Tunisian Battlefields and Roman North Africa
“On this famous battleground of the ancient world two armies converged from the west and from the east in the year 1943, to set free North Africa and make open the way for the assault on southern Europe” (Medjez el Bab Memorial) Home of the legendary Hannibal, yet 2,000 years later other great generals would arrive in Tunisia - Patton, Montgomery and Rommel. This small country played host to the largest number of battles fought in the North African campaign. This picturesque tour shows us the contrast between the desert wastes of the south and the green hills of the north. We are combining this battlefield tour with the ancient sites of Tunisia, a fertile country which was once the “Granary of Rome”. We shall be visiting such battlefields as Mareth – where British infantry used scaling ladders for the first time in 150 years and the lightly armoured tanks carrying fascines, a product of WW1, took on the might of the 15 th Panzer Division. Akarit a line of hills protected by the sea and a salt lake, which amazingly fell in just one day. Kasserine where US troops met Rommel for the first time and learnt a painful lesson. Longstop Hill fought over so many times by British and US troops and the long Madjerda valley. Sidi Nsir where British troops fought a “Rorkes Drift” style defence and where US troops would capture Hill 609 in dramatic style. Fondouk Gap where British cavalry regiments fighting alongside US troops would add yet another battle honour their already long list. Chouigi Pass where US tanks would take on the German panzers in the very first US/German tank battle. We will also visit the Plain of Zama where Hannibal unleashed his elephants for the last time against the Roman Empire, in one of the most famous battles of the ancient world.
Day 1  Arrive Tunis, escorted to our 5* hotel, rest of the day at leisure. (D) Day 2  Drive to Sfax via the Enfidaville battlefield and Takrouna the high rocky peak captured by just seven Maori’s of the New Zealand Division in April 1943. We shall also visit the 3rd century Roman Coliseum at El Djem. 5* hotel. (B>L>D)
Day 3  Drive to our 4* hotel in Gabes via Sfax war cemetery where 4 Victoria Cross winners are buried, a record only equalled at El Alamein. The battlefields of Chaffar, and the Wadi Akarit the 8th Army’s last battle in the South. (B>L>D) Day 4  Visit to the exciting battlefield of Mareth and the Wadi Zig Zaou, site of the epic 3 day struggle between the British 50th Division and the 15th Panzer Division. Day will also include a visit to the Mareth Line Museum. Return to Gabes. (B>L>D)
Day 5  Drive to our 5* hotel in Gafsa, via the El Guettar battlefield and “Gumtree Road”. (B>L>D) Day 6  Drive to our 3* hotel in Sbeitla which overlooks the ruins of its ancient city, via the Sidi Bou Zid battlefield where Rommel over-ran US troops during the advance to Kasserine. (B>L>D) Day 7  Morning visit to the ruins of Sbeitla, then onto Kasserine Pass site of the famous confrontation between US troops and the Afrika Korps, a battle that would alter American tactics for the rest of the war. Return to hotel. (B>L>D)
Day 12  Visits to the “Hunts Gap” and Sidi Nsir battlefields, including the much fought over Hill 609. Return to Tunis. (B>L>D) Day 13  Visit to Carthage American war cemetery and memorial, where 1 Medal of Honor winner is buried, alongside 4 sets of brothers and a 1936 Olympic gold medal winner. Opportunity to visit the famous Bardo mosaic museum or the ruins of Carthage. Return to hotel. (B>L>D)
Day 8  Drive to our 5* hotel in Kairouan the 4th Holiest city in the world. Via the Fondouk Pass battlefield. Our hotel in Kairouan is a converted Foreign Legion fort. (B>L>D) Day 9  Drive to our 2* hotel in Le Kef via the ancient city of Siliana and the battlefield of Zama, where Scipio Africanus finally defeated Hannibal and his legions. (B>L>D) Day 10  Drive to our 5* hotel in Tunis via the ancient city of Dougga and the British war cemetery at Medjez el Bab. (B>L>D) Day 11  Visits to Longstop Hill, Madjerda valley and Chouigi Pass battlefields where the very first tank v tank battle took place. Return to Tunis. (B>L>D)
Day 14  Transfer to airport for your flight home. (B)