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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 – 30th April 1943

Brigade HQ – TANNGOUCHA.

0430 Dawn patrol 1 RIrF knocked out OP at pt 443, 5849, which was protected by 2 MGs.

A day patrol of 6 Innisks, backed up by one platoon, reached the top of pt 416, which was unoccupied. They were immediately engaged by mortars and MGs, sited further back and accurately ranged on the top, and suffered 10 casualties. It was therefore decided, when the advance was made, to push straight on through pt 416.

1130 Divisional Commander arrived at the Command Post and went with the Brigade Commander to OP, where the battle in the plain could be observed.

1630 38 (Irish) Infantry Brigade OO No 25 was issued expressing the intention: “38 (Irish) Brigade will capture high ground east of Si Ameur.” The operation was to be carried out in 3 stages on 1 May

– 2 LIR with under command two troops NIH and in support 138 Field Regiment will attack pt 413 (616491) from south east at 0500hrs.

– 1 RIrF will be prepared to advance from positions now occupied by 6 Innisks to high ground area cross tracks 603487 supported by divisional artillery, 2 LIR and two troops NIH.

– 1 RIrF prepared to advance night 1 / 2 May to seize pt 453 (606496).

With the OO No 25 was issued a summary of information.

An LO from 6 US Armoured Infantry was attached to the command post with W/T set to facilitate liaison on the left flank.

1730 Commander attended Divisional conference at HQ 36 Brigade. Pt 202 had not been taken and plan of OO No25 was therefore cancelled. It was revealed that two mule borne French battalions were to relieve 6 Innisks and 1 RIrF, 3 / 4 May.

On his return, Commander gave the following information to Commander 2 LIR, and proposed no action under the relief. The ridge running north east from pt 443 would probably have enemy dug in on the sides and little on top. The curve to the left meant that enemy could easily bring fire to bear. One would be mortared from all sides as soon as one reached pt 416 (5948).

36 Brigade battle is described in 78 Division Intelligence Summary No 40.

Night 6 Innisks and 1 RIrF changed over and G Coy 2 LIR reverted to its Bttn. Pt 443 and ground to north west, and south east was found occupied by enemy.


1 RIrF – KEF EL TIOUR.

Patrol one section went out to destroy OP 443. They returned with one man missing. Patrol commander reported OP defended by two MGs. He managed, however, to crawl up to the OP and throw in a grenade. Patrol was supported at first light by Vickers MG fire from A Coy.

1230 Missing man from dawn patrol returned wounded and reported the one German MG had had received a direct hit from our artillery, which was very accurate.

2000 Bttn change over with 6 Innisks on pt 416 carried out without incident. 


6 Innisks – KEF EL SENACH.

Contact was again made with the Germans by our patrols during the night and G Coy 2 LIR suffered 10 casualties from mortar fire. At 1700hrs, the Bttn was relieved by 1 RIrF and G Coy 2 LIR reverted to their Bttn command. At the same time, the Bttn took over the positions occupied by 1 RIrF on Djebel Boulamourdjeb (pt 484), which had been reconnoitred the previous day. Dispositions were taken up as follows – C Coy forward on pt 484; A Coy in centre on north western slope; B Coy on left in contact with US 1st Armoured Division.

Lieuts Hodgson and McVie re-joined the Bttn today from hospital.

A draft of 90 ORs joined the Bttn mostly from 2 and 70 RUR.

Fusilier Edward Green, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.


2 LIR.

0600 Commanding Officer and Intelligence Officer recce area and route for battalion attack. Attack may be postponed for 24 hours as position on Point 202 is not clear. 11 Brigade to 8 Corps reserves.

Rifleman Archibald Potton, London Irish Rifles.


 

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