Operation Torch in Retrospect

  • Monday, November 21, 2022
  • 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
  • CRF Museum (203 E Main Street Loudonville OH)

Operation Torch was the 1942 Anglo-American invasion of French Morocco and Algeria during the North African Campaign of World War II.  It resulted from an uneasy compromise between the Western Allies, including opposition from the Joint Chiefs of Staff and concern from President Franklin Roosevelt. Torch was intended to relieve pressure on the Soviet Union by imperiling Axis forces in the region and enabling an invasion of Southern Europe in 1943. Critics saw North Africa as a low priority, and regarded the operation as a diversion of resources that could be more effectively used to invade German-occupied France, or to wage war against Japan.

Commanded by General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the operation was designed as a pincer movement with American landings at Morocco’s Atlantic coast and Anglo-American landings on Algeria’s Mediterranean coast. The primary objective was to secure bridgeheads for opening a second front to the rear of German and Italian forces battling the British in Libya and Egypt.

Dr. John Moser joins the museum to view Torch in retrospect, including discussions that began soon after Pearl Harbor among the Allied leadership over how best to fight the Axis, and particularly the debate over opening a "second front" in France. Moser will consider why Roosevelt ultimately approved the landings in North Africa, in spite of his own misgivings, and examine the course of the operation itself.

John Moser is professor of history and chair of the Department of History and Political Science at Ashland University. He did his undergraduate work at Ohio University, and has an M.A. and Ph.D. in history from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. At Ashland he teaches courses on modern European, American and East Asian history, and is the recipient of the Ashland University Excellence in Scholarship Award and the Edward and Louaine Taylor Award for Excellence in Teaching. John has published numerous works on subjects ranging from comic books to Japanese foreign policy. He is author of four books, the most recent of which is The Global Great Depression and the Coming of World War II, which was published by Routledge in 2015. In addition, he has written several role-playing games for use in college classrooms, most recently Japan, 1941: Between Pan-Asianism and the West, published in 2020 by W.W. Norton. He lives in Ashland with his wife Monica and their daughter Stanzi.

This program is free and open to the public. The event will be held in the lecture hall of the Cleo Redd Fisher Museum, located at 203 E. Main Street in Loudonville, OH. Doors open at 6:30, while the event begins at 7:00 pm.

  The Cleo Redd Fisher Museum is a subsidiary of the Mohican Historical Society.  All rights reserved.   

The Mohican Historical Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 203 East Main Street  Loudonville, OH 44842

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