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Medical Units of 2 NZEF in Middle East and Italy

Main Battle for Tebaga Gap

Main Battle for Tebaga Gap

The frontal attack at Mareth did not succeed. Reinforcements were therefore sent to join New Zealand Corps and the main effort was switched to the Tebaga Gap.

For the main attack on 26 March, it was agreed that New Zealand Corps would collect and hold its wounded and that 6 Field Ambulance would become a holding unit, leaving the surgical work to 4 Field Ambulance which had set up ahead. To accompany the Corps when a break-through was achieved, 5 Field Ambulance was kept on wheels. The company of 5 Field Ambulance which had been functioning as Air Evacuation Centre was ordered to rejoin its parent unit, and 4 Field Hygiene Section took over its duties. This was a most satisfactory arrangement, the Hygiene Section having adequate cooking facilities and sufficient tents from its shower section to hold enough cases to avoid keeping aircraft on the ground too long. The MDS was only one and a half miles away, and severe cases were sent direct from there and not held at the Air Evacuation Centre overnight. Ambulance cars and extra stretcher-bearers were supplied by 6 Field Ambulance as required. The planes brought up ample blankets and stretchers to replace those sent back with patients, and hundreds of bottles of blood also came by air.