Battle-Axe Division: From Africa to Italy with the 78th Divisions, 1942-1945
In 1942, Britain's 78th (Battleaxe) Division was the elite spearhead for the imminent invasion of North Africa. The 78th had been assembled in Scotland that same year and adopted the insignia of a yellow Crusader's battleaxe on a black background. In November 1942, the 78th landed in Algiers as part of Operation Torch and fought a series of crucial actions there and in Tunisia. During the winter of 1942/3, it was involved in some of the most gruelling and costly fighting of the war: actions at Tebourba and Longstop Hill became famous as battles of dogged resistance against the odds. The two VCs which were won in these firefights, together with another awarded later on the Gustav Line in Italy in 1944, show that the division was constantly in the thick of the action.
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