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

206 — General Freyberg to the Minister of Defence

General Freyberg to the Minister of Defence

11 April 1943

Since my telegram of 5 April (No. 204) Eighth Army has advanced north of Sfax and the advance continues. This is to report that your Division, led by the British 8th Armoured Brigade, broke through after the 50th and 51st (Highland) Divisions had made a bridgehead across Wadi Akarit. The enemy opposed our advance with tanks and the usual rearguard of infantry and anti-tank guns but was forced to retreat. Our casualties were slight.

page 174

It is appreciated that the enemy will hold a line north of Sousse at Enfidaville. The Akarit position was a strong one and the enemy fought to hold it, but again suffered severe losses in men and equipment and we have captured several aerodromes. In my opinion, although he may fight hard, the enemy cannot long postpone final defeat in this theatre.