The London Irish At War 1939 -1945

The London Irish Rifles at War is the official history of the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the London Irish Rifles during the Second World War. It was originally published in 1948 and is a unique record, mainly based on the official diaries, of the two battalions’ sacrifices and achievements.The Irish Brigade website is privileged to present the text of the book in full in memory of those who served within the regiment during the war. We have decided to divide the book into two parts: one covering the history of the 1st Battalion and one for the 2nd Battalion, which formed part of the 38th (Irish) Brigade from 1942 to 1947.

The two battalions served briefly together in the final phases of the war in northern Italy and The Irish Brigade website believes that the regiment’s extraordinary war record is best understood when their histories are read separately. The London Irish Rifles was a pre-war Territorial Army formation that recruited from volunteers and secured more battle honours during the 2nd World War than all but one unit of the British Army.

This unique record of courage and commitment is published on The Irish Brigade website with thanks to the author, the London Irish Rifles Regimental Association and all veterans of the London Irish Rifles, their families and friends.

Click here to read the war diaries of the 2nd Battalion.

London Irish Rifles at War

Part I – UK/Tunisia

January to October 1942 –  Preparing for War in Norfolk and Ayrshire

November 1942 –  Sailing from Greenock to Algiers

December 1942 – Patrolling the Goubellat Plain

January 1943 – Disaster at Hill 286.

February 1943  – Fighting on Stuka Ridge.

March 1943 – Rest and Reorganisation

April 1943 – The Jebels north of Medjez-el-Bab

May/June 1943 -Triumphant entry into Tunis/Training for future battles

Part II – Sicily

July 1943 – Crossing the Mediterranean

August/September 1943 – Advancing from Centuripe to Randazzo

Part III – Adriatic

October 1943 – Fighting from Termoli to the Trigno

November 1943 – Ready to cross the Sangro

December 1943 – From Mozzagrogna to the Moro

Part IV – Apennines

January 1944 – Defensive positions at Montenero

February 1944 – At rest in Campobasso

March 1944 – To the Cassino front

Part V – Cassino/Trasimene

April 1944 – Monte Castellone

May 1944 – Advances in the Liri Valley

June 1944 – Breakthrough at Lake Trasimene

Part VI – Rome

July 1944 – Parading at the Vatican

Part VII – North of Florence

October 1944 – Monte Spaduro

November 1944 to February 1945 – Wintering in the Mountains

Part VIII – Argenta to Austria

March 1945 –  The Senio Floodbank

April 1945 – Breakthrough to the Po River

May 1945 – Into Austria

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