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Mareth Line

MARETH LINE

A defensive position in Tunisia.

The Mareth Line was designed by the French to protect Tunisia's southeastern flank against an Italian invasion from Libya. Twenty-two miles (35 km) long, it was named for Mareth, a small town southeast of Gabès. In November 1942, following the defeat of Gen. Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps at al-Alamayn by British forces under Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, the Germans rushed reinforcements and equipment to Tunisia. The Mareth Line was the southern key to German defenses.

Breaking through the Mareth Line became a major objective of Allied forces. In March 1943, the British Eighth Armytogether with forces from France and New Zealandassaulted the Mareth Line. An outflanking maneuver by New Zealand troops forced General Jürgen von Armin to withdraw his forces to Enfidaville, near the Cape Bon peninsula.


Bibliography


Nelson, Harold D., ed. Tunisia: A Country Study, 3d edition. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1988.

larry a. barrie

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