The Importance Of Operation Torch

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Historians say the average number of people killed per day during WWII was 27,000. Because of this, Allied leaders were desperate to end the war as quickly as possible. American leaders wanted to launch a massive all-out assault, but European leaders wanted to establish a foothold in North Africa. The Allies, led by England, Russia, and the United States promised Russian leaders they would attack the Axis powers, Germany, Italy, and Japan and provide relief to the Russians. This led to Operation Torch. Operation Torch was a plan designed to open up another side of Europe and force the Axis to fight on multiple fronts (“Remembering Operation Torch”). Operation Torch consisted of many different Allied forces and required the use of most branches …show more content…

The 12th Air Force, commanded by Lieutenant General Spaatz, was the main Air Force used during Operation Torch. During Operation Torch, the Air Force went through many trial and error stages. During the first stages of capturing North Africa, the 12th Air Force was responsible for close air support, air superiority, and strategic bombing. Close air support, which is the use of airplanes operating close to ground forces, was used mainly during the Allied beach landings at Oran, Casablanca, and Algeria on November 8th, 1942. The most common aircraft used during the invasions of Morocco and Algeria was the F4F Wildcat. The Wildcat was used for close air support because of its ability to withstand ground fire. The F4F was a US Navy carrier based fighter. The plane was slower than Axis fighters with a top speed of only 318 mph, but what it lacked in performance it made up for in toughness and low speed maneuverability. These are some of the traits that contributed to Allied air superiority (Wordell). Along with the F4F the P-40 Warhawk was a major contributor to air superiority in North Africa. The P-40 had many different variations but the most common were the D and E variants. The P-40D had an improved engine and the P-40E had improved maneuverability. Along with close air support, the Wildcats were used for attacking anti-aircraft guns and airfields ahead of the amphibious beach landings. The aircraft were equipped with incendiary bombs for these purposes. The Wildcat acted as a dive bomber to provide increased accuracy for the bombs (Wardell). With the Wildcats destroying anti-aircraft guns and Axis controlled airports, the 12th Air Force bombers were safe to come in and finish the job with little resistance. The most common bombers used in Operation Torch were the B-24 Liberator and the B-17 Flying Fortress. The bombers’ main targets were large groups of transport trucks, ports, supply

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