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9th Battalion Royal Fusiliers – War Diary September 1944

1st September 1944

1830 Advance party leaves for concentration area.

2nd September 1944

Battalion at one hour’s notice to move from 0820.

1845 Move on TCVs to concentration area.

2230 Arrived at area 934696.

3rd September 1944

1600 Battle Patrol sent to bridge 882802, object to stop enemy blowing bridge.

4th September 1944

0300 Battle Patrol returns unable to reach bridge.

0700 Half hour's notice to move.

1300 Move to new concentration area.

1445 Arrived area Mondiani.

1800 Moved forward to Monte Maggiore prior to attack.

2359 Crossed start line Montifiore 882803. Forward to 875815.

5th September 1944

0405 A Company contact enemy area 876811. Spandau and mortar fire. Strength unknown.

0710 One platoon of B Company sent to assist A Company.

0750 One troop of tanks sent in support of A company.

0930 Heavy shelling of road by the enemy.

1000 Tac HQ heavily shelled. Major Legge killed.

One PoW taken by A Company at 867823.

2100 D company and Battle Patrol returned, five PoWs taken.

2210 D Company reached objective, were counter-attacked and had to withdraw.

6th September 1944

0330 B and C companies attack Croce. B Company right, C Company left.

0345 B Company forced to withdraw, C Company half way to Croce. Heavy machine gun fire from Croce, C Company held up.

0400 B Company took up position 873820.

0755 Under machine gun fire from Gemmano 858805.

1140 C Company in Croce being heavily shelled. C Company HQ in area of church.

1600 C Company twice counter-attacked, successfully repulsed. A Company sent to reinforce C Company.

1630 One troop tanks sent in support of C Company.

1700 Seven PoWs taken by C Company.

2030 Forty-nine PoWs taken by A and C Companies.

2115 A and C Companies counter-attacked, enemy supported by tanks.

2200 C Company asks for assistance.

2240 No communications with A and C Companies.

2300 Battle Patrol moved forward to assist C Company.

7th September 1944

0300 Positions of A and C Companies still confused.

0500 A Company withdraw and take up new positions 869825.

0900 Twenty-two PoWs taken by Battle Patrol.

0910 Tac HQ heavily shelled.

1115 Major Dale DSO, MC, C Company reported into Tac, remnants of company with A Company.

1600 Tac heavily shelled.

2100 C Squadron 44 Reconnaissance Corps passed through Tac to take up positions Croce 865827.

8th September 1944

1200 Battalion and Tac heavily shelled.

2130 1 Welch took over from C Squadron 44 Recce. 44 Recce took over our positions.

9th September 1944

0200 Take over complete.

0300 Battalion in rest area 897799.

10th September 1944

Battalion resting.

2359 Two hours’ notice to move. Battalion on counter-attack role.

11th September 1944

0900 Battalion left for new area.

1230 Arrive new area. Battalion HQ 983776.

12th September 1944

Battalion resting.

13th September 1944

0700 Battalion at two hours’ notice to move.

1030 Battalion embuss at 938776. Move in TCVs to Morciano then by route march to area 877834.

1615 CO went forward to Tac of 2/7 Queen’s. Battalion moved to harbour area 866845.

1730 Battalion heavily shelled.

1810 Battalion heavily shelled, some casualties.

2020 Relief of 2/7 Queen’s completed. Tac HQ 863847.

2330 7 Ox and Bucks and 8 Royal Fusiliers passed through.

14th September 1944

1400 Battalion standing by to move to new area 8584.

2200 Battalion move off to new area.

15th September 1944

0130 Battalion in position Tac HQ 856848.

0900 CO told that new objective now Mullanzano 825867. Daylight recce to river, no enemy seen.

2200 Battalion move off for FUP.

2359 Barrage for attack starts.

16th September 1944

0230 Companies cross river, Tac cross in rear of companies.

0350 Tac HQ 832856 positions of companies not clear.

0610 A and B Companies established in area village 825867. D Company on ridge 823861.

0620 D Company knock out three machine-gun positions.

1030 Heavy shelling, two direct hits on Tac HQ – no casualties.

1400 Tac HQ shelled.

17th September 1944

0600 Quiet night. 1 London Irish passed through our position.

1530 A and B Companies under mortar and shellfire. Casualties light.

18th September 1944

0600 Quiet night. Battalion now in reserve.

1400 A and B Companies withdrawn from Mullazano to area of Tac HQ.

19th September 1944

Battalion resting.

20th September 1944

Battalion resting.

21st September 1944

0415 Advance party leaves for new area.

0620 Battalion march off to new area.

0930 Battalion arrived new area. Tac HQ 798885

22nd September 1944

Battalion informed we will remain in area three days.

23rd September 1944

0900 Battalion paraded. Informed by CO that the 8th and 9th Royal Fusiliers were to be amalgamated into one battalion called 9th Battalion, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel J.R. Cleghorn.

Companies to be known as X, Y, Z.

24th September 1944

Battalion now reformed. Tac HQ 798893.

25th September 1944

Battalion resting.

26th September 1944

0900 Battalion at two hour's notice to move.

1850 Battalion march off to new area.

2150 Arrive new area. Tac HQ 784943.

27th September 1944

1730 Battalion march off to concentration area.

2000 Arrive new area. Tac HQ 744996.

28th September 1944

1010 X Company move forward.

1015 Y Company move forward.

1115 Z Company move forward.

1300 Tac HQ moves forward to new location.

1415 Tac HQ at 740008. Z Company in area 740010 dug-in off road.

1700 Forward Company X 726025. Y Company 724023, both companies counter-attacked. Both successfully repulsed. Z Company moves forward to 734023.

1810 CO decides to keep X and Y Company in present positions.

29th September 1944

0315 Pioneer officer goes forward to recce crossings of the River Fiumincino 7202.

0350 Y Company patrolled to rail/river bridge 719019. Report bridge intact. Water rising rapidly and waist deep in places.

0530 X Company patrol to St. Mauro 7303. Patrol fired on 200 yards north of crossroads 729029. No Casualties.

1107 Y Company report two enemy tanks 200 yards east of 717022. Also enemy digging in area 719026. Sheldrake acting.

1140 Enemy attacking platoon of Y Company in area bridge 739020. Artillery breaks up attack.

1257 Enemy tanks and infantry reported 722022. Artillery acting.

1445 Brigadier visits Tac HQ.

1600 Loud explosion heard from direction Savignano.

1615 Y Company report bridge at 719019 blown.

1630 Z Company patrol to Canadians in St. Mauro. All quiet.

2020 X Company ordered to send patrol to River Fiumincino to recce crossing places for a) infantry and b) tanks.

30th September 1944

0100 X Company patrol returned. Report bridge at 712032 blown and road mined.

0135 X Company report enemy positions in far bank of river 722025. Three PoWs taken.

0415 X and Y Companies heavily shelled.

0515 X Company report houses left of track 718024 occupied. Depth of river two to three feet and steep banks and scrub on both sides.

0530 CO orders platoon of Z Company plus one MMG to houses north of railway 722019.

0800 Brigadier visits Tac HQ.

1130 Two platoons of Z Company to move to area of 717024.

1325 Z Company reports held up by MG fire. Heavy shelling in area 723020.

1340 Z Company asks for artillery to engage targets 717024.

1405 Z Company now trying to move round on left.

1435 Brigadier orders Z Company not to go round on left.

1520 Z Company ordered back to old position. One platoon with MMG to stay in present position.

1930 Enemy plane over battalion area. No casualties.

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