North Africa burst into flames of war as Rommel and his Afrika Corps sought to annihilate the inexperienced and confused Allies.
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.