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David A. Thomas
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Battle of Kasserine Pass/Tunisia Campaign Build Group Call

October 11, 2017 · in News · 38 · 3.3K

From February 19-25, 1943, the Allies fought their Axis foes in the Battle of Kasserine Pass. It was the first major land action by the American ground forces in the European Theatre of Operations (Operation Torch, early November, 1942, was largely unopposed), although both the battle itself and its ancillary events (the wider Tunisia Campaign), involved many other players. The forces of Great Britain, Free France, and other allies, fought against the Germans and the Italians. Kasserine Pass is widely considered a humiliating defeat for the Americans. But in spite of the heavy casualties and capture of hundreds of American GIs, the battle played an important role in the painful but necessary maturation of the American forces, from the brass down to the boots, and from how soldiers were trained Stateside to how they fought when they reached the field for the rest of the War. The lessons learned proved invaluable, and not only was Rommel’s tactical victory brief, the long-term effect proved that sometimes getting a bloody nose is just the doctor ordered to clear the head.

Late February, 2018 will be the 75th anniversary of this fascinating chapter in World War 2 history. In honor of the brave men of all sides who fought in it, I would like to put out a call for a Kasserine Pass Build Group. The modeling possibilities are tempting indeed for those who love their hobby strongly coupled with history in general and the pathos of battle in particular. Whether you like aircraft or armor, figurines, dioramas, or even the naval vessels involved in the wider campaign, surely there is something for you here. I am hoping for a mixture of classics (American, British, and German standbys) along with some interesting anomalies (for example, Free French markings and Italian specialty aircraft). In any case, this is our big chance to build desert warfare machines during a significant anniversary period!

As for projects, I have my eye on an A-20B of the 12th Air Force, 47th Bomb Group. Your passion is probably elsewhere, but I am betting that somewhere in your stash is something that could make things interesting and honor the heroes of this watershed battle.

General guidelines would be as follows (framework shamefully plagiarized from Louis Gardner’s build group guidelines—thanks buddy!):

  1. Any model drawn from the war materiel—air, land, or sea—of any of the combatants in the battle of Kasserine Pass or the wider Tunisia Campaign.
  2. Any scale would be permitted.
  3. Build as many entries as you like.
  4. Join late? No problem!
  5. All comers welcome, just jump in and you’re a member.
  6. We can make our initial posts on February 19, 2018—75 years to the date after the opening day of the battle. Ending date would be June 1, 2018—about the time the Allies finished mopping things up in North Africa.
  7. End dates not strictly enforced, and progress leading up to the due dates can be posted in the Work in Progress groups.

What say, modeling brothers? Let me know!

Reader reactions:
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38 responses

  1. OK, I'm in, got a 1/48 scale Bf 110B/C that needs building. probably some more as we go along. Sounds like fun.

  2. I'm with Tom... Sounds like fun to me too... I have several ideas for builds that would fit this nicely. The guidelines do look a little familiar ... 🙂 🙂 🙂 Go for it !

  3. A group build seems like the trend here at if I could only gather some motivation to actually participate... 🙁

    • I wish I could help you, Craig. I just don't think there were any F-4s over North Africa... 😉 But what about that Eduard 109 you won back in April? It would look very smart with a desert camo scheme!

  4. Perfect timing, will check to see if any Dewoitine D.520 participated in the campaign. Since the Germans had seized about 411 of them from the French in 1942. Either way can always come up with an alternative, I'm in.

  5. Nah, too many WWII group builds, Louis' idea was great, the entries are wide open, not just about war. How about another "year of", the snake has possibilities...

  6. I'll have to check but I'm pretty sure I can help here. I have a particular idea for a British tank I'd like to do.

  7. Well now, not sure what this does to my "build plan," but we all know what von Moltke said about planning...!
    I'm sure I'll think of something!

  8. Count me in please David. Not sure of the subject yet, but I'll post here when I've decided. Thank you for suggesting an interesting Build Group.

  9. Greetings David, I have spent the last couple of days digging around the net due to my usual comparative paucity of knowledge. Lots to learn here - thank you - I'm in!

  10. I'm in on this. I have a Ju87 that will definitely fit the brief.

    Thanks, David.

  11. Hello David, I had to read some more history of this in the last couple of days . Interesting subject with a lot of opportunities to build. I allready started my interest in French and Italian WWII aircraft so would like to join in with at least one of these subjects for the Group Build. Definite choice will follow but count me in.

    • Ferry, you do such fine, fine work. It will be an honor to have you involved.

      • Thank you for your kind words David. Looking forward to all entries in this group build.

        • Almost certainly that would be correct. After Alamein and Torch, the Allies had Rommel in a strategic pincer. Kasserine Pass was supposed to capitalize on that, but any thought of a quick Allied victory was premature since American troops were just too green and their air power made of poorly coordinated operations with substandard aircraft. As the spring of 1943 wore on, the strategic realities caught up with the Germans, though, and by May it was all over.

          That Me 109 would be exactly what this build is about.

  12. David, I am interested in, but dont know which Luftwaffe fighters are exactly involved, should be 109 G2 trop...?

    let me know what you think?

  13. Thanks for the invite David. Right now I have nothing in the stash for this time frame but there is 4 months until the start of the build

  14. I've decided on a 12thAF F-6A (recon Allison Mustang) loaned to RAF 225 Squadron. Interesting plane that wore an unusual hybrid US/Brit scheme. I bought the decals for this last year and now have an excuse to use them!

  15. I'm a bit confused. Is the time period strictly Feb 19-25 1943?

    • Hey Robert, the Battle of Kasserine Pass took place on those dates. The larger Tunisia Campaign is generally considered to stretch from November of 1942 (Operation Torch--i.e., the American landings in North Africa) to Germany's final defeat in the region in May, 1943.

      The Group Build focuses on Kasserine Pass. But it can also include any materiel within that wider scope, to allow for more options while still staying true to the theme.

      Does this help?

    • And also, we have the Group Build thread going in that section of the iModeler website if you want to check out inventory, claimed projects, ideas, and progress so far. I'd love to have you take on a project!

  16. Yes, it does and thanks.

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