First, I would like to thank you for your visit. In Spaceship Harvey you'll find posts and links which interest me and, hopefully, you as well. This blog will mainly - but not always - concentrate on topics of general interest such as current events, sports, national and international political news. I'll also include off the cuff stuff which have nothing to do with anything and stuff that I just make up. This blog will also carry my personal opinion on a variety of subjects of interest to me, ranging from military history to politics, environmental wackos, dangerous animals and religious nuts. As you will see my opinions will sometimes be controversial, but I make a lot of stuff up. Profanity and abusive language will not be tolerated- that includes the use of gratuitous insults but no topic is off limits. Unlike many other blogs Spaceship Harvey will contain my views on the subject, not just a copy and link to a news item - unless I post a lifted article that I liked. This blog encourages feedback by use of the comment link.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Raid on Rommel's RR in Tunisia

At exactly 2230 hours on Christmas Eve 1942, two Douglas C-47s loaded with paratroopers took off from Thelepte airfield outside Algiers. Suspended under the belly of each was a drop container holding 200 pounds of explosives. On board were 32 Americans from the 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion and two French paratroopers who had been ordered to destroy the vital railroad bridge at El Djem, Tunisia.

Once an insignificant spot on the rail line from Tunis to Gabes, it now linked the brilliant German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel — battling British General Bernard L. Montgomery’s Eighth Army in the south — to vital supplies being sent by rail from northern Tunisia. During the initial stages of the North Africa campaign, the fighting had taken place primarily in Egypt and Libya, far to the east of the El Djem bridge. Since Montgomery’s autumn offensive had forced Axis armies to retreat westward from the Egyptian frontier toward Tunisia, however, the bridge at El Djem had become an important link between supply depots and Axis front lines.

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