North Africa

Scenario: Battle of Depienne/Oudna Airfield

Location: Tunisia

Circa: Nov 29th-Dec 3rd 1942

Sponsor : 21. Panzer / LRDG

Event Site: California City

Event Date: November 15-17 2019

Event Fee : $25

Line Up : 0900


Shortly after arriving in North Africa, the 2nd Parachute Battalion from the 1st Parachute Brigade of the British First Army was tasked to destroy enemy planes at the German airfields at Pont Du Fahs, Depienne and Oudna.

After receiving intelligence that enemy aircraft had moved from both Pont Du Fahs and Depienne, a drop was improvised near Depienne to be followed by a march to Oudna on 29 November 1942. Unfortunately the drop had been spotted by a German patrol as well as local Arabs who began to steal items from the various supply containers in and around the drop zone (DZ).

The bulk of the battalion, less one platoon left to gather the remaining supplies and parachutes, marched to the airfield at Oudna. Despite an absence of enemy aircraft, A Company moved towards the landing ground whilst C Company moved into high ground to provide fire support. A Company immediately came under fire from small arms, mortars and tanks, as well as being strafed by Messerschmidt fighters.

After fighting off the German attack, the battalion withdrew overnight to new positions to await the planned link up with the advancing 1st Army. However the 1st Army, halted by unexpected heavy opposition, left the battalion isolated 50 miles behind enemy lines.

Despite requests to surrender, Lt Col Frost ordered a move to high ground to the south on 1 December, where the battalion was subjected to intense artillery fire. That evening Frost again ordered a move and by morning the battalion was in defensive positions around El Fedja Farm. This position was encircled by German forces.

We will be trying to recreate this particular part of the battle. Brit Paras will be behind enemy lines in an elevated position and “surround” waiting for the British 1st Army and USGI to come to their aid.