The Royal Lancers and Nottinghamshire Yeomanry Museum

The Battle of Fondouk

In April 1943 German forces in North Africa were retreating. Enemy mines and anti-tank guns prevented the Allies moving through the Fondouk Pass to give chase. The pass had to be taken 'at any cost'. The task fell to the 17th/21st and 16th/5th Lancers.

The 17th/21st Lancers was ordered to advance through the pass and cut off retreating German forces. Enemy artillery and anti-tank guns held the high ground to both sides. The regiment sustained heavy losses and only a handful of tanks were left in action. Information that the dry riverbed to the left might prove to be a way through was passed to Brigade Headquarters. The 16th/5th Lancers was ordered to try that route, and despite a number of losses the regiment broke through. But the delay allowed the German forces to retreat unmolested towards Tunis.

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