Axis forces were able to throw back the first Allied push toward the major ports of Tunis and Bizerte. Regrouping for a second offensive, the British 1st Army is now poised to jump off. One battalion of the US 1st Infantry division is sent to hold a key hill, recently captured by the British. A hill the 10th Panzer Division plans to retake. It will be the 1st Infantry Divisions first battle against the German foe.
With US forces in position strike east and block his retreat from southern Tunisia, German commander Erwin Rommel mounts a surprise attack and smashes most of the US 1st Armored Division at Sidi bou Zid. With the front torn open, elements of the 1st US Infantry division are rushed into position to try to halt the Afrika Korps from pushing into the Allied rear.
With US forces in position strike east and block his retreat from southern Tunisia, German commander Erwin Rommel mounts a surprise attack and smashes most of the US 1st Armored Division at Sidi bou Zid. With the front torn open, elements of the US 1st Infantry division dig in south of Sbiba to block the German attack.
US forces have recovered from their defeat at Kasserine Pass. The US II Corps, now under command of General George Patton, take the offensive in an attack that threatens the rear of Axis forces facing the British 8th Army in southern Tunisia.
With British, French, and American forces attacking from the west and the British 8th Army attacking from the south, Axis forces in Tunisia are being compressed into a defensive perimeter around the major ports of Tunis and Bizerte. The US II Corps is shifted north attacking along the Tine river valley towards Mateur.
The Allied invasion of Sicily has begun. Chaos, scattered resistance, and the fog of war envelop the beachhead as elements of the 1st Infantry Division push north toward higher terrain and the town of Niscemi. The Italian Livorno Divison and the Hermann G ring Panzer Division are positioning for an attack to strike the vulnerable beachhead. Time is critical, and so are the narrow Sicilian roads.
American and British make progress north and west in Sicily as German and Italian forces contract northeast toward Messina. Meanwhile, a mix of Italian troops defend the road to Nicosia against the US 1st Division s assault while the 15th Panzergrenadier Division prepares to defend against a deeper incursion.
Occupying a key position in the Etna line, Troina and its neighboring hills and ridges offer a defender s paradise. Commanding views, long fields of fire, and convenient routes of withdrawal were what the 15th Panzer Grenadier Division needed to buy time for the ultimate German withdrawal to the Italian mainland. II Corps job, including two regiments from the 1st Infantry Division, is to roll up German resistance, capture Troina, and unhinge the door through the Etna line.
Allied forces have crossed the English Channel and are landing along the Normandy coast at multiple invasion sites. The veteran 1st US Infantry Division objectives are to land at the eastern half of Omaha Beach, clear the beach of resistance and drive inland to expand the beachhead. Waiting to receive them at the surf line is a battalion of the German 352nd Infantry Division, a mix of new recruits and experienced soldiers from the Eastern Front.
The Normandy countryside was filled with a maze of repeating hedgerows, narrow lanes, orchards, woodlands, enclosed fields, and small towns. Locally known as the bocage , it was the ideal defensive landscape for the Germans. For the 1st Infantry Division it was an unfamiliar, challenging, and costly landscape to wrestle from German control. This was nothing like fighting in Tunisia and Sicily where you could typically spot your enemy in the distance. The bocage created a perfect environment for guerrilla-style warfare, ambushes and counterattacks.
After weeks of intense and bloody combat with very little ground gained, the Allies have mounted a coordinated air and ground offensive, cracking open the German line. A potent force of American infantry and supporting tanks rushes in and exploits the weakness. German forces reel and attempt to counterattack.
This page was last edited on 25 September 2019, at 17:56.
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