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Tunisia 1942 - 1943:

French Divisions

The three French territories in North Africa; Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia all aligned themselves with the Vichy government after the fall of France in June 1940. When the Allies invaded French North Africa on 8 November 1942, there was some resistence from Vichy French forces, in particular at Oran. An armistice was declared on the 9 November 1942 between the Allies and Vichy French.

Following the armistice, the Vichy French forces were encouraged to ‘change sides’ and to fight for the Allies. The French XIX Corps was formed in Algeria in late 1942 under the command of Lieutenant General Marie-Louis Koëltz. The corps formed part of the British 1 Army. Three Free French divisions were formed from troops prepared to fight for the Allies, and all three saw action during the Tunisian campaign. The three divisions were:

Division de Marche du Maroc;
Division de Marche d’Oran;
Division de Marche d’Alger.

Links are attached to pdf documents relevant to each formation.

All three divisions were reorganised after the conclusion of the Tunisian campaign, and then went on to serve with distinction in the Italian campaign as part of the French Expeditionary Corps.

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