|| CO: Lt Col AWA Llewellyn Palmer DSO MC
|| North Irish Horse
Squadrons are dispersed as follows:-
On the right is Recce Sqn under Capt Thomas MC facing the Spit, supporting 3/XXII Cremona and composed of
- 1 troop of 3 Honeys
- 1 troop of 3 95mm Churchills 1
- troop of 3 6pdr Churchills 1 tr
- oop of 3 75mm Shermans.
In the centre in the area of SAN ALBERTO is A Sqn supporting XXII Regt Cremona.
On the left B Sqn supporting 2nd Canadian Inf Bde.
C Sqn in reserve in RAVENNA.
|| On the right there was intense German arty activity. All telephone lines were cut. On the 2nd Canadian Bde front recces were made in preparation for an attack on C BARONIO, a house which is occupied by the enemy. Heavy shelling in early evening. 1Tp and 4Tp of B Sqn were ordered to stand to in case of a break through.
|| Recce Sqn & A Sqn NTR.
B Sqn – at 0200 95mm and 75mm tanks support PPCLI in attack on C. BARONIO. 2Tp, a composite troop for this operation, of 3 6pdrs moved forward to support with direct fire. PPCLI occupied C. BARONIO and enemy blew it up with prepared remotely detonated charges – 37 casualties.
1st Canadian Inf Bde relieved 2nd Canadian Inf Bde. B Sqn remain in same position and role.
|| Quiet day everywhere. Road deteriorate, tanks to move only in emergency.
|| Recce Sqn carry out harassing fire on the right flank.
|| At about 0600 a force of about 50 Germans surrounded CASA FARRARESI on the Recce Sqn sector. They cut the phone wire, cleared two gaps in the minefield and attacked the house with flame-throwers, bazookas and SA. After considerable delay news of this was received by Capt Thomas who at once despatched his Shermans in an effort to restore the situation. On their arrival they found that the enemy had withdrawn, leaving one dead (1st Para Div). Later in the day the Honey troop relieved the Shermans and shot one German. Visibility deteriorated to 40 yards. On B Sqn sector 75mm tanks kept up HF during the day and 7.92 Besas did HF on suspected enemy HQ throughout the night.
|| Recce Sqn received several false alarms. B Sqn continued shooting HF day and night. The 75mm daylight firing was described as very successful.
|| B Sqn continued HF.
|| In B Sqn sector heavy rain made the roads impassable. Sqn area had very heavy mortar fire during the night 9/10. Six men from each troop of C Sqn who are in reserve, where detailed to take over the dug-in Shermans which had previously been manned by the Canadians. These eleven Shermans are dug-in on the front running South from SAN ALBERTO to SUN ROUTE. Capt FA Morris 92i/c C Sqn) is in comd of this A/Tk formation.
|| Visibility improved in the right sector South of the Spit. Enemy positions North of the RENO were shelled. B Sqn reported that supplying the tanks was becoming even more difficult. Major RD Morton MC, OC C Sqn, inspected the dug-in tank positions and commented that they were NOT satisfactorily sighted; their field of fire seldom exceeded 200 yards.
|| Lt Mahon observed two Germans entering a house, CASA DEROCATA, and obtained direct hits with his 95mms. B Sqn continued HF.
|| Shermans of Recce Sqn moved up to engage CASA RONCONI which the enemy had been using as a OP. After they had returned for the night to their harbour house it was hit by two 150mm shells – no casualties.
|| Recce Sqn 95mm tanks carried out HF on the Spit. B Sqn carried out HF in support 1st Canadian Inf Bde.
|| 3/XXII Regt Cremona HQ was hit by two heavy calibre shells. A large counter battery programme was put into effect with good results. The Recce Sqn 95mm tanks took part in this. B Sqn received a POW report that their HF from Besa is very accurate and does not do the enemy morale any good.
|| Major Welch inspected the dug-in Shermans. On the Spit sector considerable enemy movement was reported and an HF programme was successfully laid on by arty, tanks and mortars. 17 RCR, including one officer, were captured by a German patrol during the night 15/16.
|| Germans again came to CASA FARRARESI which they had entered on the 6th. An S mine exploded and gave the game away.
|| The CO inspected the dug-in tanks and decided they were unsatisfactory. B Sqn continued HF which was reported to be very effective.
|| HF by B Sqn.
|| There was a lot of enemy activity on the Spit. The enemy made another abortive attempt on CASA FARRARESI. HF by B Sqn. Cremona Grp have given permission for C Sqn to abandon the dug-in Shermans.
|| C Sqn withdrew 7 of their 11 crews who had been manning the Shermans.
|| Recce Sqn on HF with their Shermans. B Sqn carried out HF tasks.
|| Recce Sqn on HF tasks. LCpl Tombes and Tpr Taylor wounded by enemy counter-battery fire. Major Sidebottom met CO 12th Lancers to recce a position for 1Tp B Sqn to go to. They will move a little North to support 12th Lancers. B Sqn on usual HF tasks.
|| C Sqn relieved A Sqn in SAN Alberto. A Sqn now come into reserve at RAVENNA. In B Sqn sector 17th Indian Inf Bde relieved 1st Canadian Inf Bde. B Sqn remain in present positions.
|| C Sqn surveyed and shot in the 95mm Churchills.
|| Major Morton discussed with the Cremona rep the outline of an attack to be made to clear the southern part of the Spit, up to RENO near the Adriatic coast. It is scheduled for 2nd March. B Sqn received light mortaring during their HF tasks.
|| C Sqn carried out recce for the proposed attack. 21 Bde REs cleared a minefield under direction of Lt Norris (RE).
|| Three flame throwing Churchills arrived under comd C Sqn in SAN ALBERTO.