Full Name 67 French Protectorate of Tunisia
Alliance Neutral or Non-Belligerent
Possessing Power France
Entry into WW2 9 Nov 1942
Population in 1939 2,600,000


ww2dbaseFrance gained influence over Tunisia, formerly under the influence of the Ottoman Empire, after the end of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877 to 1878. The French Protectorate of Tunisia was established on 12 May 1881. During WW2, Tunisia remained under France, a non-belligerent nation after the Franco-German armistice of 1940. Western Allies invaded French North Africa in Nov 1942, and Vichy French forces failed to actively defend the colonial holdings, and thus German and Italian forces stepped in within hours to bolster defenses. Allied forces crossed into Tunisia by mid-Nov, but the two sides soon settled into a stalemate. In Feb 1943, Axis forces defeated the inexperienced Americans at the Battle of the Kasserine Pass in Tunisia, but ultimately German and Italian forces could not hold their ground against the well-supplied Western Allies. Tunisia became the final foothold for the Axis from which evacuation of surviving forces departed for the island of Sicily further north. The Allied conquest of Tunisia was completed by mid-May 1943. Tunisia served as a major staging point in the subsequent invasion of Sicily. After the war, nationalistic sentiments previously suppressed returned with fervor, with parties previously satisfied with limited autonomy under France now demanding total independence. A period of unrest lasted from 1951 until 1954, during which leading Tunisian politician Habib Bourguiba was imprisoned by the French, and blood was shed on both sides. In 1954, French Prime Minister Pierre Mend├Ęs France announced a course for Tunisia to gain autonomy. The Republic of Tunisia was announced on 20 Mar 1956, and in the following year Bourguiba became the nation's first president. Bourguiba would remain in power for the next 30 years.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Update: Feb 2014

Events Taken Place in Tunisia
Advance into Tunisia10 Nov 1942 - 25 Dec 1942
Battle of Faïd Pass and Sidi Bouzid30 Jan 1943 - 17 Feb 1943
Battle of Kasserine Pass19 Feb 1943 - 25 Feb 1943
Battle of Medenine6 Mar 1943 - 10 Mar 1943
Operations Pugilist and Supercharge II19 Mar 1943 - 31 Mar 1943
Battle of El Guettar23 Mar 1943 - 7 Apr 1943
Battle of Wadi Akarit6 Apr 1943 - 7 Apr 1943
Conclusion of the Desert War7 Apr 1943 - 13 May 1943


WW2-Era Weather Data for Tunisia


Canadian Ford-built CMP 3/4-ton 2-wheel drive truck set to lead a British Royal Air Force convoy out Libya to Tunisia, circa 1942.PT-208, a Higgins 78-foot motor torpedo boat in zebra paint, receiving three new Packard W-14 M2500 replacement engines at Bizerte, Tunisia, 1943. Note the raised rocket launcher rails on the bow.Troops of PK XI. Fliegerkorps with a 5 cm PaK 38 anti-tank gun, Tunisia, 1943George Patton studying a map in Tunisia, spring 1943
See all 23 photographs of Tunisia in World War II

Tunisia in World War II Interactive Map

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Anonymous says:
10 May 2017 12:47:14 PM

Why did Germany and Italy allow the Vichy french republic to exist? Why didn't they take all france and divide the colonies between them? Or why didn't they station troops in Morocco Algeria and Tunisia right after the defeat of france? Or why didn't they send supplies to Rommel through Tunisia? Especially since the distance between Sicily and Tunisia is much shorter than through Sicily and Libya, plus Malta would not have been between them as an obstacle. I need information and answers to these questions.
2. Anonymous says:
9 Jun 2017 05:17:31 AM

The officially neutral Vichy puppet state prevented the French fleet, colonies and remaining troops from continuing the fight alongside their British allies.
3. Anonymous says:
7 Jan 2019 09:17:34 AM

Strange how there was no invasion from Italian Libya into French Morocco in 1940. It took until November 1942 to May 1943 for Italian Libya to have a two front war.
4. Anonymous says:
26 Mar 2021 06:09:49 AM

I need answers to these questions: why didn't Germany and Italy station troops in Tunisia or Algeria or Morocco during ww2 right after the defeat of France? Or why didn't Germany and Italy supply Rommel through Tunisia? Why didn't Germany and Italy divide the colonies of vichy France between them? Why did they even allow Vichy France to exist? Could they have at least demanded Tunisia? Especially since Tunisia and Sicily is very close and much more convenient than the distance from Sicily to Libya? And plus they could have avoided Malta? Could they have said to the Vichy French look: If you want to remain independent then give us Tunisia, and then later demanded Algeria and Morocco?
5. ali says:
27 Mar 2023 02:06:46 PM

i need maps and docs about sites of operations of 2nd para battalon in ww2 Tunisia

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Tunisia in World War II Photo Gallery
Canadian Ford-built CMP 3/4-ton 2-wheel drive truck set to lead a British Royal Air Force convoy out Libya to Tunisia, circa 1942.
See all 23 photographs of Tunisia in World War II

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