieut HT Emmins (signal officer) killed. Lieut RH Brown C Coy wounded.

2000 Bttn HQ moves to 547447.

Major H Rogers returns to B Echelon at LOB.

Fusilier Albert Sanders, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Lieutenant Henry Emmins, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fusilier Albert Mallen, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fusilier George Porter, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

6 Innisks – DJEBEL ANG.

A quiet day with much less mortaring on Djebel Ang. Preparatory plans for forthcoming attack on Tanngoucha.

CO talks to Bttn and explains the forthcoming offensive is the final push with Tunis as objective. 8 Army, 1 Army, French and Americans are all to close in together on Tunis. Our tank superiority is about 1 to 10 and artillery and air superiority is overwhelming. 78 Division task is to clear hills north of River Merjerda and seize high ground at Tebourba Gap 7055. The only transport will be mules and everyone must be prepared to live hard for a few days.

During the evening, 5 Northants take over operational role of Bttn and relieve A and C Coys on Djebel Ang. Bttn has a night rest.

2 LIR.

0030 Enemy shell Bettiour from general easterly direction for half an hour.

0900 Enemy mortaring 55149 18-20 bombs.

0945 24 Bostons bomb Longstop.

1230 Red Cross flag observed in Heidous. Artillery ceased fire. Enemy shouted at to surrender. A few minutes later flag is taken down. 2 short bursts of light machine gun fire and rifle shots heard in village. Artillery re-opens shelling.

2300 Captain RWR Jelf (KSLI) Lieutenant Haywood (RIrF) and Lieutenant O’Gorman (RUR) joined battalion.