Tunisia 1942 - 1943
British Infantry Divisions
A total of nine British infantry divisions were eventually
deployed in the Tunisian campaign. Of these, the 1 Infantry
Division, 4 Infantry Division, 46
Infantry Division and 78 Infantry
Division were part of 1 Army, whilst 50 Infantry
Division, 51 Infantry Division and
56 Infantry Division were all part of 8 Army
advancing into Tunisia from Libya.
The first division to arrive in Tunisia was the 78 Infantry Division. It landed on the 9 November 1942 being deployed as brigade groups. The 36 Infantry Brigade advanced into Tunisia along the northern route via Sedjenane, the 11 Infantry Brigade took the central route via Beja, with Blade Force from the 6 Armoured Division taking the southern route to Medjaz el Bab. Despite almost getting within sight of Tunis, the Germans managed to reinforce Tunisia sufficiently quickly to halt the Allied advance.
The next division to land was the 46 Infantry Division which arrived on the 17 January 1943. By this date, the line had stablised, but on 14 February 1943, the Germans launched an offensive towards Kasserine. The battle lasted until 22 February 1943, when the Germans withdrew.
The Tunisian campaign was in danger of becoming a stalemate, so the decision was taken to reinforce the 1st Army. The 1 Infantry Division arrived on 9 March 1943 and 4 Infantry Division on 23 March 1943, both formations coming direct from the United Kingdom. All four of these infantry divisions played a part in the final offensive that took place between the 5 May and 12 May 1943.