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9th Battalion Royal Fusiliers – War Diary January 1945

1st January 1945

0015 Artillery repeat stonk on Zotto 334301.

0200 Patrol from W Company to Palzo Archi 339302 fired on and believed enemy fixed line firing down track towards 388299.

0530 Patrol from Y Company to C. Cavina 327296, fired on when 50 yards from buildings: Result one man wounded. Patrol withdrew.

0545 Patrol from Y Company to C. Lama 329298 drew fire from buildings, result patrol withdrew – no casualties.

0610 W Company patrol to Zotto 334301 – report no sign of enemy in area buildings.

0835 Y Company attacking C. Cavina 327296 going well.

0950 Y Company report capture of C. Cavina 327296.

1000 Nine POW 2/994/278 taken at 327296.

1030 Further 9 POWs captured same area.

1440 Y Company’s patrol to house report – house empty evidence of hurried withdrawal.

1520 Division commander visit to Tac HQ.

1530 Y Company commence advance on Zotto 334301.

1535 Tanks in support of Y Company 150 yards from objective.

1635 Y Company pinned down by heavy enemy mortar fire.

1700 Y Company still unable to make any progress and ordered back to C. Cavina 327296 and C. Lama 329298.


2nd January 1945  

Quiet night 1st/2nd January till 0600hrs.

0420 Own artillery stonk Il Collegio 332304.

0515 Mortars engage Il Collegio 332304.

0525 W Company patrol to Pal Archi 339302 report: patrol drew fire from objective.

0545 Patrol from W Company to Zotto 34301 found enemy not occupying buildings.

1000 Brigade commander visits Tac HQ.

1005 Standing patrol of W Company report four Germans observed between houses at Pal Archi 339302.

1200 Standing patrol of Y Company to house 331301 and capture six PoWs 2/993/278.

1535 Recce patrol from Y Company to Casseto 320300: - report houses unoccupied.

1800 O Group.


3rd January 1945

0015 Battle Patrol capture Il Collegio 332304.

0140 Enemy counter attack on Il Collegio 332304 and repulsed.

0500 Patrol from W Company to Zotto 334301. Report:- Enemy in possession did not attempt to engage.

0715 Y Company report:- In contact with Battle Patrol at Il Collegio 332304.

0800 W Company standing patrol – Report:- two enemy seen Pal Archi 339302.

0830 X Company commence advance to clear Pal Archi 339302.

1000 X Company report Zotto clear 334301.

1200 House at 336304 and C. Tradadello 343305 reported clear by X Company.

1235 Tanks report suspected SP gun at 323308 and anti-tank gun at C. Callegati 331308.

2000 Recce patrol to ditch 328304. Report ditch three foot wide and three foot deep.

2300 One PoW deserter to Battle Patrol 3/993/278.


4th January 1945

0001 Quiet night except for occasional mortaring and shelling of forward positions.

0725 Patrol from X Company report: Monte 338307 still held by enemy.

0940 X Company take Monte 338307 and also capture C. Rossa 344307.

1300 Advance Tac HQ moves forward.

1530 Tac HQ established Il Collegio 332304.

1600 Enemy shells landed in vicinity close to Tac HQ resulting in two ORs killed and four wounded.

1810 Locations. X Company HQ 336317. Platoons at 333326, 330332. W Company HQ 329315. Platoons at 328313, 329315 with one platoon of Z Company at 327317. Y Company 339323, 342322. Z Company HQ and one platoon at 334310.

2000 3 PoWs ?/Grenadier Regiment 993/ Infanterie Division 278.


5th January 1945

0120 W Company patrol contact 1 London Scottish 324316.

0330 Y Company patrol report in area Borghetto 342329.

0620 Y Company report Canadians contacted them at 0550hrs.

0930 Advance Tac moves to new area.

1030 Tac HQ established at D. Boscoe 329315.

1120 X Company report left platoon in position 329333.

1300 W Company area C. Fabbri 328318.

Y Company area Borghetto 342329.

Z Company area C. Archi 335317.

2300 X Company recce patrol report enemy MG at 331337. River bank area 330334 to 332335 recced, no contact with enemy.

2330 X Company report enemy patrol dispersed by 2-inch mortar fire.


6th January 1945

0100 Patrol from X Company to sleeper bridge 333337 fired on from opposite bank of river. Report a two-yard cutting through near bank. Enemy fired 2 Verey lights, further recce was impossible so patrol withdrew.

0300 Nebelwerfer stonk on forward companies.

0500 Contact patrol from companies report all clear.

0600 Patrol from Y Company to recce river at 334338 to 346338. Observed enemy standing on opposite bank, patrol withdrew.

0800 Y Company report OP and snipers established at C. Vanni 343337.

0900 Quiet day on battalion front with occasional mortaring and shelling.

1850 X Company report enemy half-track in area 333337. North side of river.

2350 Patrol from X Company established at house 336336 then patrol leader and two ORs recced houses 338337, result houses believed to be occupied.


7th January 1945

0030 Patrol from X Company to riverbank 333337 found bank very steep and slippery, patrol fired on from 331337, no sign of enemy on or side of the river, further recce made impossible by heavy fall of snow.

0230 Patrol from X Company to river bank to houses 338337 encountered Bosche patrol so own patrol withdrew.

0730 Patrol from X Company contacted Canadians at 349334. Y Company’s patrol to C. Vanni 343337. Nothing to report. Quiet day, suspected enemy OP and MG positions engaged by mortars and artillery. Occasional enemy shelling on our front.

2130 Patrol from X Company established house 336336 and are operating between there and houses 338337.

2330 Patrol from house 336336 warned to keep indoors while mortars stonk twin houses 338337.


8th January 1945

0145 Artillery engage twin houses 338337.

0200 One Sergeant and two ORs from Battle Patrol recce bulge in river at 342338 report movement very difficult owing to snow being frozen. Patrol fired on from twin houses 338337 also fired on from opposite bank, no enemy encountered this side of river.

0700 Companies carried out contact patrols during night. Nothing to report.

1000 Y Company OP report enemy seen on far bank of river 343338 also enemy positions along bank 348338, 350337.


9th January 1945

0315 X Company report small enemy patrol approached house 336336, driven off by small arms fire and claims one enemy possibly killed by X Company’s standing patrol at house 336336, which went there at 2100hrs.

0700 Contact patrols carried out by all companies. Nothing to report. Quiet day on battalion sector, occasional shelling and mortaring of forward positions by enemy. Another light fall of snow.


10th January 1945

0300 Battle Patrol recce to houses 338337 observed enemy in area.

0630 X Company report Nebelwerfer stonk on company positions.

0700 Artillery engage Nebelwerfer located at 310335.

0730 Company contact patrols during the night. Nothing to report.

0800 Battalion preparing for relief by 44 Recce Regiment.

1200 Thinning out of troops commences.

1900 Relief completed without incident. Battalion rest area 1/50,000 Sheet 100 IV Forli. Battalion HQ established Birandolla 381257. Companies dispersed in area two miles from Battalion HQ. All troops billeted in houses.


11th January 1945

Day spent in settling in and baths.


12th January 1945

Battalion celebrates Christmas. Dinner served at 1600hrs. Lieutenant-Colonel Cleghorn DSO visited all troops during the day.

1500 Visit to battalion by six M.P.s (from England to Italy on visit) who spoke to all troops


13th January 1945

Battalion has free day.


14th January 1945  

Companies now established in the following areas. W Company 361242. X Company 373243. Y Company 376246. Z Company 353245. Support Company 387261. HQ Company and Battalion HQ Birandolla 381256.

Battalion commences training.


15th January 1945  

Normal routine and training.


16th January 1945  

Normal routine and training.


17th January 1945  

Normal routine and training.


18th January 1945  

Visit to battalion by Division Commander (Major-General Whitfield DSO) who visited companies on training.


19th January 1945  

Normal routine and training.

1400 Commanding Officers O Group (all COs attended of neighbouring units).


20th  January 1945

Normal routine.


21st  January 1945

Normal routine and training.


22nd  January 1945

Normal routine and training.


23rd January 1945

Normal routine and training.


24th January 1945

Normal routine and training.

0730 Party leave for Rome leave.


25th January 1945

Normal routine. Commanding Officer on conference at Brigade. Fall of snow night 24th/25th.


26th January 1945

Normal routine and training.


27th January 1945

Normal routine and training.


28th January 1945

Normal routine and training.


29th January 1945

Normal routine and training.


30th January 1945

Normal routine and training.


31st January 1945   

Normal routine and training.


The National Archives (TNA) WO 170/5007 9 Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)