Reasons for Initiating Operation Torch – – The Allies planned to occupy Vichy France to prevent the land from being occupied by Axis; the invasion would eventually force Axis powers to fight a two-front war; also helped to diminish transportation of supplies to Axis forces; Key Personalities (Involvements) – – General Dwight D. Eisenhower – – Jean Francois Darlan – – Andrew Cunningham – Objective(s) of Operation Torch – – Allies planned to team up with Vichy France in North Africa in order to take Tunisia before Germans could occupy it from nearby Sicily.
After invading North Africa and convincing the French to join the Allies, American and British forces planned to head directly to Sicily, invade, and move up to the core of Europe. Victory here would also allow the Allies to clear up the Mediterranean of Axis forces for their own personal use. Important Readings – from Earl Rice’s “Strategic Battles in Europe” . . . – page 24: The Americans joined their British allies. Roosevelt’s military advisers wanted to build up immediately for an invasion of the European mainland later in the year or early in 1943.
Churchill and his counselors declared that an invasion of the continent so soon would be next to impossible because of insufficient time to assemble the necessary forces and too few available landing craft in which to haul them across the English Channel. Churchill and his advisors did not want to risk a failed invasion. – page 25: Churchill instead favored extending operations in North Africa, where British forces were already fighting. he argued that seizing North Africa and beyond would introduce American troops to the action, boost American morale and appease Stalin’s demands for a second front.
But Roosevelt’s advisors were unreceptive to Churchill’s plan and suggested redirecting U. S efforts to the Pacific Theater. In June 1942, Churchill told Roosevelt that Britain was both unable and unwilling to undertake the invasion of Europe in 1942 or even in 1943. Having already been driven from Norway, France and Greece by the Germans, the British (now page 26) intended to stay the next time they landed on the Continent. – page 26: Roosevelt accepted Churchill’s proposal. Torch’s primary objective was to take Tunisia before the Germans could occupy it from nearby Sicily.
The Anglo-American invasion force in the west would then move eastward to link up with Lieutenant General Bernard L. Montgomery’s British 8th army, advancing westward through Libya. Together the 2 Allied armies would form a vise within which to crush Field Marshal Erwin Rommel’s 100,000-man German-Italian army in Libya, including his vaunted Afrika Korps. But first they had to deal with the French. https://www. diigo. com/list/audreym96/operation-torch SOURCE and Earl Rices “Stategic Battles in Europe”; Even though Stalin required that the Allies attack somewhere in Europe, Operation Torch was successful: the Allies gained a wide amount of land and the Suez Canal was saved. So what’s the importance of the Suez Canal, huh? The Suez Canal provided a short sea route between Britain and Middle East oil supplies, and its imperial colonies in Asia and the Far East. It enabled the Allies to move supplies,men,equipment,fuel,and raw materials around the world to where they were needed much more quickly than if they had had to sail around the southern tip of Africa,which would have made them much more vulnerable to U-boat attack.
Why the British cared SO much about North Africa? – When the second World War broke out, there were many soldiers from many different nations in Cairo. The Italians were there, but there were really no serious attempts to help Mussolini by them. The only real enemies in Cairo were the Germans. The British secret police watched them very carefully. There was a political raid in which the British caught German spies that had come to Cairo with money, a radio transmitter and a house boat on the Nile.
Because the English were unable to ship all of their supplies in from Britain, they trained and employed thousands of Egyptians in various trades. Some were mechanics, electricians, drivers, engineers and even lens grinders. They repaired military equipment and even built trains and machinery. Egypt started to weave their own cloth out of silk and wool. Advances were made in mining, cement, petroleum refining and chemical industries. In Egypt, the British spent over ten million pounds every year. In July of 1942, the British were pushed back almost to Alexandria.
Rommel stopped at Alamein because his troops were exhausted and almost out of supplies. The British rushed to Cairo. Soldiers were sent to various places to train while other got ready to retreat from the city. The British officers went to the banks to try to get their money while at the British headquarters, vital papers were burned. This scare changed Cairo to a point where it would never be the same again. Montgomery took over the Eighth Army in the desert and moved them to Alamein. He won this battle in October or November of 1942.
After this battle, Egypt lost most of the fantasy and glamour that had been year during the years of occupation. Now the city settled down to the first order of business, national liberation. http://www. touregypt. net/hbritish. htm SOURCE ALGERIA AND MOROCCO – http://www. ushmm. org/wlc/en/article. php? ModuleId=10007303 Operation Torch, the Algeria-Morocco military campaign, began on November 8, 1942, and ended on November 11, 1942. US and British forces, commanded by American General Dwight D. Eisenhower, carried out this campaign.
Three task forces landed on the beaches near Casablanca on the Moroccan Atlantic Coast; near Oran in western Algeria; and near Algiers, more than 250 miles to the east in Algeria. Although Vichy French forces initially resisted, a coup d’etat by the French resistance in Algiers on November 8 neutralized the French XIX Corps before the Allied landing. General Mark Clark, Eisenhower’s deputy, induced Admiral Jean Francois Darlan, Vichy High Commissioner for North Africa, and General Alphonse Juin, the commander of the Vichy French armed orces in North Africa, to order French forces to cease armed resistance in Oran and Morocco on November 10–11. In return for his cooperation, Darlan temporarily remained head of the French administration as the French forces in North Africa joined the Allies. The Allied landings triggered the German occupation of the unoccupied zone of France and the rapid dispatch of German troops to Tunisia. To avoid capture of their Mediterranean Fleet by the Germans, the Vichy French scuttled it in the harbors of Toulon on November 27, 1942. By the end of November, the Allies had crossed the Tunisian border in the northwest.