Skip to comments.Kasserine Pass: America's Most Humiliating Defeat of World War II
Posted on 02/22/2021 11:02:45 PM PST by L.A.Justice
Beware a Desert Fox when he’s cornered.
It was North Africa, in the winter of 1943, and American soldiers were feeling cocky as they prepared for their first ground battle against the Germans in World War II. So far, it hadn’t been a bad war for the U.S. Army. The GIs were well fed, well paid and well equipped, especially compared to their threadbare and envious British allies. Even better, their baptism by fire had been to splash ashore in Algeria and Morocco in November 1942, where the defenders had been unmotivated Vichy French soldiers who soon capitulated.
Maybe defeating Hitler wouldn’t be so hard, after all.
The GIs should have remembered what the British had learned the hard way: never underestimate the Germans. Soon Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, admiringly dubbed the “Desert Fox” by the British, would teach the rookie Americans a lesson on the art of war at a dusty defile called Kasserine Pass.
(Excerpt) Read more at nationalinterest.org ...
Lloyd Fredendall was the American general who commanded US troops during Kasserine Pass battles...I was watching BLUE BLOODS on TV a few weeks ago...NYPD Commissioner Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck) mentioned his name...As an example of somebody who was very incompetent...
George Patton's son-in-law was captured during the Kasserine Pass battles...In 1945, US troops were in Germany...Patton did send a small unit to rescue his son-in-law...The mission failed...
On this basis, the filling of Iron Bottom Sound by the Japs during the battle for Guadalcanal) with about 35,000 dead Americans and many capital ships of the American Navy would clearly be the most “humiliating” defeat of WWII...
Again, like Kasserine, inexperienced naval personnel, protocols, equipment, and incompetent commanders were a big factor...
The saving grace was that they did magnificently stall the Japs long enough to learn and recover...
Albeit that Guadalcanal land battle itself was a magnificent WWII-changing victory that forever changed the course of the war...
That victory is what has made history relatively kind to the humiliation of the Naval defeats in the Slot...
Fredendall was not only incompetent but he was a loud mouth who never got anywhere near the front.
I can't help seeing Trump as Patton. His language and mannerisms were a lot alike. Plus they both stayed in trouble a lot.
Can you imagine Patton on Twitter?
Because Fredendall was Ikes “buddy” (Ike was the ones who gave him the command, and thought he was just as good as Patton) when he was fired, there was no letter of reprimand. So he was qualified to being promoted to Lt. General.
The older I get, the more compassion I have for those that died young in war. Several months back I was at a Vietnam war dead website, looking at photos of the young men that died there. Many, many 18 year olds. Occasional 17 year olds. Lots were 19. Then I look at a picture of myself over there, age 19, my appearance was no different. In a way it’s bone chilling, knowing they all died so very young, and here I am an old fart.
It does not matter what war, it’s all the same. Young men die for their country.
But the politics today, those of past wars will be considered evil by our new masters. The day will come when veteran’s cemeterys will be vandalized.
What was immoral was all those Americans openly supporting the enemy and pretending that it was for "peace".
Unmentioned in the article is that Kasserine Pass set in the minds of Hitler and many German generals the view that invading American troops would buckle if hit hard by seasoned and well-equipped German formations. The result was a deep set underestimation of American military effectiveness that persisted even after D-Day, thus leading to ill-fated German counter attacks like the Battle of Mortain and the Battle of the Bulge.
If we had stood our ground in Vietnam against communism we might not be where we are at today. Few people believe as you and I do, due to decades of propaganda.
The same folks killing commies in Vietnam will likely be killing them on their home soil.
We stood our ground in Vietnam; it was South Vietnam that couldn’t. In addition to a public relations problem (winning hearts and minds), they were doomed when leftists in Congress cut off their supplies (after we had already withdrawn). Units literally ran out of ammo.
I pity those that die in these wars as well; I watched a recent interview with a veteran describing the death of friend in Afghanistan, and you could tell he was groping to find a reason for it. In the end, he settled on “now girls can go to school”...
Do you think recruiters tell 17- and 18-year olds enlisting that this is why they may die over there?
Do you think with the gender warfare/affirmative action/PC culture in our own country, ANY young man would sign up so girls could go to school” in Afghanistan?
“You want to know why this outfit got the hell kicked out of it? A blind man could spot it. They don’t act like soldiers; they don’t look like soldiers; why should they be expected to fight like soldiers?”
I believe the opening scene of “Patton” is in the aftermath of that battle.
The US tanks were horrible; the high command was aware of the vulnerabilities but swept them under the carpet - accusing troops of storing too much ammo in the turrets to explain how easily they were set afire by German tanks. US tank troops referred to one of the brands of tanks they used as “Ronsons” because they burned so easily...
Saw an interesting lecture at the US Army War College buy a historian who described the WW2 practice of “Relieving” general officers. His conclusion was that all officers that rise to those ranks are not cut out for it and that the troops would be better served by long serving generals who serve subject to “relief” rather than 1-year combat command tours.
It was a little “more complicated” than that. Sherman’s had been rolling off the assembly lines for months but the US 1st Armored Div didn’t have them. They were sent to Montgomery to re-equip his armored brigades prior to 2nd Alemein. The Sherman in ‘43 was better than anything the Germans had in North Africa (except a relative handful of Tigers shifted down from Sicily).
The real weakness was the lack of larger caliber anti-tank weapons in general. 37 mm was kinda standard then.
Understandable, but the tank crews themselves were concerned with their tanks more than anti-tank guns. They knew they were facing the Germans with inferior tanks.
Well soldiers are going to b*tch no matter the equipment or the kill ratio’s. It’s historically rare to have an invulnerable weapons system. The M1 tank came close for a time. But it’s normally not the case. And when you see the terminal effects of the other guys weapons first-hand it can be sobering. But remember, that cuts both ways. The Germans must have been demoralized by the seemingly endless supply of Shermans & T-37’s.
The day will come when veteran’s cemeteries will be vandalized.
That day is already here:
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