Brigade HQ – SIDI MAHMOUD.
1 R IrF reported contact during the night; it became obvious later that our patrols had bumped a party of enemy about a coy strong intent on raiding our positions. (Sitrep and patrol chart 28 Dec attached at Appendix S).
During the night, a strong patrol was met in 6722. It appears that the enemy method was for a fighting patrol to be up while 2 or 3 made a reconnaissance.
38 Brigade’s OO No 4 was issued expressing the intention “to obtain patrol ascendency in the Goubellat Plain”. A letter on day patrols was dispatched to Bttns.
1 RIrF – GOUBELLAT.
A full account of the events of the previous night continued in Sitrep 0730 hrs on 28th Dec. Lieut OB Moore and three other ranks killed.
0900 D Company moved up to B Company in their positions with a view to attacking enemy as reported by Lt DN Jefferies. With mortar support, they were to clear the enemy reported to be 150-200 strong attacking from the direction of the Wadi 702226. The enemy had thoroughly shut up the OP at 685243 during the night but our troops were not in occupation. D and B Companies advanced from B Coy’s position with their mortars and occupied the high ground without opposition, the enemy having withdrawn. They then altered course southwards and seized the ridge 685230 to 678226 in the face of extremely heavy MG and mortar fire driving the enemy out of defensive localities they had taken up in 2 mosques and other buildings in that area. The enemy then retreated very rapidly south and south east to the foothills.This action which cost the enemy many casualties cost 1 RIrF, one Fusilier of D Coy killed.
1500 B and C Coys after this action took up their positions in the village of Goubellat itself. B Coy 6 Innisks was placed under command and took up position in the farm Bir El Douaik 6423.
Offensive patrolling, hitherto carried out by D Coy, was handed over to A Coy and the plan was altered, it having been found that patrols on the move were too easily betrayed by Arab Nazi sympathisers and local dogs, and was thus very vulnerable. In the night of 28/29 Dec, therefore, A Coy laid ambushes as follows i) at road 701225, ii) rd junction 680224, iii) crossroads 673227. RE section set booby traps i) in the OP, ii) in buildings 684234, iii) in the abandoned ambulance at 672228 (this ambulance was one of our own, which had been sent out to collect the casualties from B Coy’s patrol action of the night before. The German patrol, which ambushed Lt DB Moore’s patrol, had presumably laid mines in the area. One of these blew up the ambulance as it turned up to B Coy killing the second driver. Artillery defensive fire tasks as shown in attached traces were also prepared for firing on receipt of Verey Light Signals, either from C Coy or from Bttn HQ. The patrols to do this ambush left A Coy after dark and took up their positions while the Bttn with B Coy 6 Innisks maintained defensive position in Goubellat. The Brigadier, commander of 30 Light Infantry Brigade, joined Bttn HQ for the night and results were awaited.
6 Innisks – GOUBELLAT.
Orders received that the Brigade will take up a better position in the hills to our rear.
0200 E F & Companies attack farm 713157, found no enemy, and were informed by French occupant that Germans had left at 1800 hrs on previous evening.
1500 Observation post observed considerable activity west of Goubellat.