|Full Name||Â||67 French Protectorate of Tunisia|
|Alliance||Â||Neutral or Non-Belligerent|
|Entry into WW2||Â||9 Nov 1942|
|Population in 1939||Â||2,600,000|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
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 MendÃ¨s 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.
Last Major Update: Feb 2014
|Events Taken Place in Tunisia|
|Advance into Tunisia||10 Nov 1942 - 25 Dec 1942|
|Battle of FaÃ¯d Pass and Sidi Bouzid||30 Jan 1943 - 17 Feb 1943|
|Battle of Kasserine Pass||19 Feb 1943 - 25 Feb 1943|
|Battle of Medenine||6 Mar 1943 - 10 Mar 1943|
|Operations Pugilist and Supercharge II||19 Mar 1943 - 31 Mar 1943|
|Battle of El Guettar||23 Mar 1943 - 7 Apr 1943|
|Battle of Wadi Akarit||6 Apr 1943 - 7 Apr 1943|
|Conclusion of the Desert War||7 Apr 1943 - 13 May 1943|
Tunisia in World War II Interactive Map
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