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With the French issue settled, the Allied forces began deploying troops to the coast of North Africa on November 8th 1942. The following morning, the Allied assault commenced as three task forces sought to seize key ports and airports at Casablanca, Oran, and Algiers before advancing eastwards into Tunisia. American ships USS Suwannee and USS Ranger were ordered to attack the coastline. On November 10, the Allied troops readied to assault Casablanca. Operation Torch would be the perfect operation to open a new front. Operation Torch marked the largest American campaign to date in the Atlantic theater, and the first major operation carried out jointly and combined by the United States and the United Kingdom during World War II. Operation Torch was the Anglo-American invasion of French Morocco and Algeria during the North African Campaign of World War II. At Oran, the Center Task Force also encountered stubborn French resistance before Oran’s surrender on November 9. Operation Torch was the first time the British and Americans had jointly worked on an invasion plan together. However, junior French Generals failed in a coup, and the French top brass learned of the Allied landings. Stiff French resistance then caused significant losses at several of the Moroccan assault points before the Western Task Force achieved its landing objectives. The World's Oldest Dams Still in Operation. We would like to thank The Crown and Goodman Family and the Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation for supporting the ongoing 100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW Allied forces preparing to land were met by artillery fire from French shore batteries. Operation Torch (or Operation TORCH) was the successful invasion by combined British and American forces of French North Africa in November, 1942 during World War II. Operation Torch resulted in the death of about 480 Allied troops while another 720 were wounded. The British convinced the Americans that attacking North Africa would allow the Allied forces to control southern Europe without encountering the Germans. Main telephone: 202.488.0400 The decision to invade North Africa was reached by Roosevelt and Churchill after Russia’s Joseph Stalin requested the leaders to attack Germany from another front to reduce the pressure on Russian forces in the western sector of Europe. The initial Allied hope was that dissident French officers who supported the Allied cause would rise up and seize control of the levers of power. The Allied forces advanced towards Tunisia with the aim of trapping Axis forces. The forces would land in Casablanca, Oran, and Algiers. Operation Torch thus provided Roosevelt with uneven results. It began on November 8 and concluded on November 16, 1942. By Victor Kiprop on December 4 2017 in World Facts. The Allied reached out to sympathetic members of the French government as General Dwight D. Eisenhower planned the invasion. In return for his cooperation, Darlan temporarily remained head of the French administration as the French forces in North Africa joined the Allies, deeply offending Charles de Gaulle and other members of Free France. Attacking Germany through France was considered the most efficient way of suppressing the Germans, but the British did not believe they had the strength to do so. Casualties were held to a minimum—about 500 Allied soldiers were killed, another 700 were injured. The operation marked the first time that British and American forces worked together on an invasion plan and would take place from November 8-16, 1942. After a brief naval engagement, the French surrendered the city before an all-out attack was launched. It included campaigns fought in the Libyan and Egyptian deserts (Western Desert Campaign, also known as the Desert War) and in Morocco and Algeria (Operation Torch), as well as Tunisia (Tunisia Campaign). The operation also led to various unforeseen military consequences. Although the Americans lost the battle at Kasserine Pass, the fighting continued until May 1943 when the Allied forces finally pushed the Axis out of North Africa. The French commander had requested to meet Allied commanders before committing to the deal. The French joined up with the Allied forces in North Africa and built a strong force. Washington, DC 20024-2126 The Allied forces hoped that the French in North Africa would not engage them in a war because they had fought on the same side in previous wars. work to create content and resources for the Holocaust Encyclopedia. Conversely, the invasion also failed to draw away large numbers of Germans from the Eastern Front, a key strategic rationale given for the operation. Operation Torch was the name of the Allied invasion of northwest Africa in the hopes and goal of removing the Axis presence on the continent. Operation Torch was an invasion strategy by Allied forces into North Africa that took place Nov. 8 to 10, 1942, during World War II (1939 to 1945). Upon learning of Darlan’s deal with the Allies, Adolf Hitler ordered the occupation of Vichy France and started building up Axis forces in Tunisia, where they would later clash with British troops. The Allied convoy reported that the French would not resist. The campaign was fought between the Allies, many of whom had colonial interests in Africa dating from the late 19th century, and the Axis Powers. Most of the soldiers were getting ready and the ones who were fought in the pacific. The French lost about 1,346 individuals while a further 1,997 were wounded. TTY: 202.488.0406, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC, Holocaust Survivors and Victims Resource Center. On November 7, Vichy forces thwarted an attempted coup d’etat by pro-Allied General Antoine Béthouart against the French command in Morocco. The primary objective was to secure bridgeheads for opening a second front to the rear of German and Italian forces battling the British in Libya and Egypt. Allied troops quickly pushed inland, and General Juin surrendered the city in the early evening of November 9. After two days of fighting, the French surrendered, and all the three towns were placed under Allied control. Nov 7, 1942. On the other hand, the Eastern Task Force was aided by a successful coup by the French resistance in Algiers, which neutralized the French XIX Corps before the Allied landings there. National Archives, Washington, D.C. Operation Torch was the name given to the Allied invasion of French North Africa in November 1942. Operation Torch, also known as Operation Gymnast, was a joint US-British invasion of the French North Africa during the Second World War. As a result of French failure to prevent an Allied invasion, Adolf Hitler ordered an invasion and takeover of Vichy, France. It resulted from an uneasy compromise between the Western Allies, and was intended to relieve pressure on the Soviet Union by imperiling Axis forces in the region and by enabling an invasion of Southern … Rather than fight the French, plans were made to gain the cooperation of the French army. Torch troops hit the beaches near Algiers. Commanded by General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the operation was designed as a pincer movement with American landings at Morocco’s Atlantic coast and Anglo-American landings on Algeria’s Mediterranean coast. All maps, graphics, flags, photos and original descriptions © 2020 worldatlas.com. However, the British feared the resentment of the French after they had inflicted massive damages on the French navy in Mers el Kebir in 1940. With the British pushing eastward from Egypt, and with Allied control of the sea and air, the Germans and Italians were caught in a vice and finally surrendered in May, 1943. Find topics of interest and explore encyclopedia content related to those topics, Find articles, photos, maps, films, and more listed alphabetically, Recommended resources and topics if you have limited time to teach about the Holocaust, Explore the ID Cards to learn more about personal experiences during the Holocaust. Optimistic British intelligence suggested that the French would offer minimal resistance. In Oran, ships landing 18,500 US troops came under immense fire, and two Banff-class sloops were hit by artillery fire resulting in a significant number of casualties. Operation Torch, also known as Operation Gymnast, was a joint US-British invasion of the French North Africa during the Second World War. Lessons learned in North Africa would shape Anglo-American decision making and facilitate successful invasions in the European theater throughout the rest of the war. On October 21st 1942, a senior American … His government had some 125,000 soldiers stationed in Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria, as well as powerful coastal artillery, numerous tanks, aircraft, and warships. Operation Torch has a mixed political legacy. The French lost about 1,346 individuals while a further 1,997 were wounded. View the list of all donors. Operation Torch resulted in the death of about 480 Allied troops while another 720 were wounded. Operation Torch was the Anglo-American invasion of French Morocco and Algeria during the North African Campaign of World War II. He had met the commander of Algiers among several others. Operation Torch, enacted in the autumn of 1942, was fought as a result of the Allied decision to take the fight to the Axis in Europe in the only practical way possible. Eisenhowards promises the French Allied union. The United States got the quick, painless action that Roosevelt believed necessary to slowly lead the American public toward intervention in Europe rather than Japan. French sailors scuttled many of their navy ships to prevent Hitler from capturing them. On the night of November 8, after undetected crossings from the United States and the United Kingdom, a great Anglo-American fleet consisting of 350 warships and 500 transports carrying some 107,000 troops assembled off the coast of French North Africa. The Americans, on the other hand, felt confident of defeating Germany by launching an attack via France. Such hopes, however, proved false. The Allied planned to send 120,000 men, 500 aircrafts, and several warships to Morocco and Algeria. French sailors scuttled many of their navy ships to prevent Hitler from capturing them. Operation Torch (initially called Operation Gymnast) was the British-American invasion of French North Africa in World War II during the North African Campaign, started November 8, 1942. The Allied forces encountered a strong resistance in Tunis, and the Americans had their first encounter with the German troops in February. The French joined up with the Allied forces in North Africa and built a strong force. The decision to invade North Africa was reached by Roosevelt and Churchill after Russia’s Joseph Stalin requested the leaders to attack Germany from another front to reduce the pressure on Russian forces in the western sector of Europe. Allies General Dwight D. Eisenhower Urged by General Mark Clark, Eisenhower's deputy, Admiral Jean Francois Darlan, Vichy High Commissioner for North Africa, and General Juin also ordered French forces to cease armed resistance in Oran and Morocco on November 10–11. 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