Irish Brigade

The story of the 38th (Irish) Brigade in the Second World War

Faugh a Ballagh        Nec Aspera Terrent         Quis Separabit


38 (Irish) Brigade – February 1945

1st February – L’OLMO 859791.

Brigade Commander visits 1 RIrF bttns carry out administrative duties. 1 RIrF held an Officers’ Dance in Florence, which proved a successful events.


2nd February – L’OLMO 859791.

Brigade Commander inspected 2 Innisks in their battalion area.

Lt Col Bevan. Commander 152 Field Ambulance, visited Brigade HQ and went on to 1 RIrF.

Lt Col Chadwick- Healey, AA and QMG 78 Division, accompanied by G II visited Brigade Commander.


3rd February – L’OLMO 859791.

Florence day leave parties continue. Bttns carry out administrative duties on company level/


4th February – L’OLMO 859791.

Florence day leave parties continue. 2 LIR relieved by 56 Recce in positions and revert to command 38 (Irish) Brigade.


5th February – L’OLMO 859791.

Brigade Commander visits all battalions in the afternoon to tie up GOC’s visit and inspection. He stayed to tea with 2 LIR.


6th February – L’OLMO 859791.

GOC 78th Division inspects 1 RIrF in the morning. The battalion marched past a saluting base and then the GOC visited billets and inspected training. He stayed to lunch at Brigade HQ and then inspected 2 Innisks in the afternoon. They, too, marched past and billets and training were inspected.


7th February – L’OLMO 859791.

GOC 78 Division inspects billets and training 2 LIR. There was no march past.

General GF Keightley, Commander 5 Corps, arrived at Brigade HQ and lunched there, along with GOC 78 Division.


8th February – L’OLMO 859791.

Orders for move to 5 Corps area issued.

A villa was obtained quite close to Florence for use by all officers in the brigade.


9th February – L’OLMO 859791.

0600 Brigade HQ and 1 RIrF move to Forli and came under command 5 Corps.

Remainder of brigade remains present location.

Brigade Commander goes direct to 5 Corps HQ.


10th February – L’OLMO 859791.

0500 Brigaded carriers move to Forli via Faenza.

Brigade Commander returns to Brigade HQ.


11th February – FORLI 4316.

2 LIR and 2 Innisks move to Forli by Route 67.

Brigade Location Statement:

Brigade HQ – 438165. 2 Innisks – 447158. 2 LIR – 438164. 1 RIrF – 456154.

17 Field Regiment – 513208. 214 Field Coy – 458156. 152 Field Ambulance – 453182.

All billets for the brigade were either in Forli or just outside the town. All had previously been used by the Italians and were in a filthy and disgusting state. Two or three days were necessary to clear up the mess.


12th February – FORLI 4316.

Final training areas and orders regarding training issued. One area was allotted for field firing, one for tank and infantry cooperation and one for practising a river crossing.

Brigade Commander went on recce of training areas during the morning.


13th February – FORLI 4316.

Battalions commence training.

GOC visits Brigade HQ and stayed for lunch. Lt Col Saville and Brigadier T Tryon, AA and QMG 5 Corps. also came to lunch.

Brigade Commander went on recce of training areas during morning.


14th February – FORLI 4316.

Training carried out by all battalions. Brigade Commander visits training areas.


15th February – FORLI 4316.

Training carried out by all battalions. Brigade Commander visits training areas.


16th February – FORLI 4316.

Training carried out by all battalions.

Capt Coleridge (Bays) attached to brigade with three tanks from 2nd Armoured Brigade for infantry cooperation.

2000 Orders received to carry out recce for Operation Backstop. This operation was planned to counteract an attack by the enemy across the Senio and Lamone rivers and then south to cut Route 9 east of Faenza.

The line to be taken up stretched between the Lamone and Montone rivers about five thousand yards north of Route 6.


17th February – FORLI 4316.

0900 Brigade Commander, OC 8 Royal Tanks and OC 214 Field Company go on recce of Operation Backstop.

1000 Recce parties from 2 Innisks, 2 LIR, 1 RIrF, 254 A/Tk Battery, 17 Field Regiment, 93 A/Tk Regiment (150 Battery) RV at Brigade HQ to receive detailed orders regarding the recce for Operation Backstop.

1700 Brigade Massed Pipe Band played in Forli Square together with the Band of the Royal Ulster Rifles. Officers of the Brigade Group were entertained afterwards by the Officers of Brigade HQ.


18th February – FORLI 4318.

Brigade Commander went on a recce of training areas during the morning.

1300 Brigadier TPD Scott DSO returns from home leave and visited 2 LIR at lunch time.

Church Parade and Divine Services held at Forli.


19th February – FORLI 4318.

Individual and platoon training by all battalions.

Brigade Commander visits 2 Innisks.

Lt Col J Preston DSO goes to Main Eighth Army to take up the Appointment of Colonel GS. Brigade Commander dines with 1 RIrF in the evening.


20th February – FORLI 4316.

Platoon and individual training by all battalions.

Brigade Commander visits 1 RIrF. 


21st February – FORLI 4316.

Individual training by 1 RIrF and 2 LIR.

Coy in attack by 2 Innisks.


22nd February – FORLI 4316.

Coy and individual training by all battalions. Capt Foley 1 LIR talks with to 2 Innisks on street fighting and general experiences gained in fighting in the present Plain.


23rd February – FORLI 4316.

Coy and individual training.

Capt Foley lectures to 2 LIR on the same subject. 2 Innisk held a battalion cross country run.


24th February – FORLI 4316.

Route march by 2 Innisks. 2 LIR and 1 RIrF carry out coy and individual training.

Major  Horsey (C&Y) talked to all officers of the Brigade Group on the subject of River Crossings based on his experiences of the crossing of the River Lamone.


25th February – FORLI 4316.

Coy and individual training by all battalions.

Brigade Commander lunches at Main 8th Army.


26th February – FORLI 4316.

Coy and individual training by all battalions.

Brigade Commander visits 2 LIR in the morning.

Demonstration in the afternoon for officers and NCOs on the Weasel and its accomplishments.

2 Innisks commence inter coy football competition.

Mortrep course commences at Forlimpopoli under CCMO 78 Diision.


27th February – FORLI 4316.

Training:

2 Innisks – Coy training. 2 LIR – Assault boating, individual training. 1 RIrF  – Route marches and bttn demonstrations.

Training films were shown for whole brigade in Apollo Cinema, Forli.

Brigade Commander visits training areas.

The officers of Medical Services of 78 Division held a dance in Forli to which invitations were extended to the Brigade Commander and other officers.


28th February – FORLI 4316.

Training:

2 Innisks – Field firing. 2 LIR – Flamethrower demonstration. Boating drill. 1 RIrF – Field firing. Individual training.

2 Innisks played Brigade HQ at football and beat Brigade HQ by three goals to one.

Brigade Commander visits training areas.