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  1. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    can anyone explain in relative detail,the allied command structure of operation torch and beyond,up to feb 43 please.lee.:confused:.
     
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  2. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    This is basic from Wiki. Ill try to find more detailed later.

    The Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO) was originally called North African Theater of Operations (NATO) and is an American term for the conflict that took place between the Allies and Axis Powers in North Africa and Italy during World War II. US operations in the theater began with of the Allied Expeditionary Force, which landed on the beaches of northwest Africa on November 8, 1942, in Operation Torch. They ended in the Italian Alps some 31 months later with the German surrender in May 1945.


    Command structure

    The operational command of the MTO was a combined U.S.-British operational command called Allied Forces Headquarters AFHQ, which planned and directed ground, air, and naval operations and military government activities in NATO and MTO. It was created on September 12, 1942 to launch a combined U.S.-British operation against the northern and northwestern coast of Africa. In February 1943 the authority of AFHQ was extended to include the British 8th Army, command by General Bernard Montgomery which having advanced westwards after the second battle of El Alamein was approaching the border of Tunisia where the British, American and French forces in British First Army had been fighting the Tunisia Campaign.
    Initially AFHQ was located in London from September until November 1942. It relocated to Algiers in Algeria in November 1942 and remained there until July 1944. From Algiers it moved to Caserta in Italy until April 1945. Its last relocation was to Leghorn (Livorno), Italy between April 1945 until April 1947.
    The initial Commander-in-Chief, Allied (Expeditionary) Force, was General Dwight D. Eisenhower[1]. Shortly after the establishment of the headquarters, expeditionary was deleted from its title for reasons of operational security. Having overseen the Tunisia campaign, the invasion of Sicily and the invasion of Italy, Eisenhower left AFHQ and returned to the United Kingdom in late 1943 to assume command of the forces assembling for Operation Overlord, the Allied landings in northern France. He was succeeded at AFHQ by Field Marshal Sir Henry Maitland Wilson. Wilson's title became Supreme Commander, Mediterranean Theatre of Operations. Wilson was in command for just under a year, until he was sent to Washington in December 1944 to replace Field Marshal Sir John Dill, head of the British Joint Staff Mission, who had died suddenly. Wilson was succeeded by Field Marshal Sir Harold Alexander who was Supreme Commander and commander of AFHQ until the end of the war.
    For administrative purposes, U.S. components were responsible to Headquarters North African Theater of Operations, United States Army (NATOUSA), from February 14, 1943 (NATOUSA redesignated Mediterranean Theater of Operations, United States Army, MTOUSA, November 1, 1944). The British components were responsible to General Headquarters Central Mediterranean Forces (CMF), from October 1, 1945.
    Headquarters MTOUSA and General Headquarters CMF formally separated from AFHQ on October 1, 1945, leaving AFHQ to consist of a small interallied staff responsible for combined command liquidation activities. AFHQ was abolished, effective September 17, 1947, by General Order 24, AFHQ, September 16, 1947.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mediterranean_Theater_of_Operations#Command_structure
     
  3. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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  4. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    yes,but there are problems here,missing names of officers involved.etc.
     
  5. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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  6. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    indeed,but the origional question was up to feb 43,so lots of this stuff is not required.lee.
     
  7. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    after op torch success,do you think the the chain of command in tunisia was not ideal,before alexander came along.i think it was too complicated,and the high command had odd commanders.i would be interested in your own thoughts,not source material.yours,lee.
     
  8. 36thID

    36thID Member

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    I would like to add very interesting event about Operation Torch.

    General Mark Clark ( not my favorite) was involved in a super secret mission just prior to the invasion. His actions almost cost us a successful landing.

    A few nights before the invasion Clark was put on a submarine and headed to the coast of N. Africa. During the dark of night the sub surfaced and Clark and a small party rowed to the coast to meet with some members of the Vichey Government loyal to the Allied cause. He wanted assurence the Vichey military would lay down their arms and not oppose the Allied landings. He had a number of gold bars to offer these men.

    Well, after meeting these men they had to hurry and get back to the sub before dawn. Clark was sopping wet and still had the gold bars with him. He decided to take his pants off so rowing would be a little easier. Problem was he left his pants on the beach with the gold bars and with his IDENTIFICATION !! If those pants were found the whole operation could of been compromised and those men loyal to the Allies in a world of trouble.

    Best Regards,
     
  9. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    i reckon the combined chiefs of staff..c.c.o.s..must have known there would be problems in tunisia.i dont know if any of the army comanders had seen action;ken anderson maybe,but not an army.do you.lee.:confused:.
     
  10. Carl W Schwamberger

    Carl W Schwamberger Ace

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    In simple terms: Ike commanded AFHQ which originally included the US I Armored Corps in Morroco, US II Corps @ Oran, and the British corps @ Algeirs. I cant recalll the air arraignements. The week after the landing the British corps advanced towards Tunisia and the British 1st Army HQ was establsihed. Initially this was the senior Allied HQ in Tunisia with its commander Anderson reporting to Eisenhowers AFHQ. The US II Corps and the French Corps were under tactical control of Andersons 1st Army. As Montys 8th Army joined AFHQ in Febuary Alexander was positioned as Eisenhowers commander of ground forces, controling the Brit 1st & 8th Armys, the US II Corps, and the French Corps. The air was under a seperate deputy to Eisenhower, Hap Arnold (?) who was co equal to Alexander. The US 7th Army HQ was established to provide Patton with a larger staff for planning the Sicillian Campaign. Until then he had been using the distant I Armored Corps HQ in Morroco, and parts of Eisenhowers staff

    Effectively Alxander was a Army Group Commander andd Ike was a Theatre commander. This arraignement remained more or less in effect until Ike departed.

    Hope that helps a bit. Feel free to ask. :)
     
  11. Carl W Schwamberger

    Carl W Schwamberger Ace

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    The complications had to do with politics as Eisenhower spent too much time settling French affairs, and logistics as Eisenhower found the original assumptions wrong and spent too much time sorting that out. He had expected Anderson to take firm charge of events in Tunisia in November/December. Ike had expected events in Tunisia to be settled quickly so he was preoccupied with sorting out the French and the logisitics. When the wheels fell off Andersons Tunisian express Ike was a bit nonplussed.

    Within Andersons 1st Army and the seperate Corps the command was complicated by the ambigious status of the French in November/December and a inability of the British and US officers to communicate.
     
  12. mavfin

    mavfin Member

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    This was where Ike excelled. He learned a lot about coalition warfare in Torch, and applied those lessons later for Overlord. No, Ike wasn't one of the great combat commanders, but he was one of the key people that made coalition warfare work in the later years of the war. He left the combat commands to other people who were better at it.

    Crusade in Europe is interesting reading for his view/side of it, if nothing else. Is it biased? It's an autobiography, with all that carries with it. Still very interesting to balance all the personalities into an effective war machine.
     
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  13. Carl W Schwamberger

    Carl W Schwamberger Ace

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    The whole Torch/Tunisian experince soured Eisenhower on the idea of a intermediate ground commander. First he had Anderson nominally in command of the British, French, US forces fighting in Tunisia in November - December. Then Alexander took over as a ground forces or army group commander commander. A role he held through the Sicillian campaign and beyond. I suspect he also learned to ignore the endless details of dealing with coalition leaders and to focus on the essentials as he saw them.
     
  14. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    so gen ken anderson was ikes ground force c/o,from nov 42 till 8th army crawled up in jan/feb 43,wheh alex became c/o.a full 3 months.?.lee.
    p.s,who was ikes airforce c/o,and naval c/o,and where was ikes command h.q.:confused:
     
  15. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    ikes hq was,as i read;gibraltar.this seems a very long way removed for the c.o of the 1st army in tunisia,a long way indeed.
    during the normandy campaign,ikes hq was in england,approx 100miles away,but only a small flight away.why was ike so far under gibraltar,and a massive distance from his c.o,who needed him in tunisia.
    this,remember was 3 months before 8th army and alexander,crawled up to take over command ,of what became 18th army grp.:confused:.4th wilts.
     
  16. Carl W Schwamberger

    Carl W Schwamberger Ace

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    Eisenhower moved from Gibraltar to Algiers a few days after the French ceased fire. His primary HQ remained there at Algiers as it had good communications. He visited the battlefield in Tunisia several times, but did not establish a HQ there. The army & corps commanders on the spot, particularly Alexander were susposed to be running that battle. After the Casablanca confrence Eisenhower also had been charged with planning the eventual Allied attack on Italy, coordinating Allied air and naval actions against Italy, administrating the reequipment of the French army and other wise settling the political issues with the French, and making sure the Allied rear was protected in case of a Axis suprise attack through Spain.

    How is the apple harvest & cider this year?
     
  17. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    so ike was mainly in gibraltar,do we know ken andersons hq was,algiers?.i am still not sure who the naval c/o was for op torch,and indeed huskey?,or his hq?.i do not know who ikes airforce c/o was either?,and indeed his hq,s location?.were they all under gibraltar with ike?.can anyone help out.:confused:.
    on a different note,the local apple and pear harvest this year could be better,but my favourite cider,yarlington mill,looks o.k cheers.
     
  18. Carl W Schwamberger

    Carl W Schwamberger Ace

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    Ike left Gibralter in the first week for Algiers. Gibraltar was only practical as a HQ during the opening days, an Eisenhower had to quickly join the negotiations with the French.

    Andersons HQ was intially in Algeria at the British landing site. He established a forwar HQ in Tunisia as soon as practical, but had to keep a second administrative establishment in Algeria, near Bone I think, as his army support extend all the way to there and beyond.

    The navy was divided into into several groups for objective and command purposes. Each of the three landing forces had a seperate amphibious fleet; for transport, fire support, and escourt.. Then there were two combat fleets covering those, one for the Atlantic coast landings in Morroco and the other to cover the landings in Algeria. All the fleet commanders were afloat as it was technically impossible to effectively commnd those from afar. All fleet commanders reported to Eisenhower, but I cant recall if there was a overall fleet comander for the Mediterrainan fleets. In the Atlantic USN Adm Hewitt commanded the combined amphib and covering groups. Hewitt later commanded the fleet that landed Pattons 7th Army in Siclly, and the US 1st Army on Normandy. I cant recall If he was involved in Salerno or Anzio.

    A US General commanded the combined airforces over Tunisia. Dont recall if his writ included the distant squadrons in Morroco or if they reported to Ike seperately. The airforces HQ was intially established in Algeria. there were no operational airfields in Tunisia for a month or so. It was not until March the airforces were able to move the aircraft forward into Tunisia in effective numbers & a forward HQ was establsihed there. The British 8th Army had its own supporting airforce with its logistics trail extending back to Egypt. They were under the control of the US general, but had their own HQ in Lybia as it was impractical to run their logistics out of Algeria.
     
  19. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    now,i read a.b.cunningham R.N was ikes naval c/o,directly after the successful torch landings.now his h.q was alexandria,in egypt.so ike was in gib or algiers.and his naval c.o was the other end of the med,a long way.was this because of good comms?.still cant find out ikes air c.o,although i am looking.cheers:confused:
     
  20. wtid45

    wtid45 Ace

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    So in a nutshell Mark Clark was nearly caught with his pants down nothing new there then;)
     

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