Operation Torch (Algeria-Morocco Campaign)

Operation Torch, the Algeria-Morocco military campaign, began on November 8, 1942, and ended on November 11, 1942.

US and British forces, commanded by American General Dwight D. Eisenhower, carried out this campaign. Three task forces landed on the beaches near Casablanca on the Moroccan Atlantic Coast; near Oran in western Algeria; and near Algiers, more than 250 miles to the east in Algeria.

Allied troops board amphibious assault boats off the Algerian coast during Operation Torch.

Although Vichy French forces initially resisted, a coup d'etat by the French resistance in Algiers on November 8 neutralized the French XIX Corps before the Allied landing. General Mark Clark, Eisenhower's deputy, induced Admiral Jean Francois Darlan, Vichy High Commissioner for North Africa, and General Alphonse Juin, the commander of the Vichy French armed forces in North Africa, to order French forces to cease armed resistance in Oran and Morocco on November 10–11. In return for his cooperation, Darlan temporarily remained head of the French administration as the French forces in North Africa joined the Allies.

The Allied landings triggered the German occupation of the unoccupied zone of France and the rapid dispatch of German troops to Tunisia. To avoid capture of their Mediterranean Fleet by the Germans, the Vichy French scuttled it in the harbors of Toulon on November 27, 1942. By the end of November, the Allies had crossed the Tunisian border in the northwest.