- News / Articles
- All My Sons & Daughters: the story of Edmund O’Sullivan, 1946-2009
- Ted O’Sullivan joins the London Irish Rifles.
- Setting sail from Glasgow
- Arrival in Algiers
- Christmas in Tunisia
- Point 286
- Stuka Ridge
- Rest and recovery
- The Djebels north of Medjez-el-Bab
- Entering Tunis
- Rest and renewed training
- Stormy Mediterranean crossings
- The Sicilian campaign
- From Termoli to the Trigno
- Crossing the Sangro River
- Interlude at Campbobasso
- Meeting the new OC
- German raid at Montenero
- Defensive positions at San Angelo
- In clear sight of Vesuvius
- Ascending Monte Castellone
- The Liri Valley
- North of Rome
- Back to Rome and onto Egypt
- Hospitalised in Alexandria
- Out of the Line
- Back to the London Irish at last
- Resting in Forli
- Peace at Last
- St Patrick’s Day
- From Argenta to Austria
- Home on Leave
- Formation of the Irish Brigade
- 2 LIR – January to October 1942
- 2 LIR – November 1942
- 2 LIR – August/September 1943
- 2 LIR – Dec 1942
- 2 LIR – December 1943
- 2 LIR – Feb 1943
- 2 LIR – Apr 1943
- 2 LIR – February 1944
- 2 LIR – Jan 1943
- 2 LIR – January 1944
- 2 LIR – July 1943
- 2 LIR – June 1944
- 2 LIR – Mar 1943
- 2 LIR – March 1944
- 2 LIR – May 1944
- 2 LIR – May/June 1943
- 2 LIR – November 1943
- 2 LIR – April 1944
- 2 LIR – October 1943
- Roll of Honour 1939-45
- Honours and awards
- They Shall Not Grow Old – 1 London Irish Rifles
- They Shall Not Grow Old – 2 London Irish Rifles
- War Diaries of 1 London Irish Rifles
- Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers – “The Skins”
- At Rest in Rome and Egypt
- In Sidi Bishr
- Back To Italy
- With the 5th Army
- Plan to capture Imola
- The Spaduro battles
- Patrolling and Artillery Duels
- San Clemente
- The Rains come
- And with the Skins and Irish Rifles
- Clamping Down for the Winter
- With the Faughs
- Raid on Casa Tamagnin
- Continuing in the Mountains
- Goodbye to the Mountains
- The Beginning of a New Phase
- Preparing for the Final Battles
- Senio Floodbanks
- London Irish Raid on the Floodbank
- Visitors to the Irish Brigade
- St Patrick’s Day in Forli
- Ready for Action
- The Last Offensive – The Plan and Opening Phase
- The Po and the End of the War
- Northern Italy
- Into Austria – Settling Frontiers
- Balkan Troubles
- Irish Brigade Awards: May 1944 to March 1945
- Irish Brigade Awards: April to July 1945.
- 38 (Irish) Brigade – November 1942
- 38 (Irish) Brigade – December 1942
- 38 (Irish) Brigade – January 1943
- 38 (Irish) Brigade – February 1943
- 38 (Irish) Brigade – March 1943
- 38 (Irish) Brigade – April 1943
- 38 (Irish) Brigade – May 1943
- 38 (Irish) Brigade – June 1943
- 38 (Irish) Brigade – July 1943
- 38 (Irish) Brigade – August 1943
- 38 (Irish) Brigade – September 1943
- 38 (Irish) Brigade – October 1943
- 38 (Irish) Brigade – November 1943
- 38 (Irish) Brigade – December 1943
- December 1942
- February 1943 (1)
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- April 1943 (5a)
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- November 1942
- Officers’ Roll : Nov 1942 to Dec 1943
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- 38 (Irish) Brigade – January 1944
- 38 (Irish) Brigade – February 1944
- 38 (Irish) Brigade – March 1944
- 38 (Irish) Brigade – April 1944
- 38 (Irish) Brigade – May 1944
- Audience with Pope Pius – 12th June 1944
- 38 (Irish) Brigade – June 1944
- 38 (Irish) Brigade – July 1944
- 38 (Irish) Brigade – August 1944
- 38 (Irish) Brigade – September 1944
- 38 (Irish) Brigade – October 1944
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- 38 (Irish) Brigade – December 1944
- January 1944
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- July 1944
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- December 1944
- Officers’ Roll : Jan 1944 to May 1945
- Officers’ Roll : Nov 1942 to Dec 1943
- Point 286, Tunisia – Jan 1943 by Lt-Col Jeffreys
- Percy Hamilton – On Route to Africa
- Percy Hamilton – To The Front
- Percy Hamilton – Djebel Mahdi
- Percy Hamilton – Tanngoucha
- Percy Hamilton – Advance To Tunis
- Percy Hamilton – Guelma/Hammamet
- Percy Hamilton – Arriving in Sicily
- Percy Hamilton – From Centuripe To Randazzo
- Percy Hamilton – To Mainland Italy
- Percy Hamilton – Termoli
- Percy Hamilton – Crossing the Trigno River
- Percy Hamilton – Assault on San Salvo
- The Skins in Sicily
- Captain David Schayek – March/April 1943
- Termoli. 5/6 October 1943
- Lieutenant Nick Mosley at Monte Spaduro
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- 78 Division
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- Campaign Narrative
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- Unit Accounts – 11 Brigade
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- Unit Accounts – 38 Brigade
- Unit Accounts – Maps
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- Irish Brigade at Termoli, October 1943
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- Detailed Battlefield Guides
- Battlefield visit: Cassino
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- Battlefield Maps: May / June 1944
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- Veteran’s Account: Hill 286 – January 19/20 1943
- LIR account of German attack on Stuka Ridge – 26th February 1943
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By about midnight on the night of 31st May/1st June, the 6 Innisks were finally established around Le Cinque Vie 5237. They patrolled forward during the night and also at first light to Point 267 5338 and discovered that various tracks were mined but made no contact with the enemy who had retreated the previous evening from his positions on Il Castello in full retreat.
11 Brigade went through advancing on Torrice and 8 Indian Division advanced towards Veroli, gradually ousting the 6 Innisks from their front line positions. The Brigade was told that they were now in reserve and arrangements were quickly made for mobile cinemas and bathing arrangements and a clean change of clothes was quickly organised.
A restful day for the brigade. The advance towards Rome and to the hills in the north west continues.
The brigade rests and reorganises.
Brigade Commander informed that 78 Division is now in Corps reserve.
Lt Col Maxwell, 6 Innisks, relinquishes command.
Major J Kerr assumes command at the rank of local Lt-Col.
Civilians reported that there were still a few enemy in hiding in the various houses around Boville Ernica.
1 RIrF and 6 Innisks organised areas of responsibility and searched the surrounding countryside, but made no contact, although they learnt that some enemy had left the night before.
2130 Warning order received from 78 Division to be detailed by 38 Brigade to be under command 9 Armoured Brigade for special Task Force in the Paliano – Tivoli direction.
2200 1 RIrF warned to move.
Commander 1 RIrF reports to 9 Armoured Brigade. 1 RIrF warned to move before 1000 hrs.
1 RIrF move to concentration area just the other side of Frosinone on Route 6. Delayed considerably by excessive traffic.
1800 Reports received that the French have captured Tivoli. This town was to have been the objective of the Task Force comprising of 3 Hussars and 1 RIrF.
2000 Task Force cancelled. 1 RIrF to move to a better concentration area G 439395.
A quiet day. All units in Brigade Group rest I their own areas. 1 RIrF remain in same location. CO 1 RIrF visits Brigade Commander.
1500 Warning Order received to prepare to move.
Brigade Commander ordered to go to Divisional Commander.
1700 Brigade Commander receives verbal orders. Brigade to concentrate north of Rome area 747850. 1 RIrF to move at 2000 hrs.
1800 Brigade Commander and small Tac Brigade goes to HQ 1 RIrF.
2000 1 RIrF and Brigade Tac move to concentration area north of Rome.
0200 1 RIrF in concentration area. HQ at F 660820.
0300 Remainder of Brigade Group – due to leave at 0600 hrs – now to leave at 0800 hrs.
0800 Brigade Group moves for concentration area north of Rome.
The amount of traffic on the road was inconceivable and in some cases in the Brigade Group, it took seven hours to go from Ripi to Frosinone a distance of some seven miles.
0830 Recce parties now warned to recce brigade concentration area. HQ at A 765027.
1700 2 LIR begin to arrive in concentration area, after being over nine hours on the road.
2100 One platoon 1 RIrF despatched to guard a hospital in Civita Castellana in which are 580 patients.
0200 Brigade Group now complete in concentration area. Brigade HQ – A752032, 2 LIR – A 771036, 1 RIrF – A 765027, 6 Innisks – A 755043, 17 Field Regiment – A 770033, 66 Medium Regiment – A 7603 (this regiment now in support of 38 Brigade), 254 A/Tk Battery A 770041.
2 LIR dispatch one platoon to guard Kesselring’s old HQ at San Oreste A 7804.One coy 1 RIrF now under command 3 KOH for special task. This task to secure bridge across River Tiber leading to Magliano A 7519 to prevent it being destroyed. This task was accomplished.
1200 Civilians report enemy patrols crossing River Tiber into Ponzano and Nazzano. As a protective measure to guard a completely open flank, one coy 2 LIR ordered to occupy San Oreste. One battery 17 Field Regiment ordered to go into action and one platoon D Support Group Mortars to take up positions near San Oreste and cover river bank by fire.
1800 Warning Order received for remainder of 1 RIrF to come under command 9 Armoured Brigade for special task force to advance to Orte A6730.
0700 1 RIrF with 3 KOH commence operation. They advanced through Civita Castellana and then turned north towards Orte.They were subjected to long range shelling and from guns believed to be north of Magliano. Air support called for to neutralise these enemy guns.
1800 1 RIrF positions as follows: Bttn HQ and two coys area, 699123, one platoon D Coy at 682200 and remaining two platoons at 712143. Remainder of 3 H Task Force at Vignanello 5821.
One coy 1 RIrF and 3 H push on towards Orte A 6730.
0900 Coy 1 RIrF in Orte. No opposition. Battle patrol went to bridge 730174 and established standing patrol there. 56 Recce occupied Bassano 5862.Slight shelling of 1 RIrF area during the morning mainly by SP guns from River Tiber.
2000 Warning order received from Brigade Group to move forward to concentration area in the Cellano A 4842 – Civitella A 5147 area. Order of march: 2 LIR, D Support Group, 254 A/Tk Battery, 214 Field Company, Brigade HQ, 6 Innisks.
1 RIrF to remain in present area and come under direct command 78 Division. Head of brigade column to pass SP at 0630 hrs on 12th June.
0630 Head of brigade column passes SP.
1730 Brigade Group in concentration area. Locations as follows: Brigade HQ 486421, 6 Innisks 494424 (less one coy), 2 LIR 487428, D Support Group 484438, 254 A/Tk Battery 463426, 214 Field Company 508445, coy 6 Innisks Graffignano A5343.
Situation – fighting is going on in Bagnoregio A 4448 and to the north east of Civitella. Own troops reached Civitella rd 386607 last night.
Brigade intentions –
1. To form firm base from right 525466 to left 498463 to include Civitella for future moves north along road to Castiglione A 5351.
2. To patrol north from Civitella to recce possibilities of advance to track 510484 tomorrow.
3. To hold Graffignano.
Plan – 2 LIR with in support D Support Group mortars and 17 Field Regiment to occupy Civitella. One coy 6 Innisks billeted in Graffignano with one platoon standing to. Position for the whole coy to be recced.
1700 2 LIR reached blown bridge 515448. Diversion for all traffic quickly prepared. Tanks can get across.
1730 Slight mortaring and shelling of Civitella.
1830 6 Innisks coy now in Graffignano.
1845 2 LIR in positions. Many enemy about and seem to be of poor quality. No A/Tk guns or MMGs required at present from supporting arms. 2 LIR HQ now at 515456. Harassing fire on Castiglione by 66 Medium Regiment during the night. 2 LIR to patrol forward during the night.
The Irish Brigade is received by the Pope in special audience.
2000 Brigade Commander visits Divisional Commander at Divisional HQ.
Intentions for 13th August – 2 LIR ordered to advance in the morning as far as Pianicciale A 5148 with full artillery by 17 Field Regiment and 66 Medium Regiment and the armour to then push on to Castiglione.
0345 Battle report from 2 LIR. Left hand patrol met opposition in area A 5147 and sustained one man killed. The other patrol on the right, which went to the track at 525480 did not make contact.
0700 2 LIR commence attack towards Castiglione.
0815 2 LIR report they have reported pt 208 515472.
0900 Recce parties 1 RIrF arrive. The battalion was relieved of its commitments by 36 Brigade and ordered to move forward to concentration area and revert to command 38 Brigade.
0910 2 LIR report enemy appear to be pulling out in a hurry. They are being engaged heavily.
By 1020, 2 LIR were on their objective. The going was slow due to the broken nature of the country and time was taken up in thoroughly searching for and mopping up the enemy. The tanks found difficulty in getting through and supported by fire, while the 6 pioneers of 2 LIR did good work firing over open sights at the retreating enemy. One SP gun was knocked out and many enemy dead were found on the objectives.
C Squadron KOH started moving forward along the road to Castiglione by 1100 hrs. Delayed by blown bridge at 545467. Diversion prepared and tanks able to cross by 1245 hrs. A Squadron 3 KOH move forward.
Both squadrons advance along axis of main road to Castiglione. They reported at 1400 hrs that the enemy was withdrawing with all his guns.
1445 Intentions: 6 Innisks to follow up Squadron 56 Recce and two squadrons 3 KOH on right flank and endeavour to consolidate Castliglione before dark. 2 LIR to be prepared to move to pt 246, 519489, and later when 6 Innisks are successful to face left with right flank at Castiglione.
6 Innisk to move as soon as possible, with B Squadron 3 KOH, plus 4.2” mortars and a troop M 10s in support. One battery M 10s less one troop available if required.
1540 Tanks advancing well. Practically no opposition.
1555 56 Recce and tanks now in Castiglione.
1855 6 Innisks report that one coy is moving up and ½ mile short of Castiglione. Remainder of bttn now on the move.
By 2010 hrs, two coys were established in Castiglione. Bttn HQ at 527505. The remaining two coys were moving into the town.
2045 Tac Brigade moves forward to Castiglione at 527505.
2220 Brigade Commander issues verbal orders.
6 Innisks to advance across on axis Castilgione – Tordimonte had passed Castiglione at 0530 hrs. Task to take over from armour as it progresses. B Squadron 3 KOH, one troop M 10s, one platoon 4.2” mortars and RE recce party in support of 6 Innisks. 2 LIR to follow 6 Innisks, head past Castiglione at 0700 hrs. Task to consolidate bounds behind 6 Innisks.
1 RIrF were delayed in moving up from previous location and are now moving up by night. They will not go to area recced near Civitella but will go straight to a concentration area 5153 – their head passed Castiglione at 0830 hrs.
Main and Rear Brigade to move up to join Tac by 0830 hrs.
0630 6 Innisks now in area 505563. Permission given by Brigade Commander for them to clear 4954 to allow RE to get on with the job of preparing road for traffic.
0900 214 Field Company RE report possible tank crossing at 491584.
1125 HQ 1 RIrF at 501542, HQ 6 Innisks 500570.
Bridgehead to be formed across River Paglia. Boundary of bridgehead; stream and river junction 508568 – up stream to fork 508589 – to stream 500598 – downstream to stream and river junction 485589.
6 Innisks on right, 2 LIR on left.
1 RIrF not to move from present area.
56 Recce will be protecting the right flank towards Corbara 5457.
11 Brigade will pass through up axis Route 71 on morning 15th June.
1700 6 Innisks and 2 LIR on objective.
6 Innisks HQ 492589, coys at 495592 – 500597 – 498585 – 501579.
2 LIR HQ – 464617, coys at 467628, 470629, 468617, 462622.
Many enemy dead reported on objectives.
50 PoW taken so far during whole advance from 1800 hrs, 12th June to 1700 hrs, 14th June.
1800 Main Brigade and Rear Brigade established at 505565.
0815 One coy 1 RIrF ordered to move, embussed to move up behind 56 Recce to consolidate their gains. To come under command 56 Recce.
0900 6 Innisks ordered to send mobile patrol to Corbara 5457 to investigate village and recce possible OP site.
1400 Patrol from 6 Innisks went to Coorbara and exploited north east. They took 3 PoW, who stated that the remainder of the 30 enemy reported there left at 0500 hrs this morning.
1700 Three carrier patrols from 1 RIrF ordered to report to 9 Armoured Brigade for cooperation during the advance. Brigade Commander orders that they bring 3 officer patrols each with two carriers to RV at Main Divisional at 0545 hrs tomorrow.
0800 Forward troops have now reached 537710.
2 LF, 418778 – 400768. 1 Surreys along 75 Northing.
1415 6 Innisks concentrating. Bttn HQ moving to 518566 and coys concentrating around there.
1800 Warning Order. One coy 1 RIrF to report to 56 Recce tonight. The remainder of the battalion to report tomorrow. 1 RIrF come under command 56 Recce. Trasport to be provided within the Brigade Group.Thirteen x 3 tonners from 6 Innisks, seven from 2 LIR and 5 from Brigade HQ.
0500 Remainder of 1 RIrF pass SP for move forward to join 56 Recce.
1945 Mobile carrier patrols operating with 9 Armoured Brigade to Brigade HQ. They had a successful operation in the Citta del Pieve sector and were highly praised by CO, 3 KOH.
The patrols managed to get into the town but had to come back due to lack of tank support and increasing enemy opposition.
0130 Brigade Group warned to move to concentration area Monte Giove 4881 south.
0600 Sixty men per bttn and 20 from Brigade HQ leave for today in Rome.
0915 Brigade HQ pass SP.
0930 2 LIR pass SP.
1100 6 Innisks pass SP.
1900 Brigade Group now in new area. Brigade HQ 483811, 2 LIR 473808, 6 Innisks 455799, D Support Group and 254 A/Tk Battery also in new area.
There are still several vehicles from all units stuck behind the diversion at 452808. There was considerable rain during the day, which made the diversion eventually impassable after so many vehicles had gone over it. At 2330 hrs, there was very heavy downpour of rain, which made it impossible for any vehicles to pass the diversion either way. It was decided to wait until the morning to clear the diversion. One coy 6 Innisks warned to move at first light to assist the REs in mending the road.
R Group, 2 LIR, at ½ hour notice to move from 0730 hrs and battalion at one hour notice from same time.
1 RIrF remain under command 56 Recce.
Heavy rain during night and morning
REs had left work on diversion so Pioneer Platoon and one more coy from 6 Innisks were sent down to the diversion at 0900 hrs. Transport started moving through by 1000 hrs.
1055 Rome leave parties return.
1100 Brigade Group to move to area Tavernelle 4881 north.
1130 Prisoners arrive. Two taken by 6 Innisks from 1 Para Regiment, five from 6 Coy 754 Regiment, two from 3 Coy 755 Field Regiment. Two officers by D Support Group from 334 Artillery Regiment.
1500 2 LIR pass SP.
1600 Brigade HQ pass SP.
Only 25 TCVs were available for the brigade. They were used by 2 LIR and then had to return to pick up 6 Innisks. Also, the route taken was along a third class road with two very bad diversions through streams. This, together with the torrential rain, made it difficult for the vehicles to get though and slow time was made.
2000 Brigade HQ and 2 LIR established in new area.
Brigade HQ at 488817 north, 2 LIR HQ at 496814 north.
6 Innisks were established in Tavernelle by 2200 hrs. D Support Group and 254 A/Tk Battery were not complete until the following morning due to traversing the diversion.
1 RIrF still under command 56 Recce and now in area Bartocciame 5089 north. To revert back to command 38 Brigade at 0600 hrs tomorrow morning.
Brigade Commander saw Divisional Commander during the day and received instructions for forthcoming operations.
Irish Brigade to advance on morning of 21st June, passing through 11 Brigade and attack north towards Castiglione 4195.
0930 Brigade Commander goes out on recce with COs, 2 LIR and 6 Innisks and Second in Command 1 RIrF. 11 CAR now in support of this brigade. Lt Col Purvis CO 11 CAR visits the Brigade Commander and goes out on recce with him.
1800 Brigade Commander’s O Group.
Following were present. CO 2 LIR, CO 6 Innisks, 2 I/C 1 RIrF, CO 17 Field Regiment, Commander 315 A/Tk Battery, Rep 57 Field Regiment, Rep 2 RHA, CO 11 CAR who are in support of 38 Brigade.
2 I/C 214 Field Company in support of 38 Brigade.
Commander D Support Group (1 Kensingtons).
11 Brigade to inform us of the situation from time to time and give definite positions at 0300 hrs so that 2 LIR may be informed.
Situation. 2 LF did not take the village of Sanfatucchio 4089 and were subjected to fairly heavy mortaring and shelling during the night. 1 Surreys on the left managed to get a copy up to Casa Kagone 412886 and put patrols to 389875, which made no contact.
5 Northamptons on the right did not change their positions, which were roughly along the line of the 89 Northing between Sanfatucchio and the lake.
The enemy resistance has been stiffening considerably during the past few days. The parachutists (1/3 Para) put a hard fight in Citta Della Pieve 3785 south and along the whole of the divisional front, there has been a much greater concentration of enemy forces.
Captured maps indicated that the enemy intended to hold a line Gioella 3491 – Frattavecchia 3692 – La Bandita 4092, but obviously his defensive positions were dictated by the ground, which offered a better MLR on the ridge that runs north and south of Sanfatucchio, held by elements of 344 Division.
The situation with 11 Brigade was such that it was now necessary for 2 LIR to attach this ridge and capture the village. All this information was passed to 2 LIR at 0315 hrs.
0400 2 LIR pass SP to concentration area in Macchie 4387. CO goes onto HQ 2 LF to receive latest information and perfect his plan.
0500 11 CAR pass SP to concentration area Macchie and Panicarola (4488).
0630 Brigade HQ move forward to Panicale. HQ established at 453839.
0700 6 Innisks pass SP and move forward to concentration area Panicale.
1 RIrF to move independently and concentrate around Panicarola.
0800 Zero hour for attack by 2 LIR on Sanfatucchio. There was considerable resistance from this village, which was the enemy main defence line and, as was afterwards found out, he had been ordered to hold for three days at all costs.
The attack by 2 LIR supported by B Squadron CAR was completely successful. Heavy fighting took place with fierce exchanges of small arms fire. Most of the opposition came from the west edge of the town. 36 PoWs were taken in all, coming from I Bttn 755 IR, I and II Bttns 754 IR..
2 LIR consolidated their positions after clearing up the western edge of the village and the cemetery at San Felice 405895.
Troop of M 10s (released by 11 Brigade) now going to B Squadron 11 CAR.
A counter attack by about a company came in on the left of the London Irish at about 1625 hrs. The fighting took place mainly in the cemetery area and was successfully repulsed by E Coy.
The bridge at 408920 was captured intact and steps taken by 17 Field Regiment to ensure that it would not be destroyed by the enemy DF.
1900 2 LIR coys positions at 404896 – 407900 – 410897 – 411897. HQ at 413893.
6 Innisks moved up during the early evening to establish the situation on the right of the London Irish. Their objective was Pucciarelli 415906, which they were nearing at 1900 hrs.
MG Platoon from D Support Group to go to 6 Innisks.
Two troops, 6 pounders from 254 A/Tk Battery to go to 6 Innisks.
RE to recce routes north west and south west to Panicarola 4488 to ensure free passage for carriers.
6 Innisks established having met a fair amount of opposition from Pucciarelli HQ at 428896. Coys at 424904 – 417908 – 411904 and 412902.
Both battalions to hold their pres4nt position during the night and to consolidate firmly and prepare for strong enemy counter attacks. A/Tk guns and MMGs all reported in position by 2300 hrs.
Situation. 2 LIR were counter attacked twice during the night by parties of about 30 enemy in areas 408902 and 411903. All were repulsed.
6 Innisks were counter attacked at dawn by about a coy of the enemy on the outskirts of Pucciarelli, which was successfully dealt with.
At 0730, a coy of 6 Innisks at 424904 moved forward to 424908. SPs at 407907 seen going into the woods were heavily engaged.
At 0900 hrs, 2 LIR sent one platoon supported by tanks to area 411903 to close the gap between 6 Innisks and themselves and also to shift some enemy who were still occupying two large houses in that area. This was also essential because these two houses, occupied by the enemy, were on top of the ridge, also occupied by the London Irish and gave them a certain amount of observation. Once these two objectives were taken, the enemy would have no observation except from the village of Castiglione Del Lago.
A two platoon attack from G Coy, 2 LIR, supported by tanks went in at 0900 hrs and by 1030 hrs, the situation was cleared up. Considerable opposition was met from MG fire. Locations of 2 LIR are as follows after slight readjustments. Coys at 404896 – 407898 – 410898 – 411893.
At 1050, a counter attack, seen forming up in front of 2 LIR, was dispersed by heavy artillery fire. After this, a junction point was made between 2 LIR and 6 Innisks at 411903 and 6 Innisks sent one coy to this area to ensure the gap well closed.
1710 F Coy, 2 LIR, went forward from its positions to feel forward and find out something more concrete about the enemy. They advanced about 200 yards meeting stiff opposition and from then on remained in close contact – about 150 yards away from the enemy.
They were counterattacked by the enemy soon after getting into position but managed to hold the onslaught.
The night was quiet on the whole. Patrols from 2 LIR found the enemy digging in hard and several places were confirmed to be occupied. The 6 Innisks on the left were shelled slightly during the early morning and patrols heard enemy in the houses around 409 909 and generally sounds of the enemy digging in hard.
A 6 Innisks recce patrol to the lake at 432909 during the morning found nothing.
The forward battalions had a quiet day on the whole. There was a spasmodic mortaring and shelling of the whole area and F Coy, 2 LIR, were counter attacked again during the afternoon. Our own 3” and 4.2” mortars kept up a steady harassing fire on the enemy positions and caused considerable damage, a statement confirmed afterwards by prisoners captured when the 1 RIrF attacked. Intentions tomorrow for the 1 RIrF supported by 11 CAR and one coy, 6 Innisks, to attack Pescia 4091 and Ranciano 3991.
11 Brigade to support and protect flanks, 5 Northamptons on right by the lake, and 1 Surreys on left.
Patrols during the night from the forward coy, 2 LIR found that the enemy had pulled back about 300 yards. When a platoon was sent forward to occupy houses, recently evacuated, they found it unoccupied by about 20 Germans. Direct hit on Brigade HQ during the night. 2 ORs wounded.
0445 1 RIrF concentration completed. Two coys, 6 Innisks relieved by 5 Northamptons.
0530 Attack by 1 RIrF on objectives – Pescia and Ranciano – commences. Attack preceded by artillery barrage on the opening line lasting for 24 minutes and then lifting at 10 minutes intervals.
0920 First objective reached. Pescia was cleared by the attacking coy and supported by reserve coy.
Coy, 6 Innisks reached their objective pt 267, 409915. Opposition was strong during the first phase of this attack, mainly from MG and mortar fire. Bttn HQ 1 RIrF was shot up by AP from 88mm gun causing a few casualties. After Pescia and pt 267 had been consolidated, one coy 5 Buffs moved up to Pescia and the remainder of the battalion moving up behind. 5 Buffs were supported by the Wiltshire Yeomanry.
1610 1 RIrF cleared Ranciano and situation cleared up. One coy firmly established in the village.
This village fought extremely well during the day, meeting considerable opposition and inflicting heavy casualties. They were supported by 11 CAR, who as usual put up a magnificent performance. There were very few casualties in the battalion – a total of 40 altogether and no officers killed. A total of 85 PoWs were taken during the day.
Plan for consolidation. 1 RIrF to hold Pescia and Ranciano and road junction 397909. 2 LIR to remain in present location, but push one coy forward to 400905.
17 pounder troop 254 A/Tk Battery to be in support of 1 RIrF.
5 Buffs pushed forward during the evening in the line of the River Pescia where considerable difficulty was found in crossings for the tanks.
The enemy was still fighting hard and putting up a fierce resistance. We had broken his main line, which he had ordered to hold at all costs and was now attempting to stop the rout from setting in.
Considerable damage was inflicted on the enemy by the brigade since the London Irish attacked on 21st June. The London Irish counted a 100 dead along in and around the village of Sanfatucchio and they took 85 PoWs as well.
This is a good example of the damage inflicted by our intense mortaring and shelling and the A/Tk gun platoons figured considerably in demoralising the enemy. They did good work in giving close support fire on to houses and buildings to neutralise enemy MGs and snipers’ positions.
Plan : 36 Brigade to continue to advance.
38 Brigade will fill in the gap from the right all including pt 267, 409914, to left of 4 British Division. 2 LIR will move coy forward to link up with coy 1 RIrF at pt 259. Move two coys – one to La Villa 392902 and the other to Belvedere 385899. Both coys supported by B Squadron 11 CAR.
A/Tk – Platoon of 17 pounders remain with 1 RIrF, troop of 6 pounders each to 2 LIR and 6 Innisks.
4.2” Mortars – One platoon in support each of 2 LIR and 6 Innisks.1 platoon in support of each battalion.
The night was generally quiet with odd mortaring and shelling.
The situation at La Villa and Belvedere was so obscure that the coys from 2 LIR did not occupy them,
The brigade remained in its present position all day. Very slight mortaring and shelling during the day. During the afternoon, a few 105 mm gun shells landed on the main road between Macchie 4387 and in the gun areas.
Lt Col Dunnill, CO 1 RIrF, was reported to be missing at about 1000 hrs. He left this morning in a tank to visit the forward coys and no news has been heard of him since. Suspicions were assured by the fact that nothing had been heard over him over the air. Small recce patrols went out to try and locate him, but all reported NTR.
A quiet night. Still no news of Lt Col Dunnill and it must be presumed he has fallen into enemy hands.
1300 2 LIR ordered to send two coys to San Biagio 3891 and Badia 3890. 6 Innisks ordered to concentrate coys around Bttn HQ in area 428898. This order was subsequently cancelled and 6 Innisks ordered to concentration area 4587.
1500 Two coys, 2 LIR commenced occupation of these two villages. No opposition met, but a certain number of mines. One coy established in San Biagio and one coy in Badia by 1900 hrs.
2 LIR to hold this ridge until relieved by 2 LF tonight. Coys can then withdraw back to concentration area 4786 south of Panciale.
2015 2 LIR told to withdraw whole bttn less the coy at 390902. This was afterwards not required by 11 Brigade and so, after relief by 2 LF on Badia – San Biagio ridge, whole battalion withdrew to concentration area 4786.
2300 6 Innisks report complete in new area.
0030 2 LIR report complete in new area. Bttn HQ 463862.
2000 Brigade HQ moves to 488817. Main and Rear established.
1815 Two coys of 1 RIrF required as backstop for 56 Recce, should the enemy attempt to break though. Brigade Commander orders two forward coys to remain where they are, adopting local protection until called for by 56 Recce.
Slight shelling of 1 RIrF during the night, causing a few casualties. 1 RIrF ordered to move out tonight and concentrate in the area of the castle at 475882. This was completed without incident during the morning and the whole bttn was established by 1300 hrs in the new area. Except for one mortar platoon D Support Group under command 56 Recce, whole Brigade Group now concentrated out of the line. It was also fairly conclusive, according to PoWs and civilians, that Lt Col Dunnill, Commander of 1 RIrF, his Battery Commander and IO, were all taken prisoner in a tank in the Badia area. No CO has yet been appointed to take his place and the Adjutant has taken over temporary command.