Chapter XIV
The Axis Reaction and the French Decision

The future course of the French forces in Northwest Africa was decided during the week which followed the Allied arrival. On 10 November 1942, the immediate needs of the Allied command, if it was to win the race for Tunisia, were a prompt decision by the French to terminate hostilities still prevailing at Oran and in western Morocco, and measures to prevent the Axis from gaining a bridgehead in Tunisia. Time was so precious that, despite uncertainty whether the French would continue to resist, submit to invasion, or actively assist the Allies, the Eastern Task Force, under General Anderson's command, began its scheduled operation. It started advancing toward Tunisia by land, sea, and air, accepting the risks of a line of supply which might become highly insecure if the negotiations then in progress should turn out badly for the Allies.

The French leaders conferred with Allied representatives at Algiers and with Axis representatives in Tunis, at Vichy, and at Munich, where Hitler himself saw Pierre Laval. At Algiers the Allied negotiators sought to persuade the French that the time had come to join forces with the Allies in order to liberate France in conformity with Allied grand strategy. But it was too much to expect of the French authorities, given the complexities of the situation in which they found themselves, that, even if so disposed, they could make an immediate decision in Algiers favorable to the Allied plan of action. They could expect retaliatory action by the Axis in continental France which would almost certainly include seizure of the unoccupied zone. They therefore had to make at least a show of discharging France's obligation, under the terms of the Franco-German armistice of 1940, to defend the African territories against Allied invasion. For the same reason they had to refer the Allied armistice proposals to the Vichy government. Furthermore, since the unity of French forces in Africa was essential, and since the bulk of these forces was loyal to an oath taken to Marshal Pétain, the military leaders in Algiers felt compelled to act at least nominally, and perhaps actually, with Pétain's approval. Finally, both they and the Allied command were faced with the political fact that deeply embedded antipathies and distrusts divided the French, complicating the relations between them and the non-European inhabitants of French North Africa, and strongly influencing the life of all segments of the population. The Allies were not prepared to control this population except through the French. The first task of the Allied command was to effect the association of a military and political


group among the French leaders which could take necessary measures with timely adroitness. Allied pressure for such a basis of Allied-French co-operation mounted with each day of negotiation.

Aside from the threat of Axis retaliation, what the French would do was dependent not only on what the Allies offered but on what the Germans and Italians were prepared to provide. Pétain's weak government in Vichy had to choose between passive neutrality and active collaboration with the Axis powers just as the regime in French North Africa had to choose between passive neutrality and active association with the Allied coalition. Control over Tunisia was as vital to the Axis powers as it was to the Allies. Hitler and Mussolini were even more eager than the Allies to gain the use of the French warships in support of the Axis cause. What could the Germans do?

Axis Efforts To Gain French Co-operation

For a time after the Allied landings, the Axis leaders hoped for immediate active collaboration by the Vichy government, a relationship which would make available the French fleet based at Toulon, the essential ports of Bizerte and Tunis, and landing fields for the Luftwaffe perhaps as far west as Constantine. German military support, primarily air, was immediately offered to Vichy and accepted with the stipulation that the German planes operate from bases in Sicily and Sardinia. Kesselring was directed to give aid to the French in their fight in North Africa and soon planes were made ready to attack the Eastern Naval Task Force at Algiers, a strike which took place on 8 November at dusk. At the same time, the German Navy began preparations to send to Tunisia the 3d "S" Boat Flotilla based in Sicily.1

To establish liaison between Darlan and the Axis air forces in North Africa, a German officer, identified as a Captain Schuermeyer, started for Algiers by air on the afternoon of 8 November. When he landed at Sétif in eastern Algeria late in the day, he found the intelligence from Algiers so unpromising that he went instead to Tunis, where he sought out General Barré. Barré had been put in command of the Eastern Defense Sector by Darlan's order late that afternoon. In conformity with the standing orders for the defense of Tunis and eastern Algeria, he had disposed his troops in six groupements and issued orders to obstruct the entrance to the ports at Bizerte, Tunis, Sousse, and Sfax.

Ostensibly to make the proffered air support more effective, the Germans during the day demanded and received permission from Vichy to dispatch two liaison officers from Germany to Darlan and Estéva, and to send their air reinforcements via unoccupied France. The German demanded with increasing insistence the use of airports in Tunisia and the Department of Constantine as bases.

Vichy's concessions did not allay Hitler's chronic distrust, which the French deepened by not accepting at once his offer of an out-and-out military alliance against the Allies. To determine the French stand, Hitler on the morning of 9 November summoned Premier Pierre Laval to Munich for a conference,


and gave a somewhat politer invitation to the Italian allies.2

While the Germans were edging their way into Tunisia, the Italians were busily preparing to move into Corsica and to share in exploiting the concessions wrung from the French regarding North Africa. Marshal Cavallero initially opposed Italian participation in a Tunisian expedition, but by the evening of 8 November Axis preparations were in full swing to ship to Tunisia on 10 November ground troops, primarily Italians, supported only by such German specialized units as were immediately available in Italy. Kesselring also arranged to divert to Tunisia three or four of the heavy, newly developed 88-mm. antiaircraft guns intended for Rommel's army.3

Early on 9 November the Vichy government informed the Germans that French air bases in Tunisia and in the Department of Constantine were available to the Luftwaffe. Later in the morning the French qualified this concession by insisting that only German forces, no Italians, be sent to Tunisia. This French condition was reiterated at noon by Admiral Estéva, the Resident General, who reported to Vichy that two German liaison officers had arrived in Tunisia, accredited by Kesselring to Darlan, and bearing orders to arrange for the collaboration of German and Italian air units with the French defenders of North Africa. Estéva protested to Vichy against this collaboration and particularly against the use of any Italian forces. Even before this message could be sent the first German planes were landing, and until darkness fighters, dive bombers, and air transports kept arriving at El Aouina airdrome, near Tunis. They brought German paratroopers and Kesselring's headquarters guard to protect the landing ground. French troops ringed the field and kept the Germans there. But General der Flieger Bruno Loerzer, commanding general of II, Fliegerkorps in Sicily, was driven through the cordon on a special visit to Admiral Estéva to obtain his guarantee of at least a passive French reception of German forces, wherever in Tunisia they arrived.4

On the same evening, 9 November, Ciano arrived in Munich as Mussolini's representative. Hitler received him immediately and together they reviewed the situation created by the Allied landings in Morocco and Algeria. Hitler believed that "the Americans'' would try to invade Tunisia by land; therefore the Axis must secure an earlier hold there. The French, he said, had demanded that only German units should be sent into Tunisia, a proposal that was tantamount to refusing his demands, since Germany lacked sufficient matériel or manpower to meet


these and other needs. Hitler intended to discover what Laval had to offer, but he had already sent to Tunisia two Stuka groups and one fighter group. Soon small German ground units would follow. If he could rush a few troops into Tunis in this fashion, stronger forces could come in later and improve the Axis position. By midnight 10-11 November, the German concentration on the borders of unoccupied France would be complete; if the French had failed him, the invasion would proceed at once. Ciano reported that the Italian position in these matters was the same as the German; Italian forces would be ready to occupy part of Southern France and to seize Corsica. Hitler remarked that the Axis position in Tunisia could be upheld only if a convoy could land heavy equipment, including some heavy tanks (Tigers) which were then on their way to Italy.5

The Vichy government received with some misgivings, no doubt, professions by the Germans that their operations in Tunisia were designed to help the French to preserve control of their northwest African territories; they could hardly reconcile these explanations with Axis actions. Vichy representatives in Wiesbaden were assured by the German Armistice Commission on 9 November, for example, that the covetous Italians for the time being would not be permitted to establish military forces in Tunisia. But the Italian Air Force held fighter units in readiness for action there while the Germans were courting Vichy and the Tunisian authorities; on the morning of 10 November, the Italians finally sent a flight of twenty-eight Macchi 202 fighters.6

In a short conference later on the morning of 10 November, Ciano informed Hitler that the first Italian planes had arrived in Tunisia, and he proposed that, in view of the latest reports from North Africa, the Italians be allowed to occupy Corsica. Hitler agreed to this proposal and Mussolini was immediately notified.

On the afternoon of 10 November Hitler, Ciano, and Laval conferred. After Hitler and Laval had reviewed the course of German-French relations since 1940, Hitler posed the question: would France now make the ports of Tunis and Bizerte and all Tunisian air bases available to the Axis powers? If not, collaboration was at an end. Hitler demanded a definite answer from Laval. Laval nonetheless avoided the issue, saying that only Pétain could make such a decision. When he reminded Hitler that the French could not agree to Italian participation in the Axis occupation of Tunisia, Hitler answered that Germany and Italy were allies, and that France would have to accept this fact and allow troop units of both nations to enter.7 Soon after this fruitless conference, orders went out to Axis forces to occupy Vichy France on the next morning,


and a formal directive was issued for the occupation of Tunisia.8

The policy of the Axis in Tunisia, as formulated by 11 November, was to bring in a strong military force in the ostensible role of protector of the French. To give the operation as German a character as possible, all Axis forces in Tunisia were to be under German control. The German field commander in Tunis, Colonel Harlinghausen of the Luftwaffe, soon to be replaced by an Army officer, was responsible to the Commander in Chief South, who was given complete command of the Tunisian bridgehead. Because of the limited forces available, this bridgehead was to be established on defensible terrain having the shortest practicable line, one as far inland from the main supply ports as Axis forces could maintain. Friendly relations with the French command in Tunisia were to be cultivated. The Tunis Division would be disarmed in case its sympathies were doubtful, and its weapons used by German troops and, if necessary, by recruits from the Italian population of Tunisia. The French fleet was to be held at its base in Toulon while Axis submarines and bombing planes struck the Allied landing forces. All available sea and air transport was temporarily to be diverted from supplying Rommel's army in order to rush new Axis units to Tunisia.9

Allied retaliation against the privileged treatment of the Germans in Tunisia took the form of deterrent air strikes from Malta against the German aircraft at the airdrome near Tunis and the airlift from Sicily. The first of these raids was an attack on 10 November on El Aouina airdrome of Tunis by nine planes of the 272d Squadron, Royal Air Force, with considerable though temporary effect.10

The Germans rendered French acceptance of the fiction of German friendliness completely impossible by violating the original armistice terms restricting German military control to northern France. At midnight, 10-11 November, they began to penetrate the previously unoccupied portion of metropolitan France in accordance with plans brought up to date during the preceding summer.11 With motorized units in the lead, a total of more than ten divisions, two of which were armored, swept across southern France without meeting resistance.12 At the same time six Italian divisions marched into eastern France. The Vichy government was completely submerged by the Axis; it merely uttered feeble protests, and countenanced the anti-Axis French action in North Africa only by highly secret and rather vague communications from Marshal Pétain to Admiral Darlan. The French Navy remained at the base in Toulon under close surveillance, the object of covetous attention from both Allied and Axis leaders.

Even after Axis occupations of the free zone and of Corsica, Axis troops and equipment pouring into Tunisia met no French resistance. Ground troops arrived daily by air and, beginning on 12 November, at frequent


intervals by sea. The long and prodigious airlift begun on 9 November was to carry a total of 15,273 officers and enlisted men, and 581 tons of supplies by the end of the month.13 The transport vessels Catarina Costa and Città di Napoli arrived at Bizerte on the evening of 12 November with 340 men, 17 tanks, 4 guns, 55 trucks, 40 tons of ammunition, and 101 tons of fuel, a small beginning in the prolonged struggle to supply the Axis forces in the Tunisian bridgehead. By the end of November, 20 officers, 1,847 enlisted men, 159 tanks and armored cars, 127 guns, 1,097 vehicles, and 12,549 tons of supplies, comprising twenty-eight shiploads, were brought over.14

Axis use of the ports of Tunis and Bizerte was made difficult by the actions of General Barré and Admiral Louis Derrien, commanding officer of the French naval forces in Tunisia and sector commander of all French forces in Bizerte. Both of these ports were blocked and their full use denied the Axis by sinking vessels in the harbor approaches. But these measures did not delay the Germans and Italians for long. With the aid of special Italian port engineers Bizerte was clear for use by 12 November, and Tunis by 15 November 1942. Thus the entrance to Bizerte was no longer blocked when the Italian transports approached. General Barré, at this point faced with a fait accompli, authorized German use of the Sidi Ahmed airfield near Bizerte as well as the port, in order to postpone a clash at arms.15

The position of the Germans in Tunisia remained for a time weak and uncertain. They found it exceedingly difficult to ascertain what the French in that area would do when the Allies and the Axis actually came to grips. The French authorities were themselves subject to a series of highly confusing instructions. At first they adopted the position of total defense against all adversaries. Next they accepted Axis planes and airborne troops. Then they were instructed from Algiers on 10 November, after Admiral Darlan's first armistice agreement, not to resist the Anglo-Americans either. The next day, following telephoned instructions from Algiers, they were ordered to resist any Axis ships or landing forces but not airplanes unless they engaged in hostile acts, and not to resist any Allied ground, sea, or air forces. By midnight, authority of the leaders in Algiers was discredited by broadcasts from Vichy, and the policy became that of passive neutrality toward all foreign forces. Such passivity permitted the Axis build-up in Tunisia by air and sea to continue, and made certain that eventually French troops would have to retire from the area of combat or even to disband, or what was far more likely, to adhere to one side or the other in the forthcoming engagements.16

The movements of General Barré's Tunis Division were perplexing to Axis leaders. He had first been ordered from Algiers to dispose his troops, as well as others in the Constantine area who went under his command, in such a manner as to be able to defend Tunisia from all sides. Contrary orders from Vichy led him to remain passively neutral while the Germans and Italians began arriving. Instructions simply to segregate his


French forces from all Axis troops were in turn modified by those from General Juin in Algiers to occupy defensive positions west of Bizerte and Tunis at specific places in the Tunisian hills and the Medjerda river valley. In defiance of Juin's orders, Admiral Derrien retained at Bizerte one section of the Tunis Division (3,012 men) as well as the naval troops under his command to defend the coast and operate the coastal batteries. In the presence of this force, Col. Hans Lederer, appointed on 11 November as the German Army's commander of the Tunisian bridgehead, decided that the small force at his command in Bizerte did not justify his following the example of Colonel Harlinghausen, who seized the key positions in Tunis with his troops after the bulk of the French forces had withdrawn from the city on the night of 13-14 November. Lederer's decision was confirmed by Kesselring, who reserved for himself the right to order any action against the French in Bizerte.

Lederer had removed his headquarters from Tunis to Bizerte on 13 November, after consultations with Harlinghausen and the local German naval commander, Captain Loycke. The terrain near Bizerte was more favorable than that near Tunis for building up an initial bridgehead, and Bizerte was, moreover, to be the main supply port for overseas shipments arriving in Tunisia from Italy.17 But the withdrawal toward Bédja by General Barré's headquarters and over 9,000 of his combat elements was watched by the Germans and Italians with concern. Air reconnaissance eventually confirmed what had been suspected, that the Tunis Division was facing east as if expecting a clash with the Axis troops, and retiring westward toward a junction with Allied columns approaching from Algeria.18

During the second week of the race for Tunisia, the pressure on General Barré to oppose the Allies became even more insistent. Orders from Vichy to assist the Axis powers were not only renewed, but Vice Adm. René Platon, Secretary of State to the Chief of Government (Pierre Laval), himself came to Tunisia to see that they were received and understood.19

While Admiral Estéva remained compliant and Admiral Derrien promised to continue to resist the Allies, emissaries trying to persuade General Barré found him


elusive.20 When the Germans complained that roadblocks erected by his troops were barring the armed reconnaissance parties, Barré replied: "I protest energetically against the incursion of a German scout car followed by a truck carrying about 20 men, coming from Mateur in the direction of Beja [Bédja]. They broke through several roadblocks; it is reported that shots were exchanged on that account."21 His troops were apparently instructed to fire on Axis units which attempted to pass through his lines. Such incidents confirmed the belief that Barré was in communication with the Allies and was waiting until he could operate with them against Axis troops.22

Axis Military Planning

The Axis high command meanwhile continued to formulate strategy. German military intelligence calculated that the Allies had in Algeria three or four divisions and between fifteen and twenty thousand corps and army troops, and that the defection of the French forces in Morocco and Algiers had relieved the Allies of the necessity of defending their bridgeheads there. The Germans expected an early Allied advance on Tunisia, and they feared a thrust to the Sousse, Sfax, or Gabès areas which might sever Axis overland ties with the German-Italian Panzer Army and enclose the Tunisian bridgehead. Kesselring therefore proposed to build up a new front in Tunisia immediately, in line with policy previously decided upon. For this he estimated he would need three things: a new army approximately as strong as the German-Italian Panzer Army, although of a somewhat different composition; as long a period as possible in which the British Eighth Army would be engaged by Rommel at a substantial distance from Tunisia; and a secure line of transport from Italy.

To meet Kesselring's requests, the OKW sent over a new German ground commander, and ordered to Tunisia three divisions, the 10th Panzer and the Hermann Goering Division from France and the new 334th Infantry Division, then being organized in Germany. To these were added an Italian corps headquarters and two Italian divisions, which Mussolini had already begun to transport to Tunisia. Rommel was again exhorted to withdraw as slowly as possible; Mussolini asserted that the fate of the Axis forces in Africa depended upon Rommel's ability to delay the British as long as possible. A shuffle in command responsibilities was ordered to improve the shipping situation. None of these measures could be completely executed because of conflicting demands made by the rapidly worsening situation on the Eastern Front.23


Even before the Allied landings, Kesselring and the OKW had been planning to clarify and simplify the complicated German chain of command in the Mediterranean. A beginning was made in October 1942, when Kesselring as Commander in Chief, South, became responsible for organizing the defense of all German-occupied coastal areas in the Mediterranean. This mission applied to the Balkans and Crete but not to the African areas controlled by Rommel's forces. After the invasion, when he was saddled with the additional responsibility for the conduct of ground operations in Tunisia, Kesselring reorganized his headquarters. He created separate staffs for OB SUED and Luftflotte 2 and further, within OB SUED, directed that Col. Siegfried Westphal, the deputy chief of staff for operations, hold specific responsibility for the African theater, while General der Flieger Paul Deichmann, the chief of staff, remained responsible for overall theater matters.24

All the men and matériel which could be spared for the Mediterranean from other fronts were needed by both Field Marshal Rommel's German-Italian Panzer Army and the new command in Tunisia. Each faced the prospect of conducting a defensive campaign against an aggressive foe while hampered by shortages of all kinds. Rommel sought to protect the interests of his command by installing Generalmajor Alfred Gause in Rome as his deputy. To guarantee a unified German policy toward the Italian High Command, Hitler on 16 November ordered the subordination of General Gause and General von Rintelen, the German General at Comando Supremo, to Field Marshal Kesselring as Commander in Chief, South. Gause, under Kesselring's control, was to prepare in southern Italy the army units intended for the Tunisian and Tripolitanian theaters and see to their timely arrival at ports of embarkation. No change was intended in the subordination of Rommel's army to the Duce through Comando Supremo nor in the direct control over General von Rintelen by the Armed Forces High Command in "all matters outside the province of the Commander in Chief, South."25

When the Allied operations in Northwest Africa began, General der Panzertruppen Walther Nehring, the commander of the German Africa Corps (DAK), convalescing near Berlin from wounds he had received in Egypt on 31 August 1942, was ordered back to Rommel's German-Italian Panzer Army, to prepare the proposed Marsa el Brega position. En route to his post, he reached Rome on 12 November, but there he was stopped. His orders had been canceled; he was sent instead to Tunisia to command a new corps to be formed there. At Kesselring's headquarters the field marshal told him exactly what was expected: the establishment of a bridgehead extending to the west at least as far as necessary for freedom of maneuver, and if possible as far as the Tunisian-Algerian border. Kesselring and the OKW considered the present commander inadequate and hoped that Nehring would be able to master the situation. Only a very few German troops were on the ground. A new headquarters was being organized. The mission would require resourceful improvisation by all manner of expedients


for some weeks to come. Nehring after this briefing flew to Tunisia on 14 November, where he made a personal survey of the situation. He returned to Rome in the evening to receive his final instructions at OB SUED on the next day.26

The initial Axis reaction to the Allied landings was a swift determination to challenge the Allies in Tunisia and a rapid improvisation of the means.27 Like the Allies, Germany and especially Italy were mindful of the campaign in Libya, but Hitler encouraged Mussolini to look also to the west. Operations in Tunisia would be supported, he wrote, by some of the best German divisions and some of the heaviest and most effective tanks in existence, for the objective of the operations in Tunisia must be an advance to the west which would destroy the Allied-French North African positions in the Mediterranean.28

Clark-Darlan Negotiations

What the Germans would do had not become wholly apparent to the French either in Vichy or Algiers as Darlan's negotiations with the Allied deputy commander in chief began. When General Clark, accompanied by Robert Murphy and Capt. Royer M. Dick (RN), met Admiral Darlan and his associates on Tuesday morning, 10 November, at the Hotel St. Georges to discuss the future relations between the Allies and the French in Northwest Africa, each negotiator was under great pressure. General Clark was in desperate need of putting an early stop to the hostilities between the French and the Allies, and of bringing about French armed resistance to the Axis forces entering Tunisia. He hoped to enlist the French fleet on the Allied side. Fighting in Algiers had been suspended for more than a day, but at 0855, as the conference opened, the final Allied attack was about to penetrate Oran, while on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, the three sub-task forces of General Patton's command were at the climax of their interrelated operations, and Admiral Hewitt's naval force, having destroyed many fine French warships, was a magnet for approaching enemy submarines. The commandant of the airdrome at Tunis had fled westward bringing word of the unresisted arrival there on 9 November of a considerable number of Axis aircraft.29 Were Axis forces to gain an easy foothold in Tunisia? To prevent it would require prompt and decisive countermeasures by the French armed forces. Admiral Darlan, on the other hand, had made known to the Allies that he would negotiate for all French North Africa if he could do so without associating with dissident French leaders, such as Generals Giraud and Mast,30 but when


he proposed to Vichy the mild terms of an armistice which he believed would be acceptable to the Allies, he was instructed to refrain from negotiations without an express authorization.31 Further resistance to the Allies was obviously useless. But the choice between passive neutrality and active assistance to the Allies, including defense of Tunisian ports and airfields against the Germans, involved a political rather than a military decision. It should be determined by governmental authorities and be transmitted in the form of orders to the armed services. Co-operation with the Allies, if that should be the decision, would then become compatible with the oaths of loyalty and the professional obligations of the French forces.

General Clark's approach to the issues was forthright and compelling: delay until the Vichy government came to a decision in a cabinet meeting that afternoon was completely inadmissible; Admiral Darlan must act at once, issuing a cease-fire order for all French North Africa, or be taken into custody and held incommunicado; the Americans would then arrange matters with other French leaders. Shortly before noon, Darlan drafted and signed in the Marshal's name directives to the chiefs of armed forces requiring them to break off all hostilities and to observe complete neutrality. The orders were reported by radio and also transmitted by courier planes.32 As previously narrated, Oran had already yielded, and Darlan's orders were accepted in Morocco by General Noguès and Admiral Michelier and put into effect barely in time to save Casablanca from a destructive attack.

A French decision to join the Allies in active resistance to the Germans and Italians remained in suspense, while even Darlan's cease-fire order was jeopardized by events later on 10 November. Pétain approved it but when Pierre Laval, en route to Munich to face Hitler and Count Ciano and their military entourage, learned of Darlan's action, he persuaded Pétain by telephone to withdraw his initial approbation and to disavow Darlan's action. Darlan then replied to the Marshal, "I annul my order and constitute myself a prisoner." But at Darlan's own suggestion, the Allies put him under arrest before the orders of annulment could be issued. His powers were next transferred by Pétain's decree to General Noguès, and he declared himself unable to treat further with General Clark. It was left to those who had received his earlier order to reconcile the conflicting instructions with their sense of what they were bound in honor to do. Night fell on 10 November with the Eastern Task Force preparing to steam along the coast east of Algiers, where French port commanders had instructions from Admiral Moreau in Algiers which conflicted sharply with those derived from General Juin. The former prescribed resistance to the Allies; the latter, friendly conduct toward the Allies and resistance to Axis forces if they attacked.33

If 10 November brought a seesaw in the general situation in Algiers, the next day produced another. Clark sought to get from


the French at least as much resistance to Axis occupation of Tunisian ports and airdromes as they had offered to the Allies before Darlan's cease-fire order of the preceding day. He sought in addition full participation by the French in the anti-Axis effort, including the issuance of orders by Admiral Darlan to Admiral de Laborde at Toulon to bring the French fleet over to the Allied side. At first Admiral Darlan professed to be completely powerless as a result of Marshal Pétain's disavowal of his cease-fire order of the previous day. Then he received by a secret and personal channel of communication with Vichy a message that the disavowal had been made under constraint and was contrary to the Marshal's actual wishes.34 The Germans and Italians, as already noted, entered unoccupied France that night over the Marshal's protests and in execution of plans long ready for such a situation.35 Darlan thereupon directed General Juin to order the commanders in chief of ground and air forces, to resist the Axis in Tunisia. In the welter of radio broadcasts that day, Marshal Pétain responded to German pressure exerted through Pierre Laval by publishing his disavowal of Admiral Darlan's armistice and announcing his transfer of all authority in North Africa from Darlan to General Noguès. General Noguès in Morocco none the less accepted instructions from Darlan to report to Algiers on 12 November to confer with the French leaders.

In view of the Vichy broadcasts, some of General Juin's subordinates questioned the authenticity of his pro-Allied orders and forced their suspension.36 General Clark stormed in protest to Admiral Darlan and General Juin against what looked like surreptitious cancellation of orders to the Tunisian French forces to resist the Germans. His demands led General Juin to procure continuation of resistance in Tunisia wherever practicable without waiting for General Noguès' orders.37 But the situation on 12 November depended on Admiral Darlan's ability to persuade others to co-operate with General Giraud, with whom he was prepared to associate himself, and to convince General Noguès that he should join the combination in a secondary role.38

General Giraud, after coming to a satisfactory understanding with General Eisenhower and Admiral Cunningham at Gibraltar, had arrived in Algiers before General Clark. It was agreed that Giraud was to be recognized as Commander in Chief of French forces and as Governor of French North Africa. He undertook to cooperate steadily with the Allied commander in chief. He expected, in case of a prolonged battle in Tunisia, that a small interallied staff would prepare plans for joint consideration and that, on a broad front requiring subordinate military zones, command in each zone would be exercised by an officer from the national force providing the largest number of troops there. Moreover, all orders to French forces would be issued


by General Giraud.39 This relationship was a substantial recession from his demand to be accepted as Interallied Commander in Chief, and to be given active command after the landings had been in progress for about forty-eight hours. The delay in arriving at this undertaking was prejudicial to his success, although hardly responsible for his failure. For he did fail.

Darlan's willingness to negotiate with the Allies for the suspension of hostilities was made known to General Eisenhower while Giraud was en route to Algiers from Gibraltar.40 The Allies were faced with the prospect of two rival French leaders and were discovering that the bulk of the French armed forces were determined to follow orders in a legitimate chain of command. Whoever gained their support must speak with the authority of Marshal Pétain. Giraud appeared as a revolutionist, a dissident, however popular his cause, however patriotic his motives. Darlan wore the mantle of the Marshal. He made it fit him, even after public disavowal and condemnation by the Marshal, by recourse to the Marshal's "secret thought." He was following the instructions which Pétain was supposed to have given him in 1940 in anticipation of a situation requiring such a double game against the Nazis, and, in so doing, he satisfied the requirements of many men in French North Africa who wished to fight for France without violating the obligations of honor.41

Giraud passed the night of 9-10 November with friends near Algiers and conferred with adherents who revealed how completely they had miscalculated the actual conduct of the French armed forces when faced with the test. The appeal in Giraud's name over the radio early on 8 November had proved to be unavailing. General Mast and his associates were in seclusion. General Béthouart and others were under arrest. Giraud had lost the initiative. He was wholly unable to effect an extension of the truce from Algiers to the rest of French North Africa, let alone call for a return to active hostilities against the Axis, beginning in Tunisia, with any expectation of success. As a political leader he would depend upon Allied military support rather than on French approbation. He would be more a Maximilian than a Juarez.42

After almost four days of deliberation, General Clark, with Robert Murphy's assistance, brought about on 13 November a workable pattern of French organization for immediate collaboration with the Allies. Responsibilities were assigned as follows: Darlan, High Commissioner and Commander in Chief of Naval Forces; Giraud, Commander in Chief of Ground and Air Forces; Juin, Commander of the Eastern Sector; Noguès, Commander of the Western Sector and Resident General of French Morocco; Châtel, Governor General of Algeria. Active participation by the French in liberating Tunisia and then metropolitan France was to begin immediately, while detailed terms governing relations with the Allied Force were to be formulated by subsequent negotiation. General Eisenhower, during a quick visit with Admiral Cunningham from Gibraltar, expressed his


GENERAL EISENHOWER WITH ADM. JEAN FRANÇOIS DARLAN, General Clark, and Mr. Robert Murphy after a meeting in Algiers, 13 November 1943.

satisfaction.43 Such an understanding as this reflected two major factors: first, General Noguès had renounced Pétain's assignment to him of supreme authority in French North Africa and had advised the Marshal that it should remain with Darlan; second, General Giraud was accepted by the others despite his standing as a dissident officer. The agreement was put into force with enthusiasm and with much greater peace of mind as a consequence of a message by secret channel from the Marshal that Darlan's leadership had his approval.44

Among the Allied leaders in London, the atmosphere on 12 November was most hopeful, with talk by the Prime Minister of General Eisenhower's returning from Gibraltar soon for a conference on general strategy. The Northern Task Force, which had been designated for a counterattack in Spanish territory, could be employed elsewhere; arrangements for accumulating


ALLIED LEADERS IN ALGIERS. From left, front row: Admiral Darlan, Adm. Sir Andrew Browne Cunningham, General Eisenhower, and Henri Giraud with back turned.

troops in French North Africa might even be curtailed in order to attack new objectives.45 First reports of the Allied occupation impressed the Fighting French most favorably. General de Gaulle appeared to welcome the appearance of General Giraud among the overt opponents of the government at Vichy. His broadcast on the evening of 8 November called on all French patriots to support the Allied operations to the full. On 10 November he proposed to send to North Africa a mission which might facilitate the creation of unity between General Giraud's group there and his own. The proposal received the Prime Minister's endorsement and the President's qualified approval.46

Receipt in London of news that the Allies had accepted association with Admiral Darlan produced an abrupt change in the prevailing optimism. A new face on the whole North African project emerged from the mists of censorship. Unity among the anti-Axis French was obviously impossible if Darlan were leading those in North Africa. The Free French feared that the Allies


would perpetuate in French North Africa and metropolitan France the very elements which had condemned General de Gaulle as a traitor. De Gaulle and his following could never bring themselves into association with such men. The General worked himself up to the point of sending an insulting communication which Admiral Stark refused to accept, and to the verge of a bitter public announcement from which he was restrained only by Mr. Churchill's attentive persuasion and by the President's declaration that the Allied arrangement with Darlan was merely a "temporary expedient."

After the understanding of 13 November in Algiers between the Allied and French military leaders had received the approval of the President, Prime Minister, and Combined Chiefs of Staff, and had been revealed to the public, the immediate response in the United States as well as the United Kingdom was a swiftly rising tempest of protest.47 Learning of this reaction, General Eisenhower sent an eloquent message to General Marshall, the crux of which was its opening assertion that "existing French sentiment in North Africa does not even remotely resemble prior calculations, and it is of utmost importance that no precipitate action be taken which will upset such equilibrium as we have been able to establish."48 General Marshall employed this description in outlining the situation to a hurriedly summoned conference of press and radio commentators on the morning of 15 November. It assisted Secretary Stimson in pacifying some associates in the government next day, as well as helping dissuade Mr. Wendell Willkie from attacking the action in a public broadcast.49 Besides the many "star-gazing idealists" in the United States who resented the acceptance of Darlan, bitter critics in the United Kingdom also required political sedatives.50 On 17 November Mr. Churchill took cognizance of the fact that very deep currents of feeling had been stirred. He concluded that the arrangements with Darlan must not lead people to think that the Allies were ready to make terms with local quislings, especially as he believed that the understanding with Darlan could "only be a temporary expedient, justifiable solely by the stress of battle."51 The President issued a public statement of American policy. He declared flatly that "in view of the history of the past two years no permanent arrangement should be made with Admiral Darlan." The President also pointed out that "no one in our Army has any authority to discuss the future Government of France and the French Empire," and that "temporary arrangements made with Admiral Darlan apply, without exception, to the current local situation only." He concluded, "Reports indicate that the French of North Africa are subordinating all political questions to the formation of a common front against the common enemy."52

Darlan complained to General Eisenhower that the Allies evidently intended to use and then discard him, and that they were decreasing his usefulness by thus weakening his influence in French Africa. Yet he continued


to negotiate detailed agreements governing future relations between the French colonies and the armed forces of the Allies, arrangements pertaining to civil administration, French shipping, and economic activity, and to enlist the support of French West Africa for his program of active warfare against the Axis powers.53 Aware of these facts Eisenhower in his messages reflected indignation at being drawn into a political morass at a time when the imminent battles in Tunisia were claiming close attention.54 The War Department stood firmly behind him, refusing to concur in the Department of State's proposal that remedial measures in the French civil administration should be guided by principles which would terminate Allied acceptance of Admiral Darlan.55

The North African Agreement

The first of the detailed arrangements between the Allies and the French was that embodied after somewhat protracted negotiations in the North African Agreement of 22 November, known from its signatories as the "Clark-Darlan Agreement." Its preamble and twenty-one articles set forth the bases for co-operative action in the months to follow. Most of the statement of purposes was phrased in language taken from letters written, before the landings, by Mr. Robert Murphy as the President's personal representative in French North Africa to Giraud and other friendly French officers. The terms of many articles were from the draft armistice terms approved in advance of the operation by the Combined Chiefs of Staff.56 To avoid the appearance of diplomatic recognition of Darlan's political status, the word "protocol" was dropped from the title, and General Eisenhower was urged to announce it unilaterally as an acceptable understanding with Darlan. The general plan provided for the closest possible co-operation in the effort to expel the Axis forces from North Africa, liberate metropolitan France, and "restore integrally the French Empire." The French were to control their own forces and resources within the framework of general policies satisfactory to the Allied commander in chief. They granted tax immunity and legal extra-territoriality to Allied personnel. The commanding general was authorized to designate as military areas the places he deemed to be "of importance or useful to the purposes set forth in the preamble." Administration, public services, and public order in these areas would then come under his direct control. Allied military forces were to have unrestricted use of all telecommunication services, which were to be operated and maintained by the French. The fiction of a paramount American position in the campaign led to frequent reference to the Allied commander in chief as the Commanding General, U.S. Army, "with supporting forces."57


The North African Agreement was negotiated by Allied military leaders and approved by the President and the Combined Chiefs of Staff as a military measure. But from the outset, the nature of the Allied relationship to the Darlan administration was viewed in different lights by the Allied commander in chief, who was well aware of his dependence upon voluntary French aid, and by the President, who was inclined to think of French North Africa as conquered and occupied.58

The public unrest over the Allied affiliation with Darlan in North Africa had somewhat abated by 22 November, when the actual detailed agreement with him was signed in Algiers. Brig. Gen. Walter Bedell Smith, chief of staff of AFHQ, reported from London on 24 November that the Prime Minister and Cabinet were giving the arrangement firm support. He then flew to the United States partly to help eliminate the resentment still prevailing there. Admiral Stark also wrote to Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox a stalwart defense of the arrangement with Darlan. "I told DeGaulle," he said, "that had I been in Eisenhower's shoes I would have done exactly as Eisenhower has, and that I believe he [de Gaulle], as a soldier, would have done the same thing."59

Rearmament of French troops with modern arms had been promised successively to Mast at Cherchel, Giraud at Gibraltar, and Darlan's group at Algiers. The Combined Chiefs of Staff were now ready to make a small token shipment as soon as it could be conveyed.60 The extent and timing of additional transfers of arms would be dependent upon events and conditions. By 16 December, AFHQ created a Joint Rearmament Committee,61 which continued in service through the next two years, but during the next few months actual delivery of arms to the French was cut down by shortages in armament and shipping and by the preferential claims of the expanding American Army.

Following the agreement of 22 November, further negotiations led to accord on economic matters and to adherence by French West Africa to Darlan's arrangement with the Allied commander in chief. On 3 December a "Provisional Arrangement" for the employment of French shipping was signed in Algiers. It confirmed the right of the Allies to convert the harbors of Oran and Algiers more fully to their own military uses, and it enlarged the global pool of shipping in the service of Allied operations.62 The title "Provisional Arrangement," was another concession to the President's view that General Eisenhower's authority was that of plenary military command over the whole area and that he should enter into no formal agreement or contract, but the General felt compelled to report that "it is impossible to exaggerate the degree to which, in carrying on the fight


in Tunisia, we are dependent upon the good will and cooperation of the French."63

French West Africa Co-operates

Governor General Pierre Boisson of French West Africa and Togoland came to Algiers directly after the North African Agreement was completed and joined with Darlan and General Eisenhower in arriving at terms of collaboration by his colony with the Allies. French West Africa and Togoland were strategically located on the western bulge of Africa in a position important for transatlantic and north-south travel both by air and by sea. The port of Dakar had caused great concern to the Allies, for French warships, including the battleship Richelieu, harbored there, and airfields and coastal air bases in that area could be of great value. Boisson had denied use of the territory to Fighting French, British, and Axis nationals alike. On 8 November, Marshal Pétain recognized this loyalty in declaring: "The attack on North Africa has taken place. Be ready for all emergencies. The Marshal and his government count on you."64 On 22 November, Boisson and the military commander, General Jean Barrau, broadcast French West Africa's adherence to Darlan, professing complete confidence that the step was in conformity with Marshal Pétain's actual desires.65

Because earlier events in the war had created strong anti-British feeling in French West Africa, Boisson insisted upon negotiating only with Americans.66 It was therefore deemed impolitic to insist that Admiral Cunningham participate with Eisenhower, Boisson, and Darlan in arriving at an understanding. Instead, and with no concealment of the fact that British wishes in this matter were indistinguishable from those of the American government, General Eisenhower concluded an understanding which was transmitted in draft on 4 December for approval by the Combined Chiefs of Staff. With modification to meet the requirements of the British and the views of the President, it was announced unilaterally by General Eisenhower on 7 December.67 It was parallel in form and content with the North African Agreement of 22 November, but it had the further explicit provision (2c) that no measures would be taken by American, British, or Allied authorities which would result in any French troops combatting other French troops. The understanding announced on 7 December was concluded with the expectation that, after Boisson returned to Dakar, he would receive a mission directly from the United States, headed by Rear Adm. William A. Glassford, Jr. (U.S.), to arrange for the Allied use of air, seaplane, and naval bases there.

The Glassford Mission was well received in Dakar. It arranged an understanding in conformity with its directive from the Joint Chiefs of Staff and with due regard to the needs of the British services.68 Existing military


facilities became available to the Allies. They could thus exercise undivided control of sea communications from the United Kingdom to the Cape of Good Hope. Such substantial benefits to the Allied war effort remained subject to one nagging difficulty, that of inducing the Fighting French in Equatorial Africa to cease treating Boisson's colonies as essentially hostile.69

French Organization for Military Co-operation

Long before the last stage of negotiations to establish the terms of co-operation in northwest Africa, the French had organized and begun to furnish active military assistance against Axis forces in Tunisia. The military chain of command over ground forces under Admiral Darlan's regime placed General Giraud directly under Darlan. Giraud was Commander in Chief of Ground and Air Forces, responsible for their organization, training, and employment. He was expected to co-ordinate the operations of French forces with those of the Anglo-American allies. In combined Army-Navy operations, he was to act through the Commander in Chief of Naval and Naval Air Forces in Africa (Admiral Jacques Moreau). His authority over military activities in French West Africa was to be exercised through the Commander in Chief of Armed Forces in that territory (General Barrau), His authority over French units in North Africa would be exercised through the Commander in Chief of Ground Forces (General Juin).70

Giraud looked ahead to creating a detachment of the French Army which would not only participate in driving the Axis from Tunisia but would go on to help liberate the French empire. In the meantime, he ordered full mobilization in French North Africa and French West Africa and set about making maximum use of the French units already available. He prescribed as a system of command an arrangement which included the reciprocal subordination of small French or Anglo-American detachments to large units of another nationality in their respective zones of action but which depended primarily on orders emanating from his headquarters through a French chain of command. Co-ordination of French operations with those of the Allied Force would be insured, he declared, by the proximity of French and Anglo-American command groups and collaboration between them in arriving at decisions.71

On 15 November, Giraud's first directive to General Juin prescribed a covering role for French troops along a general line from Tabarka on the northern coast to Tébessa, behind which the Allied Force could concentrate for an attack against Bizerte. Juin, giving effect to this directive, divided his forces into a Covering Detachment and an East Saharan Command. In command of the first he put his corps commander, Gen. Louis-Marie Koeltz, with headquarters at Constantine. Over the latter he retained


General Delay, whose headquarters was at Ouargla, Algeria.72

General Koeltz was able to adapt the measures already taken under the standing orders for the defense of French North Africa against attack from the east, to the requirements of his new orders. He designated key points along the forward line for the Covering Detachment: Tabarka, Souk el Arba, Le Kef, Tadjerouine and the nearby Sidi Amor Gap, Djebel Dir (1474) and passes east and south of Tébessa. The major elements under his command were the Tunisian Troops under Gen. Georges Barré on the north and the Constantine Division under Gen. Joseph Edouard Welvert on the southwest. A boundary between their zones of action ran along the road from Souk Ahras to Le Kef. Before long, he expected the Algiers Division (Gen. Agathon Deligne) and the Algerian Light Armored Brigade (Col. J. L. Touzet de Vigier) to come forward and assume sectors along the front.

None of these French units had sufficient modern weapons or equipment, including transport. All were below strength as a result of the conditions imposed by the armistice with the Axis powers. Cadres were ready for eventual expansion and the whole army was in need of modernization with matériel provided by the Allies in fulfillment of promises made to Giraud and his associates during the negotiations before the Allied landings.73

As pointed out earlier, Allied and Axis forces had already clashed in Tunisia long before the last stage of the political negotiations. The initial Axis reaction to the Allied landings and the ultimate decision by the French to take an active part in freeing Tunisia were followed by intensive efforts by both sides to gain the upper hand at Tunis and Bizerte before the winter rains began. The narrative now takes up the operations of the Eastern Task Force as it advanced toward Tunis.


Table of Contents ** Previous Chapter (13) * Next Chapter (15)


1. (1) Kammerer, Du débarquement Africain au meurtre de Darlan, pp. 286, 301. (2) SKL/1.Abt. KTB, Teil A, 1.-30.XI.42, 8 Nov 42.

2. (1) Generalkommando XC. Armee Korps, Kriegstagebuch I (hereafter cited as XC Corps, KTB I), 16.-30.XI.42, p. 1. (2) Journal de Marche du Commandement Supérieur des Troupes de Tunisie (hereafter cited as CSTT Jnl), 8 Nov 42. (See Note on Sources.) (3) Kammerer, Du débarquement Africain an meurtre de Darlan, pp. 303-06, 365, 670. (4) Otto Abetz, Das offene Problem (Cologne, 1951) p. 246. (5) Hugh Gibson, ed., The Ciano Diaries, 1939-1943 (New York, 1946), p. 451. (Hereafter cited as Ciano Diaries.)

3. (1) Cavallero, Comando Supremo, pp. 370-72, 376-79. (2) Deutsches Marinekommando Italien, Kriegstagebuch des Befehlshabers (hereinafter cited as Marinekdo. Italien, KTB), 1.15.XI.42, 8 Nov 42.

4. (1) Kammerer, Du débarquement Africain au meurte de Darlan, pp. 306, 307, 359-61. (2) MS # D-040, Verhandlung mit dem Stellvertreter von General Barré und dem Residenten von Tunis Admiral Estéva (Generaloberst Bruno Loerzer). (3) MS # D-067, Die Beauftragung des OB Sued mil der zusaetzlichen Kampfluehrung in Nord-Afrika nach der alliierten Landung (General der Flieger Paul Deichmann).

5. Aufzeichnung ueber die Unterredung zwischen dem Fuehrer und dem Grafen Ciano in Anwesenheit des Reichsmarschalls, und des Reichsaussenministers im Fuehrerbau in Muenchen am 9. November 1942 (Memo by Dr. Paul Schmidt), German Foreign Ministry Archives.

6. (1) Kammerer, Du débarquement Africain au meurtre de Darlan, p. 365. (2) Cavallero, Comando Supremo, pp. 379-83.

7. (1) Aufzeichnung ueber die Unterredung zwischen dem Fuehrer und dem Grafen Ciano in Anwesenheit des Reichsmarschalls, und des Reichsaussenministers im Fuehrebau in Muenchen am 10. November 1942 (Memo by Dr. Paul Schmidt). German Foreign Ministry Archives. (2) Aufzeichnung ueber die Unterredung zwischen den Fuehrer, dem Grafen Ciano und Ministerpraesident Laval in Anwesenheit des RAM im Furhrerbau in Muenchen am Nachmittag des 10. November 1942 (Memo by Dr. Paul Schmidt). German Foriegn Ministry Archives.

8. SKL/1.Abt, KTB, Teil A, 1.-30.XI.42, 10 and 11 Nov 42.

9. SKL/1.Abt, KTB, Teil A, 1.-30.XI.42, 10 Nov 42.

10. Info supplied by Air Ministry, London.

11. This was Operation ANTON (formerly ATTILA). German First Army's plans approved by OB West on 15 August 1942 involved the employment of formations from both First Army and Army Group Felber. Army Group Felber was the designation used for Headquarters XLV Corps for deception purposes.

12. (1) Armeeoberkommando 7, KTB, IX.-XII.42, and Anlagen. (2) Armeeoberkommando 1, KTB, 10.VII-31.XII.42, and Anlagen. (3) Hoeheres Kommando XLV (Army Group Felber), Korpsbefehle, 22.III.40˝29.IX.42.

13. Panzer-Armeeoberkommando 5 (hereafter cited as Fifth Panzer Army), Abt Qu 3--Oberquartiermeister Tunis, Taetigkeitsbericht, 15.XI.˝31.XII.42.

14. Ibid.

15. (1) CSTT Jnl, 11-13 Nov 42. (2) His own explanation is to be found in Général Georges Barré, Tunisie, 1942˝1943 (Paris, 1950), pp. 134˝43. (3) Marinekdo. Italien, KTB, 1.-15.XI.42, 9, 11, 13, and 15 Nov 42.

16. (1) Les Cahiers Français Information, No. 48 (September, 1943), p. 23. (2) CSTT Jnl, 8-14 Nov 42.

17. (1) Division v. Broich, Kriegstagebuch (hereafter cited as Div. Broich, KTB), Nr. I, 11.XI.31.XII.42, 11-14 Nov 42, and Anlagenheft I, Anlage 4, Anlagenheft II, Anlage 8. The Axis ground forces in Tunisia on 13 November were divided as follows: Tunis (Colonel Harlinghausen), three companies of 1st Tunis Field Battalion, one company of paratroopers, one antiaircraft artillery company, 14th Company, 104th Panzer Grenadier Regiment, advance detachment of the 5th Parachute Regiment of the Hermann Goering Division (3 officers and 150 enlisted men); Bizerte (Colonel Lederer), the 5th Battery, 190th Artillery Regiment, one company of 1st Tunis Field Battalion, and personnel of the 4th Company, 190th Battalion, and personnel of the 4th Company, 190th Panzer Battalion, the 4th Battery, 2d Artillery Regiment, the 557th Italian Assault Gun Battalion, and the 136th Italian Tank Destroyer Battalion. (2) Marinekdo. Italien, KTB, 14, 15 Nov 42. (3) Rpt by Col Mendel of CSTT, 0510, 14 Nov 42, in Journal de Marche de la Division de marche de Constantine (journal hereafter cited as DMC Jnl). (4) CSTT Jnl, 11 Nov 42 (Note furnished to Service Historique by General Barré at a later date).

18. (1) XC Corps, KTB I, 16.-30.XI.42, 16 Nov 42. (2) Giraud Hq, Rapport des opérations en Tunisie, pp. 2-5.

19. (1) Platon arrived at Tunis airdrome at 0900, 15 November. Rpt, V.O. Tunis (Liaison Officer, Tunis), Lage Nord-Afrika (A, Ausl/Abw, B. Nr. 47351/42 g. IM WEST S) to Chef I fuer Chef Amt Aus/Abw, 16.XI.1942, in OKW/Ag Ausland IIA5, Alliierte Landung im Franzoesisch-Nordafrika am 8. November 1942, Band I. He went to Bizerte that evening and remained two days. (2) Les Cahiers Français Information, No. 48 (September, 1943), pp. 23 ff.

20. Estéva told the U.S. consul on 8 November 19-12, upon receiving a letter from President Roosevelt as the landings began, that he would follow Pétain's orders. Telg, Doolittle to State Dept, CM-IN 3690.

21. (1) Div. Broich, KTB I, 11.XI.˝31.XII.42, 15 Nov 42. (2) Msg, IV Region Maritime Marine en Tunisie to Colonel Lederer, No. 621 EM/SECA, 15 Nov 42, in Div. Broich, KTB I, 11.XI-31.XII.42. Anlagenheft II, Anlage 7. (3) Msg, Lederer to OB SUED, Ia Nr. 6/42, 15 Nov 42, in ibid., Anlage 8.

22. (1) XC Corps, KTB I, 16.˝30.X.42. (2) The 1st Parachute Battalion (Br.) was at Bédja, 16-17 November, after an airdrop at Souk el Arba during the previous afternoon, and Blade Force was coming eastward

23. (1) Rpt, GenStdH/Abt Fremde Heere West, Nr. 918/42, 17 Nov 42, in OKH/Op Abt, S IV-Chefsachen, Teil II. (2) SKL/1.Abt, KTB, Teil A, 1.-30.XI.42, 14-17 Nov 42. (3) MS # T-3-PII (Kesselring), Pt. 2. (4) MS # C-065a (Greiner), 14-17 Nov 42. (5) Panzer Armee Afrika, Schlachtbericht 23.X.42˝15.I.43, Band 1 (hereafter cited as Panzer Army Africa KTB, Band 1), 14 Nov 42.

24. (1) MS # C-065a (Greiner), 14 Nov 42. (2) Hitler's Dir, 13 Oct 42 (OKW/WFSt/Op Nr. 551743/42), ONI, Fuehrer Directives, 1942-1945. (3) MS # T-3-PII (Kesselring). (4) MS # D-067 (Deichmann).

25. (1) MS # C-065a (Greiner), 14-17 Nov 42. (2) Hitler's Order, 16 Nov 42, in OKH/Op Abt. S IV, Chefsachen, Teil II.

26. MS # D-086 (Nehring). Nehring, then a colonel, had served at the opening of World War II as chief of staff of the XIX Army Corps. In 1940 he commanded the 18th Panzer Division as a brigadier general. He was promoted to major general and became acting commander of the German Africa Corps in February 1942. In July 1942 he was confirmed as commanding general of the Africa Corps and at the same time promoted to lieutenant general.

27. (1) MS # C-065a (Greiner), 14 Nov 42. (2) Compilation, Truppen fuer Tunis, 13 Nov 42, in OKH/GenStdH/Op Abt, File Tunis, 10.XI.42-2.V.43.

28. Ltr, Hitler to Mussolini, 20 Nov 42, in von Rohden Collection, # 4376-33.

29. (1) Rad 1938, EQM TF to AFCP, 9 Nov 42. AFHQ G-3 Ops 22/5, Micro Job 10A, Reel 5C. (2) Telgs, 9 Nov 42, Nos. 863/Cab and 864/Cab, in CSTT Jnl Annex.

30. The original message, sent via Royal Navy radio, partially garbled, was passed on to General Eisenhower by Admiral Cunningham late on 8 November. It was sent at 1658 and received at 1726. CinC AF Diary, 9 Nov 42.

31. Record of Events and Documents From the Date That Lt. Gen. Mark W. Clark Entered Negotiations With Admiral Jean François Darlan Until Darlan Was Assassinated on Christmas Eve, 1942 (hereafter cited as Record of Clark-Darlan Negotiations), p. 4. DRB AGO. This record is based on the verbatim notes kept by one of General Clark's staff.

32. (1) Record of Clark-Darlan Negotiations, pp. 9-11. (2) Rad 12572, Clark via NC ETF to NCXF for Eisenhower 10 Nov 42, CinC AF Diary, 10 Nov 42.

33. (1) CSTT Jnl, p. 11, contains a copy of Darlan's order. (2) DMC Jnl, entries at 1755, 1820, 1900 and 2050, 10 Nov 42.

34. (1) Kammerer, Du débarquement Africain au meurtre de Darlan, pp, 408-11. (2) Haute Cour de Justice, Procès du Maréchal Pétain (Paris, 19-15), pp. 279-82 (Testimony of Capt Edouard Archambaud), 300 (Letter of Juin). (3) Leahy, I Was There, p. 339.

35. Msg, OKW/WFSt (Nr.551929/42) to OKH/GenStdH/Op Abt, 10 Nov 42, in OKH/GenStdH/Op Abt, File Tunis. 10.XI.42-2.V.43.

36. In Tunisia, Admiral Darlan and General Juin were believed to be prisoners of the Americans. Interv, Marcel Vigneras with Gen Juin, Rabat, 5 Dec 48. OCMH.

37. Ibid.

38. (1) Record of Clark-Darlan Negotiations, pp. 26-35. (2) Interv, Vigneras with Juin, 5 Dec 48. OCMH.

39. Gen Mason MacFarlane Notes, 8 Nov 42, Copy in CinC AF Diary, Bk. V, pp. A-147-52.

40. CinC AF Diary, 9 Nov 42.

41. [Maxime] Weygand, Mémoirs: Rappelé au service (Paris, 1950), p. 545, sets the date for these instructions, of which he then knew nothing, as about August 1940.

42. (1) Giraud, Un seul but: la victoire, pp. 38-40. (2) Barjot, Le débarquement du 8 novembre 1942 en Afrique du Nord, pp. 179-87.

43. (1) Record of Clark-Darlan Negotiations, pp. 42-44. (2) CinC AF Diary, 13-15 Nov 42. (3) Butcher, My Three Years With Eisenhower, pp. 190-92.

44. Msg, Pétain to Noguès, 1400, 13 Nov 42. Copies printed in slightly different forms in Kammerer, Du débarquement Africain au meurtre de Darlan, pp. 484-86, and in Haute Cour de Justice, Procès du Maréchal Pétain, p. 300.

45. Msg G-253, Smith to Eisenhower, 12 Nov 42. Smith Papers. (See Note on Sources.)

46. (1) Msg G-234, CofS AF to CinC AF, 11 Nov 42; Msg G-286, Prime Minister to CinC AF, 13 Nov 42. Smith Papers. (2) Record of Admiral Stark's Conversation With General de Gaulle, 12 Nov 42, in COMNAVEU, U.S.-French Relations, 1942-1944, App. B, Pt. II, pp. 12, 57ff. OCMH.

47. Msgs, AGWAR to USFOR, 15 Nov 42, CM-OUT 4943, and 16 Nov 42, CM-OUT 5052.

48. Quoted from paraphrase first published in full in Langer, Our Vichy Gamble, pp. 357-60, and later in large part in Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, p. 652.

49. Stimson and Bundy, On Active Service, pp. 543-44.

50. The quoted phrase is from Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox. Ltr, Knox to Stark, 18 Nov 42, copy in COMNAVEU, U.S.-French Relations, 1942 1944, App. B, Pt. II, p. 33. OCMH.

51. Msg, Prime Minister to President, 17 Nov 42, printed in Churchill, The Hinge of Fate, pp. 632-33.

52. Quoted from Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, pp. 653-54.

53. (1) COMNAVEU, U.S.-French Relations, 1942-1944, App. B, Pt. II, p. 57ff. OCMH. This contains copies of letters and memoranda. (2) Msg, Eisenhower to Marshall, 29 Nov 42, CM-IN 13024.

54. (1) Msg, AFCP Gibraltar (Commandeth) to AGWAR, 18 Nov 42 CM-IN 7911. (2) Msg, Eisenhower to Smith, 18 Nov 42. Smith Papers.

55. Msg, AGWAR to USFOR, 17 Nov 42, CM-OUT 5428.

56. (1) Text is CCS 103/18, 30 Jan 43. (2) Also on AFHQ Micro Job 23, Reel 136D. (3) The armistice terms arc CCS 103/9, 16 Oct 42, reproducing Memo, G-3 AFHQ for CofS, 3 Oct 42.

57. (1) General Eisenhower saw less significance in the exact phraseology than in the general lines of the understanding which must succeed in galvanizing the French civilians and armed forces into action. (2) CCS 103/17, North African Protocol 1, 20 Nov 42. (3) CCS 49th Mtg, 20 Nov 42, Item a.

58. General Eisenhower, on the advice of Admiral Cunningham and others at Gibraltar, submitted the agreement to the Combined Chiefs of Staff rather than act on his own responsibility. The President's view appeared in a conference with the Joint Chiefs of Staff on 7 January 1943. Min in OPD Exec 10, Item 45.

59. (1) Msg, Smith to Marshall, 24 Nov 42, CM-IN 10359. (2) Msgs, Stark to Knox, 24 Nov 42, and Smith to Eisenhower, 25 Nov 42. Copies in Smith Papers.

60. (1) Msgs: AGWAR to USFOR, 11 Nov 42. CM-OUT 3689: Commandeth to AGWAR, 19 Nov. 42, CM-IN 8049 and CM-IN 8050; AGWAR to USFOR, 21 Nov 42, CM-OUT 6859. (2) CCS 48th and 49th Mtgs, 13 and 20 Nov 42.

61. AFHQ Staff Memo 52.

62. Msg, FREEDOM to AGWAR 3 Dec 42, CM-IN 1943.

63. Ibid.

64. Copy of transl in Msg, Tuck to Secy of State, 8 Nov 42. WDCSA 381 TORCH Sec. 2.

65. Texts of their remarks were transmitted in Msg, US Consul Dakar (Fayette J. Flexer) to State Dept, 26 Nov 42. Copy of transl in WDCSA 384 Africa.

66. Churchill, Their Finest Hour, pp. 236, 488-93.

67. Copy in an appendix to CCS 129, Instructions to the "Glassford Mission" to Dakar. The Allies would not countenance a proposal to call the Darlan-Boisson group the ŰFrench Imperial Federation."

68. The instructions from the Joint Chiefs were embodied in CCS 129. The communications between Boisson and the commission are in CCS 129/3, 8 Jan 43.

69. (1) Msgs: AGWAR to Commandeth, 24 Oct 42, CM-OUT 7682; Commandeth to AGWAR, 24 Nov 42, CM-IN 10301, 25 Nov 42, CM-IN 10902, 29 Nov 42, CM-IN 13024, and 3 Dec 42, CM-IN 699; FREEDOM to AGWAR, 7 Dec 42, CM-IN 3279; AGWAR to FREEDOM, 9 Dec 42, CM-OUT 3117. (2) CCS 51st Mtg, 4 Dec 42. (3) CCS 129. (4) The Prime Minister's approval of all General Eisenhower's political decisions was conveyed on 13 December, after his report in a secret Parliamentary session. Msg 543, USFOR to FREEDOM, 13 Dec 42. ETOUSA Outgoing Cables, Kansas City Rcds Ctr.

70. Adm of Fleet Darlan, Order 7M, 15 Nov 42.

71. Hq, CinC (Giraud), No. 18/Cab, 18 November 1942.

72. (1) Giraud Hq, Rapport des opérations, p. 18, and Annexes 1 and 2. (2) Giraud, Un seul but: la victoire, pp. 46-47. (3) CinC of the French Ground Forces of North Africa, Gen Order 4, 15 Nov 42. Copy in CSTT Jnl, p. 28.

73. See Marcel Vigneras, Rearming the French, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, 1957).

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