German General Erwin Rommel suffered a defeat against British General Bernard Law Montgomery at the Battle of El Alamein and the Allies' fighting spirit was bolstered by the arriving American forces during Operation Torch. While all seemed lost for Rommel and his Afrika Corps, plans were drawn up for a new offensive to hold the Allies in North Africa. Hitler approved of the offensive and committed new men and equipment to the Theater. The Allied force consisted of Montgomery's 8th Army, French forces, and the largely inexperienced Americans. Rommel enacted "Operation Spring Breeze" during mid-February in 1943 in an attempt to wipe the Allied forces from North Africa.
The French element was defeated and forced into retreat which allowed the Germans to move on the green American forces. They too were driven into confusion and disarray which was made all the more worse by the flood of refuges from surrounding areas. General Rommel's forces met up with General von Arnim at Kasserine on February 18th and pushed forward to Kasserine Pass which they took from the Americans by February 20th. Once there Rommel paused his advance to await the Allied counter-attack that inexplicably would not come. It was not until the arrival of British General Harold Alexander, along with reinforcements through the British 6th Armored Division and the American 34th Infantry Division, that order was finally restored among the American ranks.
As the situation for the Allies began to stabilize and more reinforcements were added to shore up losses and increased fighting strength, Rommel reeled in his offensive and called off his attack plan. Despite some gains, the German objectives were not met. In the fighting, the Allies counted 10,000 casualties to the Axis' 2,000 losses. Kasserine fell back into Allied hands and General Rommel was now to turn his attention towards General Montgomery in the East who was firmly engaged - and making steady progress - against the Germans at the Mareth Line. ©www.SecondWorldWarHistory.com
There are a total of (12) entries in the Timeline of Kasserine Pass, North Africa (February 19th, 1943). Entries are listed below by earliest date to latest date.