Battle of the Kasserine Pass

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Battle of Kasserine Pass
Part of the Tunisia Campaign of World War II
Kasserine Pass.jpg
Date19–24, February 1943
Kasserine Pass, Tunisia
Result Axis tactical victory
 United States
 United Kingdom
 Nazi Germany
Commanders and leaders
United States Lloyd Fredendall
United Kingdom Kenneth Anderson
Nazi Germany Erwin Rommel
30,000[1] 22,000[1]
Casualties and losses
10,000 (including 6,500 Americans)[1]
183 tanks[1][2][3]
34 tanks[1]

The Battle of the Kasserine Pass, named for a pass through the Atlas Mountains, was a battle fought in Tunisia. It was part of the North African Campaign. The battle took place from 19 February 1943 to 24 February 1943.[4]

History[change | change source]

The Axis forces were commanded by Erwin Rommel. They were mostly made from the Afrika Korps and The Italian Centauro Armoured Division (with units of Italian Tunisians[5]). They also included some divisions from the German 5th Panzer Army. The II Corps of the U.S Army was led by Lloyd Fredendall. The British 1st Army was led by Kenneth Anderson.

This battle is remembered as the first major battle between the Americans and Germans in World War Two. The Americans were trying to get to Tunis quickly, before more Axis troops could arrive from Europe.

It was the first battle in which the American soldiers fought an enemy with better organization and experienced soldiers. The battle at the beginning was very costly for the Americans. Many of them died and they were forced to retreat 50 miles (80 km) from their starting position at the Faid Pass. American and British reinforcements soon arrived to help and they forced Rommel to retreat to better positions.

This battle caused a change in American military organization, to better prepare the army for the war in North Africa. Several commanders were replaced. When Rommel and the Americans fought again weeks later, the American improvements were seen in battle.

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Rottmann, p. 74.
  2. Heller, Charles. America's First Battles, 1776-1965. 1986. University Press of Kansas. ISBN 0-7006-0277-1. p. 261.
  3. "Historia de las Fuerzas Armadas alemanas. Kasserine 1943". Portal Militar y Panzertruppen (in Spanish). Columbia. Archived from the original on February 12, 2008. Retrieved January 19, 2008.
  4. Division Centauro at Kasserine Pass battle
  5. Italians in Tunisia & Maghreb

Bibliography[change | change source]

  • Rottmann, Gordon (2008). M3 Medium Tank vs Panzer III – Kasserine Pass 1943. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84603-261-5.
  • Rutherford, Ward (1971). Kasserine, Baptism of Fire. London: MacDonald and Co. ISBN 0-345-02098-7. OCLC 104309