North African Campaign

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Australian troops advance towards an Italian position in north Africa, 1941

The North African Campaign was part of the Second World War. It took place in North Africa from 10 June 1940 to 13 May 1943. It included campaigns fought in the Libyan and Egyptian deserts (the Desert War) and in Morocco and Algeria (Operation Torch) and Tunisia (Tunisia Campaign).

A British tank retreats before the fall of a north African position

There was a see-saw series of battles for control of Libya and parts of Egypt. The Siege of Tobruk in 1941 was one of the turning points. In the Second Battle of El Alamein British Commonwealth forces under the command of Lieutenant-General Bernard Montgomery decisive defeated the Afrika Korps and other Axis forces and pushed them back to Tunisia.

The late 1942 Allied Operation Torch landings in North-West Africa was done to mop up the remaining enemy forces. There were battles against Vichy France forces which then changed sides. The Allies finally encircled Axis forces in northern Tunisia and forced their surrender.