** World War II -- fight for Tunisia norther bastion

World War II: Fight for Tunisia: The French in the Dorsals (1943)

World War II Tunisia
Figure 1.-- Here we see a Tunisian Arab boy with Free French Forces moving with the Alles toward the German bstuon asround Bizerte and Tunis, probably around April 1943. Notice the boy's rifle, it was probably used by his great grand father to fight the French in the 1830s and was old at that time.

Free French Forces (FFF) as they begn to orgnize destinguised themselves in the British campaigns in the Wester Desert even though poorly armed (1940-42). Their defense of Bir Hakeim was particularly notable (May-June 1942). [Hastings, p.136.] FFF participated in the Alemein battle. And they played an imprtant role in Torch. The French Resistance prevented the Frenvh (Vichy) Army of Africa 19th Corps from rffectively resisting the Allied landings at Algiers (November 8). The weak Vichy resistance in North Africa enfuriated Hitler. He activated Case Anton meaning the occupation of the unoccupied Vichy area of France. This led to the Vichy Army of frica joinining the Allies. Ghey fought with the Americans in the fight for the Tunisian Dorsals. Gen. Clark and Vichy commander in North Africa Adm. Darlan reached a agreement (November 13). Unknown to Clark, Darlan has earlier ordered the Vichy authoriies in Tunisia to allow the Germans to use Tunisian ports and air bases allowing Hitler to rush in forces. The Allies finally got what they wanted, French forces in North Africa would immediately assist American and British forces in liberating Tunisia and later metropolitan France. The political fragmentation in the French armed forces was theoretically patched over to the common purpose of defeating Axis armies. General Eisenhower quickly endorsed the Clark-Darlan agreement. Allied field commanders added French units to their command structure. This was not the same as going over to the Free French, but it was a step in the right direction. French Tunisian units were active soon after the Torch landings, eventually going over to the Free French and joining the Americans in the fight for the Dorsals (November 1942). The French preferred fighting with the Americans because of the anger over British actiins like the attack non the French fleet at Oran (July 1940). We are not sure about the composition of these units. We think that they were mostly French Tunisians, but they may have included some Francophile Tunisian Arabs. This is something we need to look into--the Arab reaction. The men here seem to be a French Tunisian unit (figure 1). The unified French Forces received major deliveries of modern Americn arms as part of Lend Lease (November 1943). By this time the last Vichy holdouts in the French Empore went ovr to the Free French. (The only continuing holdout was Japanese-occupied French Indo-China.) The French would later join the Allied invasion of Italy and entering Rome (June 1944). They then fought in the liberation of France landing along te Mediterranean coast (August 1944), ending the War at Stuttgart.


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Created: 2:58 PM 1/10/2022
Last updated: 2:58 PM 1/10/2022