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"Campaigns of Tunisia, 1942-43." Topic

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744 hits since 14 Jan 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Paskal Supporting Member of TMP14 Jan 2019 12:58 a.m. PST

Hello everyone ,

I would like to find a book where one finds the complete battle orders of all the belligerents who participated in the campaigns of Tunisia, from the first to the last day.

It is specifically the full battle orders of all the belligerents that interest me with the organizations and the manpower and the quantity of armaments of each great unit.

Any ideas ?

Richard Baber14 Jan 2019 4:11 a.m. PST

So far we`ve run 6 games with another 9 on paper waiting their turn, the subject is very complex and poorly covered.

I have 17 books on my shelves plus numerous articles and magazines, and I still find new stuff virtually weekly (I`ve been researching Tunisia now for over 3yrs) – if you do discover this "Holy Grail" please share :)

Try a general internet search using terms like – 10th panzer, British 1st army, US forces in Tunisia, Italian Superga Division, British 8th Army in Tunisia, DAK, Panzer group Africa, etc, etc

be prepared for lots of note taking, back trcking and revising as you go……….

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP14 Jan 2019 4:42 a.m. PST

Paskal, it's always helpful to mention the level you're looking at for orders of battle. Good sources for division strength and equipment won't always break it down to companies.

And Richard's right: Tunisia is especially messy for a WWII campaign. Too many provisional units, and scrounging on both sides for whatever was available.

d88mm1940 Supporting Member of TMP14 Jan 2019 10:21 a.m. PST

For TO&E's, timelines and the like, I often rely on boardgames. You can search BoardGameGeek using 'Tunisia' and find nearly every game published on this interesting campaign. Just glancing at one game's counters; every specific aircraft type was listed on the counter.
I also recommend Rick Atkinson's An Army at Dawn, about the US involvement there. It gives you an excellent view on morale and officer quality. Plus he has an extended bibliography in the back along with copious notes to send you off reading for the rest of your life! No TO&Es in his book, however. There are tons of 'little' stories.

BillyNM14 Jan 2019 11:05 a.m. PST

Echoing "robert piepenbrink" it would help to know what level you're looking for I have several pdfs that mainly are about history, equipment and uniforms (I have forces for Tunisia in 1:200 for a Pony Wars based game that feature in the short-lived Wargames World Magazine). Some are just pdfs that I could send to email if I had that.
I assume you have already checked out the Nafziger OOBs as that has some for the period the link below will get you to the pdf index.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP14 Jan 2019 1:13 p.m. PST

When I look for this kind of information it is at the level of the big units combat group, brigades and division … + non-endivisioned units of army corps or army … Quantities of material, of heavy weapons and vehicles and what type ect …

Richard Baber14 Jan 2019 3:06 p.m. PST

Tunisia isn`t your campaign then, a scrappy, bitty campaign.

Units cobbled together, used in penny packets for mix`n match operations.

Bits of 10th panzer combined with ex-DAK with added Italians supported by Herman Goering Panzer AA units and ad hoc infantry formations grabbed in Italy and flown out by plane (called Tunisian Field Battalions). Commandos, British Paratroops as infantry, Ghurkas, Guards, regular infantry; territorial recce units, North Irish Horse Churchill unit……… The list just goes on and on.

Even when you have lists like your asking for you can`t use them in a wargame as the complete units hardly ever fought together as one. The terrain, the weather and the enemy just got in the way :)

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP14 Jan 2019 11:23 p.m. PST

What I need is an order of battle or not a single big unit is missing because I would like to have an overview …

This campaign and that of the Ardennes in 1944, are really the only ones that interest me in the WWII,also I'm looking for an overview for both not a tactical or sub-tactical game.

Richard Baber15 Jan 2019 2:06 a.m. PST

I just noticed (on Facebook as it happens) I`ve been modelling and researching Tunisia for over 6yrs now (far longer than i would have guessed)

Trouble is the "histories" on the Tunisian Campaign are either very one sided "Army at Dawn" springs to mind, only interested in the Yanks. :( and then gives virtually no TO&E info at all anyway……..

Or they are specific unit histories or personal diaries.

As an example The Combat History of 10PD just covers that unit very detailed, the best orbat I`ve come across, but doesn`t cover any other German or Italian units.

My joy in the campaign comes from the wonderful mix of units and digging up the details -
5th squadron of 8e motto de la Garde at Hir Moussa on January 20th 1943 were equipped with bicycles :)

Personal logo Mserafin Supporting Member of TMP15 Jan 2019 2:29 p.m. PST

You can always try the Nafziger Collection at the US Army's Combined Arms Research Library. For example, this is the link to one called "Allied Forces, North African Theater of Operations, 13 May 1943," which shows the component elements of US, UK and Free French forces:

PDF link

Although they apparently need to update their web security, as this site throws up all sorts of security warnings when you try to access it.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP15 Jan 2019 11:23 p.m. PST

@Mserafin :

No thanks because it says: 'The security of your connection is reduced. Malicious individuals may attempt to steal data from the site. It is recommended to stop using the site '.

@ Richard Baber, BillyNM, d88mm1940 and robert piepenbrink :

So if I understand correctly for this kind of documentation, you save time and money to buy a board game It's amazing all the same!

The creators of these games have had the same desires as me, have an overview of the campaign…

Richard Baber16 Jan 2019 2:35 a.m. PST

Whatever you want to do.

Personally, I research and buy the books/magazines/hunt down online resources.

Put the time in and you get results (and personal satisfaction).

Or you could ask TMP???

Personal logo Mserafin Supporting Member of TMP16 Jan 2019 11:05 a.m. PST

Malicious individuals may attempt to steal data from the site.

That's funny what are they going to steal, a bunch of historical OBs that are available for free anyway?

Give me an email address and I'll send you a virus-scanned pdf.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP17 Jan 2019 10:22 a.m. PST

For me in life as in war, the best plans are the simplest, so I think that the board game is the simplest solution, especially that they give their sources. But we must be careful, there is more need to know which? how? We can not buy them all …

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2019 1:05 a.m. PST

For an overview, a board game can be interesting because the authors do a lot of research and give their sources.

Gerard Leman23 Jan 2019 9:44 a.m. PST

I've had an interest in the Tunisia Campaign for some years. One of the problems that you'll run into is that, while the OB's for the "permanent" units – e.g U.S. 1st Infantry Div. – are fairly well known (see: link the campaign saw a number of ad hoc units, including the French "Brigade Leger Mecanique" and the Italian L (also known as 50th) "Imperiali" Special Brigade. Several units arrived in theater after Nov. 11, 1942, so they may not show up in the original OB as of that date. About a month ago, I provided a detailed response including the allocation of French tanks and armored cars in N. Africa in '42 to a question French Vichy forces. Also, the Axis History forum has discussions about a number of those units.

Richard Baber23 Jan 2019 9:57 a.m. PST

The Germans also created "Tunisian Field battalions" too, some of the first units flown out from Italy and Sicily. These guys were literally press-ganged (soldiers on leave, convalescents just out of the hospital or replacements awaiting shipment out to DAK). Then thrown onto planes and formed into units upon arrival then sent where needed.

The make-up of Juin`s XIXth corps would take up a book on its own :)

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP23 Jan 2019 11:01 a.m. PST

You're right, but when we talk about battle orders or a World War II campaign, we count all the units, whether they were there at the beginning or arrived at the end …

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