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Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume II

202 — General Freyberg to the Minister of Defence

General Freyberg to the Minister of Defence

31 March 1943

The successful turning of the Mareth Line ends another phase in the North African campaign. Yesterday your Division entered Gabes and is now moving north. I understand that the importance of the page 167 part played by the Division has already been announced officially. As forecast in my recent telegram (No. 199), the fighting was very strenuous on the whole front and casualties were heavy. We have had approximately 150 killed and 350 wounded. The German and Italian forces opposing us were badly mauled, and we captured in our three attacks 5000 prisoners and destroyed or captured a large number of tanks, guns, and a considerable amount of equipment. All ranks are in excellent spirits.

I know you will forgive this short telegram from the battlefield. I will prepare a detailed account for publication as soon as the operational situation permits.