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War Stories

Over the course of the Second World War, battles took place in North African lands as well, from Morocco to Libya

Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia had already been under French occupation since the nineteenth century, and Libya was conquered by Italy at the start of the twentieth century

In November 1942, the military operations in this area came to an end, with the Battle of El Alamein (Libya) and the invasion of the Allied Forces, as part of Operation Torch, on the shores of Algeria and Morocco. These operations formed, among other factors, part of the turning points of World War II, alongside other well-known battles like those of Guadalcanal and Normandy

In July 1940, Italy decided to expand its conquest of North Africa to the area of Egypt and advanced to the Egypt-Libya border. This offensive resulted in a counter reaction from the Allied Forces (under British lead) and the establishment of the Eighth Army under the command of Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery. German forces were sent to aid the Italians, and the Afrika Korps was founded under the command of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel

Later, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor at the start of December 1941, the United States decided to join the war on the side of the other Allied Forces and its first military action was Operation Torch, to liberate North Africa from Vichy rule. In Operation Torch, the American forces landed primarily in Casablanca in Morocco, and in Oran and Algiers in Algeria where they were aided by a French resistance with a very significant Jewish component

In the wake of the German-Italian defeat at El Alamein and in Operation Torch, the Germans decided to conquer Tunisia, which was the sole country in the Islamic world to come under direct German occupation. However, in Tunisia there were in fact three ruling authorities operating simultaneously during the German conquest: the Muslim authority that continued to exist under French colonial rule; the French authority that had been in place since 1881, and the German authority, which was in power from November 1942 until May 1943. During the six months of German conquest, there was ceaseless war on Tunisian soil

In the following pages you will be able to read about the course of the war in each of the countries

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