U.S. casualties 2,242 in 6 days (3-11-43)

The Pittsburgh Press (March 11, 1943)

Stimson reports –
U.S. casualties 2,242 in 6 days

Bulk of 2,007 missing are believed prisoners


Allied HQ, North Africa –
Heavy fighting is in progress at Ksar Rhilane, 40 miles from the southwest end of the Mareth Line in southern Tunisia, according to reports to Allied Headquarters tonight. The British 8th Army was reported to have inflicted heavy casualties on Nazi forces.

Washington (UP) –
U.S. casualties in Tunisia from Feb. 14 to 20 – the period of the Allied retreat and initial counterattack – totaled 2,242, Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson disclosed today.

These included 59 killed, 176 wounded and 2,007 missing, Mr. Stimson said. Of the missing, most were probably taken prisoner by the enemy.

Mr. Stimson said in this period U.S. losses ran heavier than those of the British and French.

He said:

Losses on both sides in Tunisia during the past month have been substantial. We probably have fared better than the enemy. More than 1,000 Germans and Italians were taken prisoner during the month, and over 100 enemy tanks captured and destroyed.

Allied forces in Tunisia have had much the better of the fighting during the past week. Highly mobile Axis forces have been extremely active but the net result has been decidedly unfavorable to the Axis.

Mr. Stimson said that aircraft have been playing an important part in the Battle of Tunisia, supporting ground troops and attacking Axis shipping, airfields, docks and other installations.

He said:

In air combat, our planes continue to show gratifying superiority. Last week, we shot down 58 enemy planes for a loss of 31.