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Fortress Tunisia (November 1942 - May 1943)

Fortress Tunisia (November 1942 - May 1943)



The Tunisia Campaign (also known as the Battle of Tunisia) was a series of battles that took place in Tunisia during the North African Campaign of the Second World War, between Axis and Allied forces. The Allies consisted primarily of British Imperial Forces along with American and the French Army. The battle opened with initial success by the German and Italian forces, but the massive supply and numerical superiority of the Allies led to the Axis's complete defeat. Over 230,000 German and Italian troops were taken as prisoners of war, including most of the Afrika Korps.
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German Sd. Kfz. 181 PzKpfw VI Tiger I Ausf. H1 Heavy Tank - schwere Panzer Abteilung 502, North Africa, 1942 German Sd. Kfz. 181 PzKpfw VI Tiger I Ausf. H1 Heavy Tank - schwere Panzer Abteilung 502, North Africa, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

The German Waffenamt issued an order to design the VK4501(H) (as the PzKpfw VI Ausf. E was then known) in May 1941, just one month prior to the commencement of Operation Barbarossa.

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German Opel Blitz 3-Ton Ambulance - 21.Panzer Division, Medenine, Tunisia, March 1943 German Opel Blitz 3-Ton Ambulance - 21.Panzer Division, Medenine, Tunisia, March 1943 (1:72 Scale)

The 3-ton Opel "Blitz" truck was the Wehrmacht's principal general-purpose truck during the Second World War. The engine was a water-cooled, straight-six OHV gasoline unit of 3.6 liters that was fueled by a 21.6 gallon gasoline tank situated under the driver's seat.

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German Sd. Kfz. 222 Light Armored Car - 10.Panzer Division, Deutsches Afrika Korps, Tunis, Tunisia, 1943 German Sd. Kfz. 222 Light Armored Car - 10.Panzer Division, Deutsches Afrika Korps, Tunis, Tunisia, 1943 (1:72 Scale)

The Leichter Panzerspahwagen (roughly "Light Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle") were a series of light 4 x 4 armored cars produced by Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1944.

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US M3 Lee Medium Tank - Kentucky, Souk-el Khemis, Tunisia, 1942 US M3 Lee Medium Tank - "Kentucky", Souk-el Khemis, Tunisia, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

Designed as a stopgap measure until the M4 Sherman tank could come on line, the M3 General Grant medium tank saw action in the North African campaign with both US and British forces battling the Afrika Korps. The M3 tank was unusual because it mounted two large caliber weapons in the body of the vehicle.

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US M3 Lee Medium Tank - 2nd Company, 13th Armored Regiment (Kentucky), 1st Armored Division, Tunisia, 1942 US M3 Lee Medium Tank - 2nd Company, 13th Armored Regiment ("Kentucky"), 1st Armored Division, Tunisia, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

Designed as a stopgap measure until the M4 Sherman tank could come on line, the M3 General Grant medium tank saw action in the North African campaign with both US and British forces battling the Afrika Korps. The M3 tank was unusual because it mounted two large caliber weapons in the body of the vehicle.

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British Crusader Medium Tank - 6th Armoured Division, Pichon, Tunisia, 1943 British Crusader Medium Tank - 6th Armoured Division, Pichon, Tunisia, 1943 (1:43 Scale)

The Tank, Cruiser, Mk VI Crusader was one of the primary British cruiser tanks of the Second World War and perhaps the most important British tank of the North African Campaign. However, due to its reputation for unreliability and relatively thin armour, it was replaced by American tanks for the invasion of Italy. Over 5,300 were built.

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Italian AS-42 Sahariana Armored Car - Raggruppamento Sahariano "Mannerini", Tunisia, 1943 Italian AS-42 Sahariana Armored Car - Raggruppamento Sahariano "Mannerini", Tunisia, 1943 (1:43 Scale)

The AS-42 was an unusual but highly successful vehicle derived from the AB 41 armored car with some improved features found in the AB 43. Primarily used as a reconnaissance vehicle and designed for operations in North Africa, the AS-42 would eventually see service in a variety of other roles including pursuit of raiding parties and operation behind enemy lines.

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German Sd. Kfz. 161 PzKpfw IV Ausf. G Medium Tank - 10.Panzer Division, Deutsches Afrika Korps, Tunisia, North Africa, 1943 German Sd. Kfz. 161 PzKpfw IV Ausf. G Medium Tank - 10.Panzer Division, Deutsches Afrika Korps, Tunisia, North Africa, 1943 (1:43 Scale)

Just one month prior to the commencement of "Operation Typhoon" (the German assault on Moscow) the Waffenamt was scheduled to begin installing the long-barreled 7.5cm KwK gun on its new Mark IV Ausf G tanks.

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US Army M3 Lee Medium Tank - 1st Armored Division, Souk El Khemis, Tunisia, 1942 US Army M3 Lee Medium Tank - 1st Armored Division, Souk El Khemis, Tunisia, 1942 (143 Scale)

Designed as a stopgap measure until the M4 Sherman tank could come on line, the M3 General Grant medium tank saw action in the North African campaign with both US and British forces battling the Afrika Korps. The M3 tank was unusual because it mounted two large caliber weapons in the body of the vehicle.

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German Steyr 1500/A01 with 2cm FlaK 38 Gun - 66.Panzer Grenadier Regiment, 10.Panzer Division, Tunisia, 1942 German Steyr 1500/A01 with 2cm FlaK 38 Gun - 66.Panzer Grenadier Regiment, 10.Panzer Division, Tunisia, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

In August 1943, Steyr-Werke indicated to the Waffenamt the possibility of using the RSO as a self-propelled carriage for the PaK40 gun. As a result, a Test Series of fifty was ordered on September 30th, 1943, to be ready within one month. Hitler saw a demonstration of this vehicle early in October, and the fifty were sent for troop trials with Army Group South.

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US Army M3 Half-Track with 75mm Gun - 1st Armored Division, Souk el Khemis, Tunisia, 1942 US Army M3 Half-Track with 75mm Gun - 1st Armored Division, Souk el Khemis, Tunisia, 1942 (1:43 Scale)

The best known American half-tracks were the M series made as a standardized design by Autocar, Diamond T, International and White. The M series had a similar front end to the White M3A1 Scout Car but used more powerful engines: a 147bhp 6.3-liter White AX in the Autocar, Diamond T, and White, and a 143bhp 1HC in the International.

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German Sd. Kfz. 251/8 Krankenpanzerwagen Armored Ambulance - schwere Panzer Abteilung 501, Sidi Bou Zid, Tunisia, 1943 German Sd. Kfz. 251/8 Krankenpanzerwagen Armored Ambulance - schwere Panzer Abteilung 501, Sidi Bou Zid, Tunisia, 1943 (1:43 Scale)

The Krankenpanzerwagen was a standard Sd.Kfz.251 converted into an armored ambulance with two strechers and seats for four wounded. Later models had rear doors modified to accommodate the loading and unloading of wounded. Some Sd.Kfz.251/8 were used by HQ units and fitted with additional radio equipment.

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US M3 Lee Medium Tank - 1st Armored Division, Tunisia, 1942 US M3 Lee Medium Tank - 1st Armored Division, Tunisia, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

Designed as a stopgap measure until the M4 Sherman tank could come on line, the M3 General Grant medium tank saw action in the North African campaign with both US and British forces battling the Afrika Korps. The M3 tank was unusual because it mounted two large caliber weapons in the body of the vehicle.

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US Willys Jeep with 37mm Anti-Tank Gun - 3rd Battalion, 1st Armored Regiment, 1st Armored Division, Tunisia, 1943 US Willys Jeep with 37mm Anti-Tank Gun - 3rd Battalion, 1st Armored Regiment, 1st Armored Division, Tunisia, 1943 (1:72 Scale)

Developed by the Quartermaster Corps, the jeep and other motor transport vehicles were transferred to the Ordnance Department in August 1942. Despite its lightweight, the jeep could perform a variety of functions, including towing a 37mm antitank gun over a 7% grade.

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New Zealand M3A1 Scout Car - 27th Battery, 5th Field Regiment, Regiment of New Zealand Artillery, Enfidaville, Tunisia, 1943 New Zealand M3A1 Scout Car - 27th Battery, 5th Field Regiment, Regiment of New Zealand Artillery, Enfidaville, Tunisia, 1943 (1:43 Scale)

As military vehicles go, the White M3A1 scout car was relatively short-lived during the war. First produced in 1938, it was basically obsolete as a front line vehicle after the North African campaign because of its limited seating capacity.

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British Churchill Mk. IV Infantry Tank - A Squadron, North Irish Horse, Tunisia, 1943 British Churchill Mk. IV Infantry Tank - A Squadron, North Irish Horse, Tunisia, 1943 (1:72 Scale)

The "Churchill" began life as a 1939 requirement that envisaged a return to trench-warfare, and was therefore slow and heavily armored like the Russian KV-1 series. That said, the final Churchill prototype was much lighter than had first been thought acceptable, although it still resembled a World War I tank in appearance.

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German VW-82 Kubelwagen - OTTO, Hans Joachim Marseille, Staffelkapitan of 3./Jagdgeschwader 27, North Africa, 1942 German VW-82 Kubelwagen - "OTTO," Oberleutnant Hans Joachim Marseille, Staffelkapitan of 3./Jagdgeschwader 27, North Africa, 1942 (1:48 Scale)

Built by Volkswagen, the simple yet reliable Kubelwagen ("bucket car") was the German equivalent of the American Jeep. This nimble four-seater, based on Ferdinand Porsche's original "People's Car" design of the 1930's, used the same rear-mounted, aircooled engine to drive the rear wheels.

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German VW-82 Kubelwagen - Panzer Armeeoberkommando Afrika, Libya, 1942 German VW-82 Kubelwagen - Panzer Armeeoberkommando Afrika, Libya, 1942 (1:48 Scale)

Built by Volkswagen, the simple yet reliable Kubelwagen ("bucket car") was the German equivalent of the American Jeep. This nimble four-seater, based on Ferdinand Porsche's original "People's Car" design of the 1930's, used the same rear-mounted, aircooled engine to drive the rear wheels.

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German VW-82 Kubelwagen - Maintenance Unit, HQ Company, schwere Panzer Abteilung 501, Deutsches Afrika Korps, Tunisia, 1943 German VW-82 Kubelwagen - Maintenance Unit, HQ Company, schwere Panzer Abteilung 501, Deutsches Afrika Korps, Tunisia, 1943 (1:48 Scale)

Built by Volkswagen, the simple yet reliable Kubelwagen ("bucket car") was the German equivalent of the American Jeep. This nimble four-seater, based on Ferdinand Porsche's original "People's Car" design of the 1930's, used the same rear-mounted, aircooled engine to drive the rear wheels.

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British Churchill Mk. III Infantry Tank - 145 Regiment RAC (Duke of Wellington), Tunisia, North Africa, 1943 British Churchill Mk. III Infantry Tank - 145 Regiment RAC (Duke of Wellington), Tunisia, North Africa, 1943 (1:50 Scale)

The "Churchill" began life as a 1939 requirement that envisaged a return to trench-warfare, and was therefore slow and heavily armored like the Russian KV-1 series. That said, the final Churchill prototype was much lighter than had first been thought acceptable, although it still resembled a World War I tank in appearance.

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German Sd. Kfz. 141 PzKpfw III Ausf. N Medium Tank - schwere Panzer Abteilung 501, Deutsches Afrika Korps, Tunisia, 1942-43 German Sd. Kfz. 141 PzKpfw III Ausf. N Medium Tank - schwere Panzer Abteilung 501, Deutsches Afrika Korps, Tunisia, 1942-'43 (1:72 Scale)

As early as 1934/35, General Heinz Guderian envisioned two basic types of armor to act as the lead elements of the future German Panzer Divisions. The first vehicle was to be armed with an anti-tank gun and two machine guns while the second one was to be a support vehicle, armed with a larger caliber gun.

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German Sd. Kfz. 141 PzKpfw III Ausf. N Medium Tank - schwere Panzer Abteilung 501, Deutsches Afrika Korps, Tunisia, 1942-43 German Sd. Kfz. 141 PzKpfw III Ausf. N Medium Tank - schwere Panzer Abteilung 501, Deutsches Afrika Korps, Tunisia, 1942-'43 (1:72 Scale)

As early as 1934/35, General Heinz Guderian envisioned two basic types of armor to act as the lead elements of the future German Panzer Divisions. The first vehicle was to be armed with an anti-tank gun and two machine guns while the second one was to be a support vehicle, armed with a larger caliber gun.

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US M3 Lee Medium Tank - 2nd Company, 13th Armored Regiment (Kentucky), 1st Armored Division, Tunisia, 1942 US M3 Lee Medium Tank - 2nd Company, 13th Armored Regiment ("Kentucky"), 1st Armored Division, Tunisia, 1942 (1:32 Scale)

Designed as a stopgap measure until the M4 Sherman tank could come on line, the M3 General Grant medium tank saw action in the North African campaign with both US and British forces battling the Afrika Korps. The M3 tank was unusual because it mounted two large caliber weapons in the body of the vehicle.

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US M3 Stuart Light Tank - "Chief", 1st Armored Division, Tunisia, December 1942 US M3 Stuart Light Tank - "Chief", 1st Armored Division, Tunisia, December 1942 (1:48 Scale)

The M3A3, or Stuart V, was modified to have a sloped hull similar to the light tank M5 Stuart. M3A3 was also fitted with a new turret incorporating a radio bustle and larger hatches. The new hull armor gave the drivers their own hatches (previously the assistant driver had to exit through the turret), and eliminated the drivers' doors in the front hull.

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German Sd. Kfz. 139 Marder III Ausf. H Tank Destroyer with PaK36 Anti-Tank Gun - 21.Panzer Division, Deutsches Afrika Korps, Tunisia, March 1943 German Sd. Kfz. 139 Marder III Ausf. H Tank Destroyer with PaK36 Anti-Tank Gun - 21.Panzer Division, Deutsches Afrika Korps, Tunisia, March 1943 (1:48 Scale)

On December 22nd, 1941, the German Weapons Department was ordered to produce an effective self-propelled anti-tank gun for use on the Eastern front. The Czechoslovakian 38(t) chassis was used as the basis for the vehicle.

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US M4 Tractor and Towed 155mm Long Tom Field Gun - Unidentified Unit, North Africa, 1942 US M4 Tractor and Towed 155mm Long Tom Field Gun - Unidentified Unit, North Africa, 1942 (1:72 Scale)

The M4 High-Speed Tractor was an artillery tractor used by the US Army from 1943. The M4 was based on the chassis and drive train of the obsolescent M2 Light Tank.

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German Early Production Sd. Kfz. 181 PzKpfw VI Tiger I Heavy Tank - schwere Panzer Abteilung 501, Tunisia, 1942 German Early Production Sd. Kfz. 181 PzKpfw VI Tiger I Heavy Tank - schwere Panzer Abteilung 501, Tunisia, 1942 (1:35 Scale)

The German Waffenamt issued an order to design the VK4501(H) (as the PzKpfw VI Ausf. E was then known) in May 1941, just one month prior to the commencement of Operation Barbarossa.

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US M4A3 Sherman Medium Tank - 1st Armored Division, Tunisia, 1943 US M4A3 Sherman Medium Tank - 1st Armored Division, Tunisia, 1943 (1:35 Scale)

The M4 Sherman medium tank was regarded by many as the workhorse of the US Army during World War II. In fact, virtually all of the Allied armies employed the Sherman in their armed forces, including the British, who developed an upgunned variant called the "Firefly".

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