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.
2nd Battalion, London Irish Rifles at War.
PART I – From Scotland to North Africa.
January to October 1942 Preparing for War in Norfolk and Ayrshire.
November 1942 Sailing from Greenock to Algiers.
December 1942 Patrolling the Goubbelat Plain.
January 1943 Disaster at Hill 286.
February 1943 Fighting positions 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 further battles.
PART II – Sicily.
July 1943 Crossing the stormy Mediterranean.
August/September 1943 Advancing from Centuripe to Randazzo.
PART III – The Adriatic Coast.
October 1943 Fighting from Termoli to the Trigno river.
November 1943 Ready to cross the Sangro river.
December 1943 From Mozzagrogna to the Moro river.
PART IV – Apennine Mountains.
January 1944 Defensive positions at Montenero.
February 1944 At rest in Campbobasso.
March 1944 To the Cassino front.
PART V – Cassino/Trasimene.
April 1944 On top of Monte Castellone.
May 1944 Advances in the Liri valley.
June 1944 Breakthrough at Lake Trasimene.
PART VI – Rome.
July 1944 Parading in St Peter’s Square.
PART VII – Mountains north of Florence.
October 1944 Monte Spaduro.
November to February 1945 Wintering in the Mountains.
PART VIII – Argenta Gap.
March 1945 The Senio Floodbank.
April 1945 Breakthrough to the Po River.
May 1945 Into Austria.