Today in North African history: the Battle of Kasserine Pass ends (1943)

The Battle of Kasserine Pass, on February 19-25, 1943, was the second part of the Battle of Sidi Bouzid earlier that month. Or more to the point, Sidi Bouzid—along with a smaller battle between German and Allied forces at Tunisia’s Faïd Pass in late January—served as the opening act of this much larger engagement. Both Sidi Bouzid and the Faïd Pass ended in clear Axis victories, under General Hans-Jürgen von Arnim and Field Marshal Erwin Rommel respectively. The Battle of Kasserine Pass ended a little more ambiguously, with the Axis having won but without gaining much from the victory. Moreover, as we noted when talking about Sidi Bouzid, the Allied failures here led to an overall reorganization of their North African war effort, which helped turn these defeats into a strategic victory in Tunisia by May.

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