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No 2 ARMY FILM AND PHOTO SECTION (PR) SECRET DOPE SHEET

NEG REPORT NO: 5479
DATE 28th Feb 1943
LENGTH 200 FEET

CAMERAMAN: Sgt Meyer No. 30

STORY: "GERMAN ATTACK ON SEDJENANE VALLEY"

LOCATION: SEDJENANE VALLEY
FORMATION: 139 BRIGADE

BAG PRNA 36 EXALGIERS 5/3/43

ALSO COVERED BY: SGT WILSON No 31 No.2 AFPS.

Story:

At dawn on February the 26 the Corps D'Afrique at Borge Monopole 24/85 approx, were heavily attacked by Germans who had, it is presumed, work their way round well to the left of Greenhill (DJ Azzag 37/76) and concentrated at the road junction at the road junction on the Cap Serrat-Sedjenane Road (23/99). The French were forced to withdraw after heavy fighting for and took to the hills towards Sedjenane.

By daylight on Feb 27th the Germans and advanced to the hills overlooking Sedjenane Valley, DJ Galb Sour, DJ Rachtouil, DJ El Garcia. In the meantime the DLIs and No 1 Commando had been rushed to the front. The No1 Commando, of two Troops only, the balance being on the main front, took up positions on the left slope of DJ Galb Sour and the DLIs made straight for the valley.

The DLIs attacked on the morning of February 27th, but too late. The forward companies ran into heavy machine-gun fire and could only withdraw (after heavy casualties) when our 25-pounders had laid a smokescreen. This was at approximately 1000 hours on February 27th. All the DLIs in this attack withdrew to a point approximately 24/78 and by 12 noon the remnants of the DLIs were back and being reorganised and rested. At this time some Corps D'Afrique had been obliged to leave a good position on the hills overlooking the enemy as our 25-pounders were shelling in ignorance of the fact that the French were in the neighbourhood.

The DLIs attacked again at 1400 hours on the same day, February the 27th and in order to do this had to march in open formation across the open plain to the right of the Cap Serrat Road. After running and walking some 250-500 yards, they were completely held up by heavy machine-gun and mortar fire from the hills mentioned. To add to their difficulty the Bren gunners could not distinguish between Corps D'Afrique and the enemy as they were both fighting on Galb Sour 23/82. They held their ground in the valley until dusk and took up a defensive line in front of Sedjenane at night.

It was impossible to get any shots after the DLIs had moved down the valley as we were obliged to lay absolutely flat and still. The slightest movement brought the usual reply. I left the valley at 1700 hours with the DLIs still there, but unable to make much progress. Their mortar was knocked out by 1500 hours, after a direct hit by a German mortar, but not before they had fired about 10 shells.

Roll No 1

Smoke shells bursting on DJ Galb Sour to enable forward companies of DLIs to retire after their first unsuccessful attack. Log huts in foreground. 30 ft

Corps D'Afrique returning along road to Sedjenane to reassemble and reorganise. They put up a very good show a one company killed 200 and captured 300 Italians. (We did not get this information to too late). 50 ft

Stretcher-bearers resting at small bridge on at 24/78. 15 ft.

Roll No 2

Stretcher-bearers seen in Roll 1 returning from battlefront with injured on stretchers. 15 ft.

French and British troops returning to our lines to reorganise. 25 ft.

DLIs go into their second attack at 1400 hours. They are seen in the extended order marching across the open ground at approximately 25/79 on right of Cap Serrat Road. Bren team is also seen in scrub and going forward to cover in their front. 45 ft.

Further photography as out of the question as we were all pinned down by incessant machine- gun and mortar fire.