French Freedom Papers

De Gaulle to Brooke: 1/9/1943

Historical Context

    Sent by General Charles de Gaulle to British officer Alan F. Brooke only a few months after the success of Operation Torch, de Gaulle's forces, along with aid from the British Eighth Army, continued the effort to drive the Axis-aligned Italian forces from the Fezzan region of Libya and eventually from the continent entirely. To accomplish this meant to ensure the disruption of Axis supply chains, namely in the ports of Oran, Casablanca, and Algiers, so any Allied success in the North African theater would essentially transfer as Allied success in the European theater and beyond. For this reason, Charles de Gaulle and Alan Brooke worked together despite their differences for what would become a tremendous victory for Britain, France, and the Allies as a whole. 

Letter Summary

    In this letter, Charles de Gaulle relays a message from General Leclerc, one of his officers in command of forces in French North Africa, specifically in the then Italian-controlled Fezzan region of Libya. The message from General Leclerc requests that Sir Alanbrooke of the British Command replenish fuel for French Forces as they continued to advance from Southern Libya towards the northern coast of the country and that the French had caused the Italians to retreat in the direction of Bône (Present-day Annaba), Algeria. 


Bracker, Milton. “De Gaulle Troops Fight on in Tunisia.” New York Times, 7 Apr 1943, p. 3
Brooke, Field Marshal Lord Alan. “January 1943.” War Diaries, edited by Alex Danchev and      Daniel Todman, Berkeley and Los Angeles, University of California Press, 2001, 360-     363. 
“Eighth Army Ready to Strike.” New York Times from Associated Press, 13 Jan 1943, p. 4.
“The Fighting French.” New York Times, 14 Jan 1943, p. 20. “
“Free French Drive in Fezzan Goes On.” New York Times, 10 Mar 1942, p. 6. 
“NJ 32-14: Annaba, Algeria; Tunisia”. 1:250,000. “Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, Joint Operations Graphic”. December 1972. (7 Nov 2016).
“NJ 32 S.W.: Constantine”. 1:500,000. “French North Africa”. October 1942.       (7 Nov 2016).
United News, Release 26. United Newsreel Corporation, 26 Nov. 1942. Alexander Street,   
The War Summarized.” New York Times, 9 Mar 1942, p. 1.

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