bigpigeon.us webpage WW II - Germany >MTO > North Africa > Tunisia, updated by RAC 7 Oct '19.
The Tunisian Campaign began with four salient events in November 1942:
- After the Operation Torch Allied landings in Morocco and Algeria, the British First Army, which included the US II Corps, advanced east from Algeria into northern and central Tunisia.
- After the British Eighth Army victory at El Alamein, Rommel's German and Italian army began withdrawing west from northern Egypt across Libya.
- Meanwhile, Montgomery's Eighth Army followed the retreating German and Italian forces.
- Soon after the 8 November Torch landings, Germany began rushing troops from France and Italy into northern Tunisia using both sea transport and an airlift.
Tunisian Campaign Overview
A Tunisian Campaign Timeline
- 23 October: Montgomery launches Operation Lightfoot starting the Second Battle of El Alamein in northern Egypt.
- 5 November: Axis lines at El Alamein broken. Rommel's Axis forces in Egypt begin retreat west towards Tripoli, Libya.
- 8 November: Operation Torch is launched under overall command of General Eisenhower as Allied forces land in Morocco and Algeria.
Northern Tunisia, November-December 1942:
- 17 November: First Army (Operation Torch's Eastern Task Force) and Axis meet at Djebel Abiod in Tunisia.
- 27 November: First Army advance halted between Terbourba and Djedeida, 12 miles from Tunis, by Axis counterattack.
- 10 December: First Army front line pushed back to defensive positions east of Medjez el Bab.
- 22 December: First Army starts three-day offensive towards Tebourba which fails.
Central Tunisia, January-April 1943:
Southern Tunisia, February-April 1943:
- 4 February: Axis forces in Libya retreat to Tunisian border south of the Mareth Line. (Tripoli, Libya had been captured by the Eighth Army on 23 January.)
- 6 March: Axis forces launch Operation Capri against Eighth Army at Medenine but lose 55 tanks.
- 16 March: Battle of the Mareth Line begins.
- 19 March: Eighth Army launches Operation Pugilist.
- 23 March: U.S. II Corps defeats 10th Panzer Division at Battle of El Guettar. Battle of Mareth ends.
- 26 March: Eighth Army launches Operation Supercharge II outflanking and making the Axis position at Mareth untenable. Battle of Tebaga Gap takes place.
- 6 April: Right wing of First Army links with Eighth Army. Battle of Wadi Akarit takes place.
The Battle of Sidi Bou Zid
Men from southwestern Iowa, including Pottawattamie County, were heavily involved in combat in Tunisia, especially starting on 14 February 1943 at the Battle of Sidi bou Zid, just west of Faid Pass, in the early stages of the Battle of Kasserine Pass. At Sidi bou Zid, about half of the 168th Infantry Regiment surrendered after being left in an untenable position. Lost were regimental headquarters, the 3rd Battalion, and half of the 2nd Battalion. Colonel Bob Moore led half of the 2nd Battalion to safety during the night. The 1st Battalion was in reserve and survived intact.
Sources for the WW II - Tunisia webpage
- The page header photo, US POWS in Tunisia, was found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Kasserine_Pass#/media/File:Bundesarchiv_Bild_101I-557-1002-10,_Tunesien,_amerikanische_Kriegsgefangene.jpg.
- The Tunisia, 1942-43 map was found at Wikimedia Commons and is courtesy of Kirrages.
- A Tunisian Campaign Timeline is adapted from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_African_campaign_timeline.
- The Tunisia, Dawn 14 Feb '43 map by Gene Thorp is courtesy of Rick Atkinson's An Army at Dawn.
- The Final Victory in Tunisia map by Gene Thorp is courtesy of Rick Atkinson's An Army at Dawn.
- For a more-detailed map of the 34th Division's capture of Hill 609, see https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/USA-MTO-NWA/maps/USA-MTO-NWA-XIII.jpg
- The footnote photo, Col. Moore Comes Home, shows Lt. Col. Robert Moore, former commanding officer of the Second Battalion, 168th Infantry Regiment, returning to Villisca, Iowa in 1943. The photo, by Buddy Bunker of the Omaha World Herald, won a 1944 Pulitzer Prize.
Pottawattamie County, Iowa WW II Dead - Tunisia
(taken from the bigpigeon.us WW II Dead webarea)
(taken from the bigpigeon.us WW II Dead webarea)
- 02-01 - North Africa - Tunisia: (seven dead, updated 6 Oct ’19)
† Ball, John Jesse - SN 20-706-539, US Army
Co. C, 1st Ranger Bn.; KIA 25 Mar ’43 El Guettar, Tunisia, North Africa.
† Henderson, Robert William - SN 20-706-543, US Army
Co. L, 168th Inf. Regt., 34th Inf. Div.; KIA 16 Feb ’43, near Faid Pass, Tunisia, Battle of Kasserine Pass.
† Moore, Loyd Harry - SN 20-700-138, US Army
Hq., 34th Inf. Div.; DNB 14 Jun ’43 Mateur, Tunisia.
† Phinney, Russell Dayton Jr. - SN 20-704-300, US Army
168th Inf. Regt. Band, 34th Inf. Division; KIA 18 (sic) Feb ’43, near Faid Pass, Tunisia, Battle of Kasserine Pass.
† Storm, Clarence Lamont - SN 20-705-518, US Army
Co. F, 168th Inf. Regt., 34th Inf. Div.; KIA 1 May ’43 near Hill 609, northern Tunisia.
† Waage, Paul Allen
SN 20-704-306, US Army
168th Inf. Regt. Band, 34th Inf. Div.; KIA 17 Feb ’43 near Faid Pass, Tunisia, Battle of Kasserine Pass.
† Williams, Dale Withers Jr. - SN 17-078-051, US Army
1st Armored Regt., 1st Armored Div.; KIA 2 May ’43 near Mateur, northern Tunisia