Brigade HQ – PETACCIATO.
0700 2 LIR reported own troops and tanks on pt40 (6282). Enemy shelling bridge all night.
0745 5 Buffs informed 36 Brigade on first objective, and their neighbours on their objective.
0845 36 Brigade informed 6 Innisks 622818 mined and booby trapped.
0920 Divisional Commander received information of possible counter attack.
0922 5 Buffs reported few casualties, Advance continues.
1020 5 Buffs asked for assistance from 46 RTR as enemy tanks very near and in area 609840.Vineyard Hill in our hands.
1035 Tac HQ reported 8 A&SH confirmed enemy tanks A/Tk position 580844. Enemy mortar fire from Colle Olivetta 6082. One Mark IV knocked out. Tank battle brewing. Mines reported 622818.
1050 5 Buffs reported position critical. Heavy enemy mortar fire.
1100 8-12 enemy aircraft attacked area road junction 6677. 6 Innisks A Echelon hit – 4 killed, 9 wounded. 3 vehicles destroyed. 1 RIrF 1 killed and 3 wounded. 2 carriers and 2 15 cwt trucks 1 ammunition truck on fire. Road cratered.
1500 12 Kittyhawks bombed area 5686.
1525 Enemy aircraft attacked road junction 6677. 2 trucks hit.
1715 Situation Brigade front. See Sitrep.
2000 1 RIrF moving to area 6381.
2100 Escaped British PoW from San Salvo gave information on enemy plight when our barrage went down night 2/3 Nov. Enemy MT fled leaving occupants in the town. Considerable demoralisation of enemy caused by bombardment. 2 LIR reported 2 PoW identified 16 Panzer Pi Bttn surrendered this afternoon. Forwarded to Divisional cage.
A summary of 6 Innisks part in the battle of San Salvo 3 Nov 43 is attached as appendix.
0515 Stand to.
1150 Bombing attack on Battalion area by FW 190s Casualties 1 killed 6 wounded.
1530 Bombing attack. No casualties.
2015 O Group Orders for move to San Salvo area to relieve BUFFS by first light on the 4th. Captain L Franklyn-Vaile rejoined Battalion.
6 Innisks – MASSA FANALE.
0001 Hot tea served to all ranks. Bttn came under command 36 Brigade.
0115 Bttn moved off from area 6479.
0245 Bttn concentrated in assembly area west of River Trigno (6380).
0400 Leading coys (Right C, Left A) left front edge of wood, followed by Bttn HQ and reserve coys (Right B, Left D).
0430 Leading coys crossed start line with left on bridge over Molino 631812. S Mines were encountered in area of bridge, which caused a number of casualties.
0530 Leading troops on first objective, ring contour 40 (6282), followed ten minutes later by two troops B Squadron 46 RTR.
Remaining coys followed but D Coy on the left was delayed by a further minefield, causing more casualties. Reorganisation was necessary as coys were considerably intermingled.
0715 B Coy right, and D Coy left, started advance to second objective (San Salvo).
0730 A Coy started advance to second objective, but its remaining officer was killed shortly afterwards.
First objective was shelled, and occasional bursts of small arms fire came from both flanks. Forward coys were fired on by enemy tanks, east of San Salvo, which were concealed in farm buildings and olive groves. This fire was extremely accurate and pinned down the forward rifle coys, who found themselves in flat and open country. Our own tanks were unable to locate the enemy tanks from the positions they often occupied.
0930 Part of D Coy, however, managed to move round the right flank under cover, and entered San Salvo. Enemy tanks and infantry were still in occupation of the town, but were in the process of pulling out,
1030 C Coy with one troop of tanks in support, was ordered to move well round to the right and get into the town from the north east. They also came under fire from the enemy tanks.
1130 Four enemy tanks moved northwards along a track to the east of the town and two of these were put out of action by the troop of tanks supporting C Coy. This eased the situation, as some half hour later the remaining tanks withdrew from the south half of the town.
1300 C Coy then moved forward into the town, followed by B Coy and Bttn HQ and by 1400hrs, the Bttn was established in a defensive lay out , although the enemy were still firing into the town from the west.
1430 A Coy reached the town.
1600 An enemy counter attack developed round the north flank of San Salvo, tanks being used. Although none of them actually entered the town, they were on the outskirts and fired shells and MGs into the buildings.
While this counter attack was still proceeding, the Bttn A/Tk Gun, mortars, MGs and the RAP moved into the town from the south east and were in position by 1730hrs.
Casualties for the day were:
Officers – 2 killed, 3 wounded (and 3 rifle company commanders).
ORs – 15 killed, 45 wounded.
1730 “Stand to” followed by 50% “Stand to” all night.
About 150 personnel of 5 Buffs entered the town, thickening up defences.
2300 German preparation for counter attack was detected and artillery made it an “uncle” target effectively breaking it up.
2305 2 DFs brought down north of San Salvo.
Enemy MG fire continued spasmodically until 0300hrs.
A Echelon was bombed at midday; One 15 cwt and two carriers destroyed and two 15 cwts damaged.
Casualties – 4 killed, 9 wounded.
0200 Diversionary barrage by 36 and 38 Brigade’s support groups commenced. Enemy counter battery work in protest.
0400 Zero hour for attack
1000 Enemy withdrawing from San Salvo. RAF bombing retreating troops. Cupello bombed for the third time within an hour. Our tanks and two battalions of infantry by-passed San Salvo and are north of the town.
Lieutenant F Lyness relinquished appointment of intelligence officer and Lieutenant JD White appointed.
1050 6 Innisks and 5 Buffs on objectives and the position is as follows: 5 Buffs area 605835 – 606843 with some of our tanks on their left. 6 Innisks area 601828 – 609829 with one Company cleaning up San Salvo.
1100 Andrew (609840) taken by 5 Buffs. This Battalion was being heavily mortared and the enemy were counter attacking with tanks. Our own tanks are going to their assistance. So far 1 Mark IV Tank and 2 anti-tank guns are known to have been knocked out, and many enemy anti-tank guns are known to have been located at 580844 and their mortars SW of San Salvo area 6082, and it seems as if a tank battle is imminent. 1 E S and 36 Brigade transport and tanks are all across the river, the diversion still being OK.
1130 Approx 15 FW 190s bomb gun areas 6778 – 6779
1400 San Salvo station occupied by 11 Brigade.
1530 Six FW 190s bomb same area as before.
1930 Commanding Officer and Intelligence Officer to Brigade HQ.