6th October

Brigade HQ – FIRENZUOLA.

Heavy rain during the early morning

0230 2 LIR reported in position and relief complete.

Locations as follows:

E Coy – 039178.

F Coy – 035180.

G Coy – 028181.

H Coy – 034177.

Bttn HQ – 034177.

0300 Standing patrol of 2 Innisks contact enemy patrol at blown bridge 010184.

Sharp exchange of fire caused enemy to withdraw.

1300 Recce patrols from 2 LIR during afternoon to 034184 engaged enemy at Point 399 – 033187. Another patrol reached the main road at 020194 without incident.

Slight shelling 2 LIR area during the day.

1400 1 RIrF leave Firenzuola in TCVs.

De-buss at St Andrea diversion and march to lying area Pezzolo M 9919. Two companies of 2 Innisks move forward. They are to step up the defence of Monte Capella and come under command of 2 LIR.

1800 1 RIrF move over to take over positions from 111/351 Infantry Regiment.

2030 Relief complete and 1 RIrF in position.

Location as follows:

A Coy – 010203.

B Coy – 007205.

C Coy – 003201.

D Coy – 005185.

Bttn HQ – 006204.

2300 Two coys, 2 Innisks in position.

Locations as follows:

B Coy – 038173.

D Coy – 036172.


1 RIrF – CASTEL DEL RIO.

Bttn move at 1200 hrs by transport and march route to take over position.

Coy as follows: C – 003201; B  – 007205; A – 010203; Tac HQ – 006204.

Quiet night, Slight shelling. D Coy – 005195.


2 Innisks – CASTEL DEL RIO.

1100 The CO goes to 88th Division HQ for a conference with the Brigade Commander.

B and D Coys ordered into reserve on Monte Cappello under command of 2 LIR.

1200 The Second in Command and B and D Coy commanders arrive at Bttn HQ.

B and D Coy commanders go forward to Bttn HQ, 2 LIR. The Second in Command returns to B Echelon to organise the move of B and D Coys.

1215 A Coy report that two enemy have approached the coy position. Bren guns were fired and the enemy retreated.

1700 B and D Coys arrive at Castel del Rio.

2130 B and D Coys leave for Monte Cappello.

2230 Lt Trainer MM returned from patrol and reports Carseggio (013188) clear of the enemy only crossing of river is not possible for mules. (Knee deep in water).


2 LIR – ITALY.

0230 Owing to inexperienced guides (American troops new to the area) Bttn HQ took nine hours to reach their location, by which time the rifle coys were in position.

Locations:

Bttn HQ in farm 032175. E Coy on summit of Monte Cappello (Pts 587 – 035179). F Coy at 029181. H Coy in semi position at 031177. Admin HQ and Mule Point in Castel del Rio. B Echelon at Firenzuola.

1200 Enemy shelling E Coy’s right forward platoon (036178).

1230 Daylight patrol intentions:

E Coy recce patrol to 034184 – time out 1400 hrs, in 1800 hrs. F Coy recce patrol to 033186 – time out 1400 hrs, in 1800 hrs. G Coy recce patrol to 026185 – time out 1430 hrs, in 1630 hrs.

Right intentions: Two coys of 2 Innisks moving up from Castel del Rio to Monte Cappello under command of 2 LIR for night of 6/7 only.

1900 Patrols returned. E Coy reported contact with Italian civilians who said that enemy was in strength in Fontanedice (0521).

No contact with enemy except for mortaring directed by enemy OP in Battaglia area (0617). F Coy reported enemy sniping – 12 rounds. G Coy reported no contact.

2000 Coy mule teams passed through Bttn HQ area en route to coy positions.



7th October

Brigade HQ – FIRENZUOLA.

0600 2 Innisks’ patrols during night report Carseggio 013188 clear of enemy.

Crossing of River Carseggio difficult. River 2 foot deep with strong current.

0700 Bttn spent a quiet night. 2 LIR and 1 RIrF had a little shelling but nothing serious.

0900 Brigade Commander goes to visit 2 LIR positions.

Daylight patrol from 2 Innisks reports Carseggio clear of enemy.

1000 1 RIrF report heavy fairly heavy, yet intermittent shelling. This went on until 1600 hrs.

1300 H Coy, 2 LIR, goes out to Tambarella 032190 to form firm base.

Detached patrols to Rio di Gaggio at 031198 and 027198. Patrols brought back information about crossings and tracks of Rio Gaggio and accomplished their task without incident.

Main body at Tambarella slightly shelled during the afternoon.

H Coy reported back at 1845 hrs. No casualties.

1400 2 LF come under command of 38 (Irish) Infantry Brigade and concentrated near Castel del Rio.

1700 D Coy, 1 RIrF moves forward to attack enemy positions at C Colline 014204 and Point 382 018208. This attack was necessary as the bttn positions were along the Codronco spur but the enemy, believed to be about a company, were occupying the houses at the end of the spur. D Coy put in their attack covered by artillery concentration and supported by their own mortar. They tried three times to take the houses on Point 382 but were held up by fierce fire and also the steep banks were difficult to clamber up as they were so muddy and slippery. D Coy consolidated their positions around the church at 016206 and brought down artillery fire during the night.

2000 HQ 2 LF established 006155. Whole battalion now concentrated around Castel del Rio.

2100 Fighting patrol from 1 RIrF to Rivoldino 021221 was fired on by Americans causing slight casualties to both sides.


1 RIrF – 006204.

Considerable shelling and mortaring on battalion positions. Four light casualties. D Coy put in attack on Point 382. The wireless operator had misfortune to be hit at the outset and was assisted back to A position. Communication was upset. Fearing the set damaged or lost, a patrol was sent from B Coy with another wireless. Communication at last established at D through A Company. D Company established HQ in church had made two attempts on 382 and about to launch a third attack.

2300 CO and IO forward to contact Major Clarke.

2340 Direct wireless communication established.

2350 CO and IO return. D Coy third attack not successful because of difficult muddy approaches and determined defence. Coy firmly established in area of church, line being run out, mule trains being guided to position with ammunition and rations.


2 Innisks – CASTEL DEL RIO.

0900 C Coy patrol leave for Carseggio.

1035 C Coy patrol report Carseggio clear of the enemy. Weather fine.

1400 The CO and IO visit C Coy and inspect bridge at Carseggio.

2100 Patrol (Lt Trainer MM) go forward to La Bicocia. Lt Murray and patrol of A Coy go to Point 286.


2 LIR – ITALY.

0500 Sitrep night 6/7 – NTR.

0800 Day’s Intentions: H Coy patrol under Major Craig to proceed as far as Tambarella 032191. If no contact made with enemy to push forward and test enemy defences along the River Gaggio 0219 and 0319. Time out – 1300 hrs, E Coy to send out patrol in case enemy snipers (reported by F Coy on previous night) interfere with H Coy patrol.

1200 Brigade Commander visits Bttn HQ to confer with CO.

1530 Allied plans strafing and bombing enemy positions well forward on bttn area.

1700 Rights Intentions: Local standing patrols as thought necessary by coy commanders.



8th October

Brigade HQ.

0600 Patrols from 2 Innisks during the night found Pt 170 018143 clear of the enemy.

D Coy, 1 RIrF in position consolidating their gains of last night.

2 LIR standing patrols NTR.

0900 Divisional Commander holds a conference at Brigade HQ. The following were present: Brigade Commanders 11 and 38 Brigades; CRA Lt-Col Baker, CO 17 Field Regiment; and Brigade Commander, 1 Guards Brigade was present for a short while.

Discussion on future operations.

1200 Two platoons 2 LIR formed firm base at Fornione 0319. Detached patrols to Fatore 034198 and C Mazza 047188 made no contact but brought back information of topographical value. Patrol base at Fornione heavily mortared.

On return, patrol collected 2 deserters at 033183 from 5 Coy 755 Regiment.

1700 Brigade HQ moves to M 055158.

2000 D Coy, 1 RIrF attack Pt 382 again. They found the enemy had withdrawn from their positions but captured 2 prisoners from 2 Coy 756 Regiment, who were out forward acting as listening patrols and who were left behind by the enemy.

D Coy consolidated their objective on Pt 382 M 018208.


1 RIrF – 060204.

0130 Line of Communications established to D.

0245 Lost mules returned from D.

0550 A Coy patrol to Macerato 022204 – encountered no enemy.

1400 Line to D Coy out. Considerable shelling on bttn area.

Throughout the day, an artillery plan laid on by the CO and Major Ian Lawrie.

Applied “suppressive treatment” to 382, ranging one gun at a time, one round every five minutes, each round a direct hot, 3” and 4.2” mortars employed on likely targets.

1750 Rum issue authorised. A Coy reports SP gun firing on them from D Coy area. D Coy substantiates.

1900 Line to D ok again. Laying duplicate and sending out spare wireless.

2000 Artillery and Vickers open. Two lines to D but no phone connection. Line party out. Wireless messages being relayed by A.

2003 3” mortar concentration.

2020 (Relayed by A) minor casualties.

2032 A still in contact. NTR.

2038 2 SBs to report to D Coy.

2121 Line established to D again. Eight casualties – 1 fatal (L/Cpl Cairns).

2322 No contact except with D Coy base.

2400 On objective, No opposition except mortar and shelling. Two prisoners.

Died on this Day:

Fusilier Alfred Hall, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Lance Corporal John Cairns, Royal Irish Fusiliers.


2 Innisks – CASTEL DEL RIO.

0030 A Coy patrol reports Point 286 clear of the enemy.

0100 C Coy patrol report La Biocia clear of enemy. Weather wet.

1000 The CO and IO pays a visit to coys.

1100 One troop tanks arrive under command.

2200 C Coy patrol to La Vecchia and report clear of enemy.


2 LIR – ITALY.

0500 H Coy patrol of previous day report no contact with enemy this side of Rio di Gaggio. Four Italian civilians brought back confirm this.

0900 Two more Italian civilians arrive at Bttn HQ and give information that enemy is in position along the north bank of Rio di Gaggio – with MGs in cemetery and three mortars at Casa Abruzzi (Pt 327 – 039023).

1500 Italian civilians arrive at Bttn HQ with information that two German soldiers (apparently deserters) are in their farm near F Coy area. Patrol sent out to bring them in.

1630 Two German prisoners brought into Bttn HQ. Identification – 5 Coy, 755 Regiment, 365 Infantry Division. Apparently 5,6 and 7 Coys are manning Rio di Gaggio defences.

1700 Sitrep – Patrol been established at Fornione 039192 – heavy shelling there but no casualties. Patrols working from there to 044192 and 034197.



9th October

Brigade HQ.

0600 Patrol from 2 Innisks during the night to the blown bridge at 026201 heard enemy movement on far side of river.

0900 38 (Irish) Infantry Brigade reverts to command 78 Division.

1000 Patrol from 2 LIR to recce route from 032180 to C Mazza 046183. They established a base detailing a patrol to 051201. Patrol was mortared at 040197. 1 man killed and 4 wounded. All identifications removed from dead man.

1600 Patrol from 2 LIR, 2 Officers and a platoon went out to investigate crossing at 049193 and the track up to Pt 328 052197.

Patrol established a base at La Torre. Enemy patrol engaged in C Mazza area. Two casualties to own patrol. Patrol found crossing at 048192 covered by MG and mortar DF.

1800 Slight shelling of 1 RIrF area during the day.

1900 Vickers MGs of the 1 RIrF on harassing fire tasks from 006204 on to road junction 040209.

A Coy 2 Innisks occupied Pt 286 017185 with one platoon detailed by night into Carseggio.


1 RIrF – 060204.

0030 CO forward to D Coy position.

0145 CO returned with 2 prisoners.

0200 C Coy patrol reached area 014208 and were engaged by fire from American line party. Casualties – Private J Kovalchock (US) killed. Fusilier Hall killed. All casualties brought in.

0427 D Coy line out.

0430 A Coy line out.

0525 Lines repaired.

0725 D Coy subjected to mortar fire.

1500 4.2” mortar stonk 029210 – 3” mortar stonk 026212.

1720 C Coy warned to prepared to occupy Point 429.

1750 C Coy stand down.

2225 D Coy patrol to Raboldino engaged enemy.

2300 D Coy casualties – 3 wounded. Report 2 enemy killed.


2 Innisks – CASTEL DEL RIO.

0900 Brigade Commander gives verbal orders for A Coy to go forward if 4.2 Mortars move forward.

1200 LIR report one killed and four wounded on patrol to Caggio (found by D Coy) by enemy mortars.

The Commanding Officer and Adjutant visit C Coy.

2100 Usual patrols to Caggio. D Coy move to A Coy’s area and revert to own command.

Died on this Day:

Fusilier Spencer Jones, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.


2 LIR – ITALY.

0500 Intentions: Patrol of 2 and 30 to proceed to Casa Mazza 047168, establish base there, then send patrols to Villa Montelora (Pt 442 – 057201). Time out – 1600 hrs. Time in 0600 hrs on 10 October.

1300 Patrol of 2 Innisks passed through Bttn HQ on way back to own positions. Report – 1 OR killed and 4 wounded by mortaring.

1530 IO and Intelligence L/Sgt accompany patrol to Casa Mazza. Object – to recce patrols and harbouring areas.



10th October

Brigade HQ

0600 Move of 2 Innisks coy to Carseggio completed without incident. Slight mortaring during night.

2 LIR quiet during night.

Patrol from 1 RIrF during night encountered enemy at 020211. Our own casualties were three wounded.

1000 Lt Col Mackenzie 2 LF and Lt Col Chavasse 56 Recce with Brigade Commander. They are both going into position tonight – 2 LF to close gap between 1 RIrF and the Americans further north and 56 Recce are to relieve 1 RIrF in present positions tonight.

1400 Corps Commander and BGS arrive at Brigade HQ. Brigade Commander arrives back in time from his visit to 2 LIR. Divisional Commander and Commander, 11 Brigade, are also present. Future policy discussed.

Brigadier BK Arbuthnott assumes assumes temporary command of 78 Division.

Patrol from 2 LIR contacted left position 3 WG successfully. Information brought back was of topological value.

3” mortars from 2 LIR went into forward positions to bombard the line of the ridge behind the Gaggio river.

1500 Lt Col Caron CO 12 CAR visits Brigade Commander. They discuss possible future developments and Lt Col Caron goes on recce of forward positions.

1700 2 LF and 56 Recce commence to go up to their positions.

2330 Relief of 1 RIrF by 56 Recce complete.


1 RIrF – 006204.

Six more fresh German graves located in area 382.

2145 Handover to 56 Recce complete. B Coy patrol encountered enemy area Ribaldino, suffered 2 casualties. Bttn concentrated in area Castel del Rio.


2 Innisks – CASTEL DEL RIO.

1400 Capt Cole and Lt Scarratt leave for 2 LIR to accompany patrol going to Cardenga for 24 hours.

2100 Lt Corrigan and A Coy patrol river Gaggio. Nothing to report.


2 LIR – ITALY.

0430 Patrol to Casa Maria returned to Bttn HQ. Reached line of Gaggio but crossings were under MG and mortar fire. Own casualties – 2 ORs wounded (GSW). No enemy identifications.

0900 Days Intentions:

Patrol Apple. I officer, 1 Sgt and 5 ORs. Object – to contact left forward coy Grenadier Guards at Mezzola and to recce mule tracks to that point to facilitate movement of 1 RIrF to position behind the Grenadiers.

Patrol Orange. 1 Platoon to Brown House to cover 3” mortars firing from forward area. Time out for both patrols – 0900 hrs. Time in -1300 hrs.

2000 Patrol Apple returned. Difficult country, unmarked tracks and mule tracks deep in mud prevented fast movement. Unable to contact Grenadiers Tac HQ owing to its exposed positions. Contact made with Reserve Coy, Welsh Guards, then Welsh Guards HQ and, finally, the left forward coy of Grenadiers, which was in reserve. The mule tracks were thoroughly recce-d in the dark on the return journey.