Brigade HQ – MAHMOUD GAP

Patrols reported light enemy activity in Goubellat (6422).

Contact was made with enemy occupying Farm 646211 (Probably a patrol lying up). There were two interesting points from patrols on this night.

Enemy verey lights made no warning bang but suddenly appeared in the sky.

Enemy section proved that the German soldier too is liable to human failings. “On my way back as I approached the Orange Grove 6424, I came suddenly round the corner on a German section. They were armed only with rifles and did not appear to be very alert for they were wearing greatcoats and were as surprised to see me as I them. One of them turned and went away and the remainder started to take their rifles off their shoulders. I withdrew. They did not appear to be on duty, but just sitting and standing around when I saw them.”

1000 Brigade Commander made recce of Brigade front with CRA.

1500 Sweep by 2 Lothians east of Medjez-Goubellat road started. Orders for the sweep are contained in 26 Armoured Brigade O.O. No2.

The information had been passed to Bttns in Brigade O.O. No 6 on 1st Jan. The intention was to carry out two reconnaisance sweeps in force on the front Goubellat – Medjez with the object of a) destroying enemy posts on this front, b) disclosing enemy strength and gun positions.

The action as it affected 38 Brigade is described at Appendix 1 c), and the area swept is illustrated by tracing at Appendix 1 d).


1 RIrF – DOUAR.  

A detailed account of the events of night 1st/2nd given in Appendix.

B Coy commenced wiring their new position C Squadron 6 Lothians attached.


6 Innisks – IN THE FIELD.

0630 Lieut McCaldin returned and reported that he had not crossed the Goubellat – Bou Arada road. He disturbed some enemy this side of road an felt sure the Goubellat – Bou Arada road was under fixed line fire.

0630 Lieut McKee had nothing to report.

CO spends morning going around the Bttn position with Brigadier.

Daly spends morning waiting for RE Officer to arrive so they can go off and clear away Teller mines. RE officer does not turn up. Carriers at last get a day to maintenance. Much air activity in the afternoon probably to cover an… that the 26 Armoured Brigade are doing, It is good to see a little air supremacy. It is decided to dig a command post in the farm and the pioneers get busy.

1730 Lieuts McKee and Lieut McCaldin set off with 20 men each for 36 hrs to harass, ambush and inflict casualties upon enemy.

2100 Lt Page’s patrol returns but he did not get as far as was intended. Apparently the time allowed was insufficient for the job.


2 LIR.

AM Companies patrol area during hours of darkness.

PM Battalion digging in. Indents rendered for wire and mines.

1900 Lieutenant Cooper and 1 section F Company of 36-hour patrol to 7718 (Patrol Bovril).

1900 Lieutenant Kinch and 1 section of F Company on 36-hour patrol to 7414 (Patrol Oxo).