While American troops were already engaged in the Pacific, at Guadalcanal, it was on these African shores that US forces first entered combat in the European Theater. Under Allied Commander-in-Chief Dwight Eisenhower, American, British and other allies stormed ashore in Morocco and Algeria in November 1942. The subsequent campaign would last until German surrender in Tunisia in May 1943.
This expedition will start with the Moroccan landings of General George Patton’s men near Casablanca on the beaches of Safi, Fedala (today, Mohammedia) and Port Lyautey (today, Kenitra). Casablanca is next, our target as well as that of the Americans as it was the greatest port in the region and home to the Axis fleet. It was also the scene of the first great Allied foreign shores conference of the war, in January 1943. From the bazaars of Casablanca we will fly to Tunis, the capital of Tunisia. Here, in the green, grain-filled valleys and rocky mountains, the final battle for North Africa occurred. Field Marshals Rommel and then Von Arnim and their Panzerarmee Afrika attempted to hold back Eisenhower’s forces, Montgomery’s 8th and Anderson’s 1st armies, under the army group command of Field Marshal Harold Alexander. We will visit numerous pitched battles sites, including the famed Kasserine Pass. In the end, the North Africa campaign was a signal success for the allies with the almost total destruction of German and Italian forces on the continent.
Although the WWII actions will form the backbone of the trip, we will have plenty of time to explore other cultural and historical riches, including Carthage and Roman Africa. Incredible scenery, world-class cuisine and the amazing richness of our shared experiences over the millennia highlight this examination of the southern portion of the great Mediterranean world.