Brigade HQ – MAHMOUD GAP.
GOC’s conference was held at Div HQ. Two troops of tanks allocated under command 38 Brigade in area 1 RIrF wef 3 Jan 0700hrs. Points discussed were as follows-
- Defended localities will be made as secure as possible by digging, wiring and mining.
- All suitable artillery targets will be subjected to the heaviest possible fire.
- Offensive sorties by tanks will be made whenever suitable opportunity offers.
1120 Tomahawk Fighter made forced landing area 6416. Pilot, who was unhurt, was picked up by Carrier Section 2 LIR. Carriers were fired on by enemy mortar when they approached the wrecked plane.
1 RIrF – DOUAR.
It was decided to withdraw C Coy from the exposed forward position it had occupied on Ragoubet Lalla Hanna 6525 since 25 Dec’42 and replace them with B Coy.
1615 B Coy moved over to the hill to take over.
1900 B Coy assumes responsibility for defence of position.
2200 Contact made B Coy with standing patrol of 2/18 Infantry Bttn (US Army).
6 Innisks – IN THE FIELD.
0800 CO holds conference in command post – fixes new Coy areas, which are to be dug in and fortified as it is understood the Bttn may be in this position for some time.
Pioneer officer spends days going round advising on defences in Coy areas and finding out what RE stores would be required.
1000 Field General Court Martial on Fusilier Denton and Fusilier Clemence for destroying an order given by superior officer. Major Gibbs 2 LIR is President. Both are found guilty and are awarded 56 days Field Punishment.
CO spends morning working out new patrolling policy.
Lieut McKee takes patrol to one old farm as standing OP and he remains until dusk.
1500 CO attends lengthy conference at Brigade to discuss patrolling within the Brigade which considers is not good.
1700 CO returns with new patrolling policy. Lieut McCaldin takes out patrol east of Goubellat with orders to be back by 0200 hrs, and beat up any Bosch he can find.
Lieuts McKee and McCaldin are warned to be ready to go out on 36 hr patrols tomorrow night into enemy territory.
1830 A Tunisian soldier is sent to us from Brigade to be attached. It is suggested he may be useful on patrols and will be able to find out information from French and Arabs. He cannot speak English.
CO, 2.i.c., Adjutant and N.O. have a guinea fowl for tea exchanged with the farmer for some of our rations. N.O. produces some hot punch which is greatly appreciated this very cold night. Two American officers who called looking for 18 Combat Group greatly appreciated it.
1800 Lieut McKee and 20 Fusiliers went out on a watching patrol with instructions to be in before first light. Capt Knaggs is still back with A Echelon on Steamroller Farm convalescing. He became run down through overwork and lack of sleep. The Signal platoon is overworked. With no increase in establishment when 19 sets were introduced puts a big strain on the platoon. It is decided to call in six more fusiliers and signals classes started today.
Battalion established observation post on Pt 366 (577167).
Kittyhawk crashed at 646164. American pilot brought in by Lieutenant A G Lees.
Lieutenant Gibbons and section of H Company patrol farms east of company positions during the day.
1800 Lieutenant McGranahan and section of F Company search Farms 6618 from 1800hrs and 0430 2/1/43.