War Diaries – 6th May 1943

Brigade HQ.

Quiet night and patrols had nothing to report.

Big attack began at 0300. Barrage and subsequent concentration lasted until 0600. 400 guns involved. 78 Division formed firm base for attack by 4 British and 4 Indian Divisions. Armour taking part was 7 Armoured Division, 6 Armoured Division and US Armoured Division.

0600 Sitrep to 78 Division “Local protective patrols only. Nothing to report.”

0830 102 Field Regiment reported small party of men at pt 133 moving east towards Farm 728335 engaged and dispersed.

0900 Message from the Prime Minister was forwarded to Bttns.

Amendments to minefield trace was forwarded to all concerned.

1000 TCVs arrived in Brigade area. Trace of routes forward was issued.

1800 Intelligence Summary was issued describing the progress of the attack.

2000 Orders were issued to Bttns to be especially alert at stand to, 7 May, and not to stand down until further notice.

78 Division Operation Memorandum No 2was received.

1930 Division ordered Brigade to find out if tanks (8 at 7027, 9 at 7335) reported could have been there.

2130 56 Recce Regiment reported tanks could not have been at 7027 but possibly at 7335.

2215 Orders were sent to 56 Recce Regiment  to man their OPs as usual 7 May and feel forward to Wadi fronting Brigade position at first light to see if enemy have withdrawn or intend to counter attack.

2220 Orders received from Division that NIH were to have a squadron at one hours notice. Orders were transmitted by DR to NIH.

2220 Orders received from Division that TCVs in Brigade area must join 6 Innisks by 0500hrs. This was carried out without incident.

2355 Division Operation Memorandum No 2 was received. The intention was expressed to maintain contact.

Quiet night – no contact.

1 RIrF.

Bttn positions still the same. Large scale attack on Tunis commenced . 6th Armoured and 7 Armoured Divisions reached La Mornaghia. Bttn prepared to move forward when required and also prepared for a possible counter attack.


0700-0900 Much transport seen moving up Tunis road, as start of drive for Tunis.

1000 A Coy takes over from A & SH on Hill 151 (6836).

1800 Dismounted brens of the Carrier Platoon are protecting the A/Tk guns. Formed as a platoon under Lieut Pollard (i/c A/Tk platoon). They are called the Polforce.

There is no water available for washing. The men walk down to the gully previously occupied.

Visibility has been obscured all day by clouds of dust over the plains, caused by vehicles.

Rumours of the fall of Bizerte, Djedeida and Zaghouan are unconfirmed but cheering.

2 LIR.

0300 Armoured divisions start to pass through area in a continuous stream. The plain is covered in a dust cloud and the visibility is impossible. 36 and 11 Brigade took objectives with slight casualties at 1700 hours 5/5/43.

Enemy is reported to have concentrated large force of A/Tk and 88mm guns in area Djebel Frendj and Furna. 1 Division take Bou feature suffering casualties.

1130 Intercepted message – 24 guns captured intact, area unknown. Several barges and boats escorted by destroyers cruising in Lake of Bizerta. American fighters went to investigate and were intercepted by ME 100s over 8206 3 MEs shot down – observation difficult because of combat. Liner outside Tunis bombed by RAF. This ship contained men captured on 12 April who were later repatriated.

1200 6th and 7th Armoured Division have reached Furna. Situation obscure. Believed to be by-passing the village.

1850 Forward elements of Armoured Divisions reached Massicault. 6 Armoured Division on left and 7th Armoured Division on right. 4 Infantry Division and 4 Indian Division move up behind Armoured Divisions.

Rifleman Frederick Herbert, London Irish Rifles.

Rifleman Charles Smart, London Irish Rifles.