Brigade HQ – TORINO.
0620 Bttns Sitrep nothing to report.
0730 2 LIR reported location 371019.
0820 Zero hour for attack on Fossacesia postponed. 44 Royal Tanks held up by four enemy SP guns.
0900 RE requested to help tanks forward.
0905 1 RIrF holding Ridge Li Colli (3702) HQ 383724.
0930 Six ME 109s attacked River Sangro crossings and dropped bombs on own transport causing casualties and damage. One plane shot down by LAA. One own aircraft forced down. Pilot safe.
0940 3 enemy SP guns reported knocked out 363013 by 50 Royal Tanks.
0950 Tanks closing in on start line. 2 LIR in position and moving up. Zero hour 1015hrs.
Casualties 29 November: 6 Innisks killed 1 and 8, wounded 1 and 29, missing nil and 1. 2 LIR killed nil wounded nil and 7 missing nil. 1 RIrF killed 1 and 18, wounded 1 and 24, missing nil and 2.
Tank casualties 29 November mined 6-8, bogged 7-8, enemy action nil.
1015 Own artillery barrage on Fossacesia commenced.
1048 Enemy tanks reported on left flank. 50 Royal Tanks dealing with them.
1055 Tanks reported going getting difficult but still going on. Destroyed enemy half track.
1140 2 LIR reported on outskirts of Fossacesia. 6 Innisks ready to move off. 8 A & SH ordered to extend to positions vacated by 6 Innisks on Ridge Li Colli.
1158 1 RIrF warned to move up to line of road Fossacesia and to be ready for phase 4.
1250 6 Innisks ordered to send Bttn representative to bend in road and to go up with tanks and give them a hand. When this is cleared up, continue with original plan.
1300 2 LIR forward coy in Fossacesia.
1315 Right coy 2 LIR reported everything tidied up.
Zero next phase 1430hrs.
1335 1 RIrF reported well up behind 2 LIR.
Own tanks reported having cut road Fossacesia – Rocca San Giovanni at 390052. Three 88 mms reported knocked out 383047 and 362055.
Enemy counter attack on Mozzagrogna broken up and dispersed.
6 Innisks ordered to send one platoon to join tanks for special mopping up operation and probably to escort PoWs.
1430 8 A & SH reported enemy counter attack on San Maria mainly infantry, attacking from direction Lanciano. 8 A & SH have tanks to hand to use if necessary. 2 LIR HQ 3904 Fossacesia.
Zero hour 1 RIrF attack from Fossacesia to sea.
1545 1 RIrF reached monastery 413058.
1610 1 RIrF reached 405058, 413062 and Fossacesia Station 4105.
1630 1 RIrF established 3904 and coys to east.
1700 HQ 6 Innisks 378029
8 A & SH reported all now quiet except for some sniping and mortar fire.
6 Innisks report 17 PoWs identified 9 Coy 145 Panzer Grenadier Regiment and 361 Panzer Grenadier Regiment.
6 Innisks require A Tks immediately to 396047.
1725 Situation on Brigade front at last light see Sitrep.
1800 Casualties on 30 November: 6 Innisks 19, 2 LIR 1 and 2, 1 RIrF 8, 1 Kens 4.
2000 2 LIR ordered to move A and B Echelons to school 448982. 36 Brigade moving into 2 LIR A and B Echelon positions.
2025 8 A & SH being relieved in San Maria by 17 Indian Brigade 1 December. 8 A & SH revert to command 36 Brigade 12 noon 1 December.
At approx. 0915 hrs, 2 LIR attacked up the ridge to include Fossacesia 3904 and the CO received final orders.
0900 The Battalion formed up – in order A, D, Command Group, B, C Coys – Several salvos landed in the area from a 6-barelled Nebelwerfer, A Battalion runner spotted the flash of this weapon and Major Anderson, 26 Battery 17 Field Regiment was able to neutralize its fire.
1100 The Battalion moved up to the western outskirts of Fossacesia, which 2 LIR had captured with little opposition.
1400 A & D Coys moved off in support of 2 squadrons 46 RTR.
1445 At Z + 45 (1445 hrs), D Coy had captured the Battalion objective – Monastery 412058 – and were “mopping-up” the headland. A Coy, in more thickly wooded country, made slower progress, but were soon on their objective Bluff 418055. A & D Coys (Captain DFB Jewell and Major JS Clarke) then consolidated and took stock of their booty, which included 12 MGs, a Commander’s car, one 81mm mortar and large stocks of Tellermines. 100 PW’s 145 GR were taken in this action. B Coy (Major J McNally MC) moved up in reserve into a position on the high ground immediately north of the Monastery 407078. A Coy were pulled in astride the road 408056. C Coy (Major RLG Wood) remained in Fossacesia. Casualties for the day’s action – 2 ORs wounded.
During the night 30 Nov/1 Dec, A Echelon moved up to Battalion with great coats and rations.
6 Innisks – R. LI COLLI.
Coys improved their positions and spend a fairly quiet morning with only spasmodic shelling and mortaring.
1030 Eight enemy planes (FW 190s) bombed and strafed the Sangro valley. As a result of this attack, 3 jeeps, one 15 cwt and the water truck were put out of action. Casualties to personnel were five ORs injured.
1030 CO went to Brigade HQ, returning at 1105hrs and a warning order was issued for a move at 1200hrs.
1200 Bttn moved north east along the ridge to area 3802, where C Coy pushed on north west to the San Maria to Fossacesia road at 377031 with tank support.
1430 Six other planes (FW 190s) bombed and strafed the road to Fossacesia. During this attack, Major Bunch and passengers of a 15 cwt truck in which he was travelling left the truck to take cover and walked itnto a minefield, where an S mine killed Major Bunch and two fusiliers and injured one other.
1500 Bttn moved off to join C Coy and were established astride the road with Bttn HQ at 378029.
C Coy pushed on further, cleaning farms and mopping up, and adding a further 15 PoWs to our collection. This time, 12/361 PGR being identified among the 145 Regiment personnel.
1700 CO went to Brigade HQ and on his return, orders were issued for continuing the advance the next day.
1730 Local patrols were out to pts 377046 and 383048 but failed to find any organised enemy parties, although each patrol brought back one prisoner.
8 A & SH take up position in San Maria, 6 Innisks on their right.
0330 Bn move to fwd concentration area at San Maria.
0600 Bn HQ est San Maria. Coys in posn along ridge to right of the village.
0610 IO and Int Sec move off to fwd edge of San Maria to contact tanks and G Coy.
0630 REs of Indian Div report to IO that road is clear of mines. Report from 78 Div says that 2 NZ Div have reached 3 miles south of Lanciano A/320030.
0830 Bn move fwd along ridge Colli supported by Arty box barrages. G Coy fwd left with tanks, F Coy left of road, H Coy right of road, Bn HQ move behind H Coy, E Coy in reserve behind Bn HQ.
0845 Sharp enemy Arty barrage on ridge near San Maria and on lower slopes 376020. (Enemy DF gives impression that he expects attack to come from front of ridge below Fossacesia and not along the ridge from San Maria). Enemy using 6 barrelled mortar (not very effective).
0900 Coys proceeding steadily with little opposition. Tanks on right of road bogged in muddy ground.
0900 C Ob Command group behind H Coy with Battle Patrol mop up Germans remaining in houses etc, passed by Coys. 3 enemy SP suns abandoned on road and one 88mm.
1000 Coys in Fossacesia. About 60 PWs taken so far. Enemy PWs say they were taken completely by surprise. Thought we must have gone from Rocca H/3805.
1130 Bn HQ established in town. Coys in defensive posn in and around the town.
1130 1 RIrF pass through Bn in their attack towards the coast. Heavy Arty barrage supporting 1 RIrF.
1200 Enemy located in trenches just below Bn HQ. Several of them rounded up. About 150 PW taken by the Bge so far this morning.
1730 G Coy ordered fwd to take Rocca – San Giovanni H/3805.
1830 G Coy report first bridge on road Fossacesia – Rocca intact.
1900 Situation on 5 Corps front. The enemy’s Sangro line has been destroyed after 3 days heavy fighting. The 65 Inf Div and particularly 145 Gren Regiment, which was responsible for the sector from Redicoppe 3399 to the sea, has sustained very heavy losses, including some 800 PWs, of which nearly 500 belonged to 145 Gren Regiment, The complete disintegration of this Regt as a result of the capture of Fossacesia – the Colli ridge 3702. San Maria – Mozzagrogna and Romagnoli has compelled the enemy to provide reserves from elements of 90th Gren Dvi (originally 90 Light Inf Div) and also apparently from 26 Pz Div. A series of unsuccessful counter attacks were launched supported by tanks of 26 Pz Div.
The PWs from 361 PGR state that they arrived in the area of San Vito 3-4 days ago from Venice and were committed almost at once. They were intended to counter attack on the Fossacesia – San Maria front. Identification of PW captured by 2 LIR today – 5 & 12 Coys 361 Pz Greb Regt, 2 Coy 56 Arty Regt (90 Lt Div) and 145 Gren Regt I & II Bns.