War Diaries – 11th to 15th October 1944

11th October

Brigade HQ

0600 2 LF now in position.

2 LF and 56 Recce revert to command 11 Brigade. 1 RIrF now in concentration area 0016. Bttn HQ established at 007166.

D Coy 2 Innisks revert to command own battalion. Now in position at 014178.

1000 Brigade Commander accompanied by Commander 1 Guards Brigade goes to OP at Valmaggiore.

1600 Brigade Commander returns with A/Tk Commander.

2030 2 LIR patrols return. Observed movement and enemy positions along the Gaggio ridge. Sniper fired on enemy seen mounting MG in Gaggio church. He also shot three enemy on way to river, thought to be going to draw water.


CO and IO with Brigadier on recce to Valmaggiore and Mt Carnarale. Recce mule route, mule point and jeep track.

2 Innisks – CASTEL DEL RIO.

1200 Castel Del Rio heavily shelled by the enemy. Several direct hits on 88th Division HQ. O Group to Brown House 1400 hrs.

2100 Lt Bradfield and patrol of D Coy recce house on river Gaggio. House reported occupied.

2330 Capt Cole and Lt Scarratt return from patrol. Two casualties returning.


0200 Patrol John set out. Strength 1 officer and 6 ORs. Time in 0500 hrs. Route out and in – C Gusto (041184) to Ropidaro (046181). Object – recce of tracks and to find if Ropidaro occupied by enemy.

0400 Patrol Peter set out. Strength – 1 officer and 10 ORs and 3 signallers. Time in – 1900 hrs. Route and in – Pt 506 (036185) – Pt 408 (037188) – Pt 419 (042188) – C Cardengo (043191). Object – to observe Gaggio Ridge by day and report by line or W/T.

0930 1 mortar bomb landed in vicinity of Bttn HQ.

1000 Allied heavy and fighter bombers bombed and strafed enemy positions well forward of bttn area (Bologna area).

1930 Patrol Peter returned. Reported enemy positions in haystack at 036199 and two dug outs at 036201 and 036199. Movement observed Monte Loro (056201) and La Siepe (050198). A sniper, Rifleman Cummings, sent out on a roving commission, shot 3 Germans in approximate area 031199 and reported 9 enemy in area buildings Pt 190 (028204). Also observed someone building up a window in a building in Gaggio cemetery and thought he saw an MG being put in position there. He fired a shot at the window, which put a stop to all further movement.

12th October

Brigade HQ

0600 Ambush patrol from Tambarella during the night encountered no enemy; otherwise battalion had a quiet night.

Bailey Bridge across maintenance jeep track to 2 LIR now complete.

0930 CO A & SH arrives with three of his officers. They are to be under command 38 Brigade for further operations. They will be taking up positions in the Carseggio sector and went on a recce there at 1100hrs.

1215 Enemy tank seen 070196 engaged by medium artillery.

1400 CO 8 A & SH goes on another recce.

This HQ received a gradual inflow of visitors during the afternoon amounting to forty by tea time. CRA and A/Q visit Brigade Commander.

1700 A/Q holds a conference at this HQ.

1800 Brigade Commander discusses the situation.

The resume that follows is an appreciation of the enemy situation to date and a précis of the information contained in Intelligence Summaries issued to date:

“334 Division had gradually increased its boundaries so that its area of responsibility is now astride the Castel del Rio – Imola road from Point 362 M 020250 to M Taverna 0719.

On our own front, the responsibility of the line from the main road at Gaggio 030199 – along the line of the Rio Gaggio to Tuggia 0619 falls to II/755 Regiment. The Tuggia area is held by an OST Bttn, its strength roughly about 200 Russians. The line then continues to M Fortino, held by a bttn of 577 Regiment, at present under command of 715 Division.

Company localities of II/755 are presumed approximately as follows: One in the Gaggio – La Palazzina area, one in the Casa Collina area 0420, one stretched from La Siepe 048198 to Calcinera 056193, this company paying particular attention to the crossings across the Rio Gaggio at 048195 and the remainder of the battalion in reserve in the San Margherita area. HQ II/755 is reported to be in San Margherita. In addition to these localities, there is also an “Aldam Platoon” from this battalion in position on the reverse slopes of the Possegio ridge 057180.

Strengths are unknown as there have been no deserters from this battalion and it is presumed, they are well up to strength. They are alert against our patrols and during daylight keep well out of sight.”


O Groups to Carnavale. CO and IO and corporal to Guards HQ behind Battaglia.

2 Innisks – CASTEL DEL RIO.

0900 CO on recce with Brigade Commander.

1200 300 aircraft bomb the Lombardy Plain. Weather fine.

1500 O Group on recce to 11 Brigade HQ.

1510 Castel del Rio shelled.

2100 Lt Prior and D Coy patrol go to Rio del Gaggio. Nothing to report.

A Coy report one German approached coy position. MMG fired and German ran way. Weather fine.


0600 Sitrep – Quiet night. NTR.

0800 One platoon of F Coy on recce patrol on Brown House (036185). One platoon of H Coy took over their position for duration of patrol.

1100 Allied heavy bombers attacked enemy positions well forward.

1300 Night’s intentions:

E Coy patrol. Strength – 12. Route – C Guasto (043183) – La Torre (045186) – C Mazza (047188). Object – to cross R Fornione at 051187 to investigate track at 057188. If no enemy contacted, to investigate house 057189.

E Coy patrol. Strength – 15.  Time out – 0400 hrs. Time in – 1800 hrs. Objective – Cardengo (043191) to lie up, observe and snipe during daylight.

F Coy patrol. Strength – 15. Objective – Tambarella (032191) to lie up, observe and snipe during daylight.

1930 Sitrep – Forward recces carried out by supporting arms. Tank observed at Orsara – area shelled by medium artillery. No results observed. Otherwise NTR.

13th October

Brigade HQ.

0600 2 LIR patrol during the night to the Rio Fornione had NTR. Patrols left at first light to lie up all day and report.

2 Innisks report blown bridge of Rio Gaggio at 026201 still with one span blown.

0700 2 LIR report one Polish deserter entered their lines. Identification 2 Coy 755 Regiment.

Quiet day. No shelling.

2000 Patrol from 2 LIR that lay up all day near Fornione returns. Movement at 048203 and 057207. By shelling C Poggia 039193 at 1230 hrs.

2100 Lying up patrol from 2 LIR returned from Tambarella reports NMS but heavy shelling of Tambarella. Other patrol to Gardengo sent recce patrol to Point 301 041199, which returned NTR. Brigade Commander ordered patrol to return again to Casa Collina 043203 to see if it is occupied. Patrol reached 044197 and heard movement and talking on the far bank so did not cross river. Crossing possible for infantry at this point.


I Section moved with S Coy to mule point.

2 Innisks – CASTEL DEL RIO.

0900 CO and IO to Brigade HQ for conference.

1600 Brigade Commander phones with orders for patrol to Gaggio and move forward as information received says enemy are pulling out.

1700 Brigade phone to say information about enemy withdrawing is false.

1900 Patrol to La Vechia and one to Gaggio bridge.

2100 A Coy report German prisoner surrendered to their patrol.


0600 Sitrep – Patrols could not cross R Fornione 051187 owing to bad country, broken nature of ground and darkness. Patrols to line up day 13 – in position at first light.

0800 One deserter from 2 Coy 755 Regiment, 334 Division surrendered to E Coy.

1000 Intentions: Patrol to base Tambarella 0319 and detached patrol to recce crossing from 043196 to 034197 and investigate Point 328 (043198) and Point 301 (041200). Time out – 1700 hrs. In – 0100 hrs 14 October.

1700 H Coy patrol. 19 strong to search forward areas C Mazza for enemy.

14th October

Brigade HQ

Patrol from 2 Innisks to Gaggio bridge reports NTR but brought back one German deserter from 4 Coy 956 Regiment. He was of little use as he had been away from his unit for over seven days.

1400 Brigade Commander goes to 11 Brigade to visit Corps Commander and take him up to the OP at Valmaggiore

1430 B Coy 2 Innisks reverts to command own battalion from 2 LIR. Now concentrated at M 009173.

1500 1 RIrF move up to concentration area M 040157.

1600 Enemy M/C and ambulance 043211. Shelled by mediums.

1630 Spitfire crashed into 2 Innisks lines. Pilot safe.

2205 Recce patrol 8 A & SH reports crossings for infantry and tanks at 023203 and for infantry at 023207.

SP gun firing from Pt 181 026207.

2250 Ambush patrol from 2 LIR trying to get to Casa Collina was held up this side of the Rio Gaggio by MG fire. No casualties to own patrol which returned. MG fire thought to come from Point 219 040197.


Bttn concentrated valley Val Maggiore-Carnavale. I Section patrol recce route forward through Guards’ position 058166 to Possegio ridge for men and mules to start line.

2 Innisks – CASTEL DEL RIO.

1000 CO pays a visit to coys. Quiet day with nothing to report.

1800 B Coy send usual patrol to La Vechia. Adjutant to brigade for orders.


0730 Sitrep – Patrol to 044197 heard movement and talking on far bank 100 yards away. Report crossing at this point possible for infantry. Quiet night – no shelling. Patrol which went out at 0400 hrs on 13th and laid up during day reports one enemy at cross tracks 048203. Otherwise NTR.

1300 Intentions night 14/15 October: Patrol to base Tambarella 0319, thence recce patrol to Collina 0430. Time out: 1730 hrs. In: on completion of task.

1500 CO and IO left Bttn HQ to confer with Brigade Commander on further developments following on 11 Brigade’s present attack on the left flank.

1900 Kensingtons’ MMG attached to bttn shoot up Gaggio ridge for short period.

15th October

Brigade HQ.

Standing patrol from 2 Innisks confirm SP gun firing from Point 181. No shelling of forward areas during the night.

1000 Brigade Commander visits 1 RIrF in forward concentration area and also 2 LIR.

1100 78 Division future intentions. A resume. With effect from this morning, 8 A & SH revert to command of 36 Brigade. The division is to extend its boundaries thus bringing 36 Brigade into the line and have four brigades committed into a holding role, the fourth being 1 Guards Brigade currently under command of 78 Division.

When the division first came into this sector, it was with the purpose of

  1. Releasing the American divisions for a more concentrated effort and
  2. Opening the Imola road.

In accordance with plan b), the brigade planned an operation to open the road, which was entirely dependent, due to the nature of the ground, on 11 Brigade clearing the immediate hills on the left of the main road and 1 British Division conforming on the right. When the time was ripe, which was estimated to be on the night of 15/16, 1 RIrF would attack Pt 621 0718 and 2 Innisks, supported by 8 A & SH, would swarm down from the Gaggio ridge from the west, having formed up in the area Monte Codranco 0120 and attacked across the main road from the flank.

Phase two would then have been the capture of M Taverna 0720 and Pt 442 0520.

It is difficult to explain the ground, but it can only appreciated that such an attack, with all its concentration of power and weight of numbers had to be perfectly timed but, as it has said before, was entirely dependent on preliminary operations.

It was decided eventually by the high command not to open the Imola road owing to the tricky operation it would have involved. The greatest concentration of effort would be further to the left in the American sector down the main Bologna road. Another factor influencing this decision and delaying the brigade’s offensive was the situation on the left.

According to plan, 11 Brigade started their operation of clearing the preliminary hills, clearing the preliminary hills immediately commanding the Gaggio ridge but failed to take the key height called Monte La Pieve 029241. Two battalion attacks, one last night and one the night before, failed to dislodge the Hun, who fought stubbornly and well.

So the division settles down to hold the line until they are relieved of the responsibility of the right of the road by 6 Armoured Division.

2359 Patrol by Gardengo and then on to Rio Gaggio saw no movement on the day.


Bttn rest in position.

2 Innisks – CASTEL DEL RIO.

1100 CO holds O Group for attack on Gaggio ridge. Another quiet day. Usual patrol to Vechia by D Coy.


0700 Sitrep: Patrol to Collina held up this side of Rio di Gaggio by MG fire from Point 219 (040197). Patrol returned without crossing river. Quiet night – no shelling.

1000 RC service at Bttn HQ.

1400 Intentions night 15/16: Patrol, 20 strong, to base Gardengo (0419), thence recce patrol to river 049192. Time out – 1700 hrs, in at midnight.

1500 Brigade Commander and liaison visit Bttn HQ.

CE Service at Bttn HQ.

1800 One mortar bomb landed 50 yards from Bttn HQ.