11th January

Brigade HQ – SAN CLEMENTE 9928.

Very quiet night. Very cold night again (14 degrees of frost) and roads and tracks exceedingly difficult. At 1130 hrs, Vickers MG of D Support Group fired on 4 enemy at 019294 killing one, wounded another and possibly one another. Enemy stretcher party came out 1230 and picked up wounded man, leaving corpse.


1 RIrF – 000286.

1035 Vickers, area 008298, opened fire on two enemy at 019293. SBs carried one into house and bundled the other up and left him lying in the snow.

1050 D Coy (Capt Wilton) report tracks in snow indicate enemy patrol four strong lay up within 50 yards of D Coy FDL.

1745 Vickers engaged 6 enemy area 022296.

2050 Enemy MG at 020288 silenced by 3” mortars and 25 pounder fire


2 Innisks – SAN CLEMENTE.

0600 Coys sitrep. Nothing to report.

1145 Three enemy seen at Caternara engaged by artillery.

1230 One man seen at Point 297.

1315 3” mortars engage Point 297. One direct hit.

1410 Artillery engage Point 297. Several direct hits observed.

1415 One mule observed at Volte.

1905 One white verey light forward of Frasinetto.

2340 B and C Coys report one white verey light from Antrim Air. RIrF report they are firing 2” flares.


2 LIR – ITALY.

A delegation of MPs visited rifle coys to see conditions under which the front line troops in Italy were fighting.

Died on this Day:

Rifleman Michael Foley, London Irish Rifles.



12th January

Brigade HQ – SAN CLEMENTE 9928.

At 0615 hrs, 3 heavy explosions occurred at 015287 near Point 156. Believed rocket projectiles at first but later thought to be nebelwerfer projectiles. No damage or casualties.

Brigadier TPD Scott DSO left this HQ 1400 hrs on home leave.

Lt Col Preston KOYLI acting Brigade Commander arrived 1500 hrs.

Lt Col Bredin 2 LIR succeeds Lt Col Preston as G I 78 Division.

Major J Stewart appointed A/Commander 2 LIR.

Thaw set in during day but with not much effect.

2 LIR relieved 1 RIrF in right sector. 1 RIrF to Tamagnin.


1 RIrF – 000286.

0220 D Coy (Capt Wilton) reports patrol returning from 009292 engaged 7 Huns on track in that area with grenades and TSMG. Enemy fled.

0615 Three rocket type projectiles landed in area 015288. No casualties though the blast was violent at this HQ. Search of area failed to produce any fragments.

2000 Relieved by 2 LIR move HQ to 990284. C and D Coys to 998273. B Coy to 010265 and came under command 11 Brigade.


2 Innisks – SAN CLEMENTE.

0600 Battle Patrol established listening post (3 men) on ridge 300 yards forward of C Coy right platoon at 011305. CO accompanies Patrol to C Coy.

0830 One man in white clothing seen leaving Casa Volte. Three men seen at Point 297. Forresters informed.

0855 Battle Patrol return from 011305 and report back to C Coy. Report seeing three enemy enter Tamagnin from the gully behind.

0930 Mortars report firing from behind Antrim. 3” mortars engage.

1145 C Coy OP report two men moving from behind Antrim. 3” mortars engage.

1200 All rounds on target area and two direct hits.

1630  Mediums engage Anzellara. Several near hits registered. 25 pounders fire air bursts over gully at rear of houses while mediums were firing.

1816 8 Platoon OP report guns firing on Monte Grande. Bearing 37 degrees grid.

1852 C Coy from 005308 report three guns firing on bearings 87 deg – 84 deg – 81 grid flash to bang 5 secs. CMO informed.

1930 B Coy from 005300 report mortar firing on Lucca. Bearing 97 degrees grid. Passed to CMO.

1945 A Coy from 004301 report one red flare on bearing 112 degrees grid.


2 LIR – ITALY.

0800 Preparations for move forward to relieve 2 Innisks.

1700 Bttn HQ left Clemente house.

1730 Bttn HQ arrived Casa Careggiana 001286.

2200 Relief completed. Locations as follows: E Coy – hill position at Cassa di Lucca 008298, with a platoon at Sasso 008294. G Coy – forward position on road at Casa Corniano 009287 with one platoon forward at Ambush House 015287 and half platoon at Valley Farm 013288. H Coy plus Battle Patrol in reserve position Casa di Villa 004287.  Two sections of the A/Tk Platoon acting as infantry with E Coy. Mortar Platoon in gully 001289. MMGs on ridge Point 207 in G Coy’s area.



13th January

Brigade HQ – SAN CLEMENTE 9928.

Quiet night. Rocket projectiles (nebelwerfers) reported firing on to 1 Division front, none dropped in own area. snow and sheet all day with some thaw. Movement difficult. Culvert 016288 discovered to have been blown and now considered to be a tank obstacle. Air photographer taken at 1115 on 11 January shows cloud of smoke over culvert, which must have been time of explosion.


1 RIrF – 990284.

NTR.

Major AJ Morris OBE MBE rejoined.


2 Innisks – SAN CLEMENTE.

0220  Enemy using Nebelwerfers, area shelled unknown. Bearing from 004301 – 58 degrees. Bearing fro 005300 – 72 degrees. C Coy OP 007305 – 7 degrees. Area shelled left coy Forresters. Bearings passed to CMO and CBO.

0600 Heavy snow fell during night and is still falling. Battle Patrol did not send out Listening Patrol to 011305 due to poor visibility. Coys remain in night positions.

0845 C Coy sends Listening Patrol to 011305 to lie up and observe Tamagnin and tracks when visibility permits.

1000 C Coy Patrol returns.

1100 Battle Patrol send Patrol of one officer and two other ranks forward to 011305.

1130 The acting Brigade Commander visits Bttn HQ.

1400 C Coy report Battle Patrol returning to right forward platoon. They were observed by the enemy and mortared by light mortar and could not return by usual route. Patrol reports no new tracks on Tamagnin.

2025 Forresters report their Patrol in Bazzano gully and saw 5 enemy in gully at approx 011311. C Coy informed.

2255 Four Bosche appeared at about 200 yards in front of 11 Platoon B Coy. Enemy discovered they had been observed and withdrew at once, no shots were fired. Enemy were not wearing snow camouflage suits.


2 LIR – ITALY.

0600 Heavy fall of snow during night.

0700 Sitrep: Routine standing patrols NTR.

0800 Two sniping patrols out from G Coy to 012294 and Knoll 015289. Time in – 1200 hrs.

1000 Intentions night 13/14: Recce patrol 1 and 2 to stream 013291. Out – first dark, In – 2100 hrs. Recce patrol 1 and 4 to 017288. Out – 0400 hrs, In – first light. All night standing patrols at culvert 016288 and knoll 015290. Contact patrol between forward coys. Own MMGs firing on Casa Sillaro at 2130 hrs.

1800 Sitrep: Two enemy seen on Point 342 at 1315 hrs. Engaged by 3” mortars.



14th January

Brigade HQ – SAN CLEMENTE 9928.

Thawing with snow and sleet freezing during night. Tracks and roads glassy. During early evening, various reports of houses being on fire were received. Calvana 023296 house at Point 166 019303 and Cavicchio 030296 were all reported together with building near Casa Tomba by 11 Brigade. Later investigation by 2 Innisks proved house Point 166 unchanged and only house visible to be burning was Cavicchio. It is thought that other reports referred to this house.

Battle patrol 2 LIR had a successful engagement with party of 9 enemy at culvert 016288. Two enemy were killed and 2 wounded. Two dead were identified as paratroopers from 4 zbv GAF. Wounded escaped. They probably had the task of mining possible diversions at the blown culvert.


1 RIrF – 990284.

14th to 16th – NTR.


2 Innisks – SAN CLEMENTE. 

0600 CO visits C Coy returns at 0750 hrs.

0630 OC B Coy reports. Patrol to area 006301, return and reports track in snow, where men had walked, also marks where they had crawled a short distance.

0900 Sgt Doherty and Battle Patrol return from 011305 reports no tracks or movement at Tamagnin. Pinpointed two dug outs against north wall of east house.

1330 C Coy report 17 light mortar bombs on coy area.

1340 4.2” mortars engage Tamagnin and Point 166.  3” mortars to fire on Point 166 at 1600 hrs.

2100 One flare reported going up between B Coy and 2 LIR coy position at Lucca. 3” mortars engage Point 166 and Fontanelie.

2210 C Coy report two vehicles moving on Ronco-Muiano track.


2 LIR – ITALY.

0730 Sitrep: Standing patrol at 016288 report culvert destroyed and now probably on A/Tk obstacle. Small parties of enemy engaged  and beaten off at intervals during night. Patrol to 017288 cancelled.

0800 G Coy sniper patrol on ridge above Valley Farm.

0845 Enemy mortar and artillery barrage general area road between forward house and G Coy HQ.

1000 Intentions night 14/15: Normal night standing patrols. Patrol from Battle Platoon to culvert area 016288. Out – first dark.

1605 Enemy mortar barrage on ridge above Valley Farm.

1800 Sitrep: Slight enemy shelling and mortaring of bttn area. Otherwise NTR.



15th January

Brigade HQ –SAN CLEMENTE 9928.

Bttn areas were subjected to heavier enemy mortaring than usual and house at Point 156 received particular attention between 2030 and 2359 hrs when over a hundred enemy mortar bombs fell during the house. A machine gun from the vicinity of Casa Nuova kept Point 156 under fire all night. Patrols which did not visit culvert area reported NTR. Heavy fog enshrouded the Sillaro valley all day and movement was further harassed by frost.

Major Stewart appointed CO 2 LIR.

Lt Col J Coldwell Horsfall 1 RIrF returned ex hospital and stayed the night at Brigade HQ.


2 Innisks – SAN CLEMENTE.

0700 B Coy patrol report NTR. C Coy patrol hearing voices on ridge behind Tamagnin.

1145 Battle Patrol leader fires Piat bombs at Tamagnin. Patrol pinpoints enemy dugout and OP at 007301.

1600 C Coy report approx six light mortar bombs in coy area.

2000 Battle Patrol returns from 010302. Nothing to report.

2030 Battle Patrol out to the foot of Black Ridge. Returned 2130 hrs. NTR.

2215 A Coy patrol returns. NTR.


2 LIR – ITALY.

0400 Patrol to culvert area, commanded by Lt Montgomorie, reports back with two enemy dead and one Spandau MG.

0700 Sitrep: 1930 hrs – Culvert patrol report 9 enemy approaching along road. Patrol opened fire at 20 yards, killing 2 and wounding 2. Enemy replied with MG fire. No casualties own troops. Enemy wearing coarse cream coloured camouflage dress. Left forward company report 6 enemy in gully 010295, who withdrew after being engaged by our MMGs. This party not wearing camouflage uniform.

1200 Intentions night 15/16: E Coy all night standing patrol to Point 358. Sniper patrol to 011295. Out – first light, In – 1200 hrs. Normal contact patrols to H Coy. Two Recce patrols (H Coy) to culvert i) Out – 2030 hrs, In – 2200 hrs. ii) Out – 0530 hrs, In – first light. Knoll ambush and contact patrol as normal. Battle Patrol Recce to stream junction 013292. Out – first dark, In – 2200 hrs.

2030 Forward house reported being mortared.

2240 G to E Coy contact patrol report visibility very bad.