Operation Torch - Invasion Of North Africa
8 to 15 November 1942
|23 October 8 November 1942 - Sails for North Africa, Morocco|
|.Departing Norfolk Navy Base, 23 October, BB35
sailed with Task Force 34 for the shores of Morocco. Several passengers
were aboard among whom was Walter Cronkite, on assignment to report on
Task Force 34 organized into three sections,
*** TEXAS TF 34.8 Port Lyautey, in the Medhia area .
*** NEW YORK TF 34.10 southern area of Morocco..
|The Invasion: 8 to 15 November 1942|
The North Africa invasion was being opposed not by Germans or Italians but by
Vichy French military. When France surrendered to Germany, in June 1940, an
unoccupied area of southern France was allowed to have a collaborationist French
government, in Vichy, France. The French authority in Algeria and Morocco at the
time of the June surrender chose to follow the Vichy government. Secret
negotiations were held with the French authority in North Africa, Admiral Darlan
to determine if the French would oppose a landing or not. On the eve of the
landings it was believed the French would oppose but the degree of opposition
TF 34.8 arrived in the Port Lyautey area on 8 November and made ready for the infantry landing that morning. During the infantry landing, TEXAS did not fire her guns. At that time, the Army deemed the element of surprise more important. (Like much of Americas pre war tactics, this theory was quickly discarded).
TEXAS is locate at the top edge of the map which is from the ships "Action Report"
Once the troops were ashore, TEXAS gunfire was directed at French munitions area on the 8th and gathering points for French forces on the 10th. TEXAS also fired its guns on attacking French airplanes. In one instance a TEXAS airplane dropped a depth charge on a group of French tanks. One TEXAS airplane sank during recovery due to damage. The fighting in the Port Lyautey area did not cease until 11 November. In two days of firing, TEXAS fired 272 14" shells and 6 5" shells.
8 November Gun Firing - BB35 "Action Report"
10 November Gun Firing - BB35 "Action Report"
When the fighting ceased, a party from TEXAS went ashore to Port Lyautey to clear the harbor of ships the French had sunk to blockade its use. Though French resistance in the area had ceased, German submarines were still active and had sunk several ships. On 12 November submarine activity was reported in the area around TEXAS and the escort destroyers dropped depth charges. TEXAS relocated to another area and encountered submarine activity again. She sailed figure eight inside a submarine screen while more depth charges were dropped. 15 November, TEXAS and the rest of TF 34.8 departed the area and arrived back in Norfolk on the 26th. Aboard for the return was Walter Cronkite, with his first-hand reports of the invasion. When TEXAS came with range of Norfolk for an airplane to reach, Cronkite was placed in the back of a plane and flew off TEXAS for Norfolk.
|Started 11 May 1999 by Chuck Moore, FTV (1st Texas Volunteers) a Battleship Texas volunteer group - Donate Your Time And Support The Battleship Texas|