Medenine - Rommel's next defensive line
March 1943

An Outline of the Battle

Rommel's next defensive line [after retreating from Tripoli] was the Mareth line. This was formed at the narrow point between the coast and the Matmata hills.

The Plan

The 51st Highland Division was moved to the northern, costal flank of the 8th Army. They were deployed with 152 Brigade on the left, 153 on the right and 154 Brigade covering the approaches to Medenine. The Division was thinly spread and so adopted a deployment of defended strong points interlocking with anti tank and machine gun fire. The position was masked by a screen of armoured carriers.

Major General Wimberley MC, GOC 51st HD

Major General Wimberley MC, GOC 51st HD

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Major General Wimberley, MC, GOC of the 51st Highland Division discusses a point on the map with one of his officers at Divisional Headquarters.


Black Watch Museum


1943 . Black Watch . Major General Wimberley . North Africa

The Action

The first attack came on the 3rd March but was rebuffed. The main attack came on 6th March. This was a more determined attack which achieved some penetration but these were counter attacked and driven back.

The main action took place further south in the area of high ground held by the Guards Brigade and called "The Wellington Hills". Over 50 enemy tanks were destroyed and the enemy withdrew.


A relief in line now took place with 50th Division replacing 153 Brigade and 7th Armoured Division taking over from 154 Brigade. There was now a lull to prepare for the next push.