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Irish Brigade

The story of the 38th (Irish) Brigade in the Second World War

Faugh a Ballagh        Nec Aspera Terrent         Quis Separabit


War Diaries – 1st to 5th February 1944


1st February

Brigade HQ – FORLI DEL SANNIO (H1443).

0600 Bttns spent quiet night. No enemy activity.

1200 2 LIR handed over billets and information to advance parties of 3 Bttn, 1 Carpathian Rifle Brigade.

1245 HQ 2 LIR closes.

1300 2 LIR leave Forli (H1443) for Baranello (H4625).


1 RIrF.

1000 Advance party (one officer, one OR per coy) to new location.

1130 Advance party incoming unit arrived.

1230 Castel Di Sangro shelled.  Strafe Two fired.

1700 Movement Order No 2 issued.

1800 Reps incoming unit go to each coy.

Routine night patrols.  R. Sangro 3ft 6ins


6 Innisks – CERRO.

Weather fine. Visibility variable (ground mist in morning).

0400 Patrol from B Coy to Mount Fosse (060420) returned. Nothing to report.

0400 Patrol from D Coy to Mount Curvale (070428) returned. Nothing to report.

0900 Advance party under Captain Griffiths left Bttn HQ for Busso (H4628).

1745 D and B Coys send out usual patrols to Mount Fosse and Mount Curvale.


2 LIR.

0800 Loading of stores and equipment for move to Baranello.

1330 Battalion em-bused ready to move.

1400 Battalion proceeds to Baranello. Order of march: E F companies, Battalion HQ, HQ G, H, and S companies. 34 x 3-ton lorries supplied by RASC.

1715 Battalion arrives at Baranello. No incidents.

1800 Battalion established in billets in Baranello.



2nd February

Brigade HQ – FORLI DEL SANNIO.

1200 Main body 1st Carpathian Rifle Brigade arrive.

1500 Rear Brigade HQ move to Campobasso (H5528) Tac HQ left in Forli.

Relief of 6 Innisks and 1 RIrF carried out during the afternoon and evening.

1530 Two coys of 6 Innisks leave Cerro (H0839) for Busso (H4628).

2000 D Support Group leave Forli for Campobasso.


1 RIrF.

0600 Heavy mist.

1000 Incoming unit arrives and wait 2 miles behind Rionero.  Incoming coy moved up to pt 1210 (0944) to relieve A Coy 6 Innisks.

1200 Mist clears.

1430 Relief A Coy 6 Innisks complete.

1630 A Coy 6 Innisks leave Rionero by TCV and cease to be under command on passing Brigade SP.

1730 Unit vehicles forward to Castel Di Sangro and pt 1041 (0946) to offload incoming unit’s weapons and stores and load up with our B, C and D Coys.

A Coy by TCV to 102475, thence march to protect road Castel Di Sangro – road junction 0749 during take-over.

1800 Incoming coys (two) by TCV to 102475 thence march to Castel Di Sangro.

1830 HQ Coy and unit vehicles A Coy leave Rionero.

Incoming coy TCV to pt. 1041 (0946) to relieve C Coy.

2100 C Coy relieved leaves Rionero by TCV.

2110 Incoming coys (2) reach Castel Di Sangro.

2200 Unit vehicles (B and D Coys) from Castel Di Sangro reach.

2230 Rionero and leave for Campobasso.


6 Innisks – CERRO.

Weather fine. Visibility good. Wind light.

1400 Preparations for the move to Busso (H4628) completed. Route cards issued.

1630 The column did not move off until this time owing to a delay caused through lack of sufficient petrol for the TCVs to take them to Busso.

1945 Arrived at Busso.

Major Little rejoined this unit from hospital and assumes command of S Coy.

Capt EW Kendal relinquishes command of S Coy and is transferred to D Coy and assumes 2.i.c. of the coy.


2 LIR.

0930 Battalion HQ guard provided by F Company (duty company).

1200 Commanding Officer’s training conference. Instructions issued for exercise Vino.

1400 Company commanders’ recce training areas.

1600 Guard comprising three NCOs and nine men from F Company proceed to Campobasso to guard supply dumps.

1800 Pipers play retreat at Battalion HQ.



3rd February

Brigade HQ – CAMPOBASSO.

0010 Coy of 6 Innisks leaves Cerro (H0839) for Busso (H4628).

0300 1 RIrF plus one coy of 6 Innisks move to Campobasso. Coy 6 Innisks to go to Busso.

0330 Tac HQ Brigade leaves Forli for Campobasso.


1 RIrF.

0200 B and D Coys em-bused in TCVs at 102475.

0210 A Coy em-bused at 102475.

0230 A, B, D Coys leave Rionero.

0300 CO, I.O, OC HQ Coy, Rear Link signals vehicle left Rionero.

0730 All vehicles reported in at Campobasso.

Read Lawrie Franklyn-Vaile’s letters.


6 Innisks – BUSSO.

Weather fine and cold. Visibility good, wind light.

0715 Holy Communion was held for C of Es.

1000 Brigade Commander visited the bttn.

1600 Recreational transport was provided to take 20 men per coy to Campobasso daily at the same time.

The bttn spent the day clearing up and admin checks.

2/Lieut CR Wilkie is transferred from D to A Coy.

2/Lieut R Phillips MM is appointed town mayor of Busso.

A leave party left for Campobasso during the day.

A circular on security was issued in sufficient quantity for distribution to platoons.


2 LIR.

0900 Bttn HQ Guard provided by F Company (duty company).

1200 CO’s office.

1200 Leave parties proceed to cinema performance at Campobasso in unit transport.

1800 CO’s conference.



4th February

Brigade HQ – CAMPOBASSO.

Relief of 38 Brigade. All units arrived safely and established as follows:

6 Innisks – Busso H4628.

2 LIR – Baranello H4625.

1 RIrF – Campobasso H5528.

D Support Group – Campolieto H6337.

152 Field Ambulance – Campobasso H5528.


1 RIrF.

Admin.  Lt G Coetzee joined.


6 Innisks – BUSSO.

Weather wet and cold. Visibility poor. Wind fresh.

Btttn cleaning up and checking G1098 stores.

0900 The CO inspected all billets.

1030 Brigade Commander visited the bttn.

Lieut CD Beard will assume appointment of Sports Officer,


2 LIR.

0800 Companies commence training programme.

0900 Bttn HQ Guard provided by H Company (Duty Company)

1200 CO’s Office

1200 Leave parties proceed to proceed to cinema show at Campobasso in unit transport.

1400 Change of weather. Rain commences.

2000 Leave parties return from Campobasso.

Weather:- morning dry but dull, afternoon some rain. Sky heavily overcast.

News – Russians announce 10 German divisions trapped in Smela salient in Southern Ukraine and capture of Rovhe and Lusk in Poland, also that Red Army have crossed the Estonian border.



5th February

Brigade HQ – CAMPOBASSO.

Units reorganise and settle in. Training programme submitted.


1 RIrF.

Admin.


6 Innisks – BUSSO.

Weather snowing hard. Visibility poor. Wind strong.

1000 RSM’s parade was held despite the inclement weather.

FFI inspections were carried out and baths were available for coys.

Location for training areas and trace issued by 2.i.c.


2 LIR.

0630 Snow fell during night. Fairly heavy on high ground and hills, but roads still clear and traffic not impeded.

0800 Outdoor training suspended owing to snow.

0900 Bttn HQ Guard supplied by G Company.

1200 CO’s Office.

1300 Leave parties proceed to cinema show at Campobasso.

1700 Draft of 75 Other Ranks join battalion from CRU.

1800 CO’s conference

2000 Leave parties return from Campobasso.

Weather:- snow fell at intervals during morning and afternoon, but slight thaw during evening. Snow lying heavy on hills and high ground generally. Local roads still quite clear.



 

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