The Campaign for North Africa
By Jack Coggins, 1980
The focus of this book is the Allied forces' campaign to win control of North Africa from Axis forces. That being said, the careful reader, armed with information about the role of Combined Operations in Operation TORCH, may learn a bit more about where Canadians in Combined Ops used their growing experience and skills related to all-important landing craft and transport duties.
Excerpt from The Campaign for North Africa:
The Mediterranean landing operations actually began on October 2 (1942) when the first of the six advance convoys (tankers, colliers, ammunition ships, cased gasoline carriers, auxiliaries, etc.) left the United kingdom for Gibraltar. These numbered altogether 84 ships, with 42 escorts, the last sailing from the Clyde on October 30. Of the Assault Convoys the 2 slow convoys, carrying tanks, vehicles, and stores, left the Clyde and loch Ewe October 22, followed on October 26 by the 2 fast convoys with the troops. As these steamed south, well out in the Atlantic, several naval forces were also proceeding south. These included 4 battleships, 8 cruisers, 2 fleet and escort carriers, 28 destroyers, and 4 smaller escorts.
It was too much to expect that some 240 merchant ships and transports and over 140 naval vessels, many steaming on widely separated courses, could escape the notice of German submarines and aircraft. Actually, sightings were reported by four U-boats and a Focke-Wulfe aircraft. These sightings were interpreted by the Germans as merely the preliminary to another large Malta convoy, and they persisted in this belief even when large concentrations of shipping were reported at Gilbraltar.
I purchased my copy at a used bookstore for $12 and have found several meaningful excerpts and maps that connect with Combined Operations' activities.
"There are many good maps and sketches re WW2 actions in North Africa"
"Good details for those who like the details"
"Good context for landings in which Canadians participated"
Unattributed Photos by GH