443rd AAA Bn in World War II



Meanwhile the British defense of Thala was a successful delaying action aided by five tank-destroyer guns of an American unit. British reinforcements were rushed from Sbiba and the American 9th Infantry Division, by marching continuously for four days and nights on the final stage of their march from Casablanca, Morocco to Tunisia, arrived in the Thala area by daylight of 22 February. Enemy pressure then began to ease off.

After four days of desultory firing and patrolling action on all fronts, strong enemy counterattacks failed to materialize. From 23 to 25 February the Germans and Italians withdrew from the Kasserine Pass leaving many mines and booby traps behind. Damage upon the enemy had not been severe enough to cause such a withdrawal although strengthening Allied forces may have raised a threat which was taken seriously. More than likely the enemy withdrawal to the Faid/Gafsa area was due to an estimate that sufficient damage had been inflicted upon the Allies in southern Tunisia to prevent them from materially affecting the coming defense of the Mareth Line against the steadily approaching British Eighth Army. American losses had been severe: over 7,000 had been taken prisoner; over 200 tanks, 50 guns, 20 anti-tank guns, 38 self-propelled mounts, nearly 300 trucks and large amounts of ammunition, equipment, clothing and supplies were lost. The 1st Armored Division, alone, lost over 1,000 men killed, wounded and missing in action.

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