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Kasserine Pass Timeline

North Africa explodes in blood as Rommel seeks to annihilate the inexperienced and confused Allies.

Authored By Staff Writer

German General Erwin Rommel suffered a defeat against British General Bernard Law Montgomery at the Battle of El Alamein. The Allies were boosted by the arriving American forces through Operation Torch and all seemed lost for Rommel and his Afrika Corps. Plans were drawn up for a new offensive to hold the Allies in North Africa and Hitler approved by sending in a flood of new men and equipment.


The Allies were made of Montgomery's 8th Army, French forces and the inexperienced Americans. Rommel enacted Operation Spring Breeze in mid-February of 1943 in an attempt to wipe the Allied forces clean off North Africa.


As expected, the French proved no challenge and retreated battle after battle. The Germans then manhandled the American forces and drove them into a retreat of confusion and disarray that was made worst by the influx of relocating civilian refuges. General Rommel's forces met up with General von Arnim at Kasserine on February 18th and forged on 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 would not come.


It was not until the arrival of British General Harold Alexander, along with reinforcements from the British 6th Armored Division and the American 34th Infantry Division, that order was restored to the American ranks.


As the situation for the Allies began to stabilize and more reinforcements flooded the region, Rommel reeled in his offensive and called off his attack in full. The German objectives were not met though, at the end of it all, the Allies lost some 10,000 souls to the Axis 2,000. Furthermore, Kasserine was now back in Allied hands.


Rommel now turned his attention towards Montgomery in the East who was now firmly engaged - and making progress - against the Germans at the Mareth Line.

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Total Kasserine Pass Events: 12

1943
Sunday
February 14th

At 4AM, elements of the 10th Panzer Division and 21st Panzer Division under General von Arnim, launch their attack at Allied forces near Sidi Bou Zid and Bir el Hafey.

1943
Monday
February 15th

German General Erwin Rommel commences with his assault through Operation Morgenluft. His attack takes him towards Gafsa, Feriana and Thelepte.

1943
Thursday
February 18th

General von Arnim and General Rommels forces finally meet at Kasserine.

1943
Friday
February 19th

American armored forces hold up the German advanced at Kasserine Pass.

1943
Saturday
February 20th

Allied units move from Le Kef for the counter-attack.

1943
Saturday
February 20th

The British 6th Armored Brigade moves towards Thala and Sbiba.

1943
Saturday
February 20th

US forces move in to stop the German advance around Tebessa.

1943
Saturday
February 20th

The Americans fold under the immense German assault and Kasserine Pass falls to the invaders.

1943
Sunday
February 21st

The German forces at Kasserine Pass under Rommel await the Allied counter-offensive that never materializes.

1943
Monday
February 22nd

Allied forces hold the Germans in check at Sbiba, Tebessa and Thala, inflicting 2,000 German casualties and forcing Rommel to call for a retreat.

1943
Thursday
February 25th

Kasserine is now firmly in Allied control, the Germans having retreated and Rommel's attention now elsewhere.

1943
Thursday
February 25th

Rommel relocates his forces east and plans his defense against Montgomery and his 8th Army at the Mareth ine.
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