The British and Americans chose to relieve pressure on the Soviets in the east by opening up a second front in northeast Africa. Three main landing sites were selected in Casablanca, Oran and Algiers, from which forces would advance towards Tunisa and engage Rommel’s Afrika Korps. It was hoped that, upon landing, a deal could be struck with the Vichy leadership, allowing Vichy forces in French North Africa to assist the Allies. On 7 November a coup attempt in Morocco by the Allied-friendly General Béthouart failed. Consequently, fighting occurred the next day during the invasion of Oran and at Casablanca before the cities surrendered. Eventually a deal was struck in Algiers with the leader of French North African forces, Admiral Darlan, whereby he was made High Commissioner in return for French cooperation. The combined forces then began the march to Tunisia to oppose Rommel.
— OR —