Grease Spot and all,
Grease Spot wrote: When I was looking around this afternoon I couldn't find any reference to 1st. Inf. at Kasserine. It may have come late into the fighting and I overlooked the passage. The earliest reference I found to them in Tunisia was after the battle for Kasserine was over. In any event, as I posted earlier, the brunt of it fell on 1st. Arm. and 34th. Inf.
Grease Spot wrote: The II Corps at that time was under the command of Maj. Gen. Fredendall who was primarily responsible for the scattered deployment of the 1st. Armored (not Inf.) Division. There was also a regiment of the 34th. Inf. Div. involved, and it was upon these units that the Germans' blow first fell.
I finally got my book back entitled "Terrible Terry Allen, Combat General of World War II-The Life of an American Soldier" by Gerald Astor.
I stated that the 1st Infantry Division was broken up before the Battle of Kasserine Pass. So here is what this book says starting on page 124:
"Allen enjoyed this success and the praise of Eisenhower and Corps Commander Fredendall only briefly before he entered into one of the most frustrating periods of his career. All French opposition to the Allies had subsided by 17 November. With Algeria secured, the forces of Torch shifted their eyes east, toward Tunisia. The Axis high command had reacted to the invasion, and British soldiers entering Tunisia clashed with forward German troops, while American paratroopers encountered Italian patrols. A French corps now operated in North Africa under Gen. Henri Giraud, on of the few of his country's military leaders not tarnished by the collapse in 1940. Command of the Allied ground war in Tunisia had been vested in British Lt. Gen. Sir Kenneth Anderson. The achievements of American forces in Oran and at Casablanca made little impression upon the British officers who regarded their ally's soldiers as poorly trained, inexperienced, badly led, and inadequately equipped.
One consequence of Anderson's assumption of overall command and the insertion of Giraud and his XIX Corps was the parceling out of Terry Allen's people to a number of organizations. While Allen and his 1st Division Headquarters stayed in Oran, the 18th Infantry, along with the 32d and 5th Field Artillery Battalions, departed to reinforce the British V Corps-under extreme pressure in the northern sector of the country. The 26th Infantry, less one battalion, flew to outpost approaches for the Atlas Mountains in southern Tunisia, and the 33d Field Artillery moved off to southern Tunisia where it was at the beck and call of the Free French or as attachments to several task forces run by the American II Corps.
That he had been summarily dealt out of the game undoubtedly enraged Allen. Porter said that after the 18th Infantry was ordered to Tunisia, Allen drove in a jeep to Algiers. "He went in and talked to General [Walter Bedell] Smith, who was Eisenhower's Chief of Staff. He was told that [the 18th] was badly needed in Tunisia. General Eisenhowerfelt that Tunisia would be much easier to deal with if Americans were there with the British [who] were suspect [as] an extension of British colonial power. Terry really wasn't satisfied with that explanation but there was nothing he could do about it except ask to be relieved. This he would not do.
. . . .Time-Life's Will Lang captured some of Allen's frustration as the general reverted to a sports simile. "You can't spread the units around and expect 'em to click. It's like getting stars from the Brooklyn Dodgers and expecting them to work with the New York Yankees."
Allen undoubtedly felt mixed emotions after he received a copy of a message sent from Feriana, Tunisia, on 22 December, by Lt. Col. John Bowen (the CO of the 26th Infantry's 3d Battalion) to Col. Alec Stark. The battalion, along with the 26th's 1st Battalion, had been split off to work under Fredendall's II Corps-which at least placed it under American Command."
The next 20 or so pages talk of different regiments and even battalions parceled out to different commands. At one time portions of the 1st Infantry Division were under the command of the British (Vth Corps), the French and II Corps.
page 137: "First Division units remained scattered over the entire Tunisian landscape; the 18th Regiment was attached to the British V Corps in the north. Along with the division headquarters, the 16th Infantry, the 2d Battalion of the 26th, two artillery battalions, the 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, and some special troops were under the French XIX Corps in central Tunisia. The American II Corps, which had headquarters at Tebessa, held the rights to the 26th Infantry, minus its 2d Battalion and one field artillery battalion. The territory assigned to the II Corps included a stretch of wild desert and a frontage of two hndred miles, with a series of precipitous mountain ridges extending from the northeast to the southwest."
page 141: "Late in January 1943, the remnants of the 1st Division-the 16th Regiment, the 2d Battalion of the 26th, the 7th Field Artillery, and the 1st Engineer Combat Battalion, together with some French units-assumed responsibility for the sector in the Ousseltia Valley in central Tunisia. This gave Allen a command of combat units, yet technically he controlled little more than a regimental combat team; overall jurisdiction lay with the French XIX Corps."
I don't have the time or energy to type in all the pages, but suffice to say that elements of the 1st Infantry Division were at the Battle of Kasserine Pass attached to both the 1st Armored Divison and the 34th Infantry Division (I believe). The Division was not put all back together until after the Battle of Kasserine Pass, but I can not find the date as of yet!