Brigade HQ – MAHMOUD GAP.
Patrol met ambush on road 653166 where enemy was laying in wait with Egg Grenades and two MGs.
Recent patrol reports show that enemy probably had never seriously occupied Goubellat or its immediate vicinity.
During this day, a fair amount of vehicle movement was observed around farms in area 7115.
Information was received (and passed onto Battalions) that “Celanese Triangles” had been used by the enemy to deceive our troops. A letter was sent to Bttns stating that frequencies of captured wireless equipment must be noted (Appendix 12).
Copy of Appendix to 5 Corps Intelligence Summary was forwarded to Bttns (Appendix 11).
Lieut GH Carr RIrF Def Platoon Commander ceased to hold this appointment.
Lieut RD Room RIrF was appointed Def Platoon Commander. Lieut MC Trousdell 1 RIrF was posted to Brigade HQ as I.O. vice Lieut Room.
38 Brigade Intelligence Summary was issued (Appendix 9).
1 RIrF – DOUAR.
The events of this night are recorded in detail in the Appendix.
1530 B Coy, less 1 platoon, with under command one section of Carriers carried out a day light search of Arab dwellings NE and SE of Sidi Bou Dib 6725 within 1000 yards radius of it in which the French civilian referred to in Appendix stated there were enemy OPs in support D Battery 12 RHA.
1705 Search completed. B Coy prepared to return to position. An Arab then appeared at Sidi Bou Dib carrying a basket. The I.O. who had been with OC B Coy for the search questioned and searched him and found him to be carrying pinned to the hem of his Burnese six sheets, closely written on both sides, two of which were in cipher, containing military information. At first, it was suspected that he was an enemy spy, but the I.O. looking through the papers observed that the information contained therein concerned the German forces in Tunisia exclusively. The Arab, further questioned stated that he was a naturalised Frenchman, a Corporal in the French Army, working in the guise of an Arab under the French Colonel Lecourtier. His duty was to pass to and from Tunis bringing information collated by the French Intelligence there to his Colonel. The I.O. being satisfied with his story took him in a vehicle to Brigade HQ where he was recognised by the French L.O. attached to it as one of his own men and passed back immediately to his own Colonel through the normal channels. The reports he brought proved to be of immense value.
6 Innisks – IN THE FIELD.
1000 CO spends two hours with Brigadier at command post.
1200 CO briefs B Coy, who are doing patrols tonight. Lieut Duke arrives back from NAAFI with another supply of NAAFI goods. There is still a shortage of soap and note paper, especially envelopes. No green envelopes have yet arrived. These are most urgently required not only for the men but also for the overworked opps who have so much censorship to do.
1500 OCs 2 Lothians and 152 Field Regiment RA are taken up to our OP to view ground with special attention given to areas for tanks. Both arrive at top a little short of breath.
Capt Little, our Carrier Officer, is able to give them much valuable information. Neither the battery under command nor troop 2 Lothians has been able to help so far. They are all itching for a go.
The Bttn is now over 100 below strength. No reinforcements have yet arrived since we left Algiers on 1st Dec’42. These are greatly needed. Platoons are very short and the weapons now carried in a platoon make it hard work for the remaining fusiliers. Especially now being on position on top of a hill, the carrying of ..and rations falls on a very few.
At dusk, B Coy go out to “stop” and search out following standing patrols, Sgt Rultus and 10 fusiliers, Sgt O’Connor and 10 fusiliers, Sgt Glove and 10 fusiliers
Six patrols in area by companies after dark.