Battlefield-The Battles for Tunisia (2001)

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Released 11-Dec-2003
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The campaign in Tunisia saw the battles that finally ended the brutal war in the desert. Not for the first time, the Allies argued amongst themselves over strategy – if the French had co-operated with the Operation Torch landings in northwest Africa in November 1942, the combined landings into Tunisia would have been made much sooner.
The Allies eventually landed unopposed, but the three-pronged offensive soon ran into trouble as they were faced with complete Axis air supremacy. The small German armoured unit (made up of only 40 tanks) drove the Allies back to Medjez el Bab. Meanwhile, Rommel’s army was retreating towards Tunisia (pursued by the British 8th Army under Montgomery) where it gave the British the slip by bypassing Tripoli.
A huge German counter-offensive at Faid Pass in February made gains before being forced to withdraw and Rommel, who was now a sick and exhausted man, was forced to leave Africa. The great general was unable to convince Hitler that victory in the desert theatre was impossible.
The net was now closing in on the Germans. Further Allied attacks at El Hamma, Tunis and Bizerte followed, and the arrival of the British 1st Army gave the Allies a six-to-one numerical advantage in troops and a fifteen-to-one superiority in tanks, guns and aircraft. The Allied blockade in the Mediterranean also began to bite, making the beleaguered Germans short of fuel, food and ammunition.
A final attack was made on Tunis on 6th May. All remaining German armour was destroyed and at last the army itself disintegrated. The 1st Army entered Tunis unopposed on 7th May and by 13th May all German troops in Tunisia had surrendered. More than 150,000 tired and beaten Germans were taken prisoner.
Featuring fascinating archive footage from all over the world, this episode includes a review of the political and military situation before the battle, portraits of leaders and commanders, an explanation of weapons and tactics, as well as the story of the battle itself. Vivid computer-generated maps place The Battles for Tunisia in the context of the war as a whole, providing viewers with a highly comprehensive and entertaining story.
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Documentary 2001 100 ? 4
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