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World War II: The North African Campaign
The Atlantic ^ | 04 Sept 2011 | Alan Taylor

Posted on 09/05/2011 4:02:30 PM PDT by Palter

Beginning in June of 1940, the North African Campaign took place over the course of three years, as Axis and Allied forces pushed each other back and forth across the desert in a series of attacks and counterattacks.

Libya had been an Italian colony for several decades and British forces had been in neighboring Egypt since 1882. When Italy declared war on the Allied Nations in 1940, the two armies began skirmishing almost immediately.

An Italian invasion of Egypt in September of 1940 was followed by a December counterattack where British and Indian forces captured some 130,000 Italians. Hitler's response to this loss was to send in the newly formed "Afrika Korps" led by General Erwin Rommel.

Several long, brutal pushes back and forth across Libya and Egypt reached a turning point in the Second Battle of El Alamein in late 1942, when Lieutenant-General Bernard Montgomery's British Eighth Army broke out and drove Axis forces all the way from Egypt to Tunisia.

In November, British and American forces landed thousands of troops across western North Africa in Operation Torch, which joined the attack, eventually helping force the surrender of all remaining Axis troops in Tunisia in May of 1943, ending the Campaign for North Africa.

(This entry is Part 12 of a weekly 20-part retrospective of World War II) [45 photos]

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Arts/Photography; History; Military/Veterans
KEYWORDS: libya; military; northafrica; photo; photography; ww2; wwii
The Atlantic is running a series on WW2 thru pictures. It's really great. Too bad there is so many AP photos that I can't post them, but give them a look.

World War II is the story of the 20th Century. The war officially lasted from 1939 until 1945, but the causes of the conflict and its horrible aftermath reverberated for decades in either direction. While feats of bravery and technological breakthroughs still inspire awe today, the majority of the war was dominated by unimaginable misery and destruction. In the late 1930s, the world's population was approximately 2 billion. In less than a decade, the war between the nations of the Axis Powers and the Allies resulted in some 80 million deaths -- killing off about 4 percent of the whole world.

This series of entries will last from June 19 until October 30, 2011, running every Sunday morning for 20 weeks. In these photo essays, I hope to explore the events of the war, the people involved at the front and back home, and the effects the war had on everyday lives. The entries will follow a roughly chronological sequence, with some broader themes (such as "The Home Front") interspersed throughout. These images will give us glimpses into the real-life experiences of our parents, grandparents and great grandparents, moments that shaped the world as it is today. I hope to be able to do justice to this important story in this large-photo narrative format and invite you to join me for the next 20 Sundays.


  1. Before the War
  2. The Invasion of Poland and the Winter War
  3. Axis Invasions and the Fall of France
  4. The Battle of Britain
  5. Conflict Spreads Around the Globe
  6. Operation Barbarossa
  7. Pearl Harbor
  8. The American Home Front in Color
  9. Daring Raids and Brutal Reprisals
  10. Internment of Japanese Americans
  11. Battle of Midway and the Aleutian Campaign
  12. The North African Campaign
  13. Coming September 11th
  14. Coming September 18th
  15. Coming September 25th
  16. Coming October 2nd
  17. Coming October 9th
  18. Coming October 16th
  19. Coming October 23rd
  20. Coming October 30th

1 posted on 09/05/2011 4:02:36 PM PDT by Palter
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To: Palter
Love looking at my dad's photo album from North Africa - came through right after the humiliation of Kasserine Pass.
He was recon - drove a light tank - ended up hitting a mine in Italy after Anzio.
Hard to believe he was just 18, 19 years old.
2 posted on 09/05/2011 4:19:34 PM PDT by Psalm 73 ("Gentlemen, you can't fight in here - this is the War Room".)
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To: Psalm 73

God Bless your father and, hoping he survived the mine and that he is still alive, thank him for his brave service.
We need to honor and remember those who served in WWII.

Dr. Strangelove was one of my favorites...hence my name and tagline

3 posted on 09/05/2011 4:49:29 PM PDT by BatGuano (You don't think I'd go into combat with loose change in my pocket, do ya?)
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To: Palter

I remember reading that the Brits captured so many Italians they didn’t report numbers, just “one acre of officers, three acres of other ranks”. I used that same phraseology on my cube wall when covering the Iraq War.

4 posted on 09/05/2011 4:58:47 PM PDT by Oatka ("A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves." –Bertrand de Jouvenel)
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