3 Bn Grenadier Guards attack on Dj Mansour (Tunisia)

Discussion in 'The Brigade of Guards' started by COMMANDO, Apr 30, 2008.


    COMMANDO Senior Member

    I am looking for information, eyewithness acounts, casualty list, and everything else you can provide about the battle at Djebel Mansour / Djebel Allilga(Tunisia) that took place in the first week of February 1943.
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I really wish you hadn't asked that because I almost bought the Grenadier Guards History for 90-odd quid the other day but thought I could use the money for something else.
    As there seems to be a few queries on the Gren Gds of late, I think I may have to use the old visa card after all.
    Edit: I've just spent £93.35 on the two Volumes. I must be mad.

    I'll post something soon from the shorter History that I do have.



    This chap was wounded there.
    Bobby Wills - Telegraph

    After landing in north Africa, Wills was severely wounded at Djebel Mansour, Tunisa, in 1943. Turning to his sergeant, he said, "Flood, put me on your back and we will carry on." But he was too badly injured, and his comrade insisted on taking him back.

    The Officer mentioned in the text, C.O.M Wills on CWGC,
    >> CWGC :: Casualty Details

    <TABLE class=datatable cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=2 width="97%" align=center border=0><TBODY><TR id=tr_name><TH vAlign=top align=right width="30%">Name:</TH><TD id=td_name>WILLS, CHARLES OVERTON MELVILLE</TD></TR><TR id=tr_initials><TH vAlign=top align=right width="30%">Initials:</TH><TD id=td_initials>C O M</TD></TR><TR id=tr_nationality><TH vAlign=top align=right width="30%">Nationality:</TH><TD id=td_nationality>United Kingdom</TD></TR><TR id=tr_rank><TH vAlign=top align=right width="30%">Rank:</TH><TD id=td_rank>Lieutenant</TD></TR><TR id=tr_regiment><TH vAlign=top align=right width="30%">Regiment/Service:</TH><TD id=td_regiment>Grenadier Guards</TD></TR><TR id=tr_unittext><TH vAlign=top align=right width="30%">Unit Text:</TH><TD id=td_unittext>3rd Bn.</TD></TR><!-- <tr> <td vAlign="top" align="left" width="30%">Force:</td> <td id="td_force"></td> </tr>--><TR id=tr_age><TH vAlign=top align=right width="30%">Age:</TH><TD id=td_age>20</TD></TR><TR id=tr_death><TH vAlign=top align=right width="30%">Date of Death:</TH><TD id=td_death>04/02/1943</TD></TR><TR id=tr_service><TH vAlign=top align=right width="30%">Service No:</TH><TD id=td_service>219038</TD></TR><TR id=tr_information><TH vAlign=top align=right width="30%">Additional information:</TH><TD id=td_information>Son of Capt. Walter Douglas Melville Wills and Gp. Offr. Penelope Wilhelmina Wills, W.A.A.F., of Wrington, Somerset.</TD></TR><TR id=tr_type><TH vAlign=top align=right width="30%">Casualty Type:</TH><TD id=td_type>Commonwealth War Dead</TD></TR><TR id=tr_grave><TH vAlign=top align=right width="30%">Grave/Memorial Reference:</TH><TD id=td_grave>9. A. 10.</TD></TR><TR id=tr_cemetery><TH vAlign=top align=right width="30%">Cemetery:</TH><TD id=td_cemetery>MEDJEZ-EL-BAB WAR CEMETERY</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

    COMMANDO Senior Member

    Thanks Owen ! I am interested in the action of the Guards as I am researching 1 Para and the Guards came to their supports.
    A few thinks can not be right...

    '...and it seemd from their report [1 Para] that it would be a very easy task'..

    I do not know where the historian came to write this but 1 Para was almost wipped out.!

    3 GG War Diary mention: At 10.00 hrs, the 1 Para Bn were reported to have captured Dj Mansour and El Alliliga; they had suffered fairly heavy casualties and required assistance from the grenadiers to hold their position.

    In fact only Mansour had been captured for some part, not even completly and the attack to take El Alliliga had failed.

    Nevertheless its the first detailed info I got about the role of the Guards in the battle appart from what is written in the WD

  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Glad that was of some help to you.
    When I get the full History*, I'll post more info.

    *THE GRENADIER GUARDS in the War of 1939-1945 Volume Two
    Nicolson - The Mediterranean Campaigns
  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Look what just arrived.



  6. Gerry Chester

    Gerry Chester WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Hi Owen,

    Although not directly connected to the original enquiry, the splendid efforts of thetream Guards on Longsrop Hill is of interest.

    On the night of 22/23 December 1942, the 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards mounted an attack, capturing what was thought to be all of the massif, before being relieved by the 18th US Regimental Combat Team while heavy rain fell. The Germans counter-attacked driving the Americans off Djebel el Ahmera. The next night the Guards successfully recaptured the hill only to find, when daylight came, that another summit, Djebel Rhar, remained to be assaulted. During the night the Guards once again attacked but, after capturing the second hill, were driven off by a furious counter-attack by the Germans on Christmas Day. Thereafter the massif was known by the Allies as "Longstop Hill" and by the Germans "Der Weihnachten Hügel". The name Longstop is "taken from the lay-back position near the boundary of the cricket field, containing as it does a hint of ne plus Ultra, thus far and no further." (Quote from 'At All Costs' by Bryan Perrett).

    Cheers, Gerry

    COMMANDO Senior Member

  8. Hereward

    Hereward Junior Member

    Did you find what you were after? I am just transcribing the war diaries of the 2nd Lothians and Border Horse who were there in support of the 3rd Grenadier Guards through the battle at Djebel Mansour and Djebel Allilga. Here's the entry in the diary at 1500hrs 04FEB1943
    3rd Grenadier Guards, who had gained a footing on DJ. ALLILIGA the previous evening, resumed the attack. The Sec. of Carriers (commanded 2/Lt. J. Patterson) and Major D.G. Worthington moved with the leading Company. Owing to the bad going the Valentine tank broke a track about 200 yds from the summit and the carriers were also unable to negotiate the hill further, crews dismounting and using their Bren guns from the flank. All vehicles came under heavy mortar and M.G. fire and were assisted by smoke from the two C.S. tanks. During this period No. 1 Troop was subjected to a Stuka attack and suffered no damage or casualties.

    3rd Grenadier Guards, who had reached the summit, were forced to withdraw to below the broken-down tank, which had to be abandoned.
    stolpi likes this.

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