At three o'clock the withdrawal began, section by section, through the woods to the west, and and along the edge of the woods parallel to the main road. To cover the withdrawal the tanks fired Besa (7) and smoke on to the village, artillery fired all DFs (8) intense and a composite platoon of Able and Charlie Companies remained in position, as did the Vickers gunners.

As the Battalion was withdrawing a Battalion of Coldstream Guards (9) had been rushed into position a few miles to the rear and the area chosen for reforming was just behind them. The 2i/c, Major Hefford, assumed command of the Battalion, the CO having been wounded by shrapnel earlier in the day, and by a quarter-past-six at night, 494 men had reported in.

During the Sedjenane action, the total casualties were 21 killed, 98 missing, and 46 wounded.


1) The positions the 6th Lincs originally took over on 23/2/43 were the old 16 DLI positions.
2) This was the final disastrous attack put in by 16 DLI at dawn on the 2/3/43.
3) The FOO (Forward Observation Officer) was Captain Harry Craggs MC of the 70th Field Regiment. To read his fascinating eyewitness account of the action, click here.
4) The several Churchill tanks involved were of C Squadron, the North Irish Horse. Click here to read their perpective on the action.
5) Me: the Messershmitt Bf 109 single-seat fighter.
6) RAP: the Regimental Aid Post.
7) Besa: the Besa was the standard British Army tank machine-gun in WW2, two were fitted to the Churchill tank, one coaxial in the turret and one in the hull.
8) DF: Defensive Fire.
9) This was the 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards