Algeria Battlefield Tour Operation Torch
4 th – 13 th May The 1942 Allied invasion of Algeria The British had been off the Algerian coast once before in July 1940, when a British naval force bombarded the French Navy at its base at Mers El Kébir, (to stop the French warships falling into Axis hands). The raid resulted in the deaths of 1,300 French servicemen, the sinking of a battleship and the damaging of five other ships. The Vichy government severed diplomatic relations with Great Britain. The attack remains controversial. The Vichy would now defend North Africa if attacked again. While it gave the British another foe to fight, it also showed the world and America in particular, Britain's commitment to continue the war with Germany at all costs and without allies if need be. Part of the much larger November 1942 Operation Torch (Allied invasion of North Africa) Operations Reservist and Terminal was the capture of Oran and Algiers and their port facilities. At the same time there would be airborne landings to capture major airfields. Once Algeria had surrendered the Allies could move east against Axis held Tunisia. Day 1 Arrive Oran. Depending on the arrival time, tour to Fort Santa Cruz and the Vichy French WW2 bunkers, the cathedral, the theatre. Overnight Oran. (D) Day 2 The landings and assault on Oran Tour of Oran and periphery, the Gambetta the artillery batteries, Petit le lac war cemetery, Mers -El Kebir harbour where the British fleet fired on the French battleships and where President Roosevelt would later land, and the US landing beaches of Les Andalouses, Arzew and Tafraoui. Overnight Oran. (B D)
Day 3 Operation Flagpole Today we make our way along the Mediterranean coast towards Algiers. We shall exam the covert visit (Op Flagpole) made by General Mark Clark. We shall see the Messelmoune beach where the British submarine Seraph moored and the Tessier Farm where Clark met the French commanders. We shall also visit the Ancient city of Ceasarea located nearby. Overnight El Afroun. (B D) Day 4 Assault on Algiers Today we will be visiting the British landing beaches to the east of Algiers the American landing beaches at Suffren, Surcouf and Cap Matifou; a tour of Algiers examining the fight for the port and capture of the city, and visit the Dely Ibrahim and El Alia Commonwealth war cemeteries. Tonight we will be staying in the (former) Allied headquarters. Overnight in Algiers. (B D) Day 5 Today we make our way to Annaba (Bone). Birthplace of General Alphonse Juin, the Vichy commander. We shall visit the Bone war cemetery, the cathedral and the largest Roman theatre in Algeria, Hippo Regius. Before making our way to Constantine, via Skikda (Philippeville). Overnight in Constantine. (B D) Day 6 Today we make our way to Bejaia via Djemila to visit the ancient 1st Century city of Cuicul. Overnight in Bone. (B D)
Day 7 Visit the La Reunion Commonwealth war cemetery. Then continue to Tarbarka in Tunisia. Overnight in Tarbarka. (B D) Day 8 This morning we follow the route of “Bladeforce” and the most direct route to Tunis. Stopping along the way at Tarbarka war cemetery, and Sedjenine, examine the Green Hill and Bald Hill battlefield where the Allies were held up for weeks by German troops. Overnight in Bizerte, which was captured by US troops in May 1943. (B D) Day 9 Today we head for Tunis and Carthage. We will visit the American war cemetery where the US casualties of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia are buried and commemorated. We shall also see the ancient military port of Carthage. Overnight Tunis. (B L D)
Day 10 Flight Home or other (B) Or stay in Tunisia for our Kasserine Pass battlefield tour. Cost per person £ 3000 ** Single supplement £ 530 Included in price: All land transport. All hotels and meals as indicated (B D) All entrance fees. Battlefield Guide (Steve Hamilton) Battlefield Booklet (maps etc) Tour Manager All local taxes included. A letters of invitation to support your visa applications provided. Visa payment direct to the Algerian Embassy in your home country is £ 140. ** Cost is greatly reduced with the higher number of guests.