Brigade HQ – FOSSACESIA.
0325 Bttns informed PoWs will be escorted to DMA at road junction 415023 where they will be taken over by 11 Brigade personnel.
0330 Last light Sitrep and intentions for 2 Dec issued.
0345 2 LIR reported task impossible owing to ground but trying to find way round flank. Enemy still in position.
0430 1 RIrF reported leading coys nearing areas. No shooting. Going very difficult.
0515 214 Field Company RE informed that original plan unable to realised as 2 LIR stuck.
0605 1 RIrF reported 1000 yards short of San Vito. Civilians report town evacuated yesterday. 6 Innisks patrols – NCO and 10 each. No 31: 363047 – Scociosa – 346013. No 21: 368050 – 362051 – Station 350050. Out 0915, In 1300 and 1500hrs.
0900 Forward HQ 1 RIrF 394898 reported stopping by in gully south of San Vito.
Slight contact D Coy 390095. Attacking town from San Vito. C Squadron 56 Recce Regiment in support.
0915 OC Rear Mule pack ordered to filter up remainder of Indian and Italian mules in daylight today.
0945 Brigade Commander suggested to Commander 4 Armoured Brigade the possibility of some tanks to area 6 Innisks.
1025 Brigade Commander order commander 1 RIrF to keep Bttn less two coys at 3907 at present. Left flank of 2 LIR having a little difficulty.
1108 6 Innisks reported one own aircraft crashed north west of San Vito. Two enemy counter attacks against 2 LIR from Treglio 3506 successfully repulsed. 10 PoWs and 3 MGs captured.
1145 57 Field Regiment OP situated 367050.
1200 6 Innisks captured code word list of 65 Panzer Group Division (copy belonging to III/Werfer Regiment 56 in Rocca with other docs and maps) forwarded to Division.
1220 78 Division informed 38 Brigade that wef 2 Dec, 38 Brigade would be under command 1 Canadian Division.
1245 2 LIR fully established on last night’s objective.
1250 1 RIrF reported not many enemy in San Vito.
4 Armoured Brigade report 2 Mk IVs in flames area 3707 this am. 8 PoWs taken.
1445 1 RIrF reported at coy 375110 2 coys at 385105.
Enemy material found in Brigade area included 4 SP guns, one 105mm, one 75mm, 2 Infantry Guns, many mortars, MGs and mortars.
1700 Muleteer personnel 5 Buffs coming under command 38 Brigade.
1740 1 RIrF concentrated at area 3909.
Divisional order 36 Brigade personnel with pack transport not relieved to be relieved. Immediately arrangements made for transportation to new area.
1945 Frost max 5 degrees night 2 / 3 expected. All areas particularly above 1000 feet.
2015 Headlights will be kept on up to exclude Mozzagrogna.
2030 Command of coastal sector passed from 78 Division to 1 Canadian Division 1600 on 2 Dec.
2115 Situation at last light and intentions 3 Dec see Sitrep.
2250 57 Field Regiment reported 3 DF tasks..April – 384103, May – 382100, June – 379095.
2300 1 RIrF Sitrep: HQ 404086, A Coy 402089, B Coy 396077 less one platoon, C Coy and one platoon B Coy 389094, D Coy 404088. Two coys went to ravine overlooking San Vito last night. Lieut Day ad 15 men entered San Vito and a sharp engagement with armoured cars, majority of patrol taken PoW. Both companies tried to approach town from coast and had a running fight with enemy killing 2, finally drove enemy off. Coys turned left and crossed at 368107. Heavy fire from outskirts of town drove them back. Coys took up position on high ground to east of the ravine and repulsed two counter attacks. During pm, own artillery shot up enemy marching troops. Coys withdrew at 2100hrs.
Captain J Hayes RA ChD posted to 5 CCS.
Lieut Webb Bowen (RUR) returned this HQ ex hospital.
Captain JHF Hobbs (Reconnaisance Corps) Brigade IO returned this HQ ex hospital.
0100 A & D Coys moved off along track running to demolished bridge 4008.
0400 At 0400 hrs, C Coy & Battalion Command Group took same route.
0515 It ultimately transpired that A & D Coys had reached 373110 at 0515hrs where they made a firm base and sent a patrol under Lieut Day into San Vito
0545 At 0545 hrs, cheers & shouting of “Inglese” were heard followed by shooting. The patrol had been lead into the town by a local. They had gained the square in the town before contacting Germans and had received a great welcome from the populace. They took several prisoners before they were observed by two armoured cars which opened fire on the patrol. Great confusion was resultant in the town, in which ten of the patrol escaped & laid up – Lt Day was seriously wounded & is now posted as POW. Eight others were captured. This patrol must have had a terrific effect on the German forces defending the bridge 3607 against the 2 LIR
0900 At 0900 hrs, Adjutant received a delayed report that forward coys were making good progress over very difficult ground and had reached approx 378108. Command Group in HO 405085. C Coy area high ground 399086. B Coy still in area 408077. Adjutant’s Group then moved to Command Group & B Coy was ordered on to high ground 400080. It ultimately transpired that A & D Coys had reached 373110 at 0515 hrs where they made a firm base & sent a patrol under Lt Day into San Vito.
1100 A & D Coys remained in area 372113 all day and were counter attacked determinedly at approximately 1100 hrs and 1300 hrs.
1300 Captain OFB Jewell and Lt Fricke were wounded in this latter action. Both attacks were driven off with a very satisfactory ratio of casualties. Apart from these formed attacks, infiltration by the enemy took place all day and at one time they were cut off by fire from the remainder of the Battalion. The FOO, Captain Evans, 26/17 Field Regiment, gave valuable assistance throughout the course of the action. At first dusk, Major JS Clarke, D Coy, ordered both coys back from the lip of the gulley & prepared to spend the night at 376108.
2100 At 2100 hrs, he received orders from the CO to withdraw to area station 398093 and C Coy plus 1 platoon B Coy, moved up to high ground 390095. The Battalion was then out of contact with the enemy. Casualties for this action – Nil and 10 killed, 2 and 10 wounded, 1 and 9 missing. Captain NW Bass rejoined from hospital.
The enemy started shelling the Bttn, but caused no casualties. The advance party of the Seaforth Highlanders (1 Canadian Division) arrived and preparations had been made for handing over the position.
1300 O Group conference and orders issued to assist the 2 LIR in crossing river at 369073 where enemy resistance had been met.
1400 Bttn moved off and by 1510, Bttn HQ had reached 361060 and were disposed in that area while the CO, who had found the LIR were not so far forward as expected, went back to Brigade HQ. The enemy was shelling this area, but no casualties were caused. Bttn stayed there until 1900hrs, when orders were received for our return to Rocca 3805, where we arrived at 2140hrs.
2330 O Group conference was called and it was made known that the Bttn was to support elements of 4 Armoured Brigade in an attack on San Vito from the left flank, infantry to be lorry borne. This coin was to proceed along the Lanciano to San Vito road as far as possible until resistance was met, when further orders would be issued to deal with it. Orders of march – Troop Tanks, B Coy, Regimental HQ, 2 Scout Cars (CO and 22 set in one, Adjutant and 18 set in the other), jeep for the IO, two artillery carriers, C Coy, A Coy, D Coy, S Coy, Bttn HQ, RAP.
Lieut Beglin appointed to the rank of A/Captain.
0200 It was thought that the right flank offered the best approach across the ravine. Patrols returned at 0200hrs and said that this would not be possible, so plan were changed accordingly for an attack to go in and the bridgehead established from the left flank.
At first light F Company and H Company crossed the ravine to secure high ground east of Treglio. Advance 300 yards and were held up by heavy automatic and machine gun fire. All attempts to advance were frustrated and several enemy counter-attacks were beaten off.
1030 Enemy counter-attacks petering out. E Company mopping up area behind forward companies.
1800 6 Inniskilling and tanks to attack along axis s-Treglio road, as forward companies were withdrawn to the other side of the ravine.
T/Major J D Lofting (RUR) wounded in action.
W/Lieutenant M W Gentle (RUR) wounded in action.