Brigade HQ – MAHMOUD GAP.

Night patrols had no contact with the enemy.

0545 38 (Irish) Infantry Brigade O.O. No 9 was issued (Appendix 16). There were indications of a possible German thrust south west of Pont Du Fahs (8706) or west against Bou Arada (6201). 6 Innisks was ordered “to be prepared to move to area El Aroussa (4603).”

1030 ME 109 flew low over Brigade HQ.

1530 Copy of a letter was received from HQ RA “Operations – FOOs”. The main problem dealt with was the difficulty of maintaining Artillery Support by FOO batteries during an attack (Appendix 17).

During this day, there were indications to OPs of enemy preparations for an attack west from Pont Du Fahs. There was no close recce by vehicles of the Brigade front. Nor were enemy aircraft active over the Brigade area (Appendix 18).


1 RIrF – DOUAR.

A detailed account of the activities of this night are given in the Appendix.

Normal activities and improvement of defence position by further digging, wiring and local minefields continued.

0400 The first party of reinforcements arrived at Bttn HQ, comprising Lieut J Ray, Lieut MW Sutcliffe and 2/Lieut CLT Tomkins and 81 ORs. A detailed account of this night is contained in the Appendix. Patrol Killaloe comprised Lieut KM Hunting and 1 OR to find isolated position on route used by enemy in Area 7323 with a view to attack later. This patrol, including Lieut KM Hunting, posted as missing wef 11 Jan.


6 Innisks – IN THE FIELD.

0915 CO attends conference at Brigade. Recce party consisting of CO, IO, 3 drs, 1 rep per platoon, 2 unit personnel Lieut Daly and RSM go recce after conference.

Rest of Bttn have quiet morning with no patrolling for possible move. Lieut Daly has been appointed heavy gun officer. Four Vickers M/Gs have been allowed to Bttn. So he now commands mortars, 2 pounder A/Tk platoon and Vickers.

There is some difficulty in finding 12 men capable of handling the Vickers. 12 men are eventually picked with A/Cpl McGowan in charge. Lieut Hodgson, Cheshire Regiment and therefore late machine gunner gets the teams together.

Recce party returns at 1700 hrs. CO attends conference at Brigade at 1915 hrs. 2 LIR are doing patrols tonight and the Bttn merely does local protective patrolling.

A quiet night in which at least a fair amount of sleep is had by most people.

Lance Corporal John Varty, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.


2 LIR.

0930 1 platoon from H and F Companies on day patrol 0930-1730 hrs.

1730 1 platoon of G company patrol and company in wait for enemy. Mines laid. Enemy armoured cars observed but no contact made.