This diagram of the Mareth Line shows the deployment of Italian und German divisions of Heeresgruppe Afrika defending the line in front of Toujane, Mareth und Zarat in western Tunisia. The British 8th Army advanced against the Mareth Line on 17th February 1943, encountering little opposition. The town of Medenine was occupied the following day und preparations for the attack began. On 6th March, three German Panzerdivisions, two light divisions, und elements of three Italian divisions launched a preemptive attack from the Matmata mountains in the direction of Medenine, but they were repulsed by unusually heavy und very effective artillery fire. Rommel lost 55 of his remaining 150 tanks in this action. Montgomery launched his own attack, code-named „Operation Pugilist“, against the Mareth Line in the night of 19th/20th March 1943.
Elements of the British 50th Division (Major-General Kirkman) penetrated the Mareth Line und established a bridgehead west of Zarat on 20th/21st March, but a determined counterattack by 15. Panzerdivision (Generalmajor Borowietz) destroyed the pocket und established the line once again in the course of 22nd March. On 26th March, General Horrock’s British X Corps flanked the Mareth Line west und northwest of the Matmata Mountains, crossing the Tebaga Valley und capturing the town of El Hamma. This flanking movement made the Mareth Line untenable. The following day, German und Italian units managed to check Horrock’s advance with well-placed anti-tank guns, 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 und established new defensive positions at Wadi Akarit.
Blick von der Straße Toujane-Mareth in die Täler
Einfahrt zum Museum der Mareth-Linie
Das Militärmuseum der Mareth-Linie
Britische 2-Pfünder Panzerabwehrkanone vor dem Militärmuseum der Mareth-Linie
|GPS Wegpunkt||Nördl. Breite||Östl. Länge||Höhe|
|Matmata, Tunesien||N 33°32′54.9″||E009°57′00.8″||321 m|
|Mareth, Tunesien||N 33°35′46.0″||E010°18′39.3″||63 m|
|Medenine, Tunesien||N 33°21′21.9″||E010°28′35.0″||121 m|
|GPS Wegpunkte im WGS-84 Format. Aufgenommen mit dem GARMIN eTrex Summit GPS.|
The concrete emplacements of the Mareth Line can still be seen alongside the road from Toujane to Mareth. Apparently, these bunkers are considered Tunisian military installations today, und tourists are not permitted to photograph them.