The incomplete French battleship Jean Bart—which was docked and immobile—fired on the landing force with her one working gun turret until disabled by the 16-inch calibre American naval gunfire of USS Massachusetts, the first such heavy-calibre shells fired by the U.S. Navy anywhere in World War II. The 2nd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, aboard 39 C-47 Dakotas, flew all the way from Cornwall in England, over Spain, to drop near Oran and capture airfields at Tafraoui and La Sénia, respectively 15 miles (24 km) and 5 miles (8 km) south of Oran. The French were former members of the Allies and the American troops were instructed not to fire unless they were fired upon. American paratroopers land at the airfield near Youks les Bains. The Morocco landings ruled out the early occupation of Tunisia. Heavy artillery fire prevented one destroyer from landing but the other was able to disembark 250 Rangers before it too was driven back to sea. The Center Task Force suffered some damage to its ships when trying to land in shallow water but the French ships were sunk or driven off; Oran surrendered after bombardment by British battleships. Juin was treated to a surprise: Admiral François Darlan—the commander of all French forces—was also in Algiers on a private visit. The Eighth Army (Lieutenant-General Bernard Montgomery) advancing from the east, stopped around Tripoli while the port was repaired to disembark reinforcements and build up the Allied advantage. 33,000 officers and enlisted, Coordinates: 35°05′06″N 2°01′44″W / 35.085°N 2.029°W / 35.085; -2.029, Allied landing operations in French North Africa during World War II, Ground and naval commanders for Western Task Force, Maj. Gen. George S. Patton and Rear Adm. H. Kent Hewitt aboard CA, Ground and naval commanders for Central Task Force, Ground and naval commanders for Eastern Task Force, Documentary film presenting the dominant role of Jewish resistance fighters in Algiers. An attempt was made to land U.S. infantry at the harbour directly, in order to quickly prevent destruction of the port facilities and scuttling of ships. (Bonnier de La Chapelle was arrested on the spot and executed two days later.). Hard fighting followed but the Allies cut off the Germans and Italians from support by naval and air forces between Tunisia and Sicily. I sommergibili dell'Asse e l'Operazione Torch. Some delay and confusion, and damage to landing ships, was caused by the unexpected shallowness of water and sandbars; although periscope observations had been carried out, no reconnaissance parties had landed on the beaches to determine the local maritime conditions. A cruiser, six destroyers, and six submarines were destroyed by American gunfire and aircraft. The Allied planned to send 120,000 men, 500 aircrafts, and several warships to Morocco and Algeria. Most of the landings occurred behind schedule. Wracked with indecision, Barré moved his troops into the hills and formed a defensive line from Teboursouk through Medjez el Bab and ordered that anyone trying to pass through the line would be shot. Tafraoui and La Sénia were eventually captured but the role played by the airborne forces in Operation Torch was minimal.[28][30]. By the time the 3rd Battalion, 67th Armored Regiment arrived, French snipers had pinned the assault troops (most of whom were in combat for the first time) on Safi's beaches. British paratroopers land near Bone and take the nearby airfield. [25] The US troops pushed quickly inland and General Juin surrendered the city to the Allies at 18:00. Several Luftwaffe bomber wings undertook anti-shipping strikes against Allied ports in Algiers and along the North African coast. Safi surrendered on the afternoon of 8 November. British paratroopers land and capture the airfield at Soul el Arba. 1 and No. [8] In addition, there were 10 or so warships and 11 submarines at Casablanca. With the assistance of air support from the carriers, the troops pushed ahead, and the objectives were captured. The Allied assault on the strategic city of Medjez el Bab begins. Operation Torch was the name given to the Allied invasion of French North Africa in November 1942. Operation Torch - WW2 Timeline (November 8th - 10th, 1942), Tuesday, September 1st - September 30th, 1942. Landings at the westernmost beach were delayed because of a French convoy which appeared while the minesweepers were clearing a path. In their boldest move yet, the Allies planned out the invasion of North Africa through Operation Torch. The Germans attacked the poorly-equipped French units twice and were driven back. The Germans took the airfields there and brought in more troops. [25] The commander of Reservist, Capt. When Adolf Hitler learned of Darlan's deal with the Allies, he immediately ordered the occupation of Vichy France and sent troops to Tunisia. By 10 November, the remaining defenders were pinned down, and the bulk of Harmon's forces raced to join the siege of Casablanca. Juin insisted on contacting Darlan and Murphy was unable to persuade either to side with the Allies. By 13 May, the Axis forces in Tunisia had surrendered, opening the way for the Allied invasion of Sicily in July. The operation marked the first time that British and American forces worked together on an invasion plan and would take place from November 8-16, 1942. The Allied Naval Commander of the Expeditionary Force would be Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham; his deputy was Vice-Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay, who would plan the amphibious landings. [36], The operation was America's first armed deployment in the Arab world since the Barbary Wars and, according to The Economist, laid the foundations for America's postwar Middle East policy. Giraud succeeded Darlan but, like him, replaced few of the Vichy officials. The naval strength of the Axis in the Mediterranean would have been greatly increased if the Germans had succeeded in seizing the French ships, but every important ship was scuttled at dock by the French Navy before the Germans could take them. At Port-Lyautey, the landing troops were uncertain of their position, and the second wave was delayed. The first French cease-fires begin to ring out across Algeria and Morocco.
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