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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Not liberation, but destruction: war damage in Tunisia in the Second World War, 1942-43
Author:Willis, Mark W.
Periodical:The Journal of North African Studies (ISSN 1743-9345)
Geographic term:Tunisia
Subject:World War II
Abstract:The Allies under General Dwight D. Eisenhower fought a bitter air and land campaign in Tunisia against German and Italian forces for six long months between November 1942 and May 1943. Tunisian civilians, caught between the two sides, suffered tremendous human losses. Almost all of Tunisia's major cities and towns were destroyed or badly damaged and its economy wrecked. The end of the fighting did not lead to liberation for the Tunisians, but to renewed political repression and economic exploitation. Strangely, this initial campaign to defeat the Axis in Europe and the devastating civilian casualties and damage caused by the fighting have been ignored or forgotten, both by the participants and by historians. Among Tunisians, the memory of the war has almost disappeared. Historians and others interested in the dynamics of the post-war nationalist drive for independence must reconsider the physical and emotional impact of the Second World War on the decolonisation of Tunisia. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]