World War II

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Social Studies
World War II

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World War II

Operation Torch was the code-name for the Allied invasion of North Africa. It took place on November 8, 1942, on the coasts of French Morocco and Algeria, during World War II.

Sacrifices"There are memories of close calls, such as the time his North Africa-bound warship, the U.S.S. Thomas Stone, was torpedoed. The underwater missile was headed for the center of the ship, where the magazine and Faulkner’s bunk were located, but the boat was able to turn enough so that the torpedo hit the fantail, sparing the boat from a worse fate. ""Faulkner admitted to being scared at times, fearful of being shot, of being mutilated. But he said he learned that he could be a leader when called to act and that he would do anything for his company."

Operation Torch

The Map of Europe during World War II

A series of battles for control of Libya and regions of Egypt followed, reaching a climax in the Second Battle of El Alamein when British Commonwealth forces under the command of Lieutenant-General Montgomery inflicted a huge defeat to Rommel's Afrika Korps and forced its remaining troops into Tunisia.

How Did They Do It?The British-American invasion of North Africa was conductd by three task forces (two of which consisted of US divisions while the third was led by the British). To carry out Operation Torch, the Allied commanders planned a three-pronged landing to seize the key ports and airports of Morocco and Algeria.

Casualties and Losses British CommonwealthEstimated 220,000 dead Free French16,000 killed United States2,715 killed

Italy22,341 dead or missing Germany18,594 dead Vichy France1,346 dead

Impact On War EffortAllied Fleet Losses1,400 aircraft destroyed;2,000 tanks destroyed.Axis Fleet Losses8,000 aircraft destroyed;6,200 guns, 2,550 tanks and70,000 trucks destroyed.

The Axis forces surrendered on 13 May 1943 yielding over 275,000 prisoners of war. This huge loss of experienced troops greatly reduced the military capacity of the Axis powers. This defeat in Africa led to all Italian colonies in Africa being captured. After victory by the Allies in the North African Campaign, the stage was set for the European Campaign to begin. Nearly 400,000 Axis and Allied troops were either lost, injured, or died of disease by the end of the North African Campaign.

Allied Forces FLeet6 battleships,5 fleet carriers,7 escort carriers,15 cruisers,81 destroyers and38 escort vessels

"Mr. Knuaber recalled the terrifying air raids in Gafsa and Gabes. He witnessed two of his freinds break down from shell shock."

Why Was It A Turning Pont?The Invasion and Takeover of North Africa gave the Allied forces more control of the Mediterranean Sea, airports, sea ports, and gave them an easier route to begin their European campaign. The successful invasion allowed them to invade Sicily of Southern Italy. The win also gave them a confidence boost because they were untrained and unprepared and still managed to drive Germany's best general back to his homeland.

War Tech "Weapon"Allied codebreakers read much enciphered German message traffic, especially that encrypted with the Enigma machine.


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