Menu Close

9th Battalion Royal Fusiliers – War Diary December 1944

1st December 1944

Order received for move to forward area.


2th December 1944

Demonstration by 1 London Irish Rifles – Capture of Hill and How to Hold it.

1500 Tea dance in canteen.


3th December 1944

Normal routine and training.


4th December 1944

1200 Battalion exercise – attacking force under Major W.W.M. Chard, defence under Major R.G. Porter.


5th December 1944

0100 Battalion exercise ends.

0630 Second leave party for England departs (9 ORs).

Routine training.


6th December 1944

Companies out practice river crossing. Second-in-command conference for tomorrow’s scheme.


7th December 1944

0800 Companies marched out to training area for river crossing.

1300 Exercise ended. Brigade and Divisional commanders present.

1700 CO lectures to all officers on river crossing.


8th December 1944

0830 Battalion on exercise – river crossing.

1330 Exercise ends.


9th December 1944

1500 Tea dance held in canteen.


10th December 1944

1000 Battalion church service held in 9 Royal Fusiliers canteen.


11th December 1944

0715 Advance party leaves for new Battalion area at Camerino.

CO receives the award of the Distinguished Service Order.

1020 Move order received. Battalion to move to the new area 12 December.


12th December 1944

Battalion moves to Camerino. B. 2494 Sheet 14 1/200,000.


13th December 1944

Normal routine and training.


14th December 1944

CO goes to hospital. Major Hamilton MC takes over command.


15th December 1944

0830 Skeleton Battalion HQ on Brigade Signals exercise.

1730 Exercise ends.


16th December 1944

Normal routine.

0800 Advance party leaves for new area.


17th December 1944

2359 Battalion embossed on TCVs left for new area.


18th December 1944

1415 Battalion arrives at San Carlo 552015.


19th December 1944

0400 Reveille for Battalion.

0545 Embussed on TCVs.

0830 Arrive and debussed at 354224 in preparation to take over from 4 Recce.

0930 Tac established at 354224 with W Company at 346241. X Company at 332236. Y Company at 357226. Z Company at 356236.

1110 Take over completed. Information from wireless intercept: - Enemy probably withdrawing. 169 Brigade report following identifications on front. 90 Panzergrenadier – 10 Company 361 Regiment 230255. 9 Company 200 Regiment 222245. £05 Division – 2 Company 577 Regiment 217224. 278 Division – 3 and 6 Companies 992 Regiment 306252. II Panzer Grenadier Regiment 288254. 1 and 2 Companies I Battalion 278267.

1220 CO orders W Company to draw fire from north river bank (River Lamone).

1255 CO orders X and W Companies to cross river with small parties (recce) with officer in command. W Company recce areas 325248 – 330249. X Company to area 335247 and 338243.

1340 Divisional commander visits tac HQ.

1400 X Company fired on from 352261.

1510 CO returns from Brigade.

1515 X Company reports engaging Spandau fire with PIAT fire and saw two enemy run out.

1530 CO orders OCs Y and W to Tac. The X Company patrol leave for river crossing.

1535 Pioneer Officer and 2 Intelligence Section on river recce.

1555 Battalion under command 167 Brigade.

1600 2/7th Queen’s two patrols out, first crossed at 259358 reached 355258, reported clear. Second patrol tried to cross at 358260 were fired at.

1620 Nebelwerfer fire on W Company patrol.

Patrol from W Company crossed 340242.

1745 W Company’s right hand platoon report two Spandaus in position, one firing across their front in area of centre platoon and the other one firing across their front.

1920 X Company report enemy mortar fire falling in Company area.

1940 O orders O Group.

2320 Z Company report sound of tracked vehicles on other side of river.


20th December 1944

0130 Tac established at 357227.

0230 Y and Z Companies cross river ferried by Pioneer platoon. Y crossed 338241, Z crossed 346224.

0415 Z Company report themselves in area 342274. Advance continues, small opposition.

0600 Z and Y Companies reached line of track 334247 E.S.E. to 340246 and continuing advance. X Company crossing river at 338241. W Company on south of river assisting crossings.

0620 CO and Intelligence Officer go forward to recce new Tac HQ.

0730 Tac established 335245.

0740 Z and Y reach line of road 335249 – 340240.

1130

1200 CO orders O Group.

1315 X and W leading Companies continuing advance.

1530 Leading companies no contact.

1730 Tac established at 346251.

1810 W and X Companies reach line of track 355266 S.E. to 361264. Company locations W 357264, X 347264, Y 348267, Z 353262.


21st December 1944

0300 Patrol from Y Company reports no contact on line of road 348269 – 354266.

0600 Patrol from W Company to line of track 354265 – 360265 no contact, enemy shell fell close and two men suffered blast. X Company report Spandau in area cross track 344274.

0800 Advance continues (Lieutenant E.R. Newman, Z Company killed).

1000 No contact, forward companies meeting Spandau fire from flanks.

1030 X Company ask for artillery support.

Order received to send eight men on UK leave.

1100 PoW from 5 Company Grenadier Regiment 993, 278 Division

1130 Two platoons of Y Company at 352264.

1230 CO order O Group.

1345 O Group ended.

1400 W Company report cross roads 344274 and houses at 357272 – 359274 clear.

1530 Z Company report stonk in their area.

1620 Z Company at 359275.

1700 X Company report in area 351279.

1930 Tac moves to area 353263.

2000 Locations - Tac HQ 353263. W at 359264. X Company 252268. Y Company at 357270. Z Company at 360274 2 platoons forward 363277 - 366275.

2050 CO goes forward to forward companies.

2150 CO’s O Group.

2340 O Group ends.


22nd December 1944

0040 Companies ask for DF tasks enemy shelling in Company areas. Patrols during night made no contact.

0800 Attack continues, supported by Sherman’s and one troop of M10s.

0930 One PoW Grenadier Regiment 993, 278 Division. Desert Air Force strafing in front of our leading troops.

1130 W Company at 341283.

1330 W Company at 370290. Y Company at 354280.

1620 W Company reach objective at 372295.

2000 W Company platoon and HQ at 375286. Platoons at 378287. X Company one platoon and HQ 372284. Y Company HQ 357277. Platoons at 355277, 358280, 353280. Z Company HQ and one platoon at 367282. Platoons at 364281, 366284.

2200 CO orders O Group.


23th December 1944

0200 Battle Patrol out to recce village Pieve-di-Cesato found no enemy – opened up with Thomson SMG fire but failed to draw fire.

0300

0800 Y Company move forward.

0945 Y reach Via Raspona 356297.

1000 X Company reached cross tracks 363293. Occasional stonks on whole front, and main opposition Spandau posts.

Tac HQ 364277.

1030

Forward companies ask for artillery support.

Xxxx

xxxxxx


25th December 1944

1630 W Company at 363308 under shellfire. Z Company take 4 PoW Grenadier Regiment 993, 278 Division.

1910 One PoW brought in by Z Company.

1910 CO leaves for Brigade.

2015 CO returns to Tac.

2200 O Group.


26th December 1944

0215 London Scottish patrol contacted Z Company.

0620 Artillery shells 362318 for Y Company.

0800 X Company begins advance to 375302.

0845 Z Company supported by troop of tanks advance 350300.

0915 Tanks demolish house at 350304.

1015 X Company report on 356296.

1140 Tanks now at 350300 and 355307.

1145 CO calls for Cabrank to bomb Granarlo railway station.

1220 Big fire observed from area of Granarlo railway station after bombing attack by Cabrank.

Tanks report mines holding up advance in area 347302.

1225 X Company reach 353306.

1240 Z Company held up by Spandaus at 357313. Tanks dealing with opposition.

1245 X Company report heavily shelled.

1330 Three PoW taken by X Company 354306.

1410 Cab rank again bombs Granarlo 3532. Artillery and tanks continually in support of X and Z Companies in area 357313 – 344304.

1435 W Company report enemy OP at 355322.

1530 X Company captured 3 PoW at 358307.

1650 X Company now between 350300 – 354305. W Company report platoon at Via Quaglia 351309.

1655 W Company held up by heavy stonk.

1710 CO orders W company to withdraw their platoon from 351309 under cover of darkness.

1715 One PoW from 6 Company, Grenadier Regiment 993, 278 Division.

1720 X Company now hold line 360303 – 354307. CO orders Z Company to hold Mazzolana 350304 – 350300 (Lieutenant Farnsworth and Lieutenant Page both killed). Y Company has one section 376311, one section 737311, platoon at 367314, platoon 369313.

1800 X Company take three PoWs at 354305.

2035 London Scottish contact Z Company.


27th December 1944

0050 One PoW taken by Z Company 6 Company Grenadier Regiment 993, 278 Division at 357296. Contact patrol during night.

0730 Advance continues. Tank at 367314. Reports all quiet.

0805 Tanks over canal at 356296. Our forward troops.

0830 Z Company held up by MG fire.

0840 Z Company reach 345303.

0850 X Company reach houses 350304.

0910 CO forward to bridge 350296 on recce.

1100 W Company approaching Officina 363293.

1140 W Company held up by fire from 363293.

1200 W Company capture Officina 363293.

1250 X Company report capture of Via Quaglia 350309.

1320 Z Company report Schu mines at 354312.

1400 Small enemy counter-attack on Via Quaglia repulsed.

1425 Our artillery stonk La Morretta 352312.

1600 Relief of Battalion by 6 Cheshires commences.

1900 Take over completed – no incidents.

2000 Tac HQ established 364276. (Sheet 99 I NE).


28th December 1944

Battalion in reserve – baths at Faenza.

1600 Lieutenant-Colonel J.R. Cleghorn DSO rejoins the Battalion and takes over command of the Battalion.


29th December 1944

0900 CO and Intelligence Officer and Company commanders on recce.

1300 Battalion on move.

1430 Tac HQ established 319263. W at 320264. X Company at 328263. Y Company at 315265. Z Company at 319256.

1630 Y Company ordered to send patrol to San Silvestro 318271 at 2400hrs.


30th December 1944

0300 W Company to same area.

1030 Brigade Commander visits Tac. Quiet day.


31st December 1944

1400 O Group at Tac. Plan – Battalion to relieve 1 London Scottish.

1900 Battalion on move.

2100 Tac HQ 348286. X Company 340293. Z Company 333285. W Company 337296. Y Company 332295.

RAP in area of Z company.

All companies on Sheet 88 II SE except Z Company who are on Sheet 99 I NE.

2250 Relief of 1 London Scottish by our Battalion completed without incident.

2350 Enemy self-propelled gun believed to be firing from area Zotto 334301. Artillery engaging same.