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Download Algeria - French Morocco by U.S. Army Center for Military History PDF

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By U.S. Army Center for Military History

Occasions bringing the U.S. military to North Africa had all started greater than a yr prior to the japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. For either the Axis and the Allies, the Mediterranean Sea region was once one in every of doubtful precedence. at the Axis facet, the site of Italy made obvi-ous Rome’s curiosity within the zone. however the greater German companion pursued pursuits countless numbers of miles north. the same department of emphasis characterised the Allies. To the British the Mediterranean Sea used to be the important hyperlink among the house islands and long-held Asian possessions in addition to center japanese oil fields. To the american citizens, even though, the realm had by no means been one among very important nationwide curiosity and was once now not obvious because the top path to Berlin. however the fall of France in June 1940 had additionally introduced a brand new measurement to the area. The give up of Paris left 120,000 French troops in West and North Africa and lots more and plenty of the French fleet in Atlantic and Mediterranean ports. either the Axis and Allies observed in a foreign country French forces because the decisive virtue that may let them in achieving their contradictory pursuits within the Mediterranean.

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Most landings took place near urban areas, which placed troops in civil-military minefields. Since Allied leaders looked forward to eventual French cooperation against the Axis, gunnery officers aboard ships and field commanders ashore had to exercise great care to avoid civilian housing as well as port facilities and oil supplies they hoped to use. With surface units ten or more miles offshore, naval gunfire margins of error could not be ignored. Such considerations forced Army units to operate without some of the largecaliber support that could have shortened the duration—and reduced the casualty total—of some battles.

Safety concerns dictated a halt of fire support missions but at the cost of delay in the advance ashore. The Center and Eastern Task Force landings highlighted several operational differences between the two leading Western Allies. Most striking was the British preference for antisabotage thrusts directly into objective areas, a tactic Americans considered suicidal. The failure of Operations RESERVIST and TERMINAL confirmed fears of those American planners who were wary of some British operational concepts, a suspicion dating from World War I.

S. Army a hopeful sign for the future: American troops would soon close the experience gap with their British comrades and enable the Allies to field well-coordinated forces of overwhelming power. 31 Further Readings The Algeria–French Morocco Campaign is well documented in broader studies of either Operation TORCH or the European Theater of Operations, as well as the accounts of key participants. General Eisenhower recounts the challenges of international command in his Crusade in Europe (1948).

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