Brigade HQ – BOU ARADA.
Contain was obtained on the north east slope of Barka, where the enemy were dug in, and movement was observed at W Huts 661083 and south east slope of Ploughtop.
Brigade Intelligence Summary was issued and the conclusion was drawn that the enemy had a platoon position on the reverse slope of Barka with possibly an OP forward and that further north, the enemy had come forward in W Hill area (6608).
There was comparatively little movement during the day. But an OP (?) was spotted at 678088 and Farm 654129 showed signs of occupation.
2340 Message was received from 6 Armoured Division asking for a return of vehicles required to move a Bttn and the time needed to get them. Also, the time required for a relief. A reply was prepared but no action had, at present, to be taken.
On this day, a letter sent to Bttns on the 25 pounder Base Ejection Propaganda shell. This was a copy of 6 Armoured Division letter on the subject.
A letter was sent to Bttns dealing with Divisional reserve company 5704 and B Squadron 2 Lothians in Brigade reserve (Location 582016 until ground dries).Tanks were then due to move to 625068 and counter attack plans would be modified accordingly.
6 Armoured Division forwarded a copy of letter on reinforcements from 5 Corps to O2E in which representation were made for wounded officers of 38 Brigade to return to their units when fit.
Orders were received for an Armoured Regimental Group under command 26 Armoured Brigade to move to Siliana. ½ Squadron 2 Lothians would no longer be under command 38 Brigade.
Royal Artillery 6 Armoured Division published an order expressing the intention to pretend that the divisional artillery had been reinforced. The object was to conceal the movement of artillery to the south and the method was to employ 3 roving sections night 14/15 Feb and day 15 Feb.
1RIrF – GRANDSTAND HILL.
The events and activities of the night are recorded in the Appendix.
Am Liaison with 72 A/Tk Regiment RA finally settled to general satisfaction. The layout of A/Tk defences within the Bttn area, both 6 pounder and 2 pounder being sited in one scheme.
6 Innisks – IN THE FIELD.
CO held conference at 1000 hrs to discuss many admin and operational points – the latter based on Divisional Commander’s letter. A Coy to change over with D Coy tonight who will go into reserve area and be at three hours notice less one platoon to go into Divisional reserve.
There is too much movement by day – this to be controlled by Bttn and Coy HQ. Slit trenches to be developed into section and platoon localities. Fire discipline – shoot to kill – don’t waste ammo – it is not easy to sit up during a battle. Never fire at extreme range or when the enemy is about to take cover. Keep tidy – alertness at night – equipment must be worn by all in forward area by night and at Bttn HQ have equipment on or by own side. Pioneer Officer to go round coys with 75 gun and RE mine and explain to coys. Salvage – Signallers have collected several reels of wire – will get some more from B Coy positions, Saluting and general smartening up of Bttn. Coys warned to keep containers for returns – warning has been received we are going on the bulk returns. Every man must now be especially careful of this 48 hr emergency reserve. Now no reserve for replacement. Armourer to go round and inspect cookers.
1430 CO and Adjutant spend two hours trying to find a place for Bttn HQ. It is felt that it would not be possible to run a battle from this farm. A site is selected – not a good one below D Coy hill. No cover what so ever and a very shallow gully.
Two three ton lorries of…..arrived last night – and three more tonight – 3 are coming tomorrow.
Instructions have been received to make this a strongly held locality. Before, the policy has been to not put down wire so not to give the position away.
Three Canadians joined the Bttn yesterday and are posted onto the WE on the unit. Capt Kingsmill, Royal Regiment of Canada is posted to C Coy under Major Little. Lieut Curfhey. West Nova Scotia to B Coy under Capt Bayley, and Sgt Sortie Mountie Royal Fusiliers is posted to A Coy under Major Bunch. Sgt Sortie is an expert in explosives. Curfhey was in the Dieppe raid and Capt Kingsmill was an Brigade Major in the Canadian Army.
Lt Fielden and one fusilier to go out to see what the mysterious growth of trees on Mehallah are. But they soon return and for another Tommy Gun – and for some more men. He says the enemy unusually lively. Saw 3 and then 10 on pt 286 – they seem to be digging and there was noise of at least a platoon in gully east of 286. The gunners decide this is a … target. After the gunners had finished, Lt Fielden with reinforcements went out again. They reported the shelling had not been without effect and that at least two Germans were killed. Owing to the increase in enemy activity, it was not possible to reach Mehallah.
1845 Fighting patrol ‘Barley’ to farm 617112 but nothing to report.
1900 Fighting patrol ‘Hops’ to farms 616102/642123/633105, they had nothing to report.