After a long discussion, the United States and Britain reached an agreement in the summer of 1942: the time to attack Europe is not ripe, and the strategic focus will move to the Mediterranean battlefield in North Africa.
To this end, the United States and Britain decided to carry out the North African landing campaign codenamed “Torch” in the autumn of the same year.
The battle was aimed at seizing the landing site in North Africa.
Then, the US and British landing forces worked together with the British eighth group army fighting in Egypt and Libya to wipe out the German and Italian troops on the African continent, consolidate the Middle East, control the Mediterranean, create favorable conditions for military operations in Italy and the Balkans, and reduce the pressure of the German army on the Soviet Union.
On August 14, 1942, the Joint Chiefs of staff of the United States and Britain issued operational instructions, officially appointing General Dwight as the commander in chief of the allied expeditionary force, Major General Mark Clark of the United States as the deputy commander in chief and Smith as the chief of staff.
The Directive requires that joint military operations against Africa should be carried out as soon as possible according to the actual situation.
Its purpose is to cooperate with the allies in the Middle East to fully control the whole North Africa from the Atlantic to the Red Sea.
In order to implement the “Torch” plan, the Allied forces mobilized 13 divisions, 300 combat ships and 370 transport ships to form three special task fleets in the East, central and West.
The eastern task force, carrying 23000 British troops and 10000 US troops by the Royal Navy, set out from Britain to Algiers.
The central task force, with the support of the British navy, will transport 39000 US troops from Britain to capture Oran.
The Western task force will transport 35000 people directly from the United States to capture Casablanca.
After seizing the above ports, the subsequent transport fleet will continue to transport reinforcements and supplies until the battle is completely over.
According to the principle of unified command, General Eisenhower, the commander-in-chief of the Allied forces, is responsible for commanding all forces in the “Torch” operation.
Admiral Cunningham served as commander in chief of the Allied Navy.
The aviation support of the campaign is the responsibility of the Eastern Air Force Command and the Western Air Force Command, with a total of 1700 aircraft.
The first batch of landing troops is about 110000.
According to the campaign plan, the above forces landed in Algiers, Oran and Casablanca at the same time in the early morning of November 8.
After that, the British first group army landing from Algiers drove directly to Tunisia and seized the whole French North Africa before the axis powers sent reinforcements.
The success of the landing in North Africa depends not only on the strength of the Allied land and Navy, but also on what actions the French forces stationed in North Africa will take.
In November 1942, the French Vichy government’s army in North Africa had 500 aircraft and 14 divisions, with 200000 people.
Although these troops are small and poorly equipped, they are well trained.
In addition, there are a large number of troops of the French fleet in Toulon, France and ports in North Africa.
As long as the French army is not politically disintegrated and is determined to resist to the end, it is entirely possible for them to prevent the Allied landing.
Therefore, the United States actively took a political offensive to win over the French army to the allies.
Despite public pressure, the government refused to sever diplomatic relations with the Vichy government.
The main mission of admiral Leahy, US ambassador to France, is to toughen France’s opposition to German control of French North Africa.
Two weeks before the scheduled landing, major general Clark, the Deputy commander-in-chief of the Allied forces, went to North Africa by submarine and held secret meetings with Consul General Murphy of the U.S. Consulate General and the French commander of the pro allied countries near Algiers.
Clark asked them to try their best to defeat any anti landing plans at the beginning of the battle.
These French friendly actions created certain conditions for the Allied landing, especially in Algiers.
On the eve of the landing, the allies also received general Giro, a famous senior French officer, to Gibraltar to use his prestige to call on the northern illegal army to cooperate with the allies.
However, the advance efforts to win over the French Navy personnel who operated the coastal guns were unsuccessful.
Under the command of rear admiral Harold baller of the Royal Navy, 33000 people of the eastern task force began to send British and US troops ashore in Algiers and its East and west sides at 1 a.m. on November 8.
The commander of the landing force is Major General Charles Ryder of the United States.
In the west, the British Army successfully occupied the beach.
In the East, the ships carrying US troops were washed away from the coast for several nautical miles by the unexpected wave, causing some confusion and delay in the dark.
But after dawn, it soon controlled the situation.
Because the American personnel did the work first, the Allied forces encountered only symbolic resistance when landing.
After landing, they quickly pushed inland.
Many French troops, including the guards of two important airports, surrendered without resistance.
At the same time, two British destroyers, Brock and Malcolm, flying American flags and carrying a battalion of American infantry, tried to seize the port of Algiers, but were fiercely resisted by the French army.
Initially, in the dark of night and strange waters, the destroyer did not find a narrow entrance to the port.
Later, as soon as the two destroyers approached the entrance, they were heavily shelled.
The “Malcolm” withdrew from the battle after being seriously damaged.
After four efforts, the “Brock” rushed through the cross fire net, landed on the wharf and sent the troops ashore.
Under the bombardment of artillery, “Brock” managed to evacuate after being damaged, while the landing forces were suppressed by fire and fell into the siege of the French army.
Two days later, with the secret approval of beidang, head of the French Vichy government, Darlan issued a ceasefire order to all French forces in North Africa.
The 39000 people of the central task force, commanded by Brigadier General Thomas Trubridge of the Royal Navy, landed at alze Bay East of Oran and andarus west at 1:30 a.m. on November 8.
The landing force was commanded by major general Lloyd fredendale of the United States.
The landing troops unexpectedly boarded the beach, advanced towards the predetermined target, and captured four small ships and 13 seaplanes filled with fuel and torpedoes from France intact.
The defenders of the port of arze carried out only sporadic and ineffective resistance.
The troops landing west of Oran also did not encounter resistance and landed smoothly.
These armored forces occupied an important airport and a vital Road intersection before the main attack began.
Around 9 a.m., the U.S. military began to march towards Oran city from beachheads as planned.
By noon, the French army announced its surrender.
The Western task force under the command of rear admiral Kent Hewitt of the United States Navy is composed entirely of the United States Navy and army.
The shipA total bridgehead.
It is composed of two circular positions, including Tunisia and biseida.
It extends from the coast about 32 kilometers west of biseida to onfidaville on the east coast.
It is divided into three defense areas: North, middle and south, each defended by a division.
The German and Italian troops defending the bridgehead finally increased to more than 250000.
In early 1943, in accordance with the decision made at the Casablanca Conference to occupy Tunisian territory and end the battle in Africa, the Allies appointed General Eisenhower as the commander of the Allied Mediterranean supreme command, the British general as the Deputy commander-in-chief, responsible for the command of ground operations, and the general Arthur Ted of the British air force as the commander-in-chief of the Allied air force in the Mediterranean Theater, British admiral Cunningham was appointed commander in chief of the Allied Navy in the Mediterranean.
The Allied forces participating in the Tunis campaign were the 18th army group.
General Alexander was also the commander.
He administered the first and eighth British armies and the second American army, with a total of 18 divisions and two brigades.
The operation is supported by the Allied Mediterranean fleet and more than 3200 combat aircraft.
In February 1943, Rommel’s army retreated to the mares line in Tunisia under the pursuit of the British eighth group army.
The eighth group army arrived at medenin, several kilometers south of mares, and occupied the position.
Taking advantage of the fact that the British army had not yet established a firm foothold, the German army defeated the second army of the United States at kasserin pass on February 14.
Then, from March 6 to 7, they attacked the British eighth group army in mednin.
As a result, they were defeated by the prepared British army, lost 52 tanks and were forced to withdraw to the defense line.
After that, Rommel was called back to China, and General von Arnim took over the post of commander of Rommel’s African group army.
In mid March 1943, the Allied forces resumed their offensive in Tunisia.
According to commander Alexander’s order to make only limited attack to transfer the British eighth group army to attack the German and Italian forces, on March 17, the second army of the US Army turned to attack after aviation fire preparation and artillery fire preparation.
On March 20, it successfully wedged into the miknaxi area and successfully contained the tenth armored division of the German army.
On the same day and night, the British eighth group army began to attack the mares line, the gateway to the south of Tunisia, in order to annihilate the Italian first group army and join the British first group army.
The mares line is a fortification built by the French army in Tunisia in the late 1930s.
Its east wing faces the sea, and its west wing is located in Mt.
maitmatai, close to a desert, with a total length of 32 kilometers.
It is composed of dozens of isolated small bunkers and some solid fortified positions.
The Italian group army defending the mares line has 6, with about 80000 people.
The 15th German armored division is a reserve team, with 150 tanks and 680 guns.
The offensive force of the eighth group army of the United Kingdom consists of three armies, governing six divisions and eight armored brigades, with 610 tanks, 1410 artillery and 22 air squadrons to support operations.
The operation plan stipulates that the 30th army will attack the east wing of the defense line from the front with three infantry divisions and break through the defense line in the offshore area.
Since then, the tenth armored army carried out assault through the gap.
At the same time, the New Zealand Army made a detour from the west wing to mount matmatai to launch an attack to threaten the rear of the garrison and contain its reserve forces.
Operation code “Boxer”.
On the evening of March 20, 1943, the British right-wing 30th army first launched a strong attack in the narrow swamp area near the coast, only opening a very shallow gap in the other side’s defense line.
After receiving reinforcements the next night, the British army launched a new attack and the bridgehead expanded slightly.
As the anti tank gun was blocked by swamps and mines and failed to follow up, the British forward infantry position was destroyed by the German counterattack without sufficient support.
Two days after the battle began, the British army failed in the frontal attack and withdrew to its starting position.
In view of the defeat in the first battle, Montgomery changed the original plan and shifted the operational focus to the inland wing.
To this end, the tenth Army Command and the first armored division of the British Army crossed the desert on the night of March 23 to reinforce the New Zealand Army blocked in Prum gorge.
At the same time, India’s Fourth Division advanced inland from mednin, strengthened the threat to the flanks of German and Italian forces, and opened up another impact line.
The new plan code is “booster 2”.
After the reinforcements arrived, the left wing of the British army launched a lightning attack under the cover of aerial bombing at 16 p.m. on the 26th.
The German and Italian forces tried to mobilize their reserve forces to stop the fierce attack of the British left, but it was too late.
Under the threat of siege, the defenders had to withdraw north to wadi akarat.
On March 28, the British army completely occupied the mares line of defense, and the road to Tunisia was opened.
On April 7, 1943, the British eighth group army began to attack the Italian first group army retreating to the wadi akarat defense area, and on the same day, it joined forces with the leading forces of the US second army to surround the German and Italian forces.
The withdrawal of the axis forces to the North continued.
On April 13, 1943, the first group army of Italy withdrew to the line of onfidaville pondefas, the last line of defense of the axis powers in Tunisia.
So far, the German and Italian African group army group has only retained a bridgehead position 130 kilometers long from north to South and 60 kilometers wide from east to West in northeast Tunisia.
The next day, the eighth group army of the British army arrived at the anfidaville line.
On April 20, the Allied forces launched the attack in Tunisia in the final stage of the African campaign, and simultaneously carried out raids from the South and west to Tunisia and biseida, occupying important strongholds.
On May 6, with the support of strong aviation firepower, the British first group army launched a decisive attack on the German fifth armored group army on the western line of Tunisia, broke through the German defense line and divided its remnants into two.
On May 7, the Allied forces occupied Tunis and biseida, and then continued to march to the seaside.
The axis forces withdrew into the Bangkok peninsula.
Due to the maritime blockade by the Allied Navy, the German and Italian forces could neither continue their defense nor escape.
On May 12, the Allied forces wiped out the remaining forces of the axis powers, and von Arnim, commander-in-chief of the German and Italian forces, was captured.
On the morning of the 13th, the first group army of Italy surrendered and the three-year war in North Africa ended.
About 275000 people were captured by the fascist Axis powers, and 433000 tons of axis ships were sunk by Allied aircraft, surface ships and submarines.
More than 70000 allied casualties.
Over the past three years, the fascist axis countries have lost a total of 950000 people, 2.
4 million tons of ships, 8000 aircraft, 6200 guns, 2500 tanks and 70000 vehicles in the African battlefield.
About 260000 allied casualties, including 220000 British troops, 20000 French troops and 19000 US troops.
The occupation of North Africa by the Allies fundamentally changed the situation in the Mediterranean,.