El Alamein and Operation Torch

World War II: Fall of the Third Reich

Europe 1942.1108

El Alamein and Operation Torch

World War II in Europe from Stalingrad to the fall of Berlin (8 November 1942)

Historical Map of Europe & the Mediterranean

In November, the tide turned in the Western Desert Campaign when the British defeated Rommel's Afrika Korps at El Alamein. Just days later other Allied forces made surprise landings in French Morocco and Algeria, soon persuading all of French North Africa to join them.

Main Events

Second Battle of El Alamein

The British Eighth Army under General Bernard Montgomery launched an all-out attack on Axis forces west of El Alamein, Egypt. After several days of heated battle, the Allies mounted Operation Supercharge early on the morning of 2 November, breaking through the Italo-German defenses and sending them into flight. However, despite suffering up to 59,000 casualties to the Allies' 13,560, the Axis managed an orderly retreat under Field Marshal Erwin Rommel.

Operation Torch

Some 100,000 American, British, and Free French troops landed in Vichy French North Africa in Operation Torch. The landings were conducted simultaneously around Casablanca in French Morocco and around the French Algerian cities of Oran and Algiers. After a few days of Vichy French resistance, Admiral François Darlan - the commander of all Vichy French forces and who happened to be in Algiers at the time - agreed to cooperate with the Allies.

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