German Transport Planes JU–52

German Transport Plane JU–52, under fire from Allied aircraft. Toward the end of the Tunisia Campaign, the Germans received reinforcements by air from southern Italy and Sicily, using several hundred means of transport in daylight flights. The Allies gradually built up a force of planes within striking distance of the Sicilian Straits and on April 5, the planned attack on the aerial ferry service started. By April 22, the enemy had lost so many planes that daylight operations were discontinued; however, some key personnel and a limited amount of emergency supplies were flown in by night. (Upper Left) Medium Bomber B–25.

La Goulette with Tunis in distance

La Goulette with Tunis in distance. These two cities fell to the British on May 7. The Port of Tunis had been heavily damaged by Allied bombers, but damage in the city itself was small. La Goulette, at the entrance to the channel leading to Tunis, housed oil storage and general ship repair facilities which were put to immediate use by the Allies.


Bizerte, the Main Objective of the French and US forces of II Corps, fell on 7 May. Bizerte’s harbor and the important naval repair facilities at nearby Ferryville were to play important parts in future operations in the Mediterranean. The enemy had blocked the channel to the inner harbor by sinking ships at the entrance and had destroyed most of the port facilities not already wrecked by Allied bombings. The port, however, became operational a few days after capture; ships and supplies were assembled here for the invasion of Sicily. Insert shows some of the ships a few days before that invasion.

Enemy Prisoners near Mateur

Enemy Prisoners near Mateur. Allied troops took 252.415 prisoners, together with large quantities of equipment and supplies, when the enemy surrendered in Tunisia on May 13, 1943. Because of Allied air and naval superiority, the enemy was unable to evacuate his troops. Of those captured, the Germans were among the finest and best trained troops the enemy had and he could ill afford to lose them.

Troop Quarters in the Hold of a Transport

Troop Quarters in the Hold of a Transport. After the fall of French Morocco and Algeria and while the fighting in Tunisia continued, men and supplies poured into the Mediterranean for use in Tunisia and in the assaults on Sicily and Italy. Bunks were placed in tiers everywhere possible in the transports. The convoy traveled blacked out, with port holes closed. Because of the overcrowded conditions, seasickness was practically universal during the first few days out of port. The men spent as much time as possible on deck.

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