infantry

Apr

27

1943

Another posthumous V.C. In Tunisia

27th April 1943: Another posthumous V.C. In Tunisia

So quickly had this officer acted that he was in among the crew with the bayonet before they had time to fire more than one shot. He killed a number of them before being overwhelmed and killed himself. The few survivors of the gun crew then left the pit, some of them being killed while they were retiring, and both the heavy machine gun and 88 millimetre gun were silenced.

Apr

23

1943

Two V.C.s in fierce Tunisian battles

23rd April 1943: Two VCs in fierce Tunisian battles

On the first objective and still under continual enemy fire, Major Anderson re-organised the Battalion and rallied men whose Commanders, in most cases, had been either killed or wounded. The Commanding Officer having been killed, he took command of the Battalion and led the assault on the second objective. During this assault he received a leg wound, but in spite of this he carried on and finally captured ” Longstop ” Hill with a total force of only four officers and less than forty other ranks.

Apr

8

1943

Gunner Milligan survives a German artillery ‘stonk’

8th April 1943: Gunner Milligan survives a German artillery ‘stonk’

Behind him a stiff, bitter-faced Afrika Korp Oberlieutenant marched with all the military dignity he could muster, none of his men looked like the master-race. As they passed, our lads stood up in their fox-holes farting, and giving Nazi salutes; recalling the ritual of ancient conquerors riding on a palanquin and parading their prisoners of war behind them. Here there were shouts of ‘you square-head bastards’ and ‘I bet we could beat you at fucking football as well.’

Apr

6

1943

Two VCs following fierce battle at Wadi Akarit

6th April 1943: Two VCs following fierce battle at Wadi Akarit

Knowing that more men were lying wounded in the open he again went out to the bullet swept slope, located a second wounded man and carried him to safety. Private Anderson went forward once again and safely evacuated a third casualty. Without any hesitation or consideration for himself he went out for a fourth time but by now he was the only target the enemy had to shoot at and when he reached the fourth wounded man, and was administering such first aid as he could to prepare for the return journey, he was himself hit and mortally wounded.

Mar

30

1943

Irish Guards suffer heavy losses in hilltop battle

30th March 1943: Irish Guards suffer heavy losses in hilltop battle

The mortars covered the withdrawal of 5 wounded men (Sergeant DEAZLEY, Sergeant MEARS, McCAFFERTY, and two gunners) and then were ordered to withdraw. Major GORDON-WATSON had come up to join them. THey came down the track towards No. 3 Company, but found it under heavy shell fire, turned and tried another way. As they came to the railway bridge they noticed, just in time, a wire stretched across the road to which was suspended a mine.

Mar

20

1943

Victoria Cross for attack on the Mareth Line

20th March 1943: Victoria Cross for attack on the Mareth Line

He personally helped the team which, was placing the scaling ladder over the anti tank ditch and was himself the first to cross. He led the assault -firing his pistol, throwing grenades and personally assaulting two machine-gun posts which were holding the advance of one of his Companies. It is estimated that in this phase he killed or captured twenty Germans.

Mar

17

1943

The Irish Guards celebrate St Patricks Day in Tunisia

17th March 1943: Irish Guards celebrate St Patricks Day in Tunisia

Most of us headed like excited schoolboys for the port of Bone to see what delights it had to offer. Michael and I palled up with a couple of GIs who knew their way around. Within three hours the town was in uproar. The lads had been drinking the local wine as if it were the ale they were used to. The results were dramatic: fights broke out, windows were smashed and soon the Military Police were dragging soldiers away. It turned out to be quite a night in the best Irish tradition.

Mar

16

1943

Under shellfire during attack on the Mareth Line

16th March 1943:Under shellfire during attack on the Mareth Line

I don`t know what time it was when we crossed the Wadi Zeuss and got into the gap in the enemy minefield. Time lost its ordinary values, even tho’ I did check it frequently on the luminous face of my watch. The minefield gap lay just the other side of a marsh and was a thin lane marked by white tapes and lighted by tiny lights which seemed to shine like beacons.

Mar

14

1943

Night patrol on the Mareth Line

14th March 1943: Night patrol on the Mareth Line

At 5.30 a.m. there was a stand-to, trying hard to come to terms with an alien scenery of valley, hills and vegetation, the outcrop of rocks in the foothills so perfect for concealing an 88 or a troop carrier. We were on the receiving end of shelling throughout the day, not heavy but enough to get our shovels active and our slit trenches a few inches deeper.

Mar

10

1943

Fresh Wehrmacht troops encounter the ‘rasputitsa’

10th March 1943: Fresh Wehrmacht troops encounter the ‘rasputitsa’

The wonderful thing is that they were marching in rows of three and were singing! We step out of the heavily shelled huts and bunkers which have been our home and are unable to comprehend such a miracle. We stand there silently in our camouflage, caked with dirt, and we touch our stubbly faces in disbelief. They march along a series of small grave mounds with crosses on top and I get the impression that their voices tremble for a moment.