Original U.S. WWII Operation Torch North Africa Invasion American Flag Arm Patch

Item Description

Original Items: One-of-a-kind set. Operation Torch was the U.S. invasion of North Africa in 1942. USGI were given cheese cloth-like American Flag Patches to apply to the arm of their uniforms. This practice was later abandoned wit exception of paratroopers who used armbands later in the war. Genuine patches are extremely difficult to find due to the relatively low numbered produced and their delicate nature. This example is offered in very good condition and retains vibrant color. This example was difficult to photograph on a white background.

Operation Torch (8–16 November 1942) was an Anglo–American invasion of French North Africa during the Second World War. The French colonies in the area were dominated by the Vichy French, formally aligned with Germany but of mixed loyalties. Reports indicated that they might support the Allies. The American General Dwight D. Eisenhower, commanding the operation, planned a three-pronged attack on Casablanca (Western), Oran (Center) and Algiers (Eastern), then a rapid move on Tunis.

The Western Task Force encountered unexpected resistance and bad weather, but Casablanca, the principal French Atlantic naval base, was captured after a short siege. The Center Task Force suffered some damage to its ships when trying to land in shallow water but the Vichy French ships were sunk or driven off; Oran surrendered after bombardment by British battleships. The Eastern Task Force met less opposition because the French Resistance had staged a coup in Algiers and the Allies were able to push inland and compel surrender on the first day.

The success of Torch caused Admiral François Darlan, commander of the Vichy French forces to order co-operation with the Allies, in return for being retained as High Commissioner, with many other Vichy officials keeping their jobs. Darlan was assassinated soon after and the Free French gradually came to dominate the government. Torch was the first mass involvement of US troops in the European–North African Theater, and saw the first major airborne assault carried out by the United States.
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