Brigade HQ – BOU ARADA.

A/Tk 6-pounder practice took place area 4705.

½ Squadron 17/21 Lancers came under command Brigade in area 625068.

B Coy 1 RIrF moved from Grandstand into reserve at 605065.

There was no contact west of main road, though 2 LIR reported noise of tracked vehicles to the north (possibly laying mines on 5 Northamptons’ front). A recce of the north slopes of Bir Rebal, W Hill and Greenpoint revealed nothing; owing to the brightness of the moon it was difficult to get close enough to objectives for accurate observation. Enemy digging parties were spotted at pt 286 and Barka and subsequently shelled.

2300 Enemy patrol visited Streamroller Farm 513118 and killed 2 French soldiers and wounded 4. It appeared, judging from the distance covered, that enemy lay up in the hills west of the main road.

38 Brigade Intelligence Summary was issued. Appendix A para 4 stated: “Recce elements 21 Panzer Division is pushing west from Sidi Bou Zid towards Sbeitla and southwest towards Gafsa. Right flank of First Army is 1 Derbyshire Yeomanry (less two squadrons) operating in area Maknassy. They are in touch with long range desert group of Eighth Army.”

In the morning, movement of cattle and sheep was again observed and there was considerable vehicle activity north and west of the lake. Troop enemy artillery was firing at intervals throughout the day from area 7716.

1000 Brigade Commander visited Divisional HQ to discuss the move of 6 Armoured Division and the position thus created in the Divisional area.

Brigade Major visited 1 RIrF.

1430 Four very large objects (25’ x 12’ x 12’) came at 10mph south east from area 8420 west across country and disappeared behind feature at 8116. Their speed showed them to be mechanical and an observer likened them to large mobile iron cases. It is possible that they were covered 88mm guns, which stand very high off the ground.

1455 Warning order was received that HQ 6 Armoured Division would move night 16/17 Feb to area Maktar and HQ “Tigerforce” would be established at HQ Royal Artillery 495033 to command troops in Divisional area.

6 Armoured Division O 643 was received “For ‘Tigerforce’ read ’Y’ Division.”

Information was received regarding the A/Tk effectiveness of the 2-pounder and ST Mk 74 grenade. This was passed in a letter to Bttns.

Major Manners, 3.i.c. 2 LIR had been put in charge of a Brigade counterattack force to be situated in area 6307. The reserve was to consist of two infantry companies, two sections carriers, three detachments mortars, two 2-pounder A/Tk guns, two sections MMG supported by three batteries Field Artillery. Divisional appreciation and plan was received at this HQ.

1600 Brigade Commander visited HQ Royal Artillery.

Tigerforce OO No 1 was issued.

“wef 1330 hrs1 6 Feb, 1 Parachute Brigade, 38 (Irish) Infantry Brigade and all troops in Bou Arada sector came under command Tigerforce. Positions as held at present will be held to the last man and the last round, and the enemy harried to the greatest possible extent by offensive action of all kinds.”

The role of 38 brigade is defined in para 6.


1 RIrF – GRANDSTAND HILL. 

The events and activities of the night are recorded in the Appendix.

Normal activity – nothing to report. Captain WJ Saul, the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, reported to this Bttn for duty and was held at Bttn HQ pending posting.


6 Innisks – IN THE FIELD. 

Patrolling Conference. It is decided to move Bttn HQ by degrees during the afternoon, Advance Bttn HQ – CO, 2.i.c., Adjutant, IO and Support Officer with 32 employed personnel are forward in hut in ground, which has been made into quite a good HQ by the Pioneers. CO is keen to make this a ‘show HQ’. Orderly Room is named ‘War Office’. Intelligence Office – ‘Ministry of Information’. Cook House – “Ministry of Food’.


2 LIR.

1930 Fighting patrol ‘Red’ to farm 633105/618102 – nothing to report.

pm 38th (Irish) Infantry Brigade now part of ‘Y’ Division