Erwin Rommel's last offensive in North Africa ended with a whimper at Medenine

Temple, Truman
July 2006
Military History;Jul/Aug2006, Vol. 23 Issue 5, p16
The article focuses on the division of leadership of the Allied Forces during the battle at Tunisia in 1942. Field Marshal Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel crashed through Kasserine Pass, administering a shocking defeat to the green American troops and their ineffectual commander, Major General Lloyd R. Fredendall. The immediate situation so alarmed Allied commanders that they sent an urgent plea to Rommel's nemesis at E1 Alamein, British Eighth Army General Bernard Law Montgomery, to relieve the Americans by stepping up pressure at the Mareth Line, French-built fortifications in southern Tunisia that faced east toward the former Italian territory of Tripolitania. Long-term prospects, however, were more critical for the Axis than the Allies. To begin with, Rommel had fallen out of favor with the Axis high command after El Alamein. The result was a divided leadership. Rommel commanded German and Italian forces in the south, curiously named the First Italian Army, while General Jürgen von Arnim led the Fifth Panzer Army in the north.


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