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An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942-1943 (World War II Liberation Trilogy, #1)
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THE SECOND WORLD WAR > 12. AN ARMY AT DAWN ~ November 25th ~ Decenber 2nd ~ 9. KASSERINE - None Returned, "Sometimes That is Not Good Enough," "This Place is Too Hot," and "Order, Counter-Order, Disorder" (348 -381) No-Spoilers

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Bryan Craig Hello Everyone,

The twelfth week's reading assignment is:

Week Twelve - November 25th - December 2nd
Part Three - 9. Kasserine - None Returned, "Sometimes That is Not Good Enough," "This Place is Too Hot," and "Order, Counter-Order, and Disorder" - pages 348 - 381

We will open up a thread for each week's reading. Please make sure to post in the particular thread dedicated to those specific chapters and page numbers to avoid spoilers. We will also open up supplemental threads as we did for other spotlighted books.

This book was kicked off on September 9th.

We look forward to your participation. Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other noted on line booksellers do have copies of the book and shipment can be expedited. The book can also be obtained easily at your local library, local bookstore or on your Kindle. Make sure to pre-order now if you haven't already.

There is no rush and we are thrilled to have you join us. It is never too late to get started and/or to post.

Bentley will be leading this discussion and back-up will be Assisting Moderators Christopher and Jerome.

Welcome,

~Bryan

TO ALWAYS SEE ALL WEEKS' THREADS SELECT VIEW ALL

An Army at Dawn The War in North Africa, 1942-1943 (World War II Liberation Trilogy, #1) by Rick Atkinson by Rick Atkinson Rick Atkinson

REMEMBER NO SPOILERS ON THE WEEKLY NON SPOILER THREADS - ON EACH WEEKLY NON SPOILER THREAD - WE ONLY DISCUSS THE PAGES ASSIGNED OR THE PAGES WHICH WERE COVERED IN PREVIOUS WEEKS. IF YOU GO AHEAD OR WANT TO ENGAGE IN MORE EXPANSIVE DISCUSSION - POST THOSE COMMENTS IN ONE OF THE SPOILER THREADS. THESE CHAPTERS HAVE A LOT OF INFORMATION SO WHEN IN DOUBT CHECK WITH THE CHAPTER OVERVIEW AND SUMMARY TO RECALL WHETHER YOUR COMMENTS ARE ASSIGNMENT SPECIFIC. EXAMPLES OF SPOILER THREADS ARE THE GLOSSARY, THE BIBLIOGRAPHY, THE INTRODUCTION AND THE BOOK AS A WHOLE THREADS.

Notes:


It is always a tremendous help when you quote specifically from the book itself and reference the chapter and page numbers when responding. The text itself helps folks know what you are referencing and makes things clear.

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If an author or book is mentioned other than the book and author being discussed, citations must be included according to our guidelines. Also, when citing other sources, please provide credit where credit is due and/or the link. There is no need to re-cite the author and the book we are discussing however.

If you need help - here is a thread called the Mechanics of the Board which will show you how:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Introduction Thread:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Table of Contents and Syllabus

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Glossary:

Remember there is a glossary thread where ancillary information is placed by the moderator. This is also a thread where additional information can be placed by the group members regarding the subject matter being discussed.

Glossary - Part One - https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Glossary - Part Two - https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Glossary - Part Three - https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Bibliography:

There is a Bibliography where books cited in the text are posted with proper citations and reviews. We also post the books that the author used in his research or in his notes. Please also feel free to add to the Bibliography thread any related books, etc with proper citations. No self promotion, please.

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Book as a Whole and Final Thoughts - SPOILER THREAD:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

An Army at Dawn The War in North Africa, 1942-1943 (World War II Liberation Trilogy, #1) by Rick Atkinson by Rick Atkinson Rick Atkinson


message 2: by Bryan (last edited Dec 02, 2013 07:05AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bryan Craig Chapter Overviews and Summaries

Part Three

9. Kasserine

None Returned


The Americans evacuated Gafsa and the airbases at Feriana and Theleopte. However, the Americans did attack Sidi bou Zid in a bid to gain it back. However, superior German Tiger tanks and artillery pushed the American units back. Over two days, there were 1,600 casualties, and over 100 tanks destroyed.

General Anderson told Eisenhower about the dire situation, and Eisenhower told him to withdraw to the main ridge of the Grand Dorsal.

"Sometimes That is Not Good Enough"

Stragglers started to come through Sbeitla. Col. Thomas Drake's men tried to get to safety, but he had to leave men behind in their retreat.

Germany listened in on American radio transmission, so they had a fair idea of where the Americans were. They took Sbeitla, and after that victory, they were left with the question of what to do now?

There was disagreement to that answer. Rommel wanted to forge ahead and take Tebessa, then Bone. However, Arnim said that area was too mountainous. We should go north and attack near Tunis.

Kesselring approved Rommel's plan, but revised it a little, so the Germans would attack through Kasserine Pass. He approved two more armor divisions for Rommel. However, the Germans waited to attack and that gave the Americans time to regroup.

"This Place is Too Hot"

There were not a lot of reinforcements at Kasserine Pass, the initial defenders were combant engineers.

Rommel divided his army with the 10th going toward Sbeitla and the 21st toward Sibiba. On the 19th, the Germans attacked Kasserine Pass with artillery and a new weapon called the Nebelwerfer (screaming meanies). On the next day, Rommel ordered more men into the attack and by the 21st, the Germans punched through the pass heading to Tunisian border.

"Order, Counter-order, and Disorder"

Fredendall felt defeated. He did promise not to leave Tebessa to the Germans.

General Harold Alexander arrived in North Africa to command all of the forces in Tunisia, and he saw no plan or coordination. He did not think much of the American soldier.

The 21st German division attacked the Anglo-American forces near Sibiba and the attack stalled. The Germans made better progress near Thala, while Rommel moved toward Djebel el Hamra.

However, the American resistance was stiffening and they were able to hold the ground.


Bryan Craig I thought the story about Corp. Dave Berlovich's dog tags saying he was Hebrew was interesting.

Clearly, the Americans knew about what the Germans were doing to Jews. I didn't fully appreciate how far down the information went through the ranks.


Bryan Craig What is your assessment of German command in North Africa? Victim of its own success? Egos getting in the way?


Phillip (philbertk) | 55 comments It does seem that the whole German High Command had a problem with overdeveloped egos. You read about it in their arrogance towards Hitler. Hard to get a feel for what went on in Tunisia as only the Rommel side is investigated in these paragraphs. I think Arnim had good reasons for his opinions besides ego. In the end I think Rommel's refusal to commit to one objective doomed his attempts. The feeling I got was that it was too easy and this lack of resistance made him uncomfortable dedicating all his forces to one objective in case the Allies were lying in wait in strength somewhere else.


Bryan Craig Good comment, Phillip. I also get the sense Arnim had some better sense of things. You also have commanders further away from the field than Ike. Hitler had to have the final say, which the Allies seem to give more latitude to their commanders. Thus, you had to wait to talk to Hitler and Hitler to decide, then send the command back to the field. Yikes.


Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1245 comments Bryan wrote: "I thought the story about Corp. Dave Berlovich's dog tags saying he was Hebrew was interesting.

Clearly, the Americans knew about what the Germans were doing to Jews. I didn't fully appreciate ho..."


I think the religion on dog tags was more to send the right chaplain or put the right marker on the grave. I think also the Americans did not publicly admit knowing much more than that Jews were beaten and sent to work camps.


Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1245 comments Phillip wrote: "It does seem that the whole German High Command had a problem with overdeveloped egos. You read about it in their arrogance towards Hitler. Hard to get a feel for what went on in Tunisia as only ..."

I have to agree with you and I think that if they did not have limited resources and the Americans much more abundant resources they might have prevailed in these battles.

I am really disenchanted that some of these commanders, Fredendall and McQuillin in particular were not dumped - Page 380 Allen and Darby are arriving (Yahoo!)

I think it must be hard for some of the descendants of some of these leaders to read this book.

I recently met the grandson of the Ted Roosevelt in this book and he thought both Atkinson and the series are great.


Bryan Craig Cool, met a Roosevelt


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