0001 2 LIR report change over complete.
38 Brigade took over command left sector.
0530 Sitrep nothing to report.
1540 Last light Sitrep issued.
1725 B Coy 1 East Surreys reported situation quiet, work continuing on Cerro bridge 085393. Snow falling and settling. Visibility poor.
1845 2 LIR reported that at approximately 1600hrs, enemy patrol of approx 40 contacted forward area 0343. Spirited action ensued for one hour. Enemy casualties not known. Own casualties: 1 OR. Visibility very bad. No identification either side. Believed enemy patrol had lost way.
2200 B Coy, 1 East Surreys requested RE repair bridge 096400. 256 Field Company RE arranged party to be at bridge 0800 hrs on 1 January.
1000 Battalion movement order issued.
1200 Z for move announced at 1345 hrs.
1400 Head of convoy passed SP 15 mins late owing to failure of TCVs to report to D Coy at proper time.
1430 Sleet turning to snow as convoy advanced into mountains.
1545 Fourth and subsequent vehicles of convoy erroneously turned off towards Forli at road junction 150412 owing to failure of IO (Capt. TB Cammiade) to post a DR at the turning. Subsequent confusion sorted out by 1700 hrs.
1700 Snowing heavily by now. Blizzard developing. Move forward continued by coy groups but road proved impassable to vehicles. Unit vehicles left on road. Troops debussed and marched from one mile south of Rionero.
1900 Blizzard at height.
2300 Battalion takeover complete except for standing patrol at road junction 0749.
0300 Another patrol strength one Sergeant and 6 ORs went to Castel del Guidre.
Lieut Blyth was appointed Adjutant and A/Captain wef 27 December.
A/Major J Kerr transferred from D Coy to C Coy and assumes command.
0200 Companies and Battalion established in Montenero.
F Company – Alto 0447.
E Company – Calvario 0346.
G Company – Il Monte 0342.
H & Battalion HQ in Montenero 035829.
0800 Commanding Officer calls O Group to discuss future policy.
H Company commander to plan defence of Montenero will all available troops.
Number 10 Belgian Commando to become mobile reserve and will probably do active patrols as they are experienced in snow warfare and high altitude conditions. Weather deteriorates during the day and heavy fall of snow.
1600 G Company engage enemy patrol of about 40 men in their company area. Engagement lasted about 1 hour but due to bad weather conditions and heavy snow little could be seen. Casualties – 1 killed. 1 enemy believed killed but body was not found in the deep snow.
1630 Commando patrol of 2 officers and 30 men go out to 063465 and 065476 to protect ration convoy expected through.
1730 Forward companies report high winds extreme cold and blizzard setting in. Snow 2-3 feet.
2200 2 jeeps attempt to get through to Montenero but are bogged in heavy snow drift.
Ration convoy unable to get through to Battalion tonight.
2300 Forward companies report shocking weather conditions. Depth of snow increasing. All shelters and bivouacs broken down by weight of snow.