U.S. invades French Africa; troops land on 2 coasts (11-8-42)

The Pittsburgh Press (November 8, 1942)

Powerful forces strike to spike threat by Axis

Land, sea and air units sent against colonies, Vichy government informed
By Lyle C. Wilson, United Press staff writer

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The greatest offensive in U.S. history was taking place today on the shores of Africa. Along the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts of French colonies, thousands of Americans were pouring ashore. The exact points of the invasion were not disclosed but it is certain that it is the general area of the arrows on this map.

Washington – (Nov. 7)
A powerful American Expeditionary Force, composed of Army, Navy and air elements, tonight began landing on the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts of French African colonies to prevent Axis invasion and to give Russia effective second-front assistance.

The first dispatch from U.S. Headquarters in Africa said that the invasion was led by the world’s greatest naval armada and that the offensive was the greatest single military operation in American history. The dispatch said that no resistance had been encountered by the thousands of U.S. soldiers who were pouring ashore.

The White House and War Department announced the invasion in force 11 months to the day after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor.

U.S. Army authorities in London immediately flashed word that this is:

…the start of the real American war in the European Theater of Operations.

Lt. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, for some months commander of U.S. forces in the European Theater, commands the African expeditionary force. The White House announcement explained that the blow would deny the Axis a starting place for any invasion of the Americas across the South Atlantic.

A War Department communiqué, issued simultaneously, said landing operations were started “during the hours of darkness tonight at numerous points on the shores of French North Africa.” The White House said the landings were on both the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts of French African colonies.

The widest possible interpretation of those statements would cover a stretch of coastline from Dakar northward to the Straits of Gibraltar and thence east to a point approximately south of Italy and near German Marshal Erwin Rommel.

This first great effort of an American fighting force in the Old World theater may quickly develop into a western arm of a movement designed to pinch Rommel’s Afrika Korps in a grip of death.

Both President Roosevelt and Gen. Eisenhower broadcast reassuring messages to the French people and the Vichy government. They said we sought no spoils or territory but sought only to defeat the Axis and go home.

Gen. Eisenhower’s appeal advised French garrisons that he had:

…given orders that no offensive action be undertaken against you on condition that for your part, you take the same attitude.

Joseph Stalin told the Russian people Friday that United Nations failure to open a second front would mean catastrophe for them, but he also expresses confidence that such a front would be opened sooner or later.

A high official here has been informing other officials and the press that the Russians would not regard even a smashing United Nations victory in North Africa as adequate second-front assistance. But that was before our invasion of French African colonies became known.

The White House said the invasion was undertaken to:

  1. Prevent Axis military occupation of any part of North or West Africa.
  2. To deny the Axis any African springboard from which to launch an attack against the Americas.
  3. To provide second-front assistance to “our heroic allies in Russia.”

The White House announcement said:

The landing of this American Army is being assisted by the British Navy and Air Forces and it will, I the immediate future, be reinforced by a considerable number of divisions of the British Army.

This expedition will develop into a major effort by the Allied nations and there is every expectation that it will be successful in repelling the planned German and Italian invasion of Africa and prove the first historic step in the liberation and restoration of France.

The statement emphasized that the French government as well as the French people had been informed of the United Nations’ intention to move into French colonial Africa, but there was no intimation that Vichy had agreed to the high strategy.

This story of an American invasion of Africa from the Mediterranean is being pounded at a jittery Europe tonight as a foretaste of what is to come as the United Nations’ offensive gained momentum and the Axis begins to bend and break.

Europe has been nervous for days. Even from Berlin, there have been reports of the movement of tremendous convoys into the Mediterranean and this good news for the United Nations is accompanied by uninterrupted successes of the British 8th Army in Libya where Rommel seems to be on the run, and fast.

Vichy has consistently opposed the use of its territory, colonial or otherwise, as bases against the Axis. If the Vichy government has not agreed to this invasion, it would appear that the thin strand of formal relations existing between the United States and the government of unoccupied France is finally about to break.

White House Secretary Stephen T. Early refused to amplify the White House announcement reference to a second front. The White House said that the invasion:

…provides an effective second-front assistance to our heroic allies in Russia.

Mr. Roosevelt’s appeal in French to the French people was recorded and is being broadcast from British stations. He explained what the U.S. forces were undertaking and why. He said:

We come among you to repulse the cruel invaders who would remove forever your rights of self-government, your rights to religious freedom, and your rights to live your own lives in peace and security.

We come among you solely to defeat and rout your enemies. Have faith in our words. We do not want to cause you any harm.

We assure you that once the menace of Germany and Italy is removed from you, we shall quit your territory at once.

The White House announcement, which read as though it might have been dictated by Mr. Roosevelt himself, put extraordinary emphasis upon the necessity of American occupation of the French colonies to prevent an Axis invasion of those areas.

The announcement said in its opening paragraph:

In order to forestall an invasion of Africa by Germany and Italy, which, if successful, would constitute a direct threat to America across the comparatively narrow sea from Western Africa, a powerful American force equipped with adequate weapons of modern warfare and under American command is today landing on the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts of the French colonies in Africa.

Implicit in that language is heartwarming assurance that this United Nations thrust is neither too little nor too late. It is evidently a mighty and well-armed force that Lt. Gen. “Ike” is leading tonight south and eastward into the colonies so long controlled by France.

Daylong in the capital, the word was that something big was coming – “maybe bigger than Pearl Harbor” – and certainly better. The advance notices appear to have been pretty well-founded in fact.

The White House executive offices and press room did not close as usual toward 6 p.m., and shortly after 8 p.m., newspapermen were notified that something was coming from the War Department too.

It did not take that Department many words to say what was up War Department Communiqué No. 232 said it in two tense paragraphs, describing the landing operations as being directed against “French North Africa.” That communiqué likewise emphasized the imminence of Axis movement in that region, explaining that:

The operation was made necessary by the increasing Axis menace in this territory. It said the French people were being given early advice of the landing by radio and leaflets.

There seems to have been some news leak. Press reports have indicated that Gen. Eisenhower was not in London or would soon be landing. A New York columnist this week teased his readers with a gossipy line to the effect that everybody would be surprised at the place from which the general would next appear in the news.

London reported the Axis radio sputtering with rumors of an imminent blow by the United Nations in the Mediterranean or Africa. And there have been rumors current along the Atlantic Seaboard of an enormous convoy which cleared our ports a good many days ago, a convoy so large as to be almost unbelievable.

The President’s statement followed close on reports that powerful British and American naval units had streamed through the narrow Mediterranean passage at Gibraltar en route for a destination to support the smashing drive against the German forces of Marshal Rommel, this drive spearheaded by the British 8th Army.


At the end of a year with many decimated convoys trying to make it to Malta a HUGE landing force lands in multiple places. Things are turning for the better indeed. :smirk_cat:


Yes, what a change of the overall mood in a few months. Wonder how Churchill would have put words on it. Maybe: We have passed the low tide in the dark, but the high tide of Democracy is dawning upon us.


You’ll see in a few days :wink:


French Africa has reservoir of manpower

Territory’s resources are significant in world short of supplies

Washington (UP) – (Nov. 7)
French Africa, which U.S. forces entered tonight, comprises the biggest part of the great northwest shoulder of Africa which thrusts out into the Atlantic.

The National Geographic Society pointed out:

The vast territory of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and French West Africa has an area of more than 2,800,000 square miles – or almost that of the continental United States.

The total population of more than 30 million represents a considerable reservoir of manpower. During World War I, the well-trained and picturesquely-dressed native troops of North and West Africa proved extremely valuable to the motherland both for labor and in battle. In supplies, too, French Africa contributed generously to the Allied war effort, with such essentials as wheat, wool and leather.

Resources significant

Today, France’s overseas resources of farm and pasture are still significant in a warring world short of many of the basic human requirements of food and clothing. French North Africa particularly, with its somewhat limited but intensely cultivated agricultural and grazing regions, is a heavy producer of grains, vegetables, and many fruits. Its hides, wool and cotton are valuable for boots, blankets and uniforms, as well as for the manufacture of depleted civilian supplies. Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia all have mineral resources, increasingly developed, including phosphates, iron, coal, lead, zinc and petroleum.

French West Africa, stretching from the north-central portion of the continent to the Atlantic, is less productive than the North African regions, partly because of its wide stretches of rocky desert. Yet its more fertile areas provide such important supplies as rice, corn, millet, vegetable oils, cotton and gum.

Has vast coastline

Algeria, together with a tiny strip of Morocco, occupies a West Mediterranean coastline of well over a thousand miles, extending from a point opposite southeast Spain to a position just south of Italian Sardinia. Tunisia, with its once powerful naval and air base of Bizerte, overlooks the narrows of the Mediterranean across from Sardinia and Sicily.

On the Atlantic side, the French West African port of Dakar is not only the closest African base to the Americas, but it overlooks the sea lanes along which travel many of Great Britain’s economic and military necessities.

Casablanca, Morocco, is another French station on the Atlantic. An excellent artificially-made port, situated within a few hundred miles of Gibraltar, this city lies on normally busy sea and air routes to Western Europe and the Mediterranean.

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End of Laval seen in attack

Regime of pro-Axis chief expected to fall

Washington (UP) – (Nov. 7)
Some diplomatic observers tonight believed the American invasion of French North Africa foreshadows the end of the Axis-dominated regime of Pierre Laval, Vichy Chief of Government and the No. 1 French advocate of collaboration with Germany.

There was some belief in informed quarters that the aged French Chief of State, Marshal Philippe Pétain, knew that ultimately the United Nations would have to move into the French African colonies.

Pétain, since the fall of France, has been much less receptive toward collaboration with Germany than has Laval, the ranking pro-Nazi of the French government.

Laval has been primarily responsible to the German occupants of France for forced cooperation of his war-weary people with their conquerors. This policy of cooperation obviously covered the vital French colonies in Africa and if they are taken by the Allies, Laval will undoubtedly suffer in some means at the hands of his German collaborationists, though it might be only loss of positions which has been forecast for some time.


America moves to regain control of Mediterranean

Army spokesman in London calls attack start of real U.S. war in European Theater
By Edward W. Beattie, United Press staff writer

London, England –
U.S. troops descended on the coasts of North and West French Africa today in a nutcracker operation designed to drive the Axis from Africa, regain control of the Mediterranean and open the way for an attack northward to the European coast.

The operation was of vast scope, involving U.S. land, air and naval forces, British naval and air forces and a small group of British infantry.

Initial announcements did not specify the landing points of U.S. forces, but Vichy reports that a huge Allied battle squadron had been observed steaming east of Oran, on the central Algerian coast, indicated that Algeria, Tunisia – immediately at the rear of the Axis positions in Libya – Morocco and Senegal may be involved.

‘The real American war’

A U.S. Army spokesman asserted that:

This is the start of the real American war in the European Theater of Operations.

He said that:

The action far overshadows any American action in this hemisphere previously and will be carried out with the utmost vigor.

This marks the turning point from the training point to actual fighting.

The spokesman said that the action, timed to coincide with the defeat of Marshal Erwin Rommel in Egypt, was designed to drive the Axis completely out of Africa. Asked if it would be called a “pincer move,” he said:

A pincer is only two parts – this is in many parts.

French reaction awaited

There was no immediate word as to the reaction of the French forces in the African colonies.

However, it was not doubted that resistance would be encountered. The French African governors and commanders have been engaged in almost constant consultation and preparation for such a move for more than a month and they are in a position to dispose powerful forces.

The chief French concentrations are believed to be at Dakar, the strategic Senegalese port on the West African port, at Casablanca on the northwest Moroccan coast, at Oran and Algiers in Algeria and at Bizerte in Tunisia.

Have 10,000 men

It is believed that France has about 100,000 men, many of them native troops and not too well-equipped, in Africa. Their Air Force has been estimated at 500 planes but this may be an overestimate. The French are known to have few tanks and probably not too ample supplies of munitions. For nearly two years, they have been largely dependent upon skimpy supplies of oil and gasoline from the United States.

A major factor was expected to be the action of the French Fleet which is not divided in two fairly equal parts between the Metropolitan French base of Toulon and various African points.

The largest French African naval concentration is at Dakar which has the large (but damaged) 35,000-ton battleship Richelieu, believed to be in position to be fired as a fixed fortification.

Has three cruisers

In addition, there are three cruisers known to be at Dakar (the Gloire, Montcalm and Georges Leygues), three destroyers (Le Fantasque, Le Malin and Le Terrible), about 12 submarines, the supply ship Jules Verne, three minesweepers, 10 corvettes and some light units.

At Casablanca, the French are believed to have another cruiser and about three destroyers. It is believed the French have other light cruiser and destroyer forces at bases on the Mediterranean coast of Africa.

Vichy attitude unknown

What attitude the Vichy government would assume in the face of a gigantic and all-out Allied offensive to take over French Africa was not known. Informed sources frankly said that the era of “sweetness and light” with regard to U.S. relations with Vichy was over and added the suggestion that Vichy did not count too much in the present operation.

Greater interest was directed to the question of what forces the Axis might be able to hurl into the struggle and how quickly they could be assembled.

Aid by Rommel doubted

With Rommel teetering on the verge of a knockout at the Egyptian-Libyan frontier, it was not believed that he was in a position to spare many troops for the Western Mediterranean.

The Germans had been reported rushing four new divisions to Africa via the Athens-Crete-Libya air route early this week, but it was doubted that so large a movement could have been completed yet.

The effect of the Allied invasion upon the Russian front was still uncertain. Russian sources have insisted that at least 30 or 40 divisions must be pulled out of the Eastern Front to affect the Red Army’s operations favorably and it was not known whether Adolf Hitler would divert troops in that quantity to Africa.

Axis radio jittery

However, the Axis radio recently displayed an extreme case of jitters over the possibility that the Allies would take over North Africa and use it as a base to strike at Italy, generally agreed to be the weak spot in the Axis structure.

Allied military strategists admitted that the African front was not the classic second front desired by Russia but said that it was not only the best that could be provided at the moment but promised the biggest immediate returns and the greatest potential drain on German strength.

There were reports from Switzerland of air alerts along the bomber route to Northern Italy and it seemed likely that the RAF might be carrying out another attack on such targets as Genoa, similar to the powerful blows struck at this are coincident with the launching of Lt. Gen. Bernard L. Montgomery’s offensive in Egypt.

Seek support of French

Every effort was being made to obtain the support of the French, both the French military and the French populace, but there was no overoptimism about the prospects of no French resistance. By leaflets dropped from places and by constantly reiterated broadcasts, the French were being told in the words of President Roosevelt and Lt. Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, the U.S. Commander-in-Chief, that the operation was the initial step to the liberation of France.

Should the Germans attempt to rush support to Africa by pulling out their occupation troops in the occupied area of France, it was suggested they would leave the coast open to assault by Allied troops operating across the English Channel.

Nazi move doubted

However, it was regarded as doubtful that the Germans would risk moving troops out of occupied France because of the rising hostility of French workers toward their effort to draft them for labor in German war factories. Vichy also, it was noted, has apparently felt it the better part of valor not to attempt to use outright force in fear of inspiring an active uprising among the French populace.

There was no certainty here that actual landing operations were being made at Dakar which is generally regarded as the strongest French base in Africa. It was noted that if the northeast and north coasts of Africa fall to the Allies, Dakar will be cut off and forced to succumb in time without a costly frontal assault.

It was agreed generally here that the landings in Africa are only the initial step in a carefully-integrated offensive plan designed to confront the Axis with increasingly difficult strategic problems.


Axis radio carried news of landings

New York – (Nov. 7)
First word of the American landing in French Africa to be carried by the Axis radio was a brief flash by the Nazi Transocean News Agency shortly before 11 p.m. which merely quoted the announcement from Washington.

After making this announcement, the Berlin radio switched into a lengthy description of the strength of German fortifications along the occupied western coast of Europe from France to the tip of Norway, obviously attempting to reassure its home audience as to the extent of measures taken to prevent an Allied invasion of Europe.

The fortifications are particularly strong at seaports, and heavy German Navy and Army batteries guard every foot of coastline in France, Norway and Denmark, the Berlin radio said.

It asserted that enormous new fortifications were erected recently along the Danish coast.


Eisenhower: tank general, air pilot, trained for job

Gen. Dwight Eisenhower – commands U.S. African invasion.

Washington (UP) – (Nov. 7)
The man directing the American operations in French Africa is Lt. Gen. Dwight D. “Ike” Eisenhower. Since June 25, he has been Commander of American forces in the European Theater, preparing for just such a major operation.

Eisenhower is widely known as an expert on war strategy and on planning war operations. But his “thinker” reputation is backed up by long years of practical experience in the field, particularly with the tank corps. Also, he holds a civilian airplane pilot’s license – which he used a lot – although he has had no direct connection with the Army Air Corps.

MacArthur’s protégé

Eisenhower is a protégé of Gen, Douglas MacArthur, He was aide to MacArthur when the latter was Chief of Staff in the early ‘30s, and from 1935 to 1939, he was assistant military adviser to the Philippine Commonwealth, next only to MacArthur.

MacArthur made no secret of his confidence in “Ike’s” ability. Eisenhower had a large part in drafting the insular defense planes which MacArthur put into action when he so valiantly held off the Japanese invaders last winter.

A pioneer tank man, Eisenhower was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for the “unusual zeal, foresight and marked administrative ability in the organization, training and preparation for overseas service of technical troops in the tank corps” which he displayed as commander of the Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, tank corps training center in

Born in Denison, Texas, Oct. 14, 1890, Eisenhower graduated from West Point in 1915 and became a Second Lieutenant of infantry. The following year, he married Miss Mamie Geneva Doud, and they have one son, John Sheldon Doud Eisenhower.

After the war, he served in various domestic posts and the Panama Canal Zone before going to the Philippines.

1941 maneuvers showed ability

Eisenhower attracted considerable notice by his work as Chief of Staff of the Blue Army in the huge 1941 war maneuvers, and on last Feb, 16, he was named Chief of the War Plans Division of the War Department General Staff. That division fell by the wayside when the Army was reorganized a few days later, but Eisenhower did not. He became Assistant Chief of Staff in charge of the Operations Division under the new setup.

He has advanced rapidly in rank during the last two years, although his permanent rank is still Lieutenant Colonel – the rank he held when he returned from the Philippines.

Bald and of medium height, Eisenhower is a good talker, studious, and he possesses a keen sense of humor. He and a younger brother are both listed in Who’s Who. The brother is Milton S. Eisenhower, executive assistant to Director Elmer Davis of the Office of War Information.

Eisenhower asks French to obey his orders

Washington (UP) – (Nov. 7)
Lt. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, commander of the U.S. forces invading French North Africa, tonight broadcast a proclamation in French to the inhabitants of that area saying that the United Nations intended to save them from Italo-German invasion.

Here is the text of his proclamation:

Here is a communication from the American General Eisenhower, Commander-in-Chief of the forces now disembarking in French North Africa. This is one of the general staff officers who speaks to you. This communication of the highest importance is addressed to the French armies on land, sea, and air in North Africa:

Frenchmen of North Africa, the forces which I have the honor of commanding come to you as friends to make war against your enemies.

This is a military operation directed against the Italian-German military forces in North Africa. Our only objective is to defeat the enemy and to free France. I need not tell you that we have no designs either in North Africa or on any part of the French Empire. We count on your friendship and we ask your aid.

I have given formal orders that no offensive action be undertaken against you on condition that for your part you take the same attitude.

To avoid any possible misunderstanding, make the following signals:

By day, fly the French Tricolor and the American flag, one above the other. I repeat, by day, fly the French Tricolor and the American flag, one above the other, or two (I repeat two) tricolors, one above the other.

By night, turn on a searchlight and direct it vertically toward the sky. I repeat, by night, turn on a searchlight and direct it vertically toward the sky.

However, for reasons of military security, we are obliged to give you the following orders. Any refusal to follow them will be interpreted as hostile intention on your part. Here are the orders.

TO ALL NAVAL AND MERCHANT MARINE UNITS: First, stay where you are. Secondly, make no attempt to scuttle your vessels.

TO COAST GUARD UNITS: Withdraw from the neighborhood of your cannon and your stations.

TO AVIATION UNITS: Do not take off. All airplanes must remain in their usual places.

GENERAL ORDERS: In general, you must obey all orders given to you by my officers.

We come, I repeat, as friends, not as enemies. We shall not be the first to fire. Follow exactly the orders which I have just given you. Thus, you will avoid any possibility of a conflict which could only be useful to our enemies. We summon you as comrades to the common fight against the invaders of France. The war has entered the phase of liberation.


Völkischer Beobachter (November 9, 1942)

Das neueste Verbrechen des Kriegsausweiters –
Roosevelt überfällt Französisch-Nordafrika

vb. Wien. 8. November –
Unter Verletzung der primitivsten Gesetze der Menschlichkeit und des Völkerrechts haben am Sonntagmorgen zahlenmäßig erhebliche nordamerikanische und englische Streitkräfte einen brutalen Überfall auf Französisch-Nordafrika unternommen. Wie von amtlicher französischer Seite mitgeteilt wird‚ begann dieses neue Gangster unternehmen Roosevelts am Sonntagmorgen um 3,30 Uhr in der Gegend der, Stadt Algier, gleichzeitig kam es auch bei Oran zu heftigen Kämpfen. In verlogenen Erklärungen des Präsidenten Roosevelt, der us.-amerikanischen und der englischen Regierung sowie der Emigrantenregierungen in London an das französische Volk wurde gleichzeitig versucht, diesen gemeinen Überfall als einen Befreiungsakt hinzustellen. Marschall Petain hat diese Erklärungen mit Entschiedenheit zurückgewiesen und den Befehl zur Verteidigung erlassen.

Die militärische Entwicklung der Operationen läßt sich noch nicht mit Klarheit übersehen. Nach den vorliegenden Meldungen scheint es so, als ob die Amerikaner, die diesmal den Vortrupp bildeten‚ an einigen kleineren Plätzen in Marokko und Algerien Fuß zu fassen vermochten, während sie in den Haupthäfen, wie Algier, Oran und Casablanca zurückgewiesen wurden.

Mit vollendeter Klarheit jedoch liegt wieder einmal die Skrupellosigkeit und Unmoral der amerikanisch-britischen Politik zutage. Frankreich, das nicht zuletzt durch die hetzerischen Einflüsterungen Roosevelts in den Krieg getrieben wurde das dann für die Engländer die Hauptlast des Kampfes zu tragen hatte und im Augenblick seines Zusammenbruches von Churchill ebenso erbärmlich wie von Roosevelt in Stich gelassen wurde, wird abermals von seinen früheren Freunden angegriffen‚ sein Kolonialgebiet erlebt die Greuel des Krieges.

„Die zweite Front gebildet“

Die Nichtswürdigkeit dieser Verhöhnung des letzten Restes von Völkerrecht wirkt noch erbärmlicher durch die verlogenen Erklärungen‚ mit denen Roosevelt dieses neueste Heldenstück begleitet. Die Rollen sind offenbar so verteilt worden‚ daß diesmal die Yankees die erste Geige spielen. Ein amerikanischer General, der schon seit längerem als Kommandeur der USA.-Truppen in Europa proklamierte Eisenhower, führt das Kommando, amerikanische Truppen haben die erste Landung durchgeführt – die Briten sollen nachfolgen, falls das Unternehmen sich erfolgreich entwickelt. Mit allem Aufwand jüdisch-amerikanischer Reklame wird in Neuyork und Washington erklärt, dies sei die erste Großaktion, mit denen die USA. in den Krieg eingriffen, hiemit eröffne Roosevelt die zweite Front. Daß Stalin sich mit dieser Deutung einverstanden erklärt, wird man bezweifeln dürfen.

Ebenso scheinheilig wie dumm

Roosevelt hatte die Schamlosigkeit, sich zu Beginn seines heimtückischen Überfalles mit einer Proklamation an das französische Volk zu wenden. Gleichzeitig gab er über das Weiße Haus eine Erklärung über Sinn und Ziel der Aktion ab. Die beiden Schriftstücke sind klassische Zeugnisse nicht nur der ekelhaften Heuchelei, in der der amerikanische Diktator selbst einen Churchill übertrumpft, sondern auch der unbegrenzten Dummheit, zu der sich amerikanische Hirne in ernstgemeinten Staatsdokumenten auszuschweigen vermögen. So behauptet Roosevelt, das amerikanischen Unternehmen diene ausschließlich dem Ziel, einen geplanten Eingriff der Achsenmächte in Französisch-Nordafrika zuvorzukommen,

Deutschland und Italien beabsichtigten nämlich, von Französisch-Westafrika aus einen Angriff auf die Atlantikküsten Nord- und Südamerikas durchzuführen.

Wenn unsere italienischen Bundesgenossen und wir jemals die Absicht gehabt hätten, so wären wir in den letzten Jahren dazu nach Belieben imstande gewesen, ohne daß uns jemand daran hätte hindern können. Die Achsenmächte haben das nicht getan. Sie haben sich getreu an die Abmachungen der Waffenstillstandsverträge mit der französischen Regierung gehalten, deren Souveränität und Verfügungsgewalt in ihren nordafrikanischen Gebieten unangetastet zu lassen. Die Beschönigung, mit der Roosevelt seinen infamen Rechtsbruch gegenüber Frankreich zu rechtfertigen sucht, bricht damit in sich selbst zusammen. Sie wirkt ebenso albern wie das törichte Geschwätz, die Amerikaner kämen nach Nordafrika, um…

…die Franzosen von den grausamen deutschen Eindringlingen zu befreien‚ die euch für immer das Recht nehmen wollen, Gott so zu verehren, wie ihr es wünscht.

Als ob es uns irgendwie interessierte, welchem religiösen Ritus die Franzosen im Mutterland oder ihre Untertanen in den Kolonien den Vorzug geben. Man sieht aus dieser dummen Phrase den Bocksfuß des jüdischen Verfassers verräterisch hervorlugen.

Getreulich auf Churchills Spuren wandelt der amerikanische Kriegsverbrecher‚ wenn er seine blutigen Angriffe auf das französische Gebiet mit öligen Beteuerungen seiner Freundschaft für das französische Volk begleitet. So wie der britische Verräter des ehemaligen Bundesgenossen seine schweren Luftangriffe auf Paris, die Hunderte von Menschen das Leben kosteten‚ durch Flugblätter und Rundfunk als einen Akt zu bezeichnen wagte, der sich nicht etwa gegen die Franzosen richte, sondern vielmehr von seiner Sympathie für sie zeuge‚ so erdreistet sich Roosevelt heute zu der widrigen Heuchelei…

…ich habe während meines ganzen Lebens eine tiefe Freundschaft für das französische Volk gewahrt, ich kenne eure Bauernhöfe‚ eure Dörfer, eure Städte ich weiß, wie wertvoll das Erbe eurer Heimat, eurer KuItur und das; Prinzip der Demokratie für das französische Volk ist. Ich grüße euch und erkläre immer und immer wieder meinen Glauben an die Freiheit, Gleichheit und Brüderlichkeit.

Das sagt der Mann, über dessen Haupt ein gut Teil der Schuld des EIends liegt, das Frankreich 1940 erdulden mußte, das sagt er im selben Augenblick, in dem Bomben und Granaten seiner Flugzeuge und Kriegsschiffe die Häuser der nordafrikanischen Küstenstädte zerfetzten und dem französischen Volk neue Blutopfer abverlangten.

Schlecht getarnter Imperialismus

Roosevelt schließt mit dem Versprechen‚ Amerika und England würden die französischen Gebiete sofort räumen, „wenn die Bedrohung durch Deutschland und Italien beseitigt sei und gibt der Erwartung Ausdruck, die französische Bevölkerung in Nordafrika werde die Amerikaner freundschaftlich empfangen und ihnen keinerlei Widerstand entgegensetzen. Was von diesen Beteuerungen zu halten ist, braucht angesichts der imperialistischen Politik, die die USA. in diesem Kriege mit schlecht getarnter Konsequenz verfolgen, wohl nicht erst des längeren erörtert zu werden. Unter der Devise, das amerikanische Jahrhundert sei angebrochen, Amerika müsse die beherrschende Macht der Welt werden, trieben Roosevelts propagandistische Spießgesellen das amerikanische Volk in den Krieg. Die englischen Stützpunkte in Westindien, Grönland, Island, Australien – das waren die einzelnen Etappen des grenzenlosen amerikanischen Expansionswillens. Schon länger als ein Jahr, richten amerikanische Zeitschriften auch ihre begehrlichen Blicke auf Nordafrika. Heute führt Roosevelt das aus, was er propagandistisch von langer Hand vorbereiten ließ. Er sucht auch in Afrika Fuß zu fassen, um sich hier zu dauerndem Besitz einzunisten. Das meint er, wenn er von dem Tag spricht, an dem in der Welt einst „Frieden und Freiheit herrschen werden.“

Die Engländer gaben unmittelbar nach der Veröffentlichung der amerikanischen Botschaften ihrerseits eine Erklärung ab, in der sie sich voll und ganz mit den Ansichten Roosevelts identifizieren. Das Unternehmen der Vereinigten Staaten trage die volle Unterstützung Großbritanniens und finde auch ihre aktive Mitwirkung.

Petain antwortet Roosevelt

In Vichy überreichte der Geschäftsträger der USA. dem französischen Staatschef die amerikanischen Erklärungen. Marschall Petain trat im Namen Frankreichs am Sonntagmorgen dein feigen Angriff und den verlogenen Winkelzügen des amerikanischen Präsidenten mit einer Antwort folgenden Wortlautes entgegen:

Mit größtem Erstaunen und mit Trauer habe ich in dieser Nacht von der Aggression Ihrer Truppen auf Nordafrika erfahren. Sie berufen sich in Ihrer Botschaft auf Vorwände, die durch nichts gerechtfertigt sind. Sie unterschieben Ihren Feinden Absichten, die niemals in die Tat umgesetzt worden sind. Ich habe immer erklärt, daß wir unser Kolonialreich verteidigen werden, falls man es angreifen sollte. Sie wußten auch, daß wir es gegen jeden Angreifer verteidigen werden, wer er auch immer sei. Sie wußten, daß ich mein Wort halten werde. In unserem Unglück hatte ich, als ich um den Waffenstillstand nachsuchte, unser Kolonialreich bewahrt. Sie sind es nun, der im Namen eines Landes, mit dem uns so viele Erinnerungen und Freundschaftsbande verbinden, einen so großen rücksichtslosen Schritt ergreifen. Frankreich und seine Ehre stehen auf dem Spiel. Wir sind angegriffen. Wir werden uns verteidigen. Das ist der Befehl, den ich erteile.

Der Chef der französischen Regierung, Laval, empfing am Sonntagnachmittag den amerikanischen Geschäftsträger, um ihm die Auffassung Frankreichs zu den amerikanischen Gewaltakten eingehend zu erläutern. Am Nachmittag trat das französische Kabinett zu einer Sitzung zusammen. Über seine Entschlüsse wurde jedoch nichts bekanntgegeben. Die Briten beeilten sich, in Spanien und Portugal zu beteuern, daß ihr Angriff auf das französische Kolonialgebiet in Madrid und Lissabon keinen Anlaß zu Besorgnissen zu geben brauche. England wünsche, daß die amerikanisch-britische Aktion Spanien und Portugal unberührt lasse. Spanien ist in der Angelegenheit in einen offiziellen Gedankenaustausch mit der französischen Regierung eingetreten.

Nogues, der Kommandierende der Marokkotruppen

dnb. Vichy, 8. November –
General Nogues ist zum Kommandierenden sämtlicher Truppen in Marokko ernannt worden. General Nogues hat in seiner Eigenschaft als Generalresident von Marokko am Sonntag eine Rundfunkbotschaft an die Bevölkerung von Marokko gerichtet, in der es unter anderem heißt:

Franzosen und Marokkaner! Eine örtliche Abtrünnigkeitsbewegung ist im Laufe der Nacht zum Sonntag in Marokko unter dem Vorwand ausgebrochen, daß die Amerikaner im Begriff seien, eine Landung in ganz Nordafrika vorzunehmen. Diese Abtrünnigkeitsbewegung war schon bis 8,30 Uhr ohne Blutvergießen vollständig niedergeschlagen. Die wenigen Kaders, die sich hatten täuschen lassen und die ihré Truppen getäuscht hatten, haben sich wieder dem Gesetz der Pflicht unterstellt.

Während sich diese Ereignisse abspielten, versuchten mehrere amerikanische und englische Kriegsschiffe, die vor den marokkanischen Küsten kreuzten, Landungen vorzunehmen. Alle Angriffe wurden abgewiesen. Der Belagerungszustand wurde proklamiert.

Franzosen und Marokkaner! Bewahrt die Ruhe! Laßt Euch durch keine ausländische Agitation verführen. Folgt dem Marschall! Es geht um unsere Ehre und um unsere Zukunft.

Beziehungen Frankreich-USA. abgebrochen

dnb. Vichy, 8. November –
Von amtlicher französischer Seite wurde heute nachmittag folgendes erklärt:

Die amerikanische Regierung hat den Krieg auf französisches Territorium getragen und dadurch die Beziehungen mit Frankreich abgebrochen.

Weygand bei Petain

tc. Vichy, 8. November –
Am Sonntagnachmittag wurde in Vichy folgender amtlicher Bericht ausgegeben:

Bereits am Sonntagmorgen hat der Staatschef und Marschall von Frankreich General Weygand nach Vichy berufen, um sich mit ihm über die Lage zu unterhalten. General Weygand traf am frühen Nachmittag in Vichy ein und wurde in Gegenwart des Ministerpräsidenten Laval vom französischen Staatschef empfangen. Der Generalgouverneur von Algier, Chatel, wohnte ebenfalls der Besprechung bei.

tc. Vichy, 8. November –
Die französische Regierung hat nach amtlichen Meldungen die Behörden in Algier und Marokko angewiesen, sämtliche nordamerikanischen Konsulate zu schließen und die Konsuln sowie Konsularagenten in Gewahrsam zu nehmen.

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Greatest offensive in US history? Gotta think both the Civil war and ww1 would have better contenders but still it’s a good start.

Great coverage


It is good for propaganda. The average citizen doesn’t know about the vast offensives of ww1 and how they stack up to ww2 ones. So they believe whatever the newspaper says. And morale goes up at times when it is desperately needed.


Eisenhowers memoirs “Crusade in Europe” gives a very interesting look into US war planning and Ike were also involved in the Pacific strategy