Meeting the Fox: The Allied Invasion of Africa, from Operation Torch to Kasserine Pass to Victory in Tunisia

Meeting the Fox: The Allied Invasion of Africa, from Operation Torch to Kasserine Pass to Victory in Tunisia

Meeting the Fox: The Allied Invasion of Africa, from Operation Torch to Kasserine Pass to Victory in Tunisia

Meeting the Fox: The Allied Invasion of Africa, from Operation Torch to Kasserine Pass to Victory in Tunisia

Synopsis

Praise for Meeting the Fox "Orr Kelly has dramatically brought to life the desert war by masterfully weaving the view of higher headquarters with the pathos of the foxhole. Meeting the Fox takes the reader on a gripping journey from North Africa's beaches and drop zones, the practically forgotten disaster at Sidi bou Zid, to the final battles in Tunisia. Meeting the Fox is destined to rank among the best narrative histories on the American experience in North Africa." -- Patrick O'Donnell, author of Beyond Valor and Into the Rising Sun "An almost bullet-by-bullet, shell-by-shell account, Meeting the Fox offers riveting personal experiences from those who fought the Axis forces during the desperate campaign for North Africa." --Gerald Astor, historian and author of A Blood-Dimmed Tide and The Greatest War, Vols. I-III As their unproven commanders struggled to match wits with the wily Desert Fox, 100,000 poorly equipped, undertrained, and inexperienced GIs battled their way across North Africa. Hobbled by inferior weaponry and an inexperienced officer corps, these green but courageous citizen soldiers clashed head-on with the fabled German Afrika Korps and its legendary commander, Erwin Rommel. Meeting the Fox tells the unforgettable tale of the men who transformed themselves, in the heat of battle, from a poorly organized army of convenience into a relentless and unstoppable fighting force.

Excerpt

The guidebook to Tunisia warned us: “The detour out to the war cemetery … is only for the dedicated.”

For my wife, Mary, and me, the route to the cemetery is no detour. The North Africa American Cemetery itself is our goal.

Several years ago, in the course of research for my history of the Air Commandos, From a Dark Sky: The Story of U.S. Air Force Special Operations, I came across an Air Force oral history interview with Col. Philip Cochran, who was instrumental in putting together, in Burma, the first air commando operation during World War II. In the interview, he described what happened in Burma, but he also gave a vivid description of his experience leading a fighter outfit in North Africa, in the first confrontation between American and German forces.

His account of those desperate early days stayed in my memory, piquing my curiosity about that almost-forgotten six-month battle. It would eventually become the genesis for Meeting the Fox. It is curiosity about those early battles that has, in a sense, made us among the few “dedicated” visitors to this out-of-the-way cemetery.

In our search for it, we drive along the Mediterranean coast east of the city of Tunis past the disappointing ruins of Carthage and the picturesque village of Sidi Bou Said, its sparkling white buildings trimmed in blue, until we find a sign pointing the way up Rue Roosevelt.

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