Brigade HQ – CATENENUOVA.
0055 1 RIrF reported first objective taken and CO about to carry out his original plan
0200 RE section ordered to go out and fill crater at 647905 on rd Catenanuova – Centuripe.
0350 1 RIrF reported hill 6490 now in their hands. Little opposition. Flank coy 6 Innisks joined with coy 1 RIrF in Centuripe and are trying to find out if there is any enemy in the town.
0400 38 Brigade Support Group report platoon Heavy Mortars 645894, another 650886. Remainder of group still west of Catenanuova.
0405 1 RIrF troops reported at 649917 (church area), and apparently finding little opposition.
0720 Pt 718 (656923) occupied by B Coy 1 RIrF at 0600hrs without opposition. Enemy believed to have evacuated Centuripe during night.
0900 2 LIR report situation normal.
0915 PoW taken by 6 Innisks south of Centuripe identified as of 7 Coy 3 Para Regiment.
HQ RA reports all bridges north of Centuripe blown. Targets for today’s bombing received.
0951 2 LIR request their MT to go up to Centuripe.
An Italian deserter from 30 Artig. Regiment was brought in. Stated he had come from Messina and was asking his way home to Syracuse. Forwarded to PoW cage.
1025 Artillery recce party report road crater 582930 and 581944. RE working on the first and it will be clear in six hours. Second has mines around it, and so far no one is working on it.
1029 Division informed Brigade that no transport was to be allowed on the north road to Centuripe. All Brigade Group informed.
1125 Brigade requested permission from Division to move 2 LIR mortars, A/Tk guns and carriers to 650885. This request was agreed to.
1214 Division ordered that no vehicles other than those operationally essential will move into Centuripe or north of it.
1430 A Squadron 56 Recce Regiment report unable to get vehicles over wadi 667930. Carriers reached 665940 but cannot get further. Foot patrol from 665940 to line of road from bridge 682947 – Regalbuto. No enemy seen. Vehicles fairly heavily shelled whilst trying to cross wadi from high ground 675980. Brigade HQ moving to 647894.
1500 Division ordered that convoys in excess of 5 vehicles will move onto road Catenanuova – Centuripe.Timings to be applied for at Q Command Post.
1600 A Squadron 56 Recce Regiment report that bridge 683948 was reached by a foot patrol. The bridge was found to be blown for about 100 yards. The river bed is thick and no crossing could be found for 300 yards on either side of the bridge. No enemy seen.
1900 Brigade Tac HQ established north of Centuripe at 669923.
6 Innisks report locations – Bttn HQ 668929, A Coy 669928, B Coy 667933, C Coy 668930, D Coy 666930, S Coy Centuripe. Brigade Major visited Divisional HQ and make arrangements to get A Squadron 56 Recce Regiment to new location.
2115 Conference at Brigade HQ attended by COs 38 Brigade, Support Group and 17 Field Regiment.
0021 C Coy success signal. A Coy sent forward to gain further objective in town – Church Hill. Success signal is two green verey lights
0300 Success signal from town.
0545 Command post established at cemetery 711.
As D Coy had already taken A Coy’s objective before A Coy arrived at the cemetery, A and C Coys were both there. D Coy had fired the success signal at 0021.
0600 A Coy went forward to relieve D Coy and B Coy occupied 718.
0630 Bttn, less B Coy who remained on 718, consolidated in the town.
0830 Bttn moved out of the town and a patrol of one platoon under Lt JB Cammiade was sent out to see if the bridge over the Salso was held or not.
1500 Bttn less transport advanced by march route across very rough country until main road was reached to take up positions on near bank of Salso. No transport other than jeeps and carriers could be taken forward owing to a large crater in the road, which was constantly shelled making repair work difficult.
1700 Bttn, less A Coy, were in position A Coy had got lost on the march down the mountain.
Lt Cammiade’s patrol had by now crossed the river and met some opposition. The country was very flat and thickly covered with short bushy topped orange trees. Visibility was never more than about ten yards. The patrol with grenades and T & MGs accounted for at least MG before withdrawing at dusk.
One night patrol was sent out to cover an RE working party, but came under very heavy fire from 3 MGs, while crossing the river and had to withdraw.
6 Innisks– CENTURIPE.
0330 Town reported clear of enemy. D Coy, which had been ordered to work along the ridge after the occupation of pt 644 found it clear of the enemy and made contact with C Coy on pt 709.
0630 Bttn HQ moved into the town and B Coy also came in from the east. The road now being open, rations and S Coy were brought up and the Bttn spent the day reorganising. The town has suffered severely from shelling and bombing but the civilian population were pleased to see us in place of the Bosche.
The enemy consisted of the 3rd Parachute Regiment.
Total casualties were 8 ORs killed. 4 officers and 36 ORs wounded.
1830 Brigade moved north from the town and the Innisks took up a position round 667929 in a square formation with Bttn HQ in the gully.
The night was quiet. The REs started bulldozing a bypass round the a blown bridge over the gully
1000 Battalion moves to concentration area about one mile west of Centuripe.
O Group moved forward Pt 620 658932. Intention of 38 Brigade to occupy foothills north of Centuripe leading down to the River Salso.
1700 Battalion moves through town and down through hills to positions one mile from River Salso. E Company 661391; F Company 668941; G Company 667937; H Company 663943.
Battalion HQ established 664837 (Sheet 269-1 Italy 1/50,000).
2100 Patrol Programme for night 3/4 August.
Patrol A (Lieut O’Connor) to patrol to R June 659957.
Patrol B (Lieut White) to Viaduct 697964.
Patrol C (Lieut Lyness) to go to Carcaci 690965.
All three patrols left at 2100 hrs and returned at approx 0500 hrs. They made no contact with the enemy but gained valuable information with regard to the topography of the land over which the battalion was due to advance. Close wooded groves, many terraces and small houses showing signs of recent Germany occupation. The River Salso was fordable and the Bridge at 700957 was blown.