Once in a while I come across stories that don't really concern my research directly, but that nothing much is really published about and I find really interesting. This time I found myself following a line of research for the action involving no.6 commando (lead by D.Mills-Roberts: irish guards) and No3 Herman Goering Jager Bn & 14 Pz Gr Regt, at a location known as "steamroller farm" (named because of a large steamroller parked there). In copying the 78th divisions war diary on my last visit to TNA, I found some additional documents which describe the action fairly clearly and which I hope will be of interest to researchers and families of those involved. Specifically my question regarded what 14 wounded commando's from VI commando were doing in the area of steamroller farm (513118) when they were rescued on the 28th feburary 1943 from captivity by a forcing comprising of capt. Windsor-Clive's 3 coy (supported by 2 coy) from the 2nd Bn Coldstream Guards, and a number of churchills from ‘A’ Sqn, 51 R Tanks, commanded by Major E W H Hadfield. (you might know the region by its better known name: "tally-ho!" corner) I asked around but nothing was forthcoming so I thought I'd investigate, compiling bits and pieces from different wae diaries and make them public when I had a clear picture as to what was going. As a result here is the complete account of the battle of the battle of steamroller farm, prior to the arrival of the coldstream on the 28th. (action summary): The Battle for steamroller farm Location: Tunisia (26th to 27th of Febuary 1943) Grid 513118 Map sheets 33 and 34 (Tunisia: 150,000) Latitude = 36.4547, Longitude = 9.5086 (N36.4547, E9.5086 for google maps) No 6 commando were tasked with actively patrolling south of medjez after rumours reached the ears of the 78th division (and its temporary cousin "Y Division") regarding possible german infiltration through the hills north east of El Arousa (Al arusha today). This turn of events presented a potentially serious problem for the allies as it was in this locality that the main road to medjez ran; a road which due to the difficult nature of the hilly Tunisian terrain was a major line of communication for the british 1st army.... one which had proved vital in the movement of men and equipment south which had suddenly been neccissarry to thwart Rommels ambitions at the Kasserine and Sbiba passes in the south. These same hills appears to have lulled allied high command into a false sense of security however, as presumably it had been thought that any sort of heavy incursion into the area was unlikely due to the logistics involved in supplying the force across such an environment. After all the allies had just been taught a logistical lesson (in particular lessons regarding the movement of tanks across open ground) during the heavy rains just a few weeks before and the germans were believed to be experiencing supply difficulties. Unknown to the allies however, the german force was substanital, and it was being supplied by air drops. The commandos ran straight into an ambush, the germans destroying a number of the commandos trucks before they could react. Counter attacking immediately in an attempt to rescue the occupants the commandos fought back bravely, and were (arguably) gaining the upper hand when a number of panzer grenadiers arrived with tanks and tipped the tide of the battle. The Commando's were forced to retreat, but not before suffering substantial casualties, and over 80 men missing. To understand why this battle was so important you have to understand the timing. It comes just after the battles of the Kasserine pass, when there was a great fear of a further german offensive in the region. Steamroller farm, located on a small hill overlooking the main road, controls the entire approach from Medjez to Al Arusah in to the south west. Severing this vital link to the front line with a force capable of occupying it for any sustained length of time could have been a disaster. Given the ammount of equipment left behind (including 88mm guns) it was clear that the germans planned to do a substantial amount of damage to the allied war effort. My report here includes the original war diaries from the diaries of No.6 commando. The medal cards from no 6.commando. And the map and description of the conflict from 78th divisions war diary. First up is the actual diary from no.6 commando (from the 15th Feb to the 28th) and the official account of what happened (appendix N).