16th March

Brigade HQ – SENIO FLOODBANKS.

0425 Enemy heard in Catania di Sotto by 56 Recce, who engaged and saw two men run to the floodbank.

56 Recce successfully engaged targets with SP Battery on Regiment front.

210 mm gun fired on 2 Innisks area towards latter end of the afternoon.

There were two casualties during the day from enemy snipers.

Brigade Commander went to Demonstration of attack by Infantry and Kangaroos in are Vale Torre (4924) north of Forli.

56 Recce again hear rumbling explosions at 359343 underneath their own bank. Many theories have been put forward as to the cause of these explosions. They may be our grenades bursting in the enemy dug outs or the enemy carrying out some sapper operation in the way of tunnelling or a camouflet.


1 RIrF – 353322.

0945 D Coy (Major AJ Wilton) section area 351336 engaged with rifle grenades, one landed in slit trench, two casualties.

1032 D Coy another grenade casualty.

1545 Relieved by 2 LIR and moved to Brigade Reserve area.


2 Innisks – GRANAROLA.

Weather fine and clear.

The morning was uneventful, our 3” mortars registering targets on the floodbank being the only activity.

1550 One man in C Coy was wounded by an enemy sniper.

1745 While B Coy were registering an enemy position at 323333 with their 2” mortars, a near hit caused an enemy sniper to run out and disappear down the bank.

Three 210 mm shells fell in the area 33503325, wounding one man of the 3” mortars.

1900 The CO made his usual tour of the coy positions.

The night was much quieter than usual, the floodbank activity being on a reduced scale and enemy harassing fire both Artillery and Spandau were much less than normal


2 LIR  – ITALY.

0800 Bttn prepares for relief of 1 RIrF.

1000 Relief commences.

2000 Relief of 1 RIrF completed.

Locations:  Bttn HQ – Farm 353323, E Coy (right) – Villa Agrippina 353331, F Coy and one platoon H Coy (Centre) – 345337, G Coy (left) – Villa Bulzacca – 335333, remaining two platoons of H Coy – factory in Granarolo village – 355320. 3” mortars at 348327.

Topographical note – Bttn positions are on t east side of the Senio river. The river is protected on both sides by 25’ high floodbanks. The country is quite flat and well cultivated, grape vines being very prominent and there are numerous farmhouses in the area. The enemy holds some positions on our side of the floodbank for the supplying of which he uses footbridges and rafts across the river. Owing to the predominance of the grape vines, visibility is very restricted.


17th March

Brigade HQ – SENIO FLOODBANKS.

0300 Enemy bazooka-ed Catania di Sotto 360343 from floodbank.

0430 Enemy attacked night platoon of centre coy 2 Innisks with bazookas.

Enemy driven off by DF but he retaliated very quickly with his own DF which caused casualties. At dawn, the coy reported that the existing footbridge at 329334 had been broken.

2 LIR had a quiet night with light grenade duels and Spandau fire along bttn front.

St Patrick’s Day’s greetings were sent to all bttns and units in Brigade Group and many greetings were received.

0800 2 LIR took a deserter from 6 Coy, 289 Regiment. He had been buried by a shell in a dugout on our side of the floodbank for anything up to seven days. His information, therefore, was very much out of date and he was in too weak a condition to talk for long.

0820 Enemy periscope seen at east side of railway embankment at 357339 confirming presence of an enemy outpost on our bank. Explosions in the east floodbank again heard area 359343 in front of the outpost 56 Recce.

1200 Mrs Claire Booth Luce, Congresswoman of Connecticut accompanied by GOC 78 Division visited Brigade HQ. She stayed for about half an hour talking to the Brigade Commander on various subjects and dwelt for some time on Irish politics.

Slight enemy movement and snipers seen along the brigade front and our own mortars and MGs retaliated.

2015 Again, explosions  were heard under floodbank at 359362. No conclusive appreciation can be made.


1 RIrF – 372310.

Recce routes for counter attack role.


2 Innisks – GRANAROLA.

0403 Enemy rockets were launched at the floodbank in front of C and A Coys’ positions and this, coupled with unusual noise and movement on the opposite side of the river caused Artillery DF fire to be called for on that area.

0415 Enemy replied with his own DF using Artillery , mortars and rockets and this fire killed one man and wounded another in A Coy area.

0427 Situation was normal again

0530 The CO paid a visit to C Coy and went to the floodbank to learn the facts of the night’s activity.

0550 C Coy reported that the end of an enemy footbridge could be seen protruding above the enemy’s bank and also that the existing bridge in front of them was broken. The remainder of the night saw only normal floodbank activity of grenade and light mortar duels and one man in A Coy (Sgt Boyd) was wounded by SA.

0630 Observers reported that some of the rockets fired appeared to explode in a great sheet of flame and as two were known not to have exploded, a request for them to be brought in was sent to B Coy.

0700 The rocket arrived at Bttn HQ and was found to be a 32 cm Wurfgerat, the charge head of which was empty and smelled strongly of crude petrol or creosote. A CM representative from Divisional HQ took one away for examination and the other was kept as a n exhibit.

1200 ‘I’ Summary No 8 issued.

1220 Two men were seen fighting at 322372 and B Coy fired on them with 2” mortars, wounding one of them.

1300 A St Patrick’s Day lunch was given at Bttn HQ and attended by all Coy Commanders, plus Major Blake MC and Captain Vincent from B Echelon and Brigadier O’Brien Twohig, who commanded the bttn up to the fall of Rome. After lunch, the Brigade Commander called in to give his greeting accompanied by the BM.

1740 One of B Coy’s snipers recorded another hit on a Bosche.

1745 An enemy sniper wounded one man of C Coy.

1900 A programme broadcast by 8th Army for the Irish Brigade was not heard by many of the bttn owing to lack of sets.

Died on this Day:

Fusilier Eric Severn, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.


2 LIR  – ITALY.

St Patrick’s Day; Owing to the Irish Brigade being in the line, celebrations were postponed until 29 March.

0600 Sitrep: Normal MG and mortar fire on bttn front. Otherwise NTR.

1200 One wounded German brought into RAP from the floodbank area by F Coy. Identification – 6 Coy, II Bttn, 289 Regiment, 98 Division.

1230 Reported by G Coy that one of the bttn 15 cwts, carrying load of ammunition, being sniped at and machine gunned in forward area. Driver slightly wounded. Ammunition did not explode and truck was later towed to safety by a carrier under covering fire from Bttn MGs.

1300 Intentions night 17/18: Recce patrols to position at 342338. Out – 2200 hrs, in – 0400hrs.

1800 Sitrep: 2 enemy seen at 342339, engaged by artillery. One PoW taken at 343339. Snipers seen and engaged by mortars 337339. Movement seen throughout day at 337338 and engaged by mortars.


18th March

Brigade HQ – SENIO FLOODBANKS.

Enemy attempts to cross the river by his footbridges were frustrated.

Enemy working parties on the far bank were engaged successfully during the night.

Major General Sinclair, DMI, War Office, did not visit the Brigade HQ as he had originally intended.

Considerable mortaring of 56 Recce during the morning.

1145 Tank shot up area 337338 in 2 LIR sector very successfully. Six casualties seen evacuated over small footbridge.

1330 Brigade Commander visits HQ 2 LIR.

1530 As a result of this morning’s success, tank shot up enemy outpost again and a section followed up to attempt to mop up the outpost and blow up the footbridge. It was impossible to eliminate the enemy on the far side of our bank but a section position was successfully established up on the floodbank at 337338.

At 1955 hrs, Platoon Commander 2 LIR jumped over the floodbank and caught two enemy coming across the bridge into the outpost. One was wounded and the other taken prisoner.

At 0025 hrs, a small enemy counter attack with grenades was driven off.


2 Innisks – GRANAROLA.

0055 Left platoon of C Coy heard on enemy working party digging on east side of eastern floodbank and MMGs were fired on the area.

0130 This party was still working and this time they were engaged with artillery and 3” mortars. These successfully broke the party up and a patrol sent out from C Coy to investigate reported no continuation of the digging. Unfortunately, one shell from the artillery shoot fell short.

Phosphorous smoke grenades were thrown at the left platoon of C Coy (platoon D Coy under command) but fell on the top of the bank.

0430 Vehicles were heard moving on the far side of the river at approximately 327335.

0515 Normal stand to. Till 0615hrs.

0825 2 LIR on our right informed us of their intentions to clear mines with tanks in area 336377 at 1100 hrs using smoke.

0955 An enemy Red Cross party was seen to collect in casualties from the east side of the river and evacuate them via the footbridge at 327335. ‘I’ summary No 9 issued.

1055 Spitfires attacked a church 292358, which provided observation of the bttn area.

1150 Spitfires made another attack on the church at 292358.

1240 2 LIR gave the information that mine clearing would take place again at 1500 hrs and request A Coy on their left to watch for a sniper that had been troubling them during the morning.

1410 B Coy sniper hit an enemy sniper, who was later seen to be hanging over the side of his trench.

1450 Four shells landed around C Coy HQ. Bearing sent to CBO. No casualties.

1830 C Coy report that the enemy is using rafts at the bridge site 327335.

B Coy warned to “Stand To” till 1930 hrs.

An FSS representative visited Bttn HQ to discuss the problem of civilians who were suspected of being the culprits in the cutting of telephone wires, which had occurred recently.

2125 The enemy threw three egg grenades into A Coy positions, slightly injuring three men. Evacuation not necessary.

2142 B Coy report enemy transport on the road running north west from 320332. This was engaged by artillery.

Died on this Day:

Fusilier Alexander Price, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.


2 LIR  – ITALY.

0600 Sitrep: Tracked vehicles heard 335340. 2330 hrs – MG fire from 355339. Patrols report grenade exchanges and found position at 342 338 unoccupied. Otherwise normal floodbank activity.

1030 Armoured car was sent along track on which ammunition truck was sniped at yesterday. The intention being to draw enemy sniper’s or machine gunner’s fire and this locate his position.

1100 Tank went forward to area of Bund 337338 (supporting floodbank which forms an arc with the main floodbank) to sweep a safe lane for the infantry who could then follow the tank tracks without fear of Schu-mines.

During the operation, an enemy position on the reverse slope of the Bund was shot up and 5 enemy were seen to wave a white flag. Consequent on this, an attack was planned for 1530 hrs. One section of G coy, with the support of two tanks, to capture the five enemy, whilst covering fire is given by PIATs, mortars and artillery to keep down enemy snipers, MMGs and bazookas on the far bank.

1200 Intentions night 18/19: Patrol to 337338 if position not consolidated after capture. 0200 hrs – patrol to 342338. Normal HF during night.

1630 Attack on enemy position at 337338 gained only limited ground. No prisoners taken, but section of G Coy now digging in on reverse slope of the bank with orders to try and capture the enemy position tonight.

1800 Sitrep: MG position spotted 342338 and engaged by 2” mortars at 1200 hrs. Six enemy SBs seen crossing bridge 337338 and re-crossing 5 minutes later. Enemy position at 338338 occupied by 1730 hrs. One casualty  caused by Schu-mine. Another casualty in area 343338 at 1850 hrs.

2030 One PoW brought in by G Coy. Prisoner had been in line only 3 days. Possible identification came as PoW taken on 17 March.

2355 G Coy’s newly won position a 338338 reported being counter attacked.



19th March

Brigade HQ – SENIO FLOODBANKS.

0600 Right coy 2 Innisks destroyed barrels and part of small footbridge ready to be used at 332336 with PIAT bombs.

GOC 78 Division visited all bttns during the morning and stayed to lunch with Brigade Commander.

Enemy now seen during the day engaged successfully and snipers have been active on both sides.

Brigade Commander visits 2 Innisks and 2 LIR during the afternoon.

2100 Tracked vehicle movement heard along brigade front and enemy SP came down road to 358365.

56 Recce put down 3” mortar  DF and caused SP to retire.


2 Innisks – GRANAROLO.

Normal floodbank activity for most of the night. Weather, fine and clear, light cloud.

0550 A Coy destroyed an enemy bridge at 332336 with their PIAT.

0600 C Coy’s right Platoon Commander Lieut GH Murray MC was killed by a burst of Spandau fire from the opposite side of the river. A section commander, who was with him, was also wounded. Arrangements were made for C Coy to have more brushwood for the top of the bank in order to permit better facilities for observing over the bank,

0840 Troop of Bays asked permission to test their 76 mm and MMGs. Permission was given and all concerned warned.

0900 Spent bullets were falling in B Coy’s area and brigade informed us it was thought to be our own guns from further along the river and caused through the river bending. Considerable difficulty was had in controlling civilians, who having come into the bttn area with a road repairing party of REs wandered off to search the houses. Four were taken to the FSS and a warning issued to others.

1145 Divisional Commander called in to see the CO and discussed recent activities with him.

1415 A Corporal of A Coy lost his foot on  a Schu mine, which was in the ditch at the side of the road near the forward platoons.

1425 B Coy sniper scored another kill on an enemy seen at 322332.

1510 Brigade Commander arrived and discussed general activities with the CO.

1900 CO made his routine tour of coys.

2245 B Coy reported the sound of tracked vehicles moving left to right on the other side of the river in front of their positions and this information was passed to CBO in case it should prove to be an SP gun.

2300 C Coy report tanks moving due north in front of their left platoon and stopped about 1,000 yards beyond the river.

Died on this Day:

Lieutenant George Murray, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.


2 LIR  – ITALY.

0025 Enemy attack driven off by grenades and SA fire. One casualty to own troops.

0300 Patrol to 342388 report position not occupied by enemy and no trace of tunnels.

0530 Grenade battle at 338338. Platoon Commander, Lieut Gartside MC slightly wounded.

1100 Divisional Commander, Major General Keith Arbuthnott visited Bttn HQ.

1200 Total bttn casualties from 15 March to date – 1 killed, 1 officer and 12 ORs wounded (2 remained at duty).

1300 Intentions night 19/20: Standing patrol to observe bridge 337338. Out – dusk, in – 2000 hrs. Recce patrol to 343338. Out – 0330 hrs, in – first light. Artillery harassing intermittently areas 339339 and 337339.

1550 Brigade Commander visits Bttn HQ.

1800 Pioneer Platoon have so far lifted a total of 56 Schu-mines in area 327338.

1805 Sitrep: 0900 hrs – 1 enemy seen digging 337338. 56 Schu-mines lifted in area 327338.



20th March

Brigade HQ – SENIO FLOODBANKS.

0300 56 Recce heavily shelled and mortared and a small party of enemy attacked right forward position from direction of Catania di Sotto. Attack was beaten off.

Sniping and grenade duels continued in 2 LIR sector.

0730 Small attack by tanks and section of infantry reached enemy position 323333. Position evacuated by enemy but own troops did not occupy the position.

1400 Colonel Tozer, AFHQ, accompanied by CO, 78 Division Signals and G2 (I), 5 Corps visit Brigade Commander to discuss the use of a Special Duties Section.

Enemy snipers active and enemy movement seen, engaged by own mortars and MMGs.


2 Innisks – GRANAROLO.

The whole night had been much quieter and even the floodbank activity had been on a reduced scale. The line protection patrol had not seen any movement but it is interesting to note that since this patrol was started, there had been no further incidents of cut telephone cables.

Weather fine with light cloud.

0730 One section of B Coy, supported by two tanks, made an attempt to reach the floodbank at 323333. Positions on the right were smoked and those on the left were neutralised by MMG and LMG fire. The advance went well up to the foot of the bank, very little resistance being met. When the officer leading the party started climbing the bank, a Schmeisser opened up from the house at 32233323 at short range, killing the officer, Lieut M Young, and wounding the man immediately behind him. The enemy outpost withdrew and were fired on as they retreated along the river bank

1000 The gunner OP at San Severo saw some extensive digging on the enemy side of the river at 32053304 and registered one gun on the spot.

1045 The enemy put down a concentration of mortar fire at 324332.

1050 The Brigade Commander arrived and discussed with the CO the results and effects of the morning’s attack on the enemy outpost on the river bank.

1445 Coy and platoon representatives from 1 RIrF looked over area in preparation for the bttn relief on the 21st.

1830 Our own section and the tanks returned to their base.

1850 Thirteen enemy were seen moving from left to right along the river bank at 324334.

1915 Digging heard in front of B Coy’s left forward section at 323332 and, shortly after, a Panzerfaust fired at the house but the round fell short. Three men were seen to disappear over the bank when this incident occurred and the platoon immediately fired into the area with PIAT bombs.

More enemy vehicle movement was heard during the night but generally  the night was much quieter than usual, the floodbank activity too, being on a much reduced scale.

Died on this Day:

Lieutenant Maurice Young, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.


2 LIR  – ITALY.

0545 Sitrep: 1830 hrs – Own sniper killed 1 enemy at 338338. Patrol to 337338 attempted to cross bank was engaged with grenades. Patrol to Bund NTR. 2140 hrs – MT heard 354337. Usual floodbank MG and mortar activity.

1213 Six shells fell in Granarolo village 200 yards from Bttn HQ.

1300 Intentions night 20/21: Recce patrol to 342338. Out – 2300 hrs, in – 0300 hrs. Continuation of tunneling through floodbank at 337338. Artillery HFs on 341338 and 339338 intermittently throughout the night. Artillery concentration on 341338 at 1930 hrs. 4.2” mortars areas 345344 and 35342, 1st dark – 2330 hrs and 0500 – 0600 hrs. MMG HFs on 343345, 1st dark – 2330 hrs and 0500 – 0600 hrs and intermittently throughout the night on area 336345.

3” mortars concentrating on area 342340 during the night.

1440 Brigade Commander visits Bttn HQ.

1515 G Coy report that they have successfully blown up enemy footbridge at 337338 by mortar fire.

1800 Sitrep: 2 enemy hit by our sniping at 335338 and 335340.

1000 hrs – twelve 88 mm shells landed in area 335334.

1705 hrs – 4 heavy shells in area 341337.