Defeat at Kasserine: American Armor Doctrine, Training, and Battle Command in Northwest Africa, World War II
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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The 1st Armored Division was the first American armored unit to enter combat against German panzer divisions in World War II. A product of the contentious mechanization process between the First and Second World Wars, the division soon found itself to be outmatched by its German foe. Following a relatively easy victory against the Vichy French after the amphibious landings of Operation Torch, the division lost a series of battles to the Germans, culminating in a decisive defeat at Kasserine Pass. Doctrine both institutional and equipment, training, and battle command all proved to be problematic for the division. The central question is Did the 1st Armored Division lose the battle of Kasserine Pass because of deficiencies in American armor doctrine, training, or battle command An analysis of the Tunisian campaign focusing on these three areas demonstrates that faulty training and inept battle command were partially responsible for the divisions defeat however, the primary reason the 1st Armored Division lost the battle of Kasserine Pass was that it operated in accordance with flawed institutional doctrine and utilized inferior equipment.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Combat Vehicles