Newsmap. Monday, April 5, 1943 : week of March 26 to April 2, 186th week of the war, 68th week of U.S. participation Side: 1 of 2
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neighborhood east of Maknassy, near Mezzouna, increased
their pressure. As the Germans withdrew north from
Gabes toward Sfax along the coast, it seemed apparent that
the unit fighting the rear guard action to protect Rommel's
flank were withdrawing as their holding mission was no
longer needed. Enemy mine fields continued to hamper
the American advance.
South of El Guettar below Chott El Fedjadj French
forces closed in on Kebili. It was problematical whether
enemy units still in the area would now be able to rejoin
their main force across the dry salt lake bed.
Farther north, in the central area west of Sousse an
enemy counterattack east of Pichon was beaten off by
French units which also were active near Ousseltia. Allied
action in this area was a direct threat to the Axis airdrome
At the far northern end of the Tunisian battle line French
and British units took Sedjenane, recently in German
hands, and pressed forward in the area 40 miles from the
main port of Bizerte.
TUNISIA : A coordinated Allied drive that began
y~fy l~lMI~with the brilliant smashing of the
enemy positions in the Mareth Line and was bolstered
by American, French and British advances in the central
and northern sectors, was steadily forcing consolidation of
Marshal Rommel's Afrika Korps with the forces under Gen.
von Ar im in the heavily defended northeastern comer
Breaking of the enemy defenses at Mareth, delayed a
few days by strong Nazi resistance in the coastal area near
Zarat, was forced by the flanking column of the British
Eighth Army which cut around to the Axis rear to positions
below El Hamma and thus threatened to cut off Rommel's
troops below Gabes. The eight days fighting preceding the
break were described as the most gruelling ever known in
the African continent.
The enemy was driven from the Mareth Line including
the triangular range of mountains between Zeiten, Toujane,
and Matmata. The flanking force that came around
under El Hamma went around the Matmata hills, pioneering
their way through the wild dusty fringe of the Sahara
Fleeing northward along the coastal road under constant
punishment of strafing Allied bombers and fighters, the
Germans abandoned the port of Gabes and were driven
from Methouia and Oudref, to the north of the Gabes Gap.
Fighting toward the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk,
Russian troops captured what Moscow described as a "most
important defense point." In the Kuban Valley the Soviet
troops drove on from Anastasevskaya, one of the last goodsized
German bases on the eastern side of the Kerch Strait.
The town is only 42 miles from the strait.
Berlin was raided twice in three nights. The first raid
was described officially as twice as heavy as anything the
Nazi air fleets ever inflicted on London.
In addition to the second raid on Berlin the RAF made
aerial history by putting two flying fleets over enemy territory
during one night. The second bomber unit struck the
great Ruhr Valley coal production center of Bochum for
the first time in more than two years.
In other raids, the submarine base at St. Nazaire was
again hit and American bombers struck the Rotterdam
ers, two light cruisers, four destroyers and two cargo ships.
The enemy force was headed eastward when the firing
started and westward when it ceased.
Details were withheld pending the time when the information
would not be of value to the enemy. It was the first
"surface-to-surface" engagement reported in the Aleutian
RUSS|| ICA: Early spring thaws restricted fighting
on the southern and central fronts to
artillery duels and bitter patrol action. In the area
below Leningrad, however, and in the Western Caucasus,
Soviet advances continued.
A German communique suggested a new retreat toward
Staraya Russa in announcing a shortening of the front
south of Lake Ilmen. The Nazis said the Red Army was
attacking south of Lake Ladoga near Leningrad, and southwest
In the thawing marshland approaching Smolensk, artillery
of both sides exchanged blows but no essential
changes occurred in the fronts. Further Nazi attempts to
advance across the Donets River east of Kharkov were repulsed
by the Russians.
SOUTHWEST PACIFIC: whileAlliedplanes
in the New Guinea
y area continued their harassing attacks against Japanese
bases and shipping, a force of American heavy
bombers caused considerable damage in an attack on the
Japanese-held Nauru Island, west of the Gilbert group in
the South Pacific. It was the first attack made on the base
675 nautical miles northeast of Guadalcanal. The operation
was carried out by Liberators which scored hits on the
wharf, runway, officers' quarters and barracks area. Several
Jap planes were damaged.
Off New Guinea a Jap convoy of four fast destroyers
speeding through fog and rain in a new attempt to reinforce
enemy garrisons was blocked by a single Flying
Fortress which was believed to have sunk one of the vessels.
The convoy was spotted about five miles east of Finschhafen
and turned tail after the attack.
Our aircraft continued to bomb enemy positions on
Kiska, including the runway, camp and gun installations.
One of our bombers was shot down by anti-aircraft fire.
I^ PLANS :C Washington was the scene of important
^^y --m's9conferences last week concerned with
fighting plans for the Pacific area. The conferences,
designed to fully acquaint our Pacific military leaders with
the details of the Casablanca results, included the Joint
Chiefs of Staff and 15 top-ranking representatives of Adm.
Nimitz, Gen. MacArthur and Adm. Halsey.
At the same time, the War Department announced, the
Chiefs of Staff were able to obtain first-hand knowledge of
developments in the Pacific and to learn the views of the
commanders in the field.
From Europe, came continued reports of Axis invasion
jitters that extended from the Balkan frontier to mountainous
Norway. Ankara, in neutral Turkey, relayed reports
that the Germans were organizing an army of the Balkans
for defense against an invasion of Southeastern Europe.
Italy began to emphasize her home defenses, especially in
Sicily, and appeared to be preparing her people for a new
theater of war in Continental Europe.
By way of Stockholm, a story came to London that an
Allied parachute base had been established in the Hardanger
Vidda mountain lakes area and that Allied parachute
troops had raided Nazi-controlled factories.
Reports from London itself indicated extensive preparations
being made along the English coast nearest the continent.
Portions of the south and east coastline and inland
were being restricted to a depth of 10 miles to military
As Rommel's retreat got under way north of the Mareth
Line his columns and positions also came under fire of Allied
warships which had slipped in close to shore and heavily
bombarded the port area.
At the same time American units under Gen. Patton operating
in the El Guettar area southeast of Gafsa, and in the
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Mud in Tunisi
where new Mbig
ability and trek
AIR OFFENS IVE: As the Allied air blows in
Northern and Western EuT
rope increased last week Allied headquarters in North
Africa directed the greatest armada of Flying Fortresses
ever in action, against the Cagliari area of the Island of Sardinia.
The American planes wrecked or damaged 26 ships
in the southern harbor area and 71 planes on three airfields
Nearly 100 of the four-engined bombers with fighter
escort took part in the raid against the Italian island only
140 miles northwest of Bizerte.
In addition to the damage inflicted on the ships and
parked planes the bombers left the railway station and in-
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[United States.] Army Orientation Course. Newsmap. Monday, April 5, 1943 : week of March 26 to April 2, 186th week of the war, 68th week of U.S. participation, poster, April 5, 1943; [Washington, D.C.]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc979/m1/1/: accessed July 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.