34th Infantry Division in North Africa, 1942-1943
Technical Report,01 Jun 2018,31 May 2019
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS FORT LEAVENWORTH United States
Pagination or Media Count:
When the 34th Infantry Division landed on the beaches outside of Algiers on 8 November 1942 and joined the Allied invasion of North Africa, it was one of the first US units to see action in World War II. In a short time, the Red Bulls overcame numerous obstacles to prepare for that moment. An overabundance of obsolete equipment, limited opportunities for professional education, and a post-mobilization training regime riddled with missed opportunities all contributed to the divisions performance during the North African Campaign. Although significant, these obstacles alone do not account for the Red Bulls lackluster performance. Major General Charles Ryders operational approach and subsequent influence on planning also played a critical role. The experiences of the Eastern Task Force during the Algiers landings were a consequence of an unbalanced operational approach that relied too heavily on risk and tempo to achieve the desired results. Anxious to redeem themselves, the Red Bulls finally received an opportunity at the Battle of Djebel Tahent Hill 609 on 27 April 1943. Unlike the Algiers landings, Ryder employed a methodical operational approach that properly addressed risk and tempo while incorporating combined arms maneuver to defeat the Barenthin Fallschirmjger Regiment. Although not solely responsible, the evolution of Ryders operational approach played a significant role in the 34th IDs success and failures during the North African Campaign.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Military Forces and Organizations