26th April

Brigade HQ

Area 230969 (2 Innisks) was heavily shelled by SPS for a quarter of an hour. It was not until checks of enemy equipment, tanks, guns, vehicles etc were made along the Po floodbank and along the approached to the ferries used by the enemy that the potentialities of a major defeat caused by the 8th Army over the enemy was realised.

There was no doubt that 76 Panzer Corps had been well and truly defeated and only a few hundred men from the divisions under its command ie 29 PG Division, 26 Pz Division, 98 VG Div, 362 Infantry Division, 42 JG Division could have finally managed to get across the Po.

The final figures of enemy equipment found on the Po floodbank, mainly belonging to the above mentioned divisions and all burnt and useless were, as follows:

Tanks: Tiger Mk III – 4, Panther Mk V – 1, Mk IV – 29, 75 SP on Mk III Chassis – 13, SP (Rhinos) – 8.

Guns: 20mm Flak – 17, 40mm Flak – 3, 75 Pak Mtn Inf – 24, 88mm – 12, 88mm Flak – 4, 105mm – 14, 150mm – 13, 170mm – 1, 210mm – 2.

Vehicles and Misc: 15cwt, 3 ton and over – 558, Cars – 271, Halt Tracks – 162, Armoured Cars – 24, Trailers – 20, Tk Transporters – 1, M/Cycles – 40, Searchlights – 1 Ok, 1 destroyed.

Final totals for PW through Brigade PW cages were 11 Officers and 979 ORs. These figures do not include the 7 Officers and 870 ORs taken by 2 LIR and 9 Lancers in their operations under the command of 2 Armoured Brigade.

C Squadron, 56 Recce found an enemy pontoon footbridge on the banks of the Po at 223967. It had been severed in the centre but had floated to either side of the river. Experiments found that only 30 feet of Kapok were necessary to completely bridge the river.

5 PW collected by 2 Innisks during the day.


1 RIrF – 218938.

26th to 30th April – Nothing to Report.

In the final stages of this campaign, which led to the disintegration of the German armies in Italy. This bttn met and overcame resistance provided by some of the finest Regiments and Divisions then left in the German Armies anywhere. From the night 12/13 April when we broke out of the Santerno bridgehead to the day 25 April when we occupied the area from Ruina at the River Po, the fighting was so intense and the pursuit so rapid that enemy resistance collapsed completely and he was forced to abandon all transport, tanks and guns. These 13 eventful days and may be divided into 4 separate battles.

In an 8,000 yard advance, we met and took PoWs from 2 enemy divisions. PoWs were taken from 282 – 289 – 290 Grenadier Regiments, 198 Artillery Regiment and 198 Pioneer Regiment, all of 98 Division and from 956 – 1059 – 1060 Grenadier Regiments, 362 Fusilier Bttn and 362 Engineer Bttn of 362 Division.

In the advance from Argenta Gap and Marina Canal, made through extensive mine fields and under heavy fire from tanks and SP guns, prisoners were taken from 129 Recce Regiment, 15 and 71 Panzer Grenadier Regiments, 129 Panzer Regiment and 29 Panzer Artillery Regiment, 29 Panzer A/T Unit and Service Lt Transport Column, all of 29 Panzer Grenadier Division (4 Coy – 129 Recce was taken almost complete).

In the advance, crossing San Nicolo Canal and taking Montesanto, made under extremely heavy shell fire, with little actual bodily contact. PoWs were taken from 956 and 1060 Grenadier Regiments both of 362 Division.

In the last phase, the advance from Saletto to the Po, which saw the enemy break completely and abandon his weapons. PoWs were taken from 15 Panzer Greandier Regiment, 71 PGR, 129 Recce Regiment, 29 Engineering Bttn and the Divisional Staff, all of 29 PG Division. PoWs from 142 Recce, 25 Jager Regiment and 142 Flak Battery represented 42 Jager Division. 362 Fusilier Bttn, 1069 Grenadier Regiment and 362 Transport Coy provided representatives from 362 Division, while 314 Regiment at 162 Turkoman Division contributed 3 PoW.

In summary, Divisions providing PoWs: 98 Division, 362 Division, 29 PG Division, 42 Jager Division


2 Innisks – ZOCCA.

0600 The day on the whole proved to be very quiet.

1000 The census of enemy equipment damaged and abandoned in the bttn area was started. The rest of the day was spent in cleaning and resting.

1900 CO gave a dinner to all Coy Commanders. A Mobile Cinema visited the bttn.


2 LIR – ITALY.

1030 Day leave to Ferrara for 30 men from each coy. Remainder bathing at MBU.

Died on this Day:

Rifleman Edwin Hunt, London Irish Rifles.



27th April

Brigade HQ

The war surged on beyond the banks of the Po, elements of 2 NZ Div, 6 Armoured Div and 56 Div getting across without much opposition.

The Brigade rests and reorganises and obtains endless amusement catching the horses left behind by the enemy and trying to burn these vehicles that escaped being burnt into a serviceable condition.

Amenities were open in Ferrara and 600 vacancies were allotted to the brigade for day leave.

Brigade Commander went on a tour of the Po floodbanks during the afternoon.


2 Innisks – ZOCCA.

1000 Bttn remained in the same area and the setting up of an MBU enabled personnel of the bttn to get a bath an a change of clothing.

The census of enemy equipment was continued throughout the day.

Personnel of the bttn were permitted to visit Ferrara for a day’s leave.

1600 Brigade Commander visited bttn. A further 3 PoWs were brought in.


2 LIR – ITALY.

1000 CO addresses coys on past, present and future operations and warns against looting from civilian houses.



28th April

Brigade HQ

The whole brigade rests and amuses itself as much as possible. Mobile Cinemas, baths etc were available and much appreciated.

Day leave passes were issued for Ferrara.

2 LIR held a cocktail party for all Officers in the brigade, 2 Armoured Brigade, 17 Field Regiment, 254 A/Tk Battery, D Support Group, 214 Field Company and certain members of Divisional HQ. The Divisional Commander was present.


2 Innisks – ZOCCA.

Another day of various activities. The check of enemy equipment was completed, the total being 500 three cwt vehicles – 300 smaller vehicles – 80 half tracked vehicles – 60 tanks – and 100 guns of all calibres.

In the evening, B Coy gave a concert to the bttn.


2 LIR – ITALY.

1800 Mobile Cinema show in E Coy’s area.

1830 Officers’ Celebration Party at Bttn HQ. 78 Divisional Commander, 38 Brigade Commander, 2 Armoured Brigade Commander, 9 Lancers CO attended.



29th April

Brigade HQ

Day leave to Ferrara.

Brigade rests and organises.

1800 Message received from Divisional HQ stating there was no forward move likely before 2 May.


2 Innisks – ZOCCA.

CO gave a lecture to all officers and sergeants in which he reviewed the bttn’s part in the battles for the Lombardy plain and stated that he was proud to have been in command of the bttn during this period.

Although he could not foresee the future, he thought that a certain amount of difficulty would be encountered during the first change from war to peace.”

The rest of the day was again quiet.


2 LIR – ITALY.

1200 RC Service in H Coy’s area. Day of rest.



30th April

Brigade HQ

Venice was entered last night by 56 Division and 2 NZ Division reached the Piave River

1330 Divisional HQ organised a Gymkhana, held in Copparo 2891. There were about six events and three entries per event were open for any units or HQ in the Division.

The Gymkhana lasted the whole afternoon and provided considerable enjoyment to spectators and riders. The Brigade Pipes and Drums and Divisional Dance Band played during it.


2 Innisks – ZOCCA.

The day was exceedingly quiet and an advance party was told to stand by and be ready to move on 1st May 1945. This was later put back to 2nd May 1945


2 LIR – ITALY.

1300 Bttn personnel, who were acquainted with horse riding. Racing etc took part in the Divisional Gymkhana held in the Tamara area. Horses used were captured from the enemy during the previous week.



2 LIR

14379095 A/Cpl H Byott. 6482128 L/Cpl C Birkett.

For gallantry in rescuing their wounded comrades out of a Kangaroo which had been hit by AP Shells.

6984941 Rfn H Hutton MM.

For devotion to duty in maintaining an OP in a house, which received several direct hits from shell fire and was in danger of falling down.

3605490 W/Sgt T McFarlin.

For excellent platoon commanding resulting in much damage being inflicted upon the enemy.

14577877 W/Cpl R Warr.

For excellent Section leading and for vigilance in protecting the tanks supporting him at night.

7013201 P/L/Cpl S Lowry.

For consistent and tireless devotion to duty under fire as a DR.

5671415 Sgt L Gaines (since KIA).

For gallantry and example when his platoon was counter attacked on the River Reno resisting the enemy stubbornly until he was killed at short range.

5439349 Rfn A Ray.

For consistent coolness and accuracy in action as a Bren Gunner.

7021820 Rfn G Edge.

For excellent OP work.

7013471 W/Cpl W Fullalove.

For accomplishing dangerous and difficult work as a jeep driver.

7016319 Rfn A Allenstein.

For continuous good work as a wireless operator under fire.

7019599 P/L/Sgt R Stevenson.

For excellent Section leading in the attack on the bridge at Cona.

6986032 L/Cpl J Loake.

For cool and efficient Section leading under fire.

3599083 Rfn J Rigg.  6984080 Rfn W Fairhead.

For carrying out their duties in evacuating casualties in very trying conditions with very little rest.


2 Innisks.

6981262 P/L/Cpl M Muller.

For outstanding good work as NCO in command of coy communications during the period 13 – 23 April during the advance to the River Po.

14205230 Fusilier C Stamp.

For outstanding good work as coy runner during numerous runs under fire between 13 – 23 April during the advance to the River Po.

3607903 Fusilier F Gosling.

For maintaining C Coy’s communications from 13 – 25 April 45 during the advance to the River Po.

14401884 A/Cpl R Carlin.

For devotion to duty, showing great courage and for his outstanding leadership as a section commander throughout operations from 13 – 25 April 45.

7044484 P/L/Cpl C Shaw MM.

For carrying out the duties of Stretcher Bearer during the period 13 – 25 April 45 with great devotion and disregard for all personal danger, especially on 17 and 21 April 45, when many casualties were brought in and attended to under fire.


1 RIrF.

7043284 W/Cpl C Palmer.

For continuous efficient operation of the Bttn Control Set over long unbroken periods during the recent operations.

4341026 W/Sgt T Lee.

For conduct under fire of the highest standard as Mortar Platoon Sergeant during the past year and especially the recent actions.

3393973 W/Cpl J Schofield.

For exemplary conduct as Pioneer Adult Section Commander in mine clearing under both small arms and mortar fire.

7045271 Fusilier W Spence.

For excellent conduct under fire as a DR.

7044790 W/Cpl L McGrath.

For complete disregard of his own safety and sterling quantities of leadership during the recent battles.

14401545 Fusilier C Mangan.

For spirited aggressiveness, whilst No 1 on the Bren and keenness to destroy the enemy.

5123230 Fusilier M Purcell.

For courage and initiative above the average in the art of stalking the enemy.

7015604 Fusilier J McConkey.

For coolness and courage of a standard, which had been an inspiration to his comrades

1711809 W/A/Cpl W Thomas.

For keenness and devotion to duty and his outstanding leadership as Section Commander in the recent fighting.

7047892 W/Cpl H Nanson.

At all times, this NCO has shown the highest qualifications of leadership. Through the winter months and recent battles, he has been an inspiration to his men.

14503415 Fusilier K Shepherd.  14549898 Fusilier G Horn.

Since the battle of Spaduro, these two signallers have shown great devotion to duty in maintaining comms under every type of trying conditions.

6981053 Fusilier A Collett.

For efficient operation of his 38 Set when subjected to intense enemy fire.

14552101 W/Cpl F Howe.

For initiative and leadership resulting in a speedy crossing of the canal near Montesanto.

6216336 Fusilier E Sayers.

For courage in the face of superior enemy numbers.

14777400 Fusilier G Bowers.

For saving, by quickness on the trigger, a Sherman tank, which was about to be the target of a Bazooka man.

7047675 Fusilier C French.

For courage and initiative in capturing about a dozen enemy.

7020067 P/L/Cpl A Anderson.

For unselfish conduct, although wounded himself, in extricating comrades from the debris of a room whilst under shellfire.