Ligne Mareth, Campagne de Tunisie, Novembre 1942 – Mai 1943

Bataille de la Ligne Mareth en Tunisie, Novembre 1942 – Mai 1943

This diagram of the Mareth Line shows le déploiement des divisions italiennes et allemandes de la Heeresgruppe Afrika defending the line in front of Toujane, Mareth et Zarat in western Tunisia. La 8e Armée Britannique advanced against the Mareth Line on 17th Février 1943, encountering little opposition. The town of Medenine was occupied the following day et preparations for the attack began. On 6th March, trois Panzerdivisions allemands, two light divisions, et elements of trois divisions italiennes launched a preemptive attack from the Matmata mountains in the direction of Medenine, but they were repulsed by unusually heavy et very effective artillery fire. Rommel lost 55 of his remaining 150 chars in this action. Montgomery launched his own attack, code-named "Operation Pugilist", against the Mareth Line in the night of 19th/20th Mars 1943.

Elements de la 50e Division Britannique (Major General Kirkman) penetrated the Mareth Line et established a bridgehead west of Zarat on 20th/21st March, but a determined counterattack by 15. Panzerdivision (Generalmajor Borowietz) destroyed the pocket et established the line once again au course du 22 Mars. On 26th March, le X Corps Britannique du General Horrock flanked the Mareth Line west et northwest of the Matmata Mountains, crossing the Tebaga Valley et capturing the town of El Hamma. This flanking movement made the Mareth Line untenable. The following day, des unités allemandes et italiennes managed to check Horrock’s advance avec well-placed canons antichar, in an attempt to gain time for a strategic withdrawal from the Mareth Line. Within 48 hours the defenders of the Mareth Line marched 60 kilometers northwest et established new defensive positions at Wadi Akarit.

The town of Toujane in the Matmata Mountains

Le village berbère de Toujane dans les Monts de Matmata

View from the Toujane-Mareth road into the valleys below

La Vallée vue de la route Toujane-Mareth près du village de Toujane

Entrance to the Museum of the Mareth Line

Entrée au Musée Militaire de la Ligne Mareth

Musée Militaire de la Ligne Mareth

Musée Militaire de la Ligne Mareth

Canon antichar 2 pounder britannique devant le Musée Militaire de la Ligne Mareth

Canon Antichar 2 pounder britannique devant le Musée Militaire de la Ligne Mareth.

Garmin Points Tournants GPS Latitude Longitude Élévation
Matmata, Tunisia N 33°32′54.9″ E009°57′00.8″ 321 m
Mareth, Tunisia N 33°35′;46.0″ E010°18′39.3″ 63 m
Medenine, Tunisia N 33°21′21.9″ E010°28′35.0″ 121 m
GPS waypoints in WGS-84 format, taken avec a handheld GARMIN eTrex Summit Global Positioning System.

The concrete emplacements of the Mareth Line can still be seen alongside the road from Toujane to Mareth. Apparently, these bunkers are considered installations militaires tunisiens aujour’hui, et tourists are not permitted to photograph them.

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Campagnes, Batailles et Évènements de la Guerre du Désert