The spring offensive of the British forces in Eastern Tunisia began with an attempt of a frontal breakthrough of the Mareth defensive line. After a massive bombing and a fire assault, British forces consisting of 50th Northumberland Infantry Division and 50th Royal Tank Regiment launched an attack on the coastal part of the Mareth line fortifications. Infantry of 8th Battalion Durham Light Infantry crossed Wadi Zigzaou and captured two small bridgeheads on the left bank: Ouerzi and Ksiba Ouest. The main obstacle for continuing the offensive is the river in flood after rains. Spanned crossings for heavy vehicles are collapsing quickly by flow of water, which made crossing difficult for tanks and artillery.
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