Operation Torch (8 November 1942 – 16 November 1942) was an Allied invasion of French North Africa during the Second World War. Torch was a compromise operation that met the British objective of securing victory in North Africa while allowing American armed forces the opportunity to engage in the fight against Nazi Germany on a limited scale. It was the first mass involvement of US troops in the European–North African Theatre, and saw the first major airborne assault carried out by the United States.
The Western Task Force encountered unexpected resistance and bad weather, but Casablanca, the principal French Atlantic naval base, was captured after a short siege. The Center Task Force suffered some damage to its ships when trying to land in shallow water but the French ships were sunk or driven off; Oran surrendered after bombardment by British battleships. The French Resistance had unsuccessfully attempted a coup in Algiers and, even though this raised alertness in the Vichy forces, the Eastern Task Force met less opposition and were able to push inland and compel surrender on the first day.
The success of Torch caused Admiral François Darlan, commander of the Vichy French forces, to order co-operation with the Allies, in return for being installed as High Commissioner, with many other Vichy officials keeping their jobs.