Brigade HQ – BOU ARADA.
Trace of minefields in 38 Brigade area as on 12 March issued.
Vehicle exchange with 1 Guards Brigade took place.
Enemy attacked Minefield Farm. Platoon 6 Innisks beat it off inflicting casualties and taking a PW.
1 RIrF – REST AREA.
0200 Patrol Fanfare sent out.
0915 Part of Patrol Fanfare returned (one Officer, 3 ORs, SD).The cache described in the incident described in the Appendix had been discovered. It was a pile of beehive baskets covered in straw. Two of these baskets contained a German greatcoat each and the straw concealed containing civilian vests, shirts and trousers. The Arabs dwelling in the hut nearby denied all knowledge of them, but two were arrested, one of whom had been seen, on the arrival at Farm 618112 of Patrol Fanfare, waving his arms as though to someone in area pt 251 622127. Under interrogation, they still denied any relationships with the enemy, though admitted some knowledge of their movements. A search, however, revealed on one some bank notes of the “Banque de France”, (which currency not being issued by the civil authorities in N Africa, nor issued by the Allied Forces, can only have been issued by the Axis) and a chit written in Arabic but on German stationery. After a preliminary interrogation, these Arabs were sent under escort to the civil authority for disposal.
1010 The remainder of Patrol Fanfare returned. They had nothing to add but that a search of Farm 618112 revealed four Tellermines and a German respirator definitively not there 10 March 43, and some money and papers. They had also searched the Wadi from 615115 to 619115, but found no trace of the enemy.
0930 Bttn R Group left and after reporting at HQ 38 (Irish) Infantry Brigade proceeded to recce Argous El Hanech 7199 and the Koumat El Toutla 6599 as it was intended that 1 RIrF should relieve 10 RB on these positions night 14/15 Feb. This plan was consequently so no details need to be entered into here.
1700 Battalion R Group returned.
1930 OPs reported much suspicious native movement at day area 600134 and at 1800 hrs a large body of natives entered buildings at the base of the hill 593097. Consequently, the Platoon at Sidi Krelif 5907 stood to 100% for the night while B Coy and Bttn HQ stood to 50%.
Dusk Patrol Trumpet set out.
6 Innisks – IN THE FIELD.
2108 D Coy reported a very large explosion and glow from the direction of Mehallah, and it was believed that one of our shells had hit an ammunition dump.
2220 MG fire was heard from Minefield Farm (656055), held by a section of D Coy. Later, a report came from there of a visit of an enemy patrol. Upon sighting the enemy, 7/8 strong, to the east of the farm, Sgt McAleer had the defences manned and the enemy were allowed to come close in. It was hoped that they would be caught in some of the many trip wires about the farm, but four of them entered the yard at the NE corner, whilst the ramasorder carried on along the road, beside the farm walls. As there was a possibility of these men getting into the gully to the west of the farm, where some of D Coy was in position, the section in the farm opened fire. There was brisk engagement for several minutes, until the enemy withdrew. One of them was left in the yard, wounded in the arm. As the corn in the field, east of the farm was fairly long, the enemy soon disappeared from view, and artillery fire was brought down upon them. Before first light, D Coy sent out a patrol to recce the area the area, but no traces of the enemy were found. The prisoner proved to be from a new unit, No 9 Coy of A33 (renamed Panzer Grenadier), which had only been in the positions around Mehallah for 3 days; the impression was gathered from the interrogation of the PW, that this unit was alert and keen, and their morale good. He believed there were 8 artillery guns in support.
During the day, Lt Wood and Capt Ablett left on an MMG and an A/Tk course respectively.
2215 Another patrol to W Hill and Plough Top still found no signs of the enemy. 4 men visited Carrier Farm, lay up to the SE of it, but did not hear or see anything of the enemy.
PM Spasmodic shelling of battalion area. Captain RG Cockburn, Lieutenant I P Yates and Lieutenant J H Barker join battalion.