"Our enterprises have prospered beyond our hopes and we must not neglect the good gifts of fortune. . . ."
ON November 8, 1942, Allied forces launched Operation Torch, landing on the coasts of Algeria and Morocco in French North Africa. There was heavy fighting with the Vichy French defenders before the Allies worked out an agreement with the French Vice- Premier, Admiral Jean François Darlan, who was in Algiers, for the French forces to end their resistance. By the morning of November 11 this had been accomplished.
In reaction to the invasion, the government of Vichy France broke off diplomatic relations with the United States. In turn, Hitler responded to Darlan's ceasefire by ordering German troops to march into the previously unoccupied areas controlled by the Vichy regime in France.
The arrangements approved by General Dwight D. Eisenhower, commander of the Allied forces, called for Admiral Darlan to act as the head of the French government in North Africa, subject to Eisenhower's supervision. General Henri Giraud, a Free French officer, was to be commander in chief of the French armed forces in North Africa. Many in the United States and Great Britain condemned this "deal" on the grounds that the Allies should have nothing to do with officials who had collaborated with the enemy. But Eisenhower defended his action on the ground that it saved Allied lives and time, and Roosevelt supported Eisenhower. The President explained the circumstances to Churchill for the benefit of the British critics, and in a press conference Roosevelt tried to put a good face on the arrangement.
The Darlan affair prompted Roosevelt to appoint Robert D. Murphy,
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Publication information: Book title: Roosevelt and Churchill:Their Secret Wartime Correspondence. Contributors: Francis L. Loewenheim - Editor, Harold D. Langley - Editor, Manfred Jonas - Editor, Franklin Delano Roosevelt - Author, Winston Churchill - Author. Publisher: Saturday Review Press; E. P. Dutton. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1975. Page number: 267.
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