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Irish Brigade

The story of the 38th (Irish) Brigade in the Second World War

Faugh a Ballagh        Nec Aspera Terrent         Quis Separabit


War Diaries – 26th to 30th June 1944

26th June

Brigade HQ.

A quiet night. Still no news of Lt Col Dunnill and it must be presumed he has fallen into enemy hands.

1300 2 LIR ordered to send two coys to San Biagio 3891 and Badia 3890. 6 Innisks ordered to concentrate coys around Bttn HQ in area 428898. This order was subsequently cancelled and 6 Innisks ordered to concentration area 4587.

1500 Two coys, 2 LIR commenced occupation of these two villages. No opposition met, but a certain number of mines. One coy established in San Biagio and one coy in Badia by 1900 hrs.

2 LIR to hold this ridge until relieved by 2 LF tonight. Coys can then withdraw back to concentration area 4786 south of Panicale.

2015 2 LIR told to withdraw whole bttn less the coy at 390902. This was afterwards not required by 11 Brigade and so, after relief by 2 LF on Badia–San Biagio ridge, whole battalion withdrew to concentration area 4786.

2300 6 Innisks report complete in new area.


1 RIrF.

Bttn is to hold present sector until relieved by a British Division, who are to conform on our left flank.


6 Innisks – PUCCIARELLI.

Weather warm but cloudy.

The day was uneventful and as coys were still in the same positions that they had occupied in the last attack, it was decided to concentrate the bttn more; for it was no longer operational.

1400 Recces were made for suitable areas.

1500 A Echelon moved from Macchie to the area of Bttn HQ.

1500 Two suspected Italians were sent to 88 FSS for vetting.

1800 Bttn was informed that they were to concentrate and rest in the area 4786.

1830 Recce parties, consisting of IO and Battle Patrol, went to the new area leaving guides at all track junctions on the cross country route as they went.

The plan was for two coys to march and two to be carried in unit transport. Eventually, it was found that all coys could be carried by making a second journey for the last coy.

2130 All coys were established and the dispositions were as follows: Bttn HQ–474858, A Coy–476858, B Coy–479861, C Coy–488862, D Coy–487864.

The remainder of the night was quiet.


2 LIR – IN THE FIELD (ITALY).

1200 Six enemy air bursts over Sanfatucchio.

1330 Brigadier and Brigade LO visit main Bttn HQ.

Intention: to move forward to areas 3890 and 3889 to dominate lateral road to Badia.

1345 CO and Squadron Leader, B Squadron 11 CAR move forward with Tac HQ to supervise move forward of the two coys.

1500 Brigade IO and two War Correspondents arrive at Bttn HQ to cover bttn’s part in previous four days’ fighting.

1800 11 Brigade Commander and CO, 2 LFs visit Bttn HQ to obtain lie of land for tomorrow’s operations.

G Coy patrols report village of Badia 380907 unoccupied.

Bttn ordered to be ready to move back out of the line in approximately 4-5 hrs.

2330 Coy relieved from forward positions and arrived at em-busing point at Sanfatucchio.



27th June

Brigade HQ.

0030 2 LIR report complete in new area. Bttn HQ 463862.

2000 Brigade HQ moves to 488817. Main and Rear established.


1 RIrF.

1000 Situation as for yesterday. Left flank still exposed as 4 Division units are having difficulty in getting their transport on to the roads.

1400 Bttn rep to recce a concentration area in the castle area at 475880.

We are to be relieved at last for a rest.

1715 C and D Companies are to be relieved as they are now in reserve. 36 Brigade having pushed through on the right flank.


6 Innisks – MR 4785.

Weather fine, but cloudy.

1000 Mobile bath unit arrived in the bttn area – allocations were made and, by 1100 hrs, the first company was bathing.

1400 Divisional Dance Band played to the bttn and gave a very good performance.

1500 Two news reporters visited the bttn to hear stories of the last action.

In the evening, the Divisional Dance Band played again to the bttn until dark when the Mobile Film Unit showed, ‘Hit Parade of 1943’.

Some wine had been obtained from local sources for distribution during the evening entertainments.

Bivouacs had been issued and everyone was able to settle down to a comfortable night’s sleep.


2 LIR – IN THE FIELD (ITALY).

0130 Bttn left Sanfatucchio in TCVs.

0230 Bttn arrive in area 4688.

1200 CO addressed bttn on its fine performance during the battle for Sanfatucchio and said that, although in reserve to 36 Brigade who were still in the line, there was a possibility of the bttn being out of the line for quite a time.

1300 Preparations began to hand over all G 1098 stores and all vehicles to relieving bttn,



28th June

Brigade HQ.

1815 Two coys of 1 RIrF required as backstop for 56 Recce, should the enemy attempt to break though. Brigade Commander orders two forward coys to remain where they are, adopting local protection until called for by 56 Recce.


1 RIrF.

0530 Heavy shelling of Ranciano during Stand To.

A Coy – 3 ORs wounded.

1950 A and B Coys became involved in a counter attack role on 4th Division were heavily counter attacked during their advance.


6 Innisks – MR 4785.

Weather – Rain most of the day but cleared in the evening.

CE Padre from HQ RE joined the bttn on mutual change over between units.

1600 Brigadier visited the bttn and discussed the possibilities of the bttn going forward again before being relieved.

In the evening, the Mobile Film Unit gave another showing, this time the film showing was ‘You’ve Got Me Covered.’

Reinforcements came to join the bttn.


2 LIR – IN THE FIELD (ITALY).

1400 CO’s conference on future movements.

2000 CO gives a dinner for all officers of 11 CAR.



29th June

Brigade HQ.

Slight shelling of 1 RIrF during the night, causing a few casualties. 1 RIrF ordered to move out tonight and concentrate in the area of the castle at 475882. This was completed without incident during the morning and the whole bttn was established by 1300 hrs in the new area. Except for one mortar platoon D Support Group under command 56 Recce, whole Brigade Group now concentrated out of the line. It was also fairly conclusive, according to PoWs and civilians, that Lt Col Dunnill, Commander of 1 RIrF, his Battery Commander and IO, were all taken prisoner in a tank in the Badia area. No CO has yet been appointed to take his place and the Adjutant has taken over temporary command.


1 RIrF.

1000 A and B Coys were relieved and will concentrate with remainder of bttn.


6 Innisks – MR 4785.

Weather fine.

Uneventful day for the bttn. Coys carried out checks in readiness for the handing over of G 1098 stores.

Brigadier visited Bttn HQ.

2000 D Coy held a Sets’ Mess party to which all Sets in the bttn were invited.

During the night, there was aircraft activity – bombing and machine gunning, but no damage was done in the bttn area


2 LIR – IN THE FIELD (ITALY).

0900 Training – Bttn Cadre Courses

1030 Enemy reported to have withdrawn in Castiglione sector.

1130 CO visits coy areas.

1900 Brigadier visits Bttn HQ.



30th June

Brigade HQ.

Quiet day.


1 RIrF.

Bttn concentrated.

Admin.


6 Innisks – MR 4785.

Weather – fine and warm.

Another quiet day for the bttn during which some arrangements were able to be made for the move early on 2nd July. During the night, enemy aircraft were again active, but no attention was given to the bttn area.


2 LIR – IN THE FIELD (ITALY).

0900 Bttn Training Cadres.

1900 Intercoy football matches.



 

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