US resistance stiffens at Kasserine Pass
19th February 1943: After the surprise attack causes a severe upset, the US Army is able to prevent the Wehrmacht exploiting their breakthrough
In Tunisia the Kasserine Pass remained the centre of contested territory. The US Army had suffered a minor disaster, forced to rapidly pull back to more cohesive lines, destroying or abandoning huge quantities of munitions. Nearly two hundred tanks had been destroyed, along with hundreds of vehicles. Thousands had been taken prisoner.
Weaknesses in the command of US II Corps had been brutally exposed. But the Germans were now unable to fully exploit their early successes and had come up against increasingly stiff U.S. resistance.
By 1943 Hans von Luck1 was a seasoned veteran of the Panzer, having started his war in Poland and continued in France and Russia before arriving in North Africa in 1942.
We admired the courage and élan with which the Americans executed their attacks, even though we sometimes felt sorry for them at having to pay for their first combat experience with such heavy losses.
As commander of a Panzer reconnaissance battalion he was now in the front line of the battle:
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