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Tunisia correspondence Germany and Vichy, 24th February 1942, Tunis, p_17-20






major Henri Curnier


French military in Tunisia

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Archive of the Foreign Office/State Department

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The German part of the document deals with the visions of Major Henri Curnier on the new French troups stationed in Tunisia. He is searching for opportunities to recruit new fighters for the battle in North Africa. Young men from France are invited to join the organisation “Phalange Africaine” in order to fight the Allied forces together. Despite the enthusiasm among young French men regarding their participation in the fights, the Axis powers face some difficulties in North Africa. The propaganda strategies turn out to be inefficient and the Vichy government isn’t installing the new entities of volunteers quickly enough in North Africa. Besides, there are only small numbers of French citizens in North Africa, since many young people have either gone to war with General Barré or never learned how to fight. Thus, they decide to send 15 officers of the Wehrmacht and French voluntary soldiers, who had been fighting at the East Front so far, to Tunisia. The new entities are told to bring deserters back and convince even more people to join the war. It is also talked about basic supply-problems for the companies in Tunisia and the lack of skill among the recruits, why many were discharged immediately. Thus, Major Curnier insisted on implementing new ways of recruitment. These are, just to name a few of them, a more obvious presence in the newspaper “Tunis-Journal”, intensified propaganda on the radio or the remission of the fatigue-duty for young men.

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