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By U.S. Army Center for Military History

Occasions bringing the USA military to North Africa had all started greater than a yr sooner than the japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. For either the Axis and the Allies, the Mediterranean Sea zone was once one among doubtful precedence. at the Axis facet, the site of Italy made obvi-ous Rome’s curiosity within the zone. however the more suitable German associate pursued pursuits hundreds and hundreds of miles north. an identical 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 heart japanese oil fields. To the americans, even if, the world had by no means been one in all very important nationwide curiosity and was once no longer noticeable because the most sensible path to Berlin. however the fall of France in June 1940 had additionally introduced a brand new size to the zone. The quit 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 out of the country French forces because the decisive virtue that may let them in attaining their contradictory targets within the Mediterranean.

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Problems such as these provoked a spiral of unloading delays and forced troops ashore into a tactical disadvantage during the crucial early hours of the landings. Reaching shore sooner than tanks and artillery, infantry units on D-day often found themselves attacking French coastal batteries and armored units with little more than rifles and hand grenades. Most other problems relating to navigation and handling of hazardous items such as gasoline could be corrected with training and experience.

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). Harry C. Butcher, a naval officer serving with Eisenhower, gives another view from headquarters in his My Three Years with Eisenhower (1946). The views of armor commanders are to be found in George S.

In the Fedala area a conflict in calls for support almost caused the tragedy of American fire landing among American troops. As troops of the 7th Regimental Landing Group neared an objective they requested continuation of naval gunfire. At the same time, 30th Regimental Landing Group officers asked 30 the ships to hold fire for the moment, since their troops were nearing the impact zone. 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.

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