Battle for the Mareth Line

Discussion in 'North Africa & the Med' started by Rotherfield, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. Rotherfield

    Rotherfield Senior Member

    Remembering today, the Officers and men of the 6th Bn Grenadier Guards who fought and died on the 16th / 17th March 1943.
    This was the Battalions first battle which started at 21.00hrs 16th March and ended approx 09.00hrs of the 17th their casualties were;
    16 Officers Killed 5 wounded and 5 missing believe to be POW.
    Other ranks wre 76 KIA 109 wounded and 3 missing.
    We will Remember Them
  2. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    Not to forget all the other formations of that battle. R.I.P.
  3. Darren Clapson

    Darren Clapson New Member

    My Great Uncle fought there as part of 74th Fd Regt RA. I am here to learn as much as I can about this campaign and other involving 50th Div. For Mareth, 74th were detached in direct support of the Guards Bde at Mareth.
  4. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles


    It was proper that we should have worn eagles upon our shoulders, for only birds could have visited so many lands, or could have soared to some of the places we fought. We went first and armies sprang up behind us. The tally of those whom we slew was likewise that of an army. We captured many lakhs of prisoners, and as they marched away, the columns stretched over the horizon. Of our men, we left the strength of two divisions upon our battlefields — Jo hukam!
    Chris C likes this.
  5. Stan Tullett

    Stan Tullett New Member

    Hi Darren,
    Just joined WW 2 Talks in order to research my Father's journey through the war, similar to yourself I guess. I am hoping that we might be able to exchange information in order to make sense of all those questions we should have asked when we had the chance. I have learnt a lot of the 74th's deployment as related on this sight by Steve, David and Dryan. Have you seen these reports?
    BFBSM, Takrouna and Chris C like this.
  6. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Hi Stan,

    It might be worth starting a private "Conversation" with Darren as he doesn't seem to have logged in here since October. A conversation might send him an email notice that someone wants to talk with him.

    Good luck!!

  7. Takrouna

    Takrouna Member

    Hi Stan, do you mean the Horseshoe battle along the Marerth line? I was there recently.
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  8. Stan Tullett

    Stan Tullett New Member

    Hello Chris,
    Many thanks for your assistance and suggestion I email Darren. I am at the very beginning of researching my Father's war history and not into specific battles. That said I am fascinated that you are travelling to the battle sites. My Father joined as a boy soldier from an Artillery family in India. I do know he was in the UK in August 1940 when his unit was sent overseas (he was too young). He was still here the following August (my sister was born April 1942) and he married my mother in Nov 1941. He then went overseas I believe shortly afterwards, intending to go India but the Queen Mary was diverted to North Africa due to the deteriorating situation there. He writes that after the enemy were stopped at Almaza he was then sent to the 74th Field suggesting this was not his first regiment. The next firm news I have was Sept '42 when he was wounded. From the information I have read on this site I am more knowledgeable about his war service than when he was with us. It is clear the 6th, 8th, and 9th DLI were the infantry with the 74th but as Dad went through to Germany rather than back to the UK when 30 Div returned to the UK I am tempted to guess it was the 9th DLI. So back to your question Chris, I believe he was at the Marerth battle but where I don't know. Will now read up on the Horseshoe battle.
    Many Thanks for you help and suggestion Chris.

  9. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    Small, contemporary update on the Mareth Line:
    Link (see pg. 12):
  10. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Welcome to the forum, Stan.

    The 74th Field Regiment, RA, were Divisional troops of the 50th (Northumbrian) Division, in peace and war. They were based in peacetime at South Shields.

    They were the field artillery support mainly for the 151st Infantry Brigade, being the 6th, 8th & 9th Bns Durham Light Infantry.

    They fought with 50 Div right through WWII, including with the BEF in Belgium and France, the Western Desert - Gazala, Gazala Gallop, 2nd El-Alamein, Mareth (aka Wadi Zigazou and Wadi Zigzag), Operation Husky (Sicily), D-Day and Normandy battles, Market Garden, The Island... until the 50 Div was returned home as a training cadre circa 1 December 1944, with Monty saying that they’d done enough.

    The 74th Field Regiment, RA, however, stayed in NW Europe joining the 49th (West Riding) Division, for the duration.

    Of the 151st Infantry Brigade, only the 9th Bn Durham Light Infantry remained in NW Europe, joining the 131st Infantry Brigade, 7th Armoured Division (The Desert Rats).

    I don’t know of any books specifically focussing on the 74th Field Regiment, in WWII. However, they are referred to in books about the 50 Div and the 6th, 8th & 9th Bns Durham Light Infantry.


    Last edited: Jan 24, 2021
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  11. Stan Tullett

    Stan Tullett New Member

    Hello Steve,
    Many thanks for your information, concise and very informative. Steve, in November 1941 do you happen to know the minimum age for troops before they were posted overseas? I have searched the web but can't find anything.
    Best Regards,
  12. Pte Harper

    Pte Harper Junior Member

    Hi there, I've been trying to research this battle too (along with many others). More specifically the attack on Carrier Hill carried out on 24/03/1943 by the 5th Black Watch. I cant seem to find any other reference to the named hill.

    I would suspect it to be in and around the highlighted area of the map, but could be slightly more towards the town of mareth.

    where would you go looking for that type of info, apart from the war diary's?

  13. ozymandias24

    ozymandias24 Member

    Hello everyone interested in the Mareth Line! I have just started a new thread on this topic. Perhaps some of you could help me with further information on maps of the fortifications? Walking Tunisia's Mareth Line in 2021

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