Chapter 1 Old Blood and Guts Major General George S. Patton, Jr., surveyed the pass. "Damn near indefensible," he said. Eisenhower had chosen Patton to command the United States Army's II Corps after sacking the incompetent Major General Lloyd R. Fredendall, and giving him a staff position. "Yes, sir," Captain Gary Southard, his aide-de-camp, replied. "What do we do now, sir?" "Captain Southard," Patton replied. "We put our troops on the high ground." Southard looked at him. "General," he said. "What about the Shermans?" "We use them sparingly, Captain Southard," Patton replied. "We'll use the tank destroyers and antitank guns instead. Let's build up these inadequate defenses." Patton had his combat engineers follow Montgomery's example at the Second Battle of El Alamein, and plant mines in the pass, to hinder the 10th Panzer Division. Men with bazookas were stationed on the high ground surrounding the floor of the pass. 1943 had been a good year for the Allies. The Mareth Line was tottering on the verge of total collapse. Rommel had returned from Germany to take over command of the Afrika Korps. Von Arnim was now back to commanding the Fifth Panzer Army. "What about the Afrika Korps, sir?" Southard asked. Patton looked at him. "We'll be ready for him, Captain Southard," he replied. "Fredendall wouldn't." Chapter 2 Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright Major Joachim von Blucher was in his Tiger Mark I. The Tigers, and Panthers, were at the line of departure, (LD), and were poised to move out. "We have intelligence," Von Blucher began. "That the Americans are green and unprepared for battle. We can easily defeat them. Mount up!" The 10th Panzer Division moved out. Little did they know that they were heading right to the jaws of Patton's trap. Chapter 3 The Trap Is Sprung Patton stood on the hill overlooking the floor of the pass and watched as the Tigers, Panthers, and Mark IIIs, rolled into the pass. Von Blucher's tank, being the lead tank, was blown up. Fire engulfed the turret as Von Blucher and his tank crew tried to bail out. The halftracks of the 10th Panzer Division fared just as badly. Tank destroyers and M3 Priests opened up with everything they had. Those infantrymen "lucky" enough to survive, were beginning to envy their dead comrades.