"Kasserine Pass" is an in depth study of the events leading up to and concluding with the battle of Kasserine Pass. The work is much broader than the title would indicate. Author Martin Blumenson sets the scene by describing the forces, military and political, Italian, German, French, American and British which would lead to the dramatic battle.
The real action of the book picks up when the focus of the forces shifts to Tunisia. Germany, looking for a victory to compensate for losses at El Alamein and in Russia, decided to take on the green Americans coming from the West. Blumenson tells how Rommel set up the attack and how American blunders set the Americans up for defeat. U. S. General Frendendhall is shown as having deployed many of his forces to hilltop locations where they could be isolated and destroyed. The fighting is shown as having occurred over about a month, not in a single, decisive battle. In a series of attacks, the Germans handed the Americans a thorough thrashing and a well heeded wake-up call.
Victory brought Gen. Rommel little to celebrate. In the wake of victory, German supplies to North Africa were restricted to support other theatres. Rommel was called back to Germany to be saved for battles to come.
For the Americans, George Patton was brought forward to remold the ruined units into the army that would drive across Africa and Sicily.
Martin Blumenson's work is a well written account. It provides a detailed account of the personalities and events involved in the first major American battle of the War. Of particular interest is the occasional reference to prior armies, particularly Carthaginian, who had fought over the same ground. This is an enjoyable and valuable resource for anyone with an interest in the North African theatre of World War II.