Thursday, September 09, 2004

Historical Perspective by Comparison: The Kasserine Pass

Reader Ralph Kostant writes:

"If the present editorial board of the Los Angeles Times and Senator John Kerry had been around in February 1943, we might have read the following editorial:

"The news that the United States Army has suffered casualties of 1000 dead, 2000
wounded and 3650 taken prisoner in just five days of fighting at Kasserine Pass
in Tunisia makes this an appropriate time to reassess the decision to invade
North Africa. As Senator John Kerrey said yesterday, 'This is the wrong
war in the wrong place at the wrong time.' One wonders how officers will
motivate G.I.’s to go into battle against Rommel’s finest troops, when the
Roosevelt Administration has failed to demonstrate how the North African
campaign will protect the security of the United States. It was Imperial
Japan, not Nazi Germany, that attacked Pearl Harbor on 12/11/41, and the
Roosevelt Administration has failed to produce any evidence of a German
connection to that attack.

"Historical note: After initially being driven from Kasserine Pass by Rommel’s panzers on February 19-20, American troops rallied, held their lines and protected the supply bases that Rommel was attempting to capture. The U.S. Army retook Kasserine Pass on February 23, albeit with heavy losses. By March 20, 1943, Allied troops had broken the Axis lines. By May 13, 1943, all Axis resistance to the Allied armies in North Africa had ended, with over 240,000 German and Italian troops surrendering as prisoners of war."


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