Brigade HQ – BOU ARADA. 

Intelligence Summary was issued and the following conclusion stated: “Enemy are still opposite us, but as previously thought, they appear possibly to be very thin in the forward areas. Possibly many troops, which were forward, are now in reserve area west or north of Lake Sebkret El Kourzia.

A trace of the Brigade dispositions on this date is attached, at Appendix 5.

0950 Order received from 6 Armoured Division, placing C Squadron Derbyshire Yeomanry, u/d 38 Brigade, for recce on north flank. Remainder Derbyshire Yeomanry were to move to Tebessa u/c II US Corps, night 3/4 Feb.

During the day, observations of artillery and Derbyshire OPs confirmed continued activity in areas 7114, 7115. Farm 731157 was still active and the impression that it was an HQ was strengthened.

1 Parachute Bttn and 1 Commandos Brigade (less one Bttn) were to attack south from Bou Arada to cut the main road area O 7588.

1430 38 (Irish) Infantry Brigade OO No 11 was issued with intention: “38 Brigade will carry out a diversion on morning 4 Feb in support of this attack.” The plan included an infantry demonstration for a limited distance east from the north end of Grandstand (6507) and a demonstration by two troops of tanks at hill 640065.

On this day, Brigade Command visited 6 Armoured Division.

Information was received that samples of bullet proof tyres were urgently required, and a letter was issued to Bttns.

1 RIrF – GRANDSTAND HILL. 

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

1100 CO met with Commander 38 (Irish) Infantry Brigade at Farm 628058 and received orders, the detail of which is included in the Appendix.

1430 Bttn O Group met at Bttn HQ and B Coy were ordered to provide one platoon to do the diversion ordered above, and 3” mortar platoon to add more local smoke cover than was provided by the artillery plan.

1930 Codeword ‘Standby’ received.

6 Innisks – IN THE FIELD. 

0115 B Coy report they have reached new positions.

Patrol report for night 2/3 attached.

0600 CO and Padre go out and see D Coy come in from night position. Padre stays with D Coy all day.

1000 CO’s conference. Patrol coordinating conference is left in abeyance – pending result of conference CO is attending at Brigade.

1100 CO and IO attend conference at Brigade.

1500 O Group conference. There is a battle going on around Mansour. As a diversion, a ‘Chinese Attack’ is going to be staged in this area tomorrow. Two troops 16/5 Lancers artillery, with plenty of smoke and platoon of 1 RIrF are directly concerned. Our role is to be prepared for a possible counter attack. 16/5 Lancers are operating in our area.

Main patrols for tonight are as follows: Sgt O’Donnell and 10 men from C Coy to comb Barka and destroy any enemy found there.

Lieut Myler and 10 men from C Coy to comb Mehalla and destroy any enemy found there.

Lieut Wood and three sections of 4 men to lie up and wait until a usual enemy patrol is seen and then engage it and destroy or capture it.

Pioneer officer is given the task of erecting a cement base at A Echelon for the rest camp – there is plenty of cement available at the farm where the RAP is situated.

Our 2 pounder A/Tk guns are gradually to be replaced by 6 pounder guns as they become available. One has so far arrived. The Armoured Sergeant and another NCO from A/Tk platoon report to 72 A/Tk Regiment for short course on maintenance of the 6 pounder gun.

Fusilier William Kelly, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.


2 LIR.

2100 Patrol ‘Lux’ to White Gable Farm but had nothing to report

1900 Patrol ‘Silvo” to farm 617112, but had nothing to report.

0200 Patrol ‘Sunlight’ along path running North and South 5910 but nothing to report.