16th April

Brigade HQ.

Quiet morning. 11 Brigade advanced through 56 Division towards Argenta to reach the Fosso Bruciata 3060.

1400 GI 78 Division phoned up to say that the brigade would move at 1700 hrs to pass through 11 Brigade after they had made a bridgehead over the Scolo Marina 3060.

The bridge over the River Reno will be ready by 1600 hrs. Also, the Bays will come back under command this brigade and the same Mobile Force as operated in the last battle – ie 2 LIR, 9 Lancers and 4 Hussars – will be under direct command 2 Armoured Brigade. This sudden change in the armour caused some confusion as preparations with the 9 Lancers had been made concerning carrying of ammunition etc in the tanks and the netting of wireless communications.

1700 Brigade Group commences to move over Reno bridge to concentration area in square 3058. 2 LIR remain in their present location and are to concentrate north of Reno at 0400 hrs tomorrow morning with the 4 Hussars and marry up with the 9 Lancers.

1900 Brigade HQ moves. Opens new location 341571.

Brigade Commander issues orders to COs of 2 Innisks and 1 RIrF in their concentration area.

1 RIrF are to pass through 2 LF at approx 0400 hrs after they have secured a bridgehead over the Scolo Bruciata at 300605 and 2 Innisks to pass through as soon as possible after 1 RIrF.

1 RIrF.

Tac Recce party to RV 342570.

2230 O Group at 320590 under great difficulty.

2 Innisks – LA GIOVECCA.

0800 CO, Coy Commanders, Battery Commanders, IO and RSO went off to contact and tie up with the 9th Lancers with whom we were to operate as soon as the bridge across the Reno was completed.

1100 All details were cleared up and the infantry wireless sets were established in the tank allotted to the CO for his Tac HQ. The party returned to the bttn, which was still at La Giovecca.

1130 A message was received from the Brigade HQ telling us we would be moving at approximately 1500 hrs and also that we would not be working with 9 Lancers after all but with our previous partners B Squadron Bays whom we would contact on the other side of the Reno. Signallers were despatched at once to the 9 Lancers to retrieve our wireless sets before the tanks moved off with them.

1430 CO and IO together with coy reps acted as an advance party and went off to an RV at Brigade HQ.

1500 Advance party left Brigade HQ and at the same time the bttn left La Giovecca. While the advance party was halted with its head at the Reno bridge, the Brigade Commander passed and signalled the CO to follow him. Two Dingos with the CO and IO and the Battery Commander followed the Brigadier to Division Tac HQ, the coy reps continuing with the brigade advance party to an assembly area south east of Argenta. At Division Tac HQ, the breakthrough the Argenta Gap was planned and the party went to 11 Brigade HQ, which was on the other side of the road, where details were worked out with the 11 Brigade commander through which we were to pass and the commander of the 2 Armoured Brigade.

The plan formed was for the Irish Brigade to advance on a two bttn front, 1 RIrF on the right, the Inniskillings on the left. The advance was to start through 2 LF at first light on the 17 April 1945. Each bttn would have a squadron of the Bays in support as well as supporting arms.

1900 CO left Brigade HQ and rejoined the bttn in the assembly area near C Negrini 3058, where a command post was established.

2000 A rep from B Squadron Bays was met at a RV near Bttn HQ and he returned to fetch the squadron to join the bttn.

2030 B Squadron Bays arrived in the bttn area.

CO held an O Group conference and issued orders for tomorrow’s advance. Bttn to advance o a two coy front, C right, D left, A behind C, B behind D.

Each coy to have its own troop of tanks and leading coys each to have an artillery FOO with it.

2100 Tac HQ and Squadron HQ would travel behind the leading coy, the remainder of the bttn to follow behind at a distance, not close enough to prevent their easy deployments.

As there was a tank obstacle in front of the LF’s position and one place was considered suitable for crossing, the RIrF had first priority and we had to wait until they were across before we went over.

After the conference, the CO, IO and Battery Commander went to the 2 LF HQ and spent the remainder of the night there so that they would be right in the picture in anything unforeseen that happened.


0600 2 PWs brought into Bttn HQ. Identification – 40 Jaeger Regiment, 42 Jaeger Regiment.

1200 F Coy move back to Lavezzola.

1330 RSM W Girvan leaves the bttn on posting. CSM Slattery takes over duties of RSM.

1400 CO selects 15 Partisan volunteers to accompany bttn during next operations.

1800 Bttn warned to be at 1 hrs notice from 0430 hrs 17 April.

1900 30 reinforcements arrive to make up E Coy.

Died on this Day:

Rifleman William Devlin, London Irish Rifles.

17th April

Brigade HQ.

During the day, 2 Innisks advanced round the north east outskirts of Argenta and, by 1310 hrs, were along the line of the railway in squadrons 2762 and 2861. Attempts to move forward to Route 16, to cut off the escape route from Argenta, were held up. Enemy SPs and Infantry produced strong opposition especially from the areas 267625 and 262616. The Irish Fusiliers managed to get across the Fossa Marina and, by 1240 hrs, had reached the Scolo Contoacci at 292628. Another coy was reported at 288625. From here, the advance of the Irish Fusiliers was determined by the advance of the 2/6 Queens (56 Div) on their right. It was not until 2325 hrs that the Irish Fusiliers managed to get on to their final objective on the Scolo Cardinola between 692637 and 696635. In the meantime, the Innsikillings were still trying to push towards Route 16 and overcome the enemy resistance. Little change took place in their positions and reported at 2115 hrs as being at 279626, 279621, 277615, 283617 and HQ 283617. Final locations 1 RIrF reported as being at 292628 (two coys), 285628 and 292625. Very heavy opposition was met area 292628 and armoured cars and A/Tk guns put up a strong defence 293630 and 289630.

1900 Brigade HQ moved to 303597.

A total of 149 PW and 2 officers were taken during the day.

1 RIrF.

0215 Tac opens at 299608.

0800 D Coy (Major AJ Wilton) and one troop, C Squadron Queen’s Bays moving to bridgehead, Being heavily shelled.

0915 C Coy (Major Howard) following D Coy.

0940 D Coy report enemy MG 286625 and SP guns at 296615 and 292629. Artillery engage on ‘Mike’ targets.

1045 Still unable to cross 2 LF bridgehead, not secure and tank track not cleared of mines. Pioneers investigate.

1125 D Coy crossing bridge.

1150 D Coy and one troop approaching 288621.

1158 C Coy complete across bridge.

1215 D Coy (Major AJ Wilton) have cleared 288621. Call for stretcher carrier.

C Coy (Major Howard) at canal 293624, which is a tank obstacle.

D report enemy tank moving away from 284628.

1225 D Coy at 287624 – C Coy at 292629.

1230 Pioneers report having lifted 32 Teller, Toft and R Mines from tank track.

1240 C Coy – one tank lost (brewed up).

1245 D Coy request artillery on 284628. SPs and MGs.

1307 C Coy request artillery on 295636. SPs and MGs.

Both coys report the going “very sticky”.

1355 C Coy at 292628 – D Coy at 285626 – A Coy at 293620. Two sections 3” mortar at 295615 – two sections MMG at 294616 – Kensington MMGs at 295615.

1415 D Coy (Major Wilton) reports tanks seen in area 282628 may be still there, heavy MG fire from that direction Lieut W Tyler wounded.

1800 Forward coys still subject to heavy fire. Plans made for night attack by A and B Coys to line of road, 288641 – 295637.

2300 A Coy (Captain Manson) moving forward from 291629 behind barrage. B Coy (Major Phelan) moving up from 284628.

2310 A Coy nearing objective, meeting only light opposition.

2327 A Coy consolidating and putting out patrols.

2338 B Coy near objective, being hampered by SA fire.

Died on this Day:

Fusilier William McAllister, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fusilier Dennis Levis, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fusilier Christopher Rogers, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

2 Innisks – ARGENTA.

0230 Members of the bttn, who have been fortunate enough to snatch a few hours sleep aroused to prepare a hasty meal and have a final check up of all weapons before move.

0430 All coys form up and move to Assembly Area at 2960.

0600 Bttn arrive at Assembly Area, which was already occupied by RIrF.

Information was received that the LF had not succeeded in crossing the tank obstacle. An attempt had been made to get supporting tanks across in early hours of the morning but, owing to the darkness, this had been found impracticable, so the timing of our advance was put back a few hours to permit the establishment of a bridgehead.

0630 Command Group of 2 Innisks discussed plans with Command Group 1 RIrF.

0700 Bttn area slightly shelled. Coys were ordered to disperse and dig in.

0730 The interest of the bttn was focussed o the battle for the city of Argenta only 800 yards away. This town was repeatedly bombed by own aircraft during the morning.

1000 Bttn area was again subjected to enemy shellfire. This probably caused by three coys RIrF moving off with their supporting armour. News was received that the tank obstacle was crossed and the bttn was ordered to stand by to move forward.

1100 East Surreys walked through area in artillery formation. This brought down on us a considerable amount of enemy shelling, which fortunately caused no casualties within the bttn.

1200 C and D Coys moved forward.

1240 Activities of enemy snipers caused one casualty. A and B Coys moved forward.

1250 C Coy was across obstacle and ordered to swing right of D Coy.

1300 D Coy made contact with enemy. Main HQ moved forward.

1315 Few casualties reported from coys.

1330 Reports received that Tigers and enemy SP guns were engaging our forward troops.

1345 One of the supporting tanks reported knocked out.

1350 Report received that no tanks were at the moment supporting C Coy. At this period, there was a momentary lull in the battle.

1445 A Coy was engaged by an A/Tk gun, which inflicted 4 casualties on the coy. The presence of an SP gun was reported to the CO, who asked brigade for a stonk on area 242020.

1500 Enemy was to be seen digging in on main road area 2861 facing D Coy. The reserve tanks moved up to assist D Coy, who reported a considerable amount of enemy activity on their right and front. During this time, at Main HQ, a check was being made of PWs of which we had 42, all from Panzer Grenadiers.

1515 Some of the tanks supporting A Coy were knocked out by A/Tk guns. The CO ordered C Coy to have a crack at them from the north west. Eight casualties were reported from A Coy.

1520 More casualties have been caused to same coy and as many Red Cross carriers and Jeeps available were sent forward.

1530 A Coy reported its position as 279619. Forward coys were, at this time, engaged by enemy MF fire, this caused a slight pause in operations.

1630 C and D Coys reported enemy positions and snipers on the floodbank and an assault under a barrage would have a good chance of success.

1640 C and D Coy resumed advance and suffered casualties in the area 281619 – 280687 – 278616 and captured ten prisoners and inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy.

1650 A/Tk guns at 264618 caused a slight delay but were dealt with.

1710 The possibility of a counter attack was considered very strong and all precautions to prevent its success were taken.

1735 A barrage was put down on the city of Argenta and a few shells fell into D Coy area and the sound of SAA was also heard, which informed us that an attack by our people in the town was in progress. Considerable enemy activity was reported along the floodbank and forward of the FDLs an MG, which was rather troublesome, was knocked out by our artillery.

1855 Main HQ joined Tac HQ at 284618.

1915 CO held conference where the defence of the area for the night was planned, which was on the whole, quiet but with the normal MG fire.

2100 Patrol from C Coy went out to the area in which the Tiger tank had last been seen and found that it was destroyed and that there were two 150 mm SP guns abandoned in the same area, also one Mk III tank.

Died on this Day:

Fusilier Frederick Hyde, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Fusilier Alexander Carlin, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Fusilier Sydney Knapp, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Fusilier John Edwards, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Sergeant John Neary, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Lance Serjeant Hugh Dysart, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.


Bttn moved off in TCVs to a ‘leaguering’ area (3258) on the north side of the Reno to which the Kangaroos had already moved. The day was spent in this area.

The 15 Partisans now attached to F Coy.

18th April

Brigade HQ.

During the night, 36 Brigade passed through 1 RIrF to attack north west up Route 16. 2 LIR (in Kangaroos) and 9 Lancers, under command 2 Armoured Brigade, passed through as well. 8 A&SH reached Consandolo 2565 but 2 Armoured Brigade made a spectacular dash throughout the day and, by late evening, 2 LIR were reported at 228677, 234685, 249676, 240665 with Bttn H 238677.

They took over 200 PW and captured or destroyed 3 Mk IV Tanks, 3 SP Guns, 10 Infantry Guns and 1 ambulance.

On the brigade sector, 2 Innisks captured the houses at Tombetta 266626 by 0700 hrs against stiff resistance and during the day pushed forward to finally establish themselves at 265625, 267625, 268621, 273624 with Bttn HQ 271615.

The Irish Fusiliers continued mopping up operations during the day against scattered resistance and finally established at 287637, 281637, 284644, 275647 with Bttn HQ 279637 by first light.

During the operations, the crews of 2 Mk IVs, together with their tanks, gave themselves up. The tanks were in good condition and identified as 129 Tank Bttn (29 PG Div).

At 2100 hrs, 2 Innisks reported that they were held up and meeting considerable opposition from the houses 253625 and at 254622 and 252622.

During the Inniskilligs’ advance, several enemy – up to 100 in some cases – were seen running from one house to another. It appeared, at one stage, that a counter attack was forming up and one Tiger Tank was definitely located. It was afterwards disclosed from civilian sources that elements of three bttns were in that area and the Divisional Commander, himself, was directing operations. The plan, apparently, was a last all out attempt to close the Argenta Gap again but it did not materialise. It is thought the Divisional Commander changed his plan to suit his own withdrawal.

The Brigade Commander pointed out how essential it was that these strong points should be eliminated as 6 Armoured Division was due to pass through at 0600 hrs in the morning up Route 16 to take over the advance on the left. The Commandos, operating on the west bank of the Reno, would commence to attack the defended houses 265619 at midnight and 2 Innisks will clear the strong points, putting in their attack not earlier than 0130 hrs. 6 RWK were directed on the Reno floodbank on the right of the Inniskillings.

Some difficulty was experienced in coordinating this attack but it was straightened out in the end and the operation completely successful.

Up to this stage, a total of 142 PW and 3 officers were taken by 1 RIrF and 2 Innisks up to 1800 hrs.

2220 1 RIrF were ordered to occupy, by first light, the triangle formed by railway 268663 – 65 Northing, thence east along 65 Northing to stream 283650, thence up stream to railway 268663. This was done without much opposition.

1 RIrF – 299608.

0012 A Coy report enemy tanks 287641 (Mike Target Medium).

0050 Morse and heavy interference make communication with coy impossible. Signals Officer going out to act as relay station.

0105 B Coy casualties (4) arrive. State coy on objective and have about 25 PoW.

0125 Communications re-established through relay set. Both coys settled in.

0230 B Coy report bridge 288639 – thirty foot wide and will take tanks.

0245 D Coy (285626) relieved by coy 2 LF and are moving up to 285633.

1130 A Coy (Captain Manson) report enemy digging area 289655 and enemy tank moving south west in area 297644. Artillery engage.

1135 Enemy SBs active after fire.

1900 Tac opened at 279637. D Coy (Major Wilton) patrol to area having captured two Mk IV tanks complete with crews. Coys being side stepped to left. B – 287639, C – 281637, A 0 284644, D – 275647.

2115 All coys complete in new positions.

Major RSV Howard wounded.

Died on this Day:

Fusilier Dennis Quinney, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

2 Innisks – ARGENTA.

0600 D Coy sent out to clear area at 2761, Route 16. They encountered enemy MG and rifle fire by 0945 hrs. They had taken 45 prisoners by 1000 hrs, after which 14 more were taken.

1140 D Coy reported to CO that, in all, 66 prisoners were taken and 11 killed. One Tiger tank knocked out and the area was now cleared of the enemy.

1300 CO decided to attack along the floodbank and capture a house 400 yards from the FDLs of D Coy. B Coy is to do the attack, supported by a section of tanks at 1700 hrs.

1700 The attack went in with flamethrowers in support. 12 Platoon did the mopping up on reaching the objective and an attack was made under the cover of smoke from flamethrowers and captured the house, inflicting 16 casualties on the enemy.

1730 The flamethrowers withdrew and later, when the smoke cleared, 12 Platoon themselves were attacked by 300 enemy supported by a Tiger tank, which it later transpired had formed up for a counter attack on Argenta. Superiority in numbers, plus the difficulty in getting in artillery support close behind the bank, forced the platoon to withdraw, which they did in good order to the river bank where there they were in a better position to hit back.

1800 11 Platoon, who was on the right hand side of the bank, was ordered to assist them quickly. This platoon found themselves engaged from the right by an enemy coy and two tanks when they had reached a point level with the house but on the right of the bank. 10 Platoon was sent up to assist but it was decided to send it to join 12 Platoon on the river bank, which was to be held at all costs.

Bttn HQ moved to San Antonio 271615.

1815 The battle had become quite hectic and 12 Platoon reached the bank safely, a heavy stonk was put down on the enemy force with great success as they were caught in the open. The coy had so many targets to engage that they ran short of ammunition. 11 Platoon, on the right, infiltrated heavy casualties on the enemy, who decided to withdraw. The enemy tank hoisted the Red Cross flag and picked up as many as possible before retreating.

1830 – 1930 The coy was reaching the stage of firing verey lights and 2” smoke at the enemy as this was all that was available but ammunition of all types was rushed up on the carriers of D Support Group (Kensingtons) but, before this arrived, the amusing sight was seen of the Innisks pulling round, out of MG belts, and feeding them into their brens and rifles.The enemy attack had not succeeded and had completely withdrawn by 2000 hrs. B Coy casualties – 1 killed, 1 wounded, 1 missing.

2130 A heavy barrage in support of the Commandos of the opposite side of the river commenced and, of this barrage, two troops were firing out of line and fell on D Coy. Rounds were also falling short and hitting Bttn HQ. Repeated requests through artillery to correct these guns met with no success and, in the finish, we were told that there were too many guns involved to locate the offenders and that the barrage had to go on. We had to endure it how best we could. Fortunately, our own casualties from this were not very heavy, being 1 killed and 6 wounded but the troops would never understand the necessity of being shelled by own guns.

2130 Bttn HQ area was subjected to heavy shelling until 2230 hrs and suffered one casualty.

2230 The night quietened down but a state of acute alertness was maintained by all.

2300 An officer of the Commandos reported to Bttn HQ and informed us that all enemy was cleared west of the canal bank.

Died on this Day:

Fusilier David Kay, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Lance Sergeant John Meredith, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Fusilier John George, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Fusilier Laurance Kavanagh, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Sergeant Charles Parkin, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Fusilier Harold Bunn, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.


0700 Leading coys move forward.

0950 B Squadron, 9 Lancers report they are just south of 263637.

1020 One Kangaroo of E Coy hit by enemy fire. Tanks of B Squadron report engaging an enemy Bazooka party, which allowed several tanks to pass through before opening up.

1048 Eight PWs taken in forward areas.

1110 E Coy and B Squadron now at 260645 and 260644.

1115 G Coy and A Squadron now at 271636.

1325 E Coy report about 30 PWs taken. Identification – 40 Regiment, 42 Jager Division.

1500 Five more PWs from 42 Jager Division.

1600 G Coy move up to reinforce E Coy.

1610 Two PWs from 290 Regiment, 98 Infantry Division.

1630 Own tanks reported they have knocked out 2 Mk IV tanks and have captured intact 3 SPs and an ambulance.

1845 Bttn FDLs now at 231677, 235682 and 247674. Bttn HQ at Casa Belleoni 245663. Mopping up operations now in progress. During the late evening, 40 PWs, including 4 officers were brought into Bttn HQ. Two enemy batteries of 150 mm and 88 mm guns were overrun.

19th April

Brigade HQ.

Final positions of 2 Innisks and 1 RIrF:

2 Innisks: HQ – 271614, A Coy – 272623, B Coy – 263625 with platoon at 257625, C coy – 264627, D Coy – 267620.

1 RIrF: HQ – 27937, A Coy – 280651, B Coy – 273654, C Coy – 281637, D Coy – 267663.

0745 Spitfire pilot crashed in 2 Innisks area. Evacuated unhurt.

1020 Bays to go under command 11 Brigade.

2 Innisks patrolled down Reno bank to the west. No enemy seen.

Brigade Commander visited HQ 2 Innisks and 1 RIrF during the morning.

A further 13 PW consisting of deserters and stragglers were brought in during the day.

1800 2 Armoured Brigade reached the Fossa Porto west of Portomaggiore and 2 LIR now have a bridgehead over the advance to S Ricolo 1871 and towards Traghetto 170640.

As much rest as possible was taken by everyone in the brigade for the remainder of the day.

1 RIrF – 279637.

0145 Pioneers recce area 27365 with patrol from B Coy (Major Phelan). No mines or booby traps.

0215 B Coy complete in area 273654.

1045 Pioneers lifted newly laid minefield area bridge 27265 and west 300 yards. Two Italian Box and 67 Teller Mines.

1100 Artillery (Captain Manson) patrol to 280656 brought in six more PoW (Total bttn this action about 200).

1135 New coy locations: A – 279631, B – 272653, C – 281638, D – 268654.

Lieut F Lafferty wounded.

2 Innisks – ANTONIO.

0530 Bttn had its normal stand to after which it started a well earned rest for a few hours. Weapons and equipment were checked.

1100 The Brigade Commander visited the CO and put him in the general picture and discussed possible operations.

1400 Tanks and trucks of 6 Armoured Division moved through area along Route 16 in very large numbers.

2100 During the evening, a single enemy aircraft made an unaccustomed appearance between 2100 and 2300 hrs. Bttn area was machine gunned but there were no casualties and no damage. The rest of the night was without incident.


0600 Bttn HQ and Mortar Platoon now in C. La Fossa 239679. E Coy at 229678 and C La Palazza. F Coy at 246668 and 240666. G Coy at 233683 and 233685. H Coy at C Pastam C Coltra and C Casino 250676.

0615 G and H Coy ordered forward to the Canale Diverviso Line.

1030 Bttn CO and 9 Lancers CO visit 78 Divisional Commander for conference on present situation.

1100 F Coy receive order from 2 Armoured Brigade to move to the right flank, cross the canal and clear the remaining enemy from Portomaggiore.

1400 Approximately 30 PWs from 42 Jager and 98 Infantry Divisions passed through Bttn HQ since early morning.

1430 G Coy make a bridgehead over the canal at 236703 meeting only SA opposition. A few minutes later, H coy made a crossing on G Coy’s right (near Porto Rotta) but enemy had had already withdrawn. During this operation, a captured enemy 150 mm gun was fired by bttn personnel.

1500 Bridgeheads now firmly established. G Coy took 14 PWs. H Coy moved forward 400 yards before making contact and then withdrew to consolidate their bridgehead.

1700 Intentions night 19/20: G and H Coys to enlarge their bridgeheads to allow the REs to bulldoze a crossing over the canal at 230703. 11 Infantry Brigade, with armour, to passed through. F Coy, who have just returned from Portomaggiore, where they suffered casualties of 2 killed and 3 wounded to reinforce the bridgehead. E Coy in a state of readiness if required.

1900 Zero hour for the attack fixed for 2200 hrs. Artillery fire plan from Zero-5 to Zero +40.

2155 Artillery fire goes down in front of G and H Coy.

2200 Coys move forward. Barrage moves on to next lift.

2207 G Coy’s left objective secured. Slight opposition.

2245 All objectives except one taken. Two casualties to own troops so far.

2250 Some PWs taken and 3 midget tanks reported knocked out.

2300 All objectives secured – 8 PWs so far. Own casualties – 4 wounded.

2305 Five more PWs including one officer taken.

G Coy now at 236798, 238707 and 239795. H Coy at 244712, 246713 and 245709.

Died on this Day:

Lance Corporal Ernest Marriott, London Irish Rifles.

Rifleman John Gainey, London Irish Rifles.

20th April

Brigade HQ.

Rest as much as possible.

Brigade Commander visits HQ 2 Innisks and 1 RIrF in the morning.

Message O 62 received from the Division.

Following regrouping to be carried out:

11 Brigade with under command Bays.

36 Brigade with under command 56 Recce less B Squadron.

38 Brigade with under command 10 Hussars (to relieve Bays as soon as possible).

2 Armoured Brigade less Bays and 10 Hussars with under command B Squadron 56 Recce and 2 LIR.

1605 IO 78 Division arrives with verbal orders. 38 Brigade is to pass through 11 Brigade and make a bridgehead over the canal between railway at 214735 and the canal junction 202725.

Brigade Commander goes to HQ 78 Division immediately and bttns move off in TCVs at 1800 hrs to a dispersal point at Gombi 232695.

Brigade HQ moves to 252691.

Brigade Commander holds O Group at HQ 11Brigade at 2000 hrs.

Plan: Bridgehead to be secured over canal by 2 Innisks right and 1 RIrF left. Final details of assembly areas to be discussed with CO 2 LF. Start Line confirmed with 11 Brigade as being 223730 – 212716 and barrage with 200 yards lifts laid on. COs are to give Codeword Edinburgh when they wish Zero Hour and barrage to start. 5 Northamptons are to get up to the canal and protect right flank and 36 Brigade are to conform with advance on the left.

1 RIrF – 279637.

1700 Tac R Group forward. Bttn debuss – 232695 and move to FUP 219713.

2 Innisks – ANTONIO.

0630 Bttn awakened after a comparatively quiet night and very thankful for the short rest they had managed to have.

0900 RC Padre held a service in the bttn area, which was attended by all RCs.

During the day, an MBU operated in our area and all personnel in the bttn took the opportunity of a much needed bath and change of clothing.

1600 Orders were given for the bttn to prepare to move to a new location. Hasty preparations had to be made for the bttn to be ready to move at 1815 hrs.

1815 The bttn em-bused and the convoy moved off at 1815 hrs. CO and IO went to Brigade HQ for orders of the forthcoming operations.

2000 The bttn arrived in area of house at Comi 2389.

2130 CO arrived back from brigade and immediately held a conference for Coy Commanders and all supporting arms. Bttn was to make a night attack across the water obstacle in area 227237 and establish a firm bridgehead by the early hours of the morning so as to let the LIR go through in Kangaroos. C and D Coys to be forward coys.

2215 Bttn move forward towards Start Line.


0600 11 Brigade, having moved through the bridgehead, swung left in front of G Coy, leaving H Coy still facing the enemy.

Situation as to when the coys would be entirely squeezed out of the line rather confused.

Locations – Bttn HQ, still at La Fossa 239697. E Coy still in area 229678 and F Coy around the bridge at 267703.

1230 Bttn now squeezed out of line.

1330 78 Division Commander visits Bttn HQ. CO lays on the moves to be made by coys in the event of the bttn being called upon at short notice to carry out another ‘Kangaroo’ push.

1700 Fifteen more PW stragglers passed back through Bttn HQ.

2200 Bttn warned to be at one hour’s notice from 0800 hrs 21 April.

During the night, H Coy accounted for a still active SP gun.

Died on this Day:

Corporal Frederick Hipkin, London Irish Rifles.