MG Fredendall's Verbal Orders

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10. Americans: MG Fredendall’s verbal orders were often vague and imprecise. (While a quote was an attempt at OPSEC over the phone, it was simply too unorthodox to be considered a proper movement order for an entire brigade sized element. Other examples also exist of Fredendall’s imprecise manner such as: “Go get ‘em at once….Go smash ‘em” and: “Everything is rosy”, the troops “went to town”). These orders allowed for the possibility of misinterpretation and thus confusion of subordinate missions. However, Fredendall complicated his command structure further by regularly skipping the chain of command. Personally disliking the 1st Armored Division Commander, MG Orlando Ward, Fredendall often bypassed his headquarters and made direct coordination with the Combat Commanders. 11. This practice had disastrous consequences with the II Corp operations order for the defense of Sidi Bou Zid. The order specified the exact locations of Combat Command A’s battalions and some companies (thus, II Corp not only bypassed the division HQ, but also bypassed BG Mcquillen’s Combat Command HQ). To make matters worse, since MG Fredendall rarely left his HQ, this overly directive order was based only on a map…show more content…
If one person can be faulted for the US loss at Kasserine Pass (and he was – he was relieved of command and sent back to the US after this battle) it was MG Fredendall. So far we have seen his vague and peculiar orders, lack of situational awareness of the battlefield, and his penchant for bypassing the chain of command. We can also add to this list his single-mined approach with other officers, both peers and subordinates. He also had a bad practice of disregarding the opinions of subordinates (particularly MG Ward’s), and discounting recommendations by those that had a better appreciation of the terrain or situation. Many subordinate officers in 1st AD identified the flaws in the CCA defense, yet there was an inability by these officers to affect the
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