A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Torch Landings at 70

US forces landing at Algiers
Today marks the 70th anniversary of the US-British landings in North Africa in Operation Torch,  the first major US combat in the European theater in World War II. With landings at Casablanca and other sites in Morocco, and at Oran and Algiers in Algeria, the goal was to liberate French North Africa (then controlled by Vichy), put Allied Forces in the rear of Rommel, still fighting Montgomery in the Alamein Campaign in Egypt, and provided a stepping-stone for the eventual invasion of southern Europe.
The Allies gave little thought to the local peoples of North Africa, though General George S. Patton in Morocco did enjoy good relations with Sultan Muhammad V.  As we proceed through the 70th anniversary of the North Africa campaign I hope to post occasionally on this blog, not just about the policies or tactics of the Allied operations, but their impact on Algerians, Moroccans, and eventually Tunisians.

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