World War II North Africa Campaign

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What event led the Allies to have an overly cautious attitude at Anzio?

The close call at Salerno

How many British soldiers were guarding the Suez Canal and Arabian oilfields when the Italians advanced into Egypt?

36,000

When did the British troops capture the port of Tobruk in Libya?

Jan 22, 1941

Who commanded the Afrika Corps sent by Germany to Tripoli?

Erwin Rommel

Which country had been occupying Libya before World War II?

Italy

What did Italy's disasters in North Africa and elsewhere threaten to undermine?

The Axis position in the Balkans and the Mediterranean

What was one of Rommel's biggest challenges in North Africa?

Dealing with the long, tenuous supply line

What did Americans acquiesce to under British pressure in North Africa?

Planning Operation Torch

What did the 'Vichy French' do in collaboration with the Germans?

Reached an agreement to govern the French colonies

What was one of Hitler's tactics to deny the Mediterranean to Allied shipping?

Rushing troops to Tunis before the Allies could get there

What event led to Rommel's inability to continue with his larger plan in North Africa?

His tactical victory at the Kasserine Pass

What was one of the consequences of Hitler's rush of troops to Tunis?

Denying the Mediterranean to Allied shipping

What was one of the roles of the 'Free French' during this time?

Establishing their own government in exile led by Charles de Gaulle

What strategic move did Rommel make in February 1943?

Sweeping up from southern Tunisia and destroying Allied supply dumps in eastern Algiers

'Operation Torch' involved landings to occupy which territories?

Algeria and Morocco

What did Hitler commit Italian and German troops to, at a great price, in North Africa?

An ultimately hopeless fight when they could have been better used elsewhere

What were the objectives of Operation Torch?

To occupy Algeria and Morocco and co-opt the Vichy French.

Who led the Free French government in exile?

Charles de Gaulle.

What did Hitler commit Italian and German troops to in North Africa, at a great price?

An ultimately hopeless fight in Tunisia.

What was one of Rommel's biggest challenges in North Africa?

His long, tenuous supply line.

What strategic move did Rommel make in February 1943?

He developed a plan to sweep up from southern Tunisia and destroy the Allied supply dumps in eastern Algiers.

What did the Vichy French do in collaboration with the Germans?

Allowed a French government headed by Marshall Henri Pétain to govern the French colonies and unoccupied parts of France.

What was one of the consequences of Hitler's rush of troops to Tunis?

Denying the Mediterranean to Allied shipping.

When did Rommel attack the Kasserine Pass?

On February 14.

What event led to Rommel's inability to continue with his larger plan in North Africa?

Being unable to continue after punching through the Kasserine Pass.

Which territories did Operation Torch aim to occupy?

Algeria and Morocco.

Study Notes

North Africa Campaign

  • The event that led the Allies to have an overly cautious attitude at Anzio was the failure to capitalize on initial successes.

Initial Campaigns

  • 36,000 British soldiers were guarding the Suez Canal and Arabian oilfields when the Italians advanced into Egypt.
  • The British troops captured the port of Tobruk in Libya on January 22, 1941.

German Involvement

  • The Afrika Corps, sent by Germany to Tripoli, was commanded by Erwin Rommel.

Historical Context

  • Libya was occupied by Italy before World War II.

Italian Disasters

  • Italy's disasters in North Africa and elsewhere threatened to undermine Mussolini's regime and Italian prestige.

Rommel's Challenges

  • One of Rommel's biggest challenges in North Africa was the difficulty in maintaining supply lines over long distances.

American Involvement

  • Under British pressure, Americans acquiesced to sharing airbases in North Africa.

Vichy French Collaboration

  • The Vichy French collaborated with the Germans by suppressing the Free French Forces.

Hitler's Tactics

  • One of Hitler's tactics to deny the Mediterranean to Allied shipping was to mine the Strait of Gibraltar.

Battle of Kasserine Pass

  • The event that led to Rommel's inability to continue with his larger plan in North Africa was the failure at the Battle of Kasserine Pass.

Consequences of Hitler's Decisions

  • One of the consequences of Hitler's rush of troops to Tunis was the diversion of troops from the Russian front.

Free French Forces

  • The 'Free French' played a crucial role in supporting the Allied campaign in North Africa.

Rommel's Strategic Moves

  • In February 1943, Rommel made a strategic move by attacking the Kasserine Pass, attempting to split the Allied forces.

Operation Torch

  • 'Operation Torch' involved landings to occupy French Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia.
  • The objectives of Operation Torch were to secure the North African coast, prevent Axis expansion, and prepare for further operations in Europe.

Leadership

  • General Charles de Gaulle led the Free French government in exile.

Test your knowledge of the World War II North Africa campaign, including the strategies and challenges faced by Rommel and the Allies in Libya and Egypt. Learn about the impact of supply line challenges and naval actions on the outcome of the conflict.

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