War Diaries – 18th February 1943

Brigade HQ – BOU ARADA.

Recce patrol to north east to of Gribiana 6705, and south west slopes of Mehallah saw and heard nothing.

Slight activity was observed on Greenpoint and Ploughtop.

1 Parachute Bttn relieved 10 Rifle Brigade on Argoub. 10 Rifle Brigade concentrated in reserve Toutla.

Brigade Intelligence summary was issued.

1220 Low flying cannon attack was made on Brigade HQ by ME 109. There were no casualties.

1800 CRA commander, ‘Y’ Division visited this HQ.

1900/2000 Artillery HF programme was put down to cover noise of move of Squadron 17/21 Lancers from Medjez.

2100 Coy enemy attacked French positions 6894 supported by MGs and mortars.

During the day, little vehicle movement was observed, but visibility was poor after 1230 hrs.

38 Brigade Operation Instruction No 1was issued “in the event of this Brigade being relived in order that Bttns can make detailed plans.”

Letter was issued to Bttns emphasising points which had been raised at a recent Divisional A/Q conference.

Orders were received for ½ squadron17/21 Lancers to leave area and revert under command 26 Armoured Brigade

A letter was Army Commander dated 7 Feb was forwarded by ‘Y’ Division, expressing concern at the lack of cooperation between forces of the Allied Armies.

Orders were received for ‘Y’ Division that active infantry patrolling was essential and that an identification must be obtained.


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

As a result of the non achievement of their object by the patrols of the preceding three nights, it was decided to select 10-15 of the best night patrollers of each rifle Coy and from them into a specialised body trained and used exclusively for night patrolling. The “force” to be under command of Capt PR Black, with as 2.i.c. Lieut MW Sutcliffe, the force to be named the ‘Nighthawks’ and the first enterprise of the force, a recce for a battle the following night, to be carried out that night by the commander and 2.i.c.  All plans were settled and the force was to be officially formed on 19 February. Capt WJ Saul, the Royal Winnipeg Rifles posted to A Coy as 2.i.c.

Captain Peter Black, Royal Irish Fusiliers, seconded from RUR.

6 Innisks – IN THE FIELD.

1000 Usual Conference. Another quiet day devoted to administration. There is more activity at night and CO keeps enemy alert by using plenty of artillery during the night. Major Knox, A Battery, 152 Field Regiment, sleeps next to CO and both are.. for targets. Patrols indicate targets.

2 LIR.

1900 Recce Patrol ‘Steel’ to huts 607107 and farm 617112 – nothing to report.

2100 Recce Patrol ‘Brass’ to farms 633105/642123/646113/646102 – nothing to report.