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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 – 6th April 1943

Brigade HQ.

0930 Brigade Commander attended conference at Divisional HQ.

Commanders 56 Recce and 16 DLI called during the morning.

1215 RE rep arrived this HQ and conferred with Brigade Major.

1430 Conference was held by Brigade Major to coordinate transport moves.

1600 Lt FJA Clarke was sent as LO to Divisional HQ, vice Lt JF Hall, who had been injured in a motor cycle accident.

1630 Captain Crofts arrived at this HQ as LO from 2 Hamps , who were to be under command for the forthcoming battle.

1820 6 Innisks reported that a farmer at Farm 386392 stated that tanks had been seen behind Nahel. He had no details, but was thought reliable, being well disposed and having previously given accurate information to the Recce Regiment. This raised the question of the Anti Tank plan for the battle. It was decided that the tanks allotted to 36 Brigade, together with their support artillery and A/Tk guns could deal with any threat and that the primary tasks of 254 A/Tk Battery was still to get guns onto the north east of Mahdi.

2000 6 Innisks reported mine laying detachment RE blown up at bridge 382407. Lt Adams RE was intercepted on the road and more sappers were found. They reached 6 Innisks at 2400hrs and the work proceeded.

On this day, a PoW cage was established by def platoon commander at brigade HQ.

An account of operations of 38 (Irish) Infantry Brigade 7-11 Apr is appended to original and duplicate copies.


1 RIrF.

Quiet day. Final arrangements made for impending operations.

1800 Conference all officers.


6 Innisks – IN THE FIELD.

0530 Battalion all in assembly point after all night march. Everyone very wet through marching through very wet cornfields.

1000 O Group conference. Rest of the day, the Bttn lies low.

Plan for attack on Mahdi. Bttn to leave assembly area 0030hrs in following order: A, Bttn HQ,  C, B (carrying tools), D Coy to go out to picket route with strong fighting patrols and then come into reserve. Captain Hanna and Intelligence Section to prepare route to start line and mark with tape together with section D Coy and Pioneer platoon to clear mines and prepare mines and prepare gully crossing at bottom of Mahdi 4141. Section RE to report to Bttn HQ for purpose of detecting mines.

2000 This RE section missed the route and blew up on bridge 393408. Delay caused in getting up new section, causing Bttn to be 1/2 hour later leaving assembly area.

Corporal Ernest Brookes, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.


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