The struggle for Hill 609 continues
29th April 1943: The US 34th Division prise open the hilltop redoubt held by the fanatical Nazis of the 'Regiment Barenthin'
By the 29th April the assault on the hills around Hill 609 had been concluded and the men of the 34th Division were in a position to move on the main objective. The history of the division, written in 1945, described what they faced:
Known1 to the Arabs as Djebel Tahent, this was an enormous mass of rock, its lower slopes covered with vegetation and lined with a number of crude rock walls twisting along the slopes. Direct approach from the west was extremely difficult since the face of the mountain rose almost sheer. On the eastern face, however, an easier approach was possible and it was decided therefore that the way to assault the position was from the German side.
The enemy defending the hill came from a German airforce regiment called "Regiment Barenthin" after its original commander. These troops were deeply imbued with Nazi doctrine and were boldly and courageously led. They were on a par with the present-day  German paratroops. Right at the top of Hill 609 these troops had prepared a citadel blasted out of the rock. Only one way up was known, and this was a goat trail which led in from the northeast.
Bradley agreed with this assessment:
Seldom2 has an enemy contested a position more bitterly than did the German high on Hill 609. For he knew once that rampart fell, he had no choice but to withdraw to the east and thus open a path to Mateur on the flank of his Tunis fine.
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