In November 1942, the US First Infantry Division embarked on a monumental mission known as Operation Torch in North Africa. This audacious endeavor represented an unyielding commitment to liberate Europe from the clutches of tyranny. With grit and determination coursing through their veins, these brave soldiers stormed the enemy-held beaches under deafening gunfire, facing imminent danger with steely resolve. The chilling winds of uncertainty danced harmoniously with the burning desire for victory that propelled them forward. As they advanced through treacherous landscapes and barren deserts, the division witnessed the horrors of war firsthand; yet, their unwavering pursuit of freedom never faltered. Their valor and resilience not only shattered the enemy lines but also ignited a beacon of hope that would soon set ablaze the path toward ultimate triumph against fascism. Operation Torch became more than just a military operation; it was a testament to the unwavering determination and indomitable spirit etched vividly in history’s narrative.

(Document Source) The following archive is the G-3 report of the participation of the 1st Infantry Division in Operation Torch, French Morrocco, North Africa, Nov 8, 1942. It is submitted in compliance with AR 345-105.

Mission: On September 4, 1942, the 1-ID was given the mission of landing on Beach Z and Beach Y at 0100, Nov 8, to capture the cities of Arzew and Oran as well as the port facilities therein also to seize certain Axis agents and sympathizers.

1st Infantry Division - heading for the Beaches - Operation Torch

Planning and Preparation

US II CorpsAn advance command post of the 1-ID was set up at the Norfolk House, London, to plan the operation in conjunction with the British Navy, the US II Corps, and the Allied Forces HQs. Planning for the operation and preparation of the initial field order was completed on October 15, at which time the London CP was closed. The Division HQ was then established aboard the Reina del Pacifico on October 16, with an alternate headquarters aboard the Warwick Castle. The Combat Teams have then moved from Tidworth Barracks, England, to the Glasgow area in Scotland for special training (amphibious). The 18-CT closing in about September 10, the 26-CT September 18, and the 16-CT September 22. Movements of equipment to Ports of Embarkation began on October 7, and of personnel, on October 12. By October 16, all the personnel were loaded on personnel ships to be used for the operation. The landing exercise in practice for the actual operation was held on September 18-19. On completion of the exercise, personnel ships returned to the Clyde to finish the loading of supplies.


The Division embarked on eleven personal ships and nine cargo vessels and sailed from the Clyde on October 26, with a British naval escort. The voyage was without incident. The convoy remained in the Atlantic Ocean until November 6, passing through the Strait of Gibraltar after dark that date. The Division reached its destination at 1145, November 7, at which time debarkation into landing boats began.



Operations – Times indicated ‘Z-time’ are Greenwich Mean Time.
November 8, 1942

US 1-IDUS 1-ADCombat Team 16 landing on Z-White beach at 0105-Z without serious initial opposition. The 1/16 (reinforced) on the left, cleared Z-Red beach for the landing of CCB (1-AD) and moved to La Macta capturing the latter against some opposition. One company occupied Port aux Poules, one company En Nekala, and the battalion (less 2 companies) La Macta. The 3/16 (reinforced) on the right, advanced to Saint Eloi and Fleurus by dawn against slight opposition. The 18-CT landed on Z-Green beach at 0057-Z without serious initial opposition. The 3/18 (reinforced) on the right, advanced north into Arzew against opposition and completed the occupation of the town by 0840-Z. Resistance at Arzew entailed some delay in the landing of subsequent waves because transports could not move to the close-in anchorages at an early hour. The 1/18 (reinforced) advanced to the vicinity of St Cloud where it was halted by heavy opposition. The 2/18 (reinforced) followed 1/18.

US RangerFirst Combats in WW-2 for the US Army conduct to the discovery of strange German weapon like a G-41The 1-RB, attached to 1-ID, landed at Arzew with 2 companies and about 2 miles north thereof with the remainder of the battalion and captured the sea-coast defense at the Fort de la Pointe and the North Battery by 0159-Z. The 26-CT landed at Y beach at 0120-Z without opposition. The 3/26 (reinforced) advanced to Djebel Murdjadjo encountering initial resistance at 0630-Z in the vicinity of the Sainte Maria Farm where it was halted. The 2/26 (reinforced) advance to Ain El Turk where the enemy fire held it up. George Co moved to El Ancor to protect the rear of the Combat Team. The 1/26 (reinforced) in reserve, followed by the 2/26. Charlie Co was sent to reinforce the 2/26 before Ain El Turk. The Division CP opened at Tourville at 0745-Z.

November 9, 1942

In the 16-CT sector, the 1/16, was counter-attacked from the east and the south. At one time, enemy troops penetrated between Port aux Poules and La Macta. This battalion was reinforced by 1/19-ECB (Engineers) and one company 1-RB (Rangers) and the counterattack was repulsed by noon with the bridgehead at La Macta reestablished. The situation at La Macta remained stabilized. The 3/16 advanced via Fleurus, Assi Ameur, and Assi Ben Okba thence northwest to the southern slopes of Djebel Khar. The 2/16 advanced on Oran via Fleurus, Assi Ameur, and Assi Bou Nif to about 3 miles west of the latter against enemy opposition. The 1/16 was relieved at La Macta by the 19-ECB (Engineers) and moved to Fleurus.

In the 18-CT sector, during the morning hours, the Combat team assisted by King Co (16-CT) and a section of the 1st Recon Troop attacking north from Fleurus, continued the attack on Saint Cloud. Forward elements entered the village but were unable to quickly mop up snipers. Orders were issued to contain Saint Cloud with the 1/18 and bypass the other two battalions for the continuation of the mission to drive on Oran. Saint Cloud was contained by the 1/18, with one company of the 1-RB attached. The 2/18 and the 3/18 by-passed Saint Cloud to the south and north respectively and the 2/18 followed by the 3/18 reached a point about 3 miles east of Arcole by nightfall. In the 26-CT sector, the 2/26 attacked Ain El Turck successfully and organized the town. The 3/26 unsuccessfully attacked the Sainte Maria Farm. Late in the day, the 1/26 advanced to support the 3/26. On the same day, the Division Command Post opened at Renan at 0821-Z, and the 1-RB, less two companies, organized Arzew.


November 10, 1942

In the 18-CT sector, the 1/18 continued to contain Saint Cloud, while the remainders of the Combat Team continued to advance and entered the outskirts of Oran at 1000-Z, the city itself at 1200-Z by 2/18. The 3/18 entered Oran, after capturing the Canestel Battery, at 1305-Z. In the 16-CT sector, the 1/16 and the 2/16 abreast followed by the 3/16 advanced against lessening resistance, the leading elements entering Oran at 0830-Z, the city was occupied by 1300-Z. In the 26-CT sector, the Combat Team successfully attacked the Sainte Maria Fram, advanced to the east, and occupied the heights of Djebel Murdjadjo dominating Oran. The Division Command Post was established at Fleurus at 0335-Z, at Assi Bou Nif at 0810-Z, and at the Saint Jean Baptiste Farm at 1150-Z.

Field Orders & Reorganization

The organization of the Oran area was begun immediately upon the fall of the city and completed on November 15. The 1-ECB secured the dock areas after the occupation of Oran and policed the dock areas until November 14. Casualties: the Division suffered the following casualties during the operation: Dead, 9 off and 85 EM; Seriously wounded 4 off and 69 EM; Slightly wounded 10 off and 168 EM; Missing in action 7 EM and Missing 66 EM.

Lt Col., G. S. C.
A. C. of S., G-3

Note 1: The German WW2 rifle G-21, also known as Gewehr 21, represents a significant milestone in firearms development during the Second World War. Produced by Mauser-Werke AG, this semi-automatic rifle exemplifies German engineering and innovation at its finest. Adopted in limited numbers by the German Army, the G-21 boasted several groundbreaking features for its time. It was chambered for the formidable 7.92x57mm Mauser cartridge and featured an easily detachable box magazine with a capacity of 10 rounds – a substantial improvement over the bolt-action rifles widely used at the time. Additionally, the G-21 offered select-fire capabilities, allowing soldiers to switch between semi-automatic and fully automatic firing modes – a feature that would later become ubiquitous in modern military rifles. Despite its limited production and adoption due to logistical constraints and shifting priorities inherent in wartime production, the G-21 stands as a testament to Germany’s commitment to developing advanced weaponry during one of history’s most turbulent periods.

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