North Africa

The North Africa campaign during World War II included major operations from early 1940 through the spring of 1943 as Allied forces fought Axis armies of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. For the Allies, victory in North Africa was critical for control of the Mediterranean Sea and future offensive operations in Italy. Axis forces hoped to dominate the Mediterranean and seize British-held Egypt, the Suez Canal, and potentially the oil fields of the Middle East. The Allies were victorious in North Africa campaign, and the defeat of Axis forces at the Battle of El Alamein was a turning point during World War II.

The British 3.7-inch antiaircraft gun might have served as an effective counter to heavy German armor in the North African Desert.

North Africa

A 3.7-Inch AT Gun? A Wartime What-If…

By Jon Diamond

The often see-saw action across the North African littoral from 1940-1942 was fostered in part by both the British and Axis forces racing to innovate and implement novel tactics and upgraded weaponry. Read more

An attempt to capture of kill the Desert Fox failed but the effort made a hero of Geoffrey Keyes.

North Africa

Raid on Rommel

By John Brown

By early April 1941, Lt. Gen. Erwin Rommel’s German Afrika Korps, combined with Italian units, had cleared the British from Libya except for the seaport of Tobruk. Read more

The American-built Sherman medium tank was admittedly inferior to its German opponents. Yet, it won the war in Northwest Europe through shear numbers.

North Africa

M4 Sherman: “Blunder” or “Wonder” Weapon?

By Blaine Taylor

For the Allied tankers and infantrymen of the American, British, Canadian, and Free French armies battling German Panther and Tiger tanks in Normandy in the summer of 1944, the Sherman tank’s failures were glaringly evident as their own shells bounced off the hulls of the Nazi armor and they were themselves destroyed at a far greater range by the powerful German tanks. Read more

The destroyer USS Murphy survived a collision on the open sea and served during four amphibious operations in the European Theater.

North Africa

USS Murphy: Long Service in Wartime

By William B. Allmon

Eighty miles off the coast of New Jersey and 280 feet below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean lies the forward section of a World War II destroyer, where it came to rest more than 60 years ago. Read more

Despite lacks of modern features and firepower, the 37mm cannon still served throughout the World War II.

North Africa

WWII Weapons: M3 37mm Antitank Gun

By Christopher Miskimon

The men of Lieutenant Edwin K. Smith’s antitank platoon, 2nd Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division peered over the gun shields of their 37mm cannon at the column of Vichy French armored cars approaching their roadblock. Read more

Prime Minister Winston Churchill labeled Haj Amin Al-Hussaini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, as such.

North Africa

Grand Mufti al-Husseini: Britain’s Deadliest Enemy?

 

By Blaine Taylor

Like all Palestinians and most Arabs, Haj Amin al-Hussaini not only looked forward to an Axis Pact victory in World War II but also saw it as a means of defeating what he believed was a joint British-Jewish conspiracy to foist an Israelite homeland on the Middle East that would be to the detriment of his own people. Read more

Free French forces under General Jacques Leclerc upheld the honor of France during World War II.

North Africa

Leclerc and Liberation

By Michael D. Hull

After the humiliating fall of France in June 1940, two impassioned patriots—a general and an infantry captain—refused to accept defeat and determined, against all odds, to exact retribution from the German invaders. Read more