38 (Irish) Brigade – October 1943

1st October – ANDRIA. 

1835 38 Brigade OO No 27 issued. 

2nd October –ANDRIA.

0700 Brigade Group parties left Brigade HQ for new Brigade area.

1415 Brigade Support Group column left Andria (O9293) for new area via Barletta (J9004), Cerignola (O5897), Foggia (J2919).

1815 Brigade Group Motor Transport (MT) column harboured for night off rd Foggia – San Severo at J1839. Total mileage for day 68.

3rd October – EN ROUTE/SAN SEVERO.

0820 Brigade Group MT column left area south of San Severo (J18l39).

1000 Brigade HQ established J1245. Instruction for marching personnel issued.

5th October – EN ROUTE/TERMOLI.

0700 Brigade HQ transport column ordered to move. Owing to heavy rainfall, transport heavily bogged and unable to start before 1000hrs. Diversions on road San Severo – Serracapriola reported damaged by rain and caused further delay.

0945 Brigade marching personnel embarked at Barletta (J9004) for Termoli ((J8378). For details of move see Brigade OO No 27 attached

1830 Brigade HQ transport column arrived in concentration area south of Campomarina ((J8573).

1945 Brigade marching personnel arrived in Termoli (J8378). Town under heavy shell fire.

2000 Brigade Commander and IO visit SS Brigade HQ at Termoli. Situation reported to be in hand but critical.

2200 Conference with Divisional Commander at 36 Brigade HQ. Plan made for 38 Brigade to support CLY  tanks in attack at 0800hrs 6 October.

2300 Brigade HQ established Termoli (J8378) near 11 Brigade HQ.

6th October – TERMOLI.

0100 COs reported and Bttns mostly ashore. Plan to form perimeter defence of Termoli to ward off possible enemy attack at first light and then to continue to front line for plan already made by Divisional Commander.

0200 Brigade transport column left concentration area Campomarina (J8573).

0300 Bttns in position. 1 RIrF and 6 Innisks covering approaches from Pescara road.  2 LIR making inner perimeter.

0545 Brigade transport column arrived Termoli.

0600 Enemy recommenced shelling town.

0830 Brigade Tac HQ established  H823770. Enemy shelling increased in volume and accuracy. Much MG fire. Enemy’s accurate shelling later attributed to the fact that in the church tower of Termoli two enemy spotters were located.

0915 Divisional Commander visited Tac HQ.

Enemy active on Brigade front. Advanced on tanks along Pescara road at first light this morning. Now held and shelling town. Own tanks making progress but slow.

1000 Bttn commanders reported at Tac HQ. Bttns to go to start line and advance on planned axis Pescara road – 1 RIrF right, 6 Innisks right with objective high ground to approximately grid line 81 at 1130hrs and to dig in.

2 LF came under command 36 Brigade.

1030 Main Brigade HQ left Termoli and opened at H823770.

2035 38 Brigade patrol intentions and responsibilities issued.

2030 38 Brigade informed by Division that in event of the enemy withdrawing during night 6/7 October, units would endeavour to establish contact at first light. Bttns informed.

7th October – TERMOLI.

0630 12 CTR reported all tanks in position. Otherwise nothing to report.

Bomb line for 7 October, 2 miles west of River Simarca (7978) south to 750822.

6 Innisks reported all troops and support arms in position, otherwise nothing to report.

1000 36 Brigade reported enemy to be withdrawing west.

1105 Division altered bomb line to 7082 – rd to 6565 – 7149. Brigade positions as per trace.

1630 2 LIR reported enemy shelling road 800765 – 805767 1530hrs.

1 RIrF  reported intermittent enemy shelling area road 794 – 788755 – 784737.

1635 6 Innisks reported enemy shelling San Giacomo (H7870) from direction of Guglionesi (H7668). Shells fell in village and in valley in front of village.

1800 6 Innisks located enemy guns at 760695 and 760689 and requested M target.

6 Innisks contacted 5 Buffs in area 798716. Patrol contact small number of enemy in area 789716. Patrol opened fire and later, a car was found abandoned at 785721.

2 LIR reported that patrol saw two suspicious looking men in civilian clothing near buildings at 790785. When hailed, the men refused to stop and the patrol opened fire killing both. Both men were found to have German documents and were identified as I 64 Panzer Group Regiment.

1830 6 Innisks reported noise as of engines warming up (7 tanks) in valley west of Guglionesi at 1800hrs.

2100 1 RIrF patrols to 7750, 7677 and 7775. Nothing to report.

2330 Situation on Brigade front and future intention see Sitrep.

8th October- TERMOLI.

0500 1 RIrF  reported by 788770 intact and no mines. South of bridge impassable to tanks and probably also for infantry.

0510 2 LIR reported quiet night and nothing to report.

0518 6 Innisks reported quiet night.

0720 6 Innisks reported information from Italian civilians estimated 300 enemy with tanks in Montenero ((7082)

1200 Bombline today Montenero (7082) – Montecilfone (7066) – Casacalenda (7048).

1250 38 Brigade requested aircraft target Montenero station (H7081). Target accepted 1515hrs. 2 LIR reported Sinarca bridge not blown but culvert 100 yards north west blow. Desultory enemy shelling of Bttn areas all day. 2 LIR locations: HQ 820782, E Coy 808782, F Coy 818782, G Coy 804708, H Coy 810785. Support Coy under Brigade arrangements.

1500 6 Innisks reported all quiet. Bttn HQ (Main and Tac) closed at …and opened same time at 823780 in Termoli. The house occupied was formerly HQ of Kampfgruppe Rau.

1600 2 LIR reported desultory shelling of Bttn areas. Patrols to farm 7878 – 7978 reported all clear of enemy. Recce made of T Sinarca.

2020 Brigade Group artillery shelled vehicle concentration area Station Di Montenero (H7081) with good results.

2300 1 RIrF report all quiet. 12 CTR reverted to be under command 1 Canadian Infantry Division. Summary of patrol report 8/9 October issued. Bttns informed that area Brickworks and Termoli Railway Station would not be occupied after 12 CTR vacated these areas without authority from Brigade HQ.

9th October – TERMOLI.

0545 Patrol 2 LIR reported to have reached 751799 without contact. A patrol to Petacciato (H7179) was fired upon from area 7280. Enemy gun positions observed at 710810 and 7079. Enemy MT and tank activity was heard from beyond T Tecchio.

0630 6 Innisks reported some enemy activity on left flank and enemy shelling in area. no damage or casualties reported . Recce patrols to pt 149 (7372), but made no contact.

0830 1 RIrF patrol to 760742 made no contact.

0915 Details of Brigade patrols on night of 8/9 October see Appendix.

1300 Informed by 36 Brigade that 56 Recce Regiment (A Squadron) on recce from 773705 – 743709 – 757717 from 0700 – 1730hrs on 10th October.

1530 Enemy shelling reported in area 784764. Estimated position of guns 715793.

1635 6 Innisks patrols to 7073 reported enemy guns in area 704679 and 722679. No enemy seen.

1800 Situation on Brigade front see Sitrep.

1945 1 RIrF reported recce patrol to Petacciato (H7179). Estimated enemy strength in town and on forward slopes said to be approximately one battalion. Patrol observed on 88 gun firing from 725790. Enemy AA was seen north of Petacciato.

2250 Sitrep reference patrols attached as Appendix. 

10th October – TERMOLI.

0630 6 Innisks reported all quiet. 1 RIrF reported early shellfire area 0300-0500hrs, otherwise to report.

1024 AASC clarified position as to bombings. Brigade to submit always through Tentacle. Division will only supplement bomb lines if it is thought that the Brigades are not in a position to know the limits of forward troops on their own front.

1635 2 LIR reported many enemy patrols at 786771 1530hrs and 762765 1625hrs. Spasmodic enemy shelling throughout the day.

1 RIrF reported all quiet. Enemy gun located 743768.

1720 6 Innisks reported two enemy aircraft over Bttn area, otherwise nothing to report.

1845 Orders for transport check Termoli – San Giacomo issued.

2030 6 Innisks reported change over completed with interference.

2055 1 RIrF reported 5 casualties through enemy shelling, otherwise nothing to report. Civilian reports indicate OP at pt286 (6875) composed of four semi tracked vehicles.

2110 1 RIrF reported change over completed.

Letter on attachment of 8 Indian Division personnel to 38 Brigade issued. Situation brigade front see sitrep.

11th October – TERMOLI.

0645 6 Innisks reported coy change over completed.

0700 2 LIR reported enemy shelling of G Coy area. (800767) 0330hrs, otherwise no activity.

0800 6 Innisks and 1 RIrF reported all quiet.

1400 It was decided in view of the anti-British feeling apparent in Termoli and reports of Germans remaining in the town in civilian clothes to carry out a careful investigation of all men of military age and to search all houses. Interpreters were provided under Divisional arrangements and 1 RIrF provided personnel for search parties and the cordon around the town. The sweep disclosed a very large number of ex-military personnel in the town and these were dispatched to San Severo. Public feeling was not apparently embittered by the investigations and the Termolese expressed great satisfaction at our business like and justified action.

Lieut TC Osborn (Cheshire) attached to Brigade HQ.

A 2 LIR patrol of Lieut Seymour and 15 men ambushed the farm house at 761781 where, it had been reported, the farmer was a well known Fascist and had been regularly meeting enemy patrols there. Unfortunately, no enemy arrived but the patrol  arrested the farmer and he was brought in and handed to divisional FSS.

6 Innisks’ patrols to 73760 on the western bank of the T Simarca and pt 88 (7722) found no suitable crossing of the river and encountered no enemy.

12th October – TERMOLI.

0245 6 Innisks’ patrol reported enemy standing patrol at farm 760730 and another one suspected at pt 68 (7472).

0700 Bttns reported quiet night and no enemy activity.

1700 Bttns’ quiet day. 2 LIR established standing patrol at bridge 788771.

2200 Situation of Brigade front and patrol results see Sitrep.

Summary of enemy movement on Brigade front 9-12 October issued 

13th October.

0500 Situation on Brigade front see Sitrep.

0600 2 LIR reported quiet night. Patrol shot up enemy vehicle on road at 753784 and although they failed to stop it, caused considerable damage to the vehicle and wounded at least one enemy inside.

0700 Sitrep.

0730 6 Innisks reported tank cross T Simarca probably at 750739.

1000 Brigade patrol results see Sitrep.

1930 Brigade bombline now 68 easting.

14th October.

0800 Bttns reported quiet night. Situation on Brigade front and results on patrols see Sitrep.

1700 Bttns reported quiet day.

1725 Situation on Brigade front see Sitrep.

Summary of enemy movement on Brigade front issued.

15th October.

0800 Bttns reported quiet night.

1700 Situation on Brigade front and results of patrols see Sitrep.

16th October.

0800 Bttns reported quiet night.

1000 Situation on Brigade front see Sitrep.

1125 Brigade informed by Division following troops under command wef 0900 18th October:

One battery 17 Field Regiment, one battery 64 A/Tk Regiment, one squadron 46 RTR, 56 Recce less two squadrons.

1200 Patrol 2 LIR captured 3 PoWs area 748784. Identified I Bttn 64 Panzer Grenadier Regiment.

1220 RA78 Division informed 17 Field Regiment and 64 A/Tk Regiment that 13 Battery 17 Field Regiment and 254 Battery 64 A/Tk Regiment troops u/c 38 Brigade 0900 18th October.

1900 2 LIR reported large numbers of civilians coming through Bttn lines from Petacciato. Civilians were sent to Brigade HQ for interrogation and not allowed to return through lines. RE section clearing and sweeping road of mines from Termoli – Petacciato.

17th October.

0800 Patrol 6 Innisks to area Cemetery (709782) found no signs of enemy but heard enemy MT movement and saw enemy patrol on way but no contact.

Situation on Brigade front see Sitrep.

1100 2 LIR reported enemy deserter from 16 Panzer Recce Bttn gave himself up at 1015.

1630 2 LIR reported enemy shelling in area 757787.

1745 2 LIR informed that Brigade Commander orders that 22 W/T sets be man packed and move with forward troops. 38 Brigade OO No 25 issued.

38 Brigade Intelligence Summary issued in conjunction with OO No 28.

Amendment No 1to 38 Brigade OO No 28 issued.

Captain RM Cunningham, Staff Captain, admitted to ADS 152 Field Ambulance and evacuated to 3 CCS. A/Major J Norman, 6 Innisks, appointed A/Staff Captain vice Captain RM Cunningham.

18th October.

0500 Bttns reported quiet night.

1500 Brigade HQ closed present location and reopened same time at farm 807777.

1555 132 Field Regiment reported enemy registering DF tasks at 723785 and 745800.

1600 132 Field Regiment OO No 4 received.

1610 132 Field Regiment reported enemy registering 715809.

1635 Brigade informed maximum air support for 19 October.

1800 Brigade informed Divisional FSO to expect approximately 100 Italian villages report coming from San Giacomo as a result of 6 Innisks sweep of the village.

1825 6 Innisks reported movement observed in Cemetery area 1130hrs.

19th October.

0130 2 LIR reported started. Own artillery opened fire.

0200 Fire reported in town, probably an ammunition dump.

0230 Artillery ceased fire.

0245 RE mine lifting parties progressing favourably.

0330 2 LIR HQ established Scrubby Farm (740784). Out of touch with forward coys but apparently no opposition.

0405 RE mine lifting party working on road fork at 724789.

0450 Delay in progress due to mines.

0457 C Squadron 46 RTR held 300 yards up left fork from 724789 by RE mine lifting party.

0458  M target (15 roads intense) on Montenero station (704816).

0520 2 LIR reported forward coys held up, exact location unknown, situation confused.

0525 Situation 0500hrs, see Sitrep.

0620 C Squadron 46 RTR and one coy infantry approaching Convent.

0625 254 S/Tk Battery reported that 2 LIR not in Old Town by first light and that tanks were held by mines. Enemy reported still active on town.

0640 Old Town and high ground reported in our hands. One coy west of Old Town. 14 PoWs reported captured.

0645 RE reported now in Old Town.

0720 Nine PoWs identified I Bttn 64 Panzer Grenadier Regiment being sent back.

0845 One coy 2 LIR and C Squadron 46 RTR moving attack to New Town.

One small bridge reported blown, not known which one.

0850 6 Innisks reported patrol to area 6976  killed one enemy (later identified 9 Coy 79 Panzer Grenadier Regiment).

0930 2 LIR reported capture of New Town.

0940 HQ 2 LIR established 714792.

0945 1 RIrF patrol to area Station (7081) reported being near when M target 0458 hrs went down. Saw only two enemy who they shot at but with no apparent result.

1010 254 A/Tk Battery moving into position Petacciato.

1055 2 LIR reported bridges blown at 716799, 699816, 695805, 691802, 660765.

1400 6 Innisks carried out investigation of all non residents San Giacomo with FSS personnel. Forty Italian soldiers and twenty civilians to be evacuated tomorrow.

1515 56 Recce Regiment reported pt241 (7077) cleared.

1640 56 Recce Regiment reported at Colle di Breccia (6976) clear.

1715 Result of 2 LIR attack on Petacciato last night. See Sitrep.

1730 56 Recce Regiment reported farthest point reached approximately pt263 (6973) to be clear. Civilian information report enemy still in Montenero (H6572).

1805 38 Brigade immediate programme issued.

1900 TP established road junction 8076 first light tomorrow. Only vehicles 38 Brigade Group , Lt-Cols and above of 78 Division to be allowed forward.

Enemy losses in attack on Petacciato: 5 killed (at least), 17 PoWs (4 wounded), 2 x 75mm guns, 2 MG 42, 4 x 81mm mortars, 2 M/C combinations, 2 schmeissers, M/pistols, 4 MG 42s destroyed. Own losses: one officer and three ORs wounded, one carrier, one Sherman  tank lost track.

20th October.

0500 6 Innisks reported quiet night. 2 LIR reported slight shelling.

0920 6 Innisks patrol to area 6876 made no contact but found no crashed American aircraft at 685760. Pilot could not be found. 2 LIR patrol to area 6679 made no contact, no enemy seen.

1000 56 Recce Regiment reported being on Colle Di Breccia and preparing for second task (Montenero). Local report that all enemy evacuated Montenero last night. Civilians evacuating Montenero to our lines.

1055 56 Recce Regiment reported pt195 (6874) issued.

1120 56 Recce Regiment OP reported having seen two enemy in Montenero.

1125 56 Recce Regiment reported pt190 (6872) clear. Large enemy vehicles including tanks seen in Montenero. Enemy shelling 696762 at 1230hrs.

1315 56 Recce Regiment reported contact with their patrol 1215hrs at 672722.

Enemy withdrew. Two demolitions observed going up south of Montenero.

1700 Situation on Brigade front see Sitrep.

1935 Orders for move of 6 Innisks issued.

21st October.

0330 6 Innisks moved from area San Giacomo to area Colle di Breccia.

Bttn HQ located at 695766.

0530 6 Innisks RV area cemetery (H7178).

0730 2 LIR patrol to pt123 (H7479) contacted enemy post. Patrol exchanged fire without loss, believed one enemy car casualty.

1000 56 Recce Regiment report pt195 clear.

1130 56 Recce reported party of 12 Germans seen digging south of Montenero and seen carrying timber to diggings.

1220 56 Recce Regiment reported two enemy guns 652757 now being fired on by own artillery.

1300 56 Recce Regiment reported enemy still in Montenero strength estimated 60. Digging party dispersed.

1500 Brigade HQ closed at present location and reopened same time at Road House Farm (752783).

1800 Situation on Brigade front see Sitrep.

2215 6 Innisks reported enemy shelling area pt263 (6976). 1945-2015hrs.

22nd October – 752783.

0120 6 Innisks reported enemy patrol estimated strength 17 infiltrated between A and B Coys and captured MMG crew. In the subsequent melee, two of MG crew escaped. One man missing. Enemy left one dead and one MG 42. Identification: 5 Coy, 79 Panzer Grenadier Regiment.

RE reported Trigno bridge not prepared for demolition.

1000 Major AW Gibbon, A & SH, attached to Brigade HQ as acting Brigade Major vice Major FFK Ball DCLI to B Echelon.

1330 2 LIR report spasmodic shelling area 6976, one casualty.

1800 Brigade Tac HQ established H711789.

1 RIrF supported by 2 LIR ordered to take Trigno bridge before demolition by enemy.

2335 1 RIrF reported meeting strong opposition area pt 155.

23rd October.

0050 Lieut Lorrimer posted as 2.i.c. Brigade Signal section.

Two coys 6 Innisks move to Montenero.

0200 2 LIR reported in position. Bttn HQ 670793.

0210 Battery 70 Medium Regiment firing on enemy battery south of San Salvo.

0227 RA reported two enemy SP guns west of R Trigno.

0235 2 LIR firmly established and moving up behind 1 RIrF.

0240 2 LIR A/Tk guns and support arms ordered to move down.

0245 River Trigno bridge reported blown.

0330 RE report road to bridge now clear of mines.

0335 Own troops now crossing River Trigno.

0450 Bridge reported to be gapped for 200 feet. Culvert 400 yards west of bridge reported  blown, crater 60 x 20 feet.

0500 C Squadron 46 RTR and support arms ordered to move down, well on way. Both Bttns in position. Two coys 1 RIrF across the river. Bridgehead of 200 yards depth formed but further progress barred by extensive minefield. 2 LIR positions: Bttn HQ 655789, E Coy 656786, F Coy 655793, G Coy 648798, H Coy 655789.

0715 Civilian reports indicate Montenero evacuated by enemy. Air task for today called off.

56 Recce Regiment ordered to proceed to Montenero.

0720 Report on bridge as follows: 100 yards north east of bridge, depth varying from one to two feet, bottom sound and accessible from Petacciato side.

0810 56 Recce Regiment 1 ½ miles south of Montenero.

0845 GOC and CRA visited Tac HQ.

0930 Corps Commander and BGS visited Tac HQ.

0945 2 LIR report movement in Farm 643810. Artillery taking target on and 2 LIR arranging snipers.

1000 Extensive Teller minefield located 650793 – 650803. Tracks, fields and farms all suspected to be mined.  All mines heavily booby trapped, sometimes three times and with dynamite.

1030 OC Support Coy 1 RIrF reported Bttn to be extending bridgehead to depth of 500 yards. Battle casualties: 4 killed, 24 wounded (22 mine casualties).

1100 56 Recce Regiment reported Montenero clear.

1140 38 Brigade Tac HQ closed.  Control reverted to main HQ.

Extract from Times Weekly Sept 43 issued.

1515 56 Recce Regiment revert to Divisional Command wef 0001hrs, 24 October.

6 Innisks informed by Brigade Commander that they will occupy Montenero this afternoon. 1 RIrF will enlarge bridgehead but will not go too far until A/Tk protection is able to cross the river.

Detachments REs and A/Tk will arrive tonight.

Minelifting will continue on western bank of river.

Limited patrols to gain contact will be arranged if defensive work permits.

Army Commander’s message on anniversary of Alamein received.

2 LIR informed that they will consolidate and send forward vigorous patrols, one to recce possible river crossings and another to gain contact with enemy.

2 LF will occupy high ground east of river crossing tonight. This will be the Brigade programme for the next few days.

1830 56 Recce Regiment reported leading patrols entered 1045hrs and town occupied by 1130hrs. Mines encountered and lifted, 646746, 646739 and also observed in track 640728 and 644729 – not cleared. Montenero – Tavenna road deeply cratered at 652700 and bridge on Mafada road at 638737 and 686738 blown. 2 LIR will get in touch with 2 LF as soon as possible, by first light at the latest.

2335 6 Innisks locations: Bttn HQ 646729, 648731, 648726, 648728, 645728.

Captain GK Parsons OC Brigade Signals Section ADS.

24th October.

0035 1 RIrF reported spasmodic shell fire in gully 633791 and on road.

0123 Commander 1 RIrF requested RE to commence work immediately on crater at 634793, because otherwise impossible to get A/Tk guns forward.

0220 RE informed of 1 RIrF request and RE replied matter in hand.

0530 2 LIR patrol reported no contact with enemy. 2 LIR contacted Recce patrol to river for crossings found two probable crossings 400 yards north east of bridge and another approximately one mile north east. Intervening ground impossible owing to high banks. South west of bridge, good crossing for quarter mile.

0615 1 RIrF reported that forward companies had patrolled 1000 yards towards San Salvo and searched all farms and houses without contact. Situation on brigade front see Sitrep.

0800 6 Innisks reported no enemy activity on their front. Enemy shelling and MG fire head on right flank.

1 RIrF reported enemy M/C combination, came down San Salvo road and was stopped by SAA fire at 628803. The driver and M/C combination escaped but the passenger was captured. Identified as 9 Coy Panzer Group Regiment.

1100 Division ordered that no vehicles other than essential recce parties, staff cars or jeeps will move forward of road junction 712802, except of hours of darkness.

1700 6 Innisks reported one A/Tk in position.

1900 Situation on brigade front – see Sitrep.

2020 6 Innisks reported 5 A/Tk guns in position.

25th October.

0500 Bttns reported no enemy activity during night.

0600 Sitrep. Patrols report enemy astride road half mile south east of San Salvo.

RE diversion now available for single file traffic.

1445 1 RIrF reported further points reached by patrols night 24/25 618821 and 627827. Enemy located on ridge 618823 but strength unknown. Cable winding heard area 622823. 6 A/Tk guns now in position, none west of river owing to diversion being only passable fro west to east.

1345 Orders for possible moves of Brigade units 26 October issued.

Lieut RD Room, OC Defence Platoon admitted to 152 Field Ambulance.

1800 6 Innisks reported patrol to pt176 (6075) in position and established two OPs.

2155 6 Innisks patrol to Mafalda returned 2115hrs with 4 PoWs identified 5 Coy 79 Panzer Grenadier Regiment, 2 more enemy wounded, one of whom escaped and the other Mafalda. 3 MG 42s and one M/pistol captured. Patrol commander’s patrol is attached.

26th October.

0540 1 RIrF reported patrols confirmed enemy position 604816. Patrol attacked pt115 (627759). MG fire heard from area 6081 and 6481 during night and small position located 610820.

0600 6 Innisks and 2 LIR nothing to report during night.

1000 Brigade Commander and IO returned to main Brigade HQ from recce.

1115 1 RIrF reported enemy shelling area 652792 from 1100 to 1110.

1305 2 LIR reported 6 FW 190s bombed area 656798 at 1330hrs.

1330 6 Innisks in Montenero (6474) attacked by 8-12 FW 190s. No casualties or damage.

1920 Division and 11 and 36 Brigades and Brigade Group informed Brigade HQ closing present locations. 2100hrs opening same time at Convent near Petacciato (712792).

Tac HQ opens same time 663789.

2320 RIrF reported enemy battery concentration on bridge and road area 6379.

38 Brigade OO No 29 issued amendment No 1 to above issued.

Brigadier N Russell DSO MC issued to ADS.

Lieut Col N Grazebrook DSO CO of 6 Innisks took over command 38 Brigade.

Lieut A McI Smyth RIrF posted to 1 RIrF.

Lieut GMJ Chambers RIrF posted to this HQ from 1 RIrF as IO vice Lieut A McI Smyth

Captain JFS Griffin EME admitted 152 Field Ambulance and evacuated CCS following M/C accident.

27th October.

0015 1 RIrF requested brigade to send another Scammel and crew to bridge immediately.

0410 DR, who was dispatched at 0015 for Scammel not reported in or returned to this HQ.

0445 Tac HQ ordered Brigade LAD Scammel to proceed to bridge forthwith.

0530 Brigade commander spoke to 2 LIR, but they were out of contact with forward coys.

0550 6 Innisks reported HQ 663787. All coys arrived by 2300 26th October and took up positions vacated by 2 LIR.

6 Innisks patrol to 6375 searched farms but found no enemy.

0600 2 LIR reported everything went according to plan. Three coys over river. Locations:  Bttn HQ 648802, Coys: 635804, 633802, 628802, 649805. Slight opposition encountered.

0615 1 RIrF reported three coys over river and one coy and Brigade HQ this side as before.

Locations of three coys over river: 623799, 622793, 628797. Bridge shelled during night and 1 RIrF suffered 14 casualties. Patrol to recce area south of San Salvo located 2 MGs 615811 and suffered one casualty. Tracks in the area mined. All vehicles reported across river except a carrier, portee and q..CREME Scammel at Rec Pt near bridge moved off without orders when shelling started.

1000 GOC and AQ visited Tac HQ for conference with Brigade Commander. Orders for night made. Tac HQ moving tonight area 653785.

1700 2 LIR reported intermittent enemy shelling area bridge 6379.

Brigade letter on traffic control ref 29/Q issued.

Amendment No 1 to 38 OO No 29 dated 26 October 43 issued.

Captain KF MacLennan, REME, attached to Brigade HQ as EME Captain JFS Griffin evacuated to CCS.

1550 CO 1 RIrF enquired whether it was possible to postpone attack owing to sticky nature of ground, which would exhaust attackers. Brigade Commander replied that the attack would go in as already planned.

1830 Rain, which had fallen in the last hour and a half, prevented crossing of vehicles over diversion owing to the state of the ground on the far side, which was reported to be nothing better than a sea of mud. Four vehicles reported overturned on the diversion.

2200 Brigade diversion now usable but the programme of crossing necessarily curtailed.

2300 Barrage opened.

2335 6 Innisks reported in position.

38 Brigade Admin Order No 6 issued.

28th October.

0100 1 RIrF and 2 LIR reported held up and Lt-Col Butler CO 1 RIrF killed. Opposition appeared very determined. Many flares and verey lights on the front. MG is apparent from all directions and the whole of the front is being heavily mortared.

0130 1 RIrF held up on line 610805 – 622806.

(c 0130 -0230hrs, Tac HQ out of touch with Bttns and information obtained through RA channels).

0230 Position extremely obscure although front itself appeared quiet.

0300 2 LIR established comms with Tac HQ and reported that they were in touch with coys who, although they had met determined resistance, were in some cases, within 1200 yards of San Salvo. A repetition of the last nine lifts of the barrage was asked for. These become available at 0340hrs and they made further slight progress.

0330 C Squadron 46 RTR reported over river diversion together with guns of 255 A/Tk Battery and A/Tk guns of 1 RIrF and 2 LIR closely following.

0430 2 LIR ordered to establish themselves and dig in the best available positions. 1 RIrF, who had been trying to retain contact with forward coys, ordered to withdraw from bridgehead over river to area 6677.

0715 Division informed Brigade of conference at 11 Brigade HQ 0900hrs. Brigade commander to attend.

0845 6 Innisks reported 5 casualties. Enemy shelled diversion 0740hrs and mortared it at 0805hrs. No enemy movement observed. 2 LIR reported Major AK O’Connor 2.i.c. killed.

1005 6 Innisks reported heavy concentration area of bridge. 2 LIR locations: Bttn HQ 632804, 626804,  626806, 629808, 632805, 633801.

1900 Brigade ordered food and ammunition to be taken across diversion by horses and carts.

Horses and carts RV at T junction 6677, approximately 1600hrs. Horse and carts requisitioned by main Brigade HQ from Petacciato. 1 RIrF reported in area 657773.

29th October.

0625 Brigade Major ordered strict MT control. Only operationally necessary vehicles to be on roads. Chains to be discarded when leaving tracks.

0920 Divisional order ref MT restrictions in view of bad weather received.

1400 Main Brigade HQ closed Convent, Petacciato (H712792) and reopened same time Farm H6777. Tac HQ closed 1430 and joined Main HQ at above location.

1730 6 Innisks sitrep. Intermittent shelling all day bridge area. Enemy MG fire reported from area Olive Grove 627827 at 1055hrs and 1550hrs.

1830 Brigade HQ closed Farm H6777 and reopened Convent, Petacciato same time.

2105 Brigade Commander to attend conference Divisional HQ A Mess 1730 30th October.

2305 Divisional order to prevent unnecessary transport on roads. Vehicles to be issued with COs’ permit. CMP arranging checkpoints.

30th October.

0730 2 LIR reported in defensive positions area Grazebrook Farm. No enemy shelling reported.

1400 6 Innisks captured two PoWs identified 3 Coy, 79 Panzer Grenadier Regiment area Farm 624788 1100hrs.

A report of this patrol is attached.

Patrols night 29/30 October see Sitrep 1700hrs.

1700 Situation on Brigade front see Sitrep.

2 LIR took over 6 Innisks’ positions west of River Trigno during night 30/31 October.

1800 Owing to the changeover of Bttns, 2 LIR will undertake patrols planned by 6 Innisks. Major FFK Ball DCLI posted to No 1 Advanced Army Reinforcement Unit. Foggia (Authority 5 Corps  MS.78 Division A/730 dated 30 October). Major AW Gibbon A & SH relinquished appointment as acting Brigade Major to undertake the reorganisation of 1RIrF. Major HFW Holmes R IrF posted to this HQ from 5 Corps vice Major AW Gibbon.

An appreciation of the enemy defence of San Salvo issued.

31st October. 

0050 2 LIR reported all well and nothing to report.

0240 6 Innisks reported all well and nothing to report.

0600 Brigade reported to Division changeover of 2 LIR and 6 Innisks completed satisfactorily and without enemy interference. Locations as before.

0745 2 LIR patrol reported two enemy MG area 615815 and another area 620815.

1200 CO 2 LIR reported enemy patrol on recce last flank of bridgehead yesterday. CO expressed himself very disquieted at the vulnerability of the left flank of the bridgehead and of his own inability with troops under his command to maintain the bridgehead should the enemy launch a determined attack.

1600 Brigadier N Russell DSO MC returned to Brigade HQ from CCS Termoli.

1700 Situation on Brigade front. See Sitrep.