Extracts from 'Only The Enemy In Front'. This page covers the regiment transferring to 56th (London) Division and seeing action in Tunisia.

44 Recce > Only The Enemy In Front > Action in Tunisia with 56th (London) Division 1943.

The 44th Division was disbanded after El Alamein. 44 Recce detached from the division on 24th November 1942 and were transferred to the 56th (London) Infantry Division ('the Black Cats') on 8th March 1943. They saw action with them in Tunisia under 10th Corps (X Corps).

Only The Enemy In Front (2008) pp58–59.

Two other reconnaissance regiments had been operating in those closing stages of the Tunisian campaign. These were 4th and 44th Regiments; the latter had already seen service in North Africa, having fought at the final battle of El Alamein. Following 44th Division's disbandment, 44 Recce had been given a series of tasks and had been issued with Marmon-Herrington armoured cars to replace the Humber LRCs which had proved unsuited to desert conditions. At the end of February 1943 the regiment became part of 56th (London) Division at Gaza; the 'Black Cats' were without a reconnaissance regiment as 56 Recce had been transferred to the newly-formed 78th Division. It was rumoured that General Montgomery had declared that he did not want recce regiments with his infantry divisions: whatever the truth of that story the fact remains that no proper role had been found for such regiments in the desert where recce was assigned to armoured car regiments of the RAC and it therefore seemed logical that 56th Division should move to the Middle East sans reconnaissance regiment. In mid-March the London Division concentrated in the Nile delta to refit before joining Eighth Army in Tunisia.

After the long haul through Egypt and Libya, 44 Recce arrived at Enfidaville on 24 April, days after the town had fallen to Eighth Army. With the campaign almost over the regiment saw little service compared to 56th or 46th Regiments but what it did see was sharp enough. Its intended rôle was to have light recce forces probing forward to observe and report, with the main force some distance behind, but while there was some of this activity, the regiment spent much time sitting on the receiving end of German artillery which was, as ever, very effective.

Patrols from 44 Recce were quite successful and in their short involvement in Tunisia the regiment captured some thirty Germans. A Squadron, operating on the coast, had a number of engagements with enemy troops and repulsed German attacks so effectively that the enemy afterwards admitted thinking that a brigade opposed them on the coastal sector.

From Enfidaville, 44 Recce made the first contact with soldiers of First Army coming down from the north. The regiment's short spell of fighting ended on 13 May when all hostilities ceased in Tunisia. In June 44 Recce moved to Tripoli in Libya to prepare for its next operational tasks which would take it to Italy.