French North Africa refers to the territorial colonies that France possessed during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, particularly French Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. This region forms the region known as The Maghreb (an Arabic term meaning Sunset) and consists of the present-day states of Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia.
France captured much North African territory during and after the fall of the Ottoman Empire in the early nineteenth century. Algiers was captured in 1830 and the state of Algeria was considered a part of metropolitan France from 1842 until Algerian independence was won in 1962. It was during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that France established protectorates to the east and west of Algeria, with the protectorate of Tunisia being formed after a military invasion in 1881 and Morocco in 1912. The French government controlled these territories until Morocco won its impendence in 1955 and Tunisia in 1956.
After the German invasion of France in 1940, control over French North Africa was ceded to the Vichy regime, though pro-Allied sentiments remained strong in the region. It was not until Operation Torch, an Allied invasion of North Africa which occurred on 8 November 1942, that control of North African territories gradually resumed French and Allied governance.
Eisenhower, Dwight. Crusade In Europe, pp. 99–105, 107–110. New York: Doubleday, 1948.
Hostache, René. "Le CFLN, Gouvernement Provisoire De La France En Guerre." Charles-de-Gaulle.org.
J. D. Fage, Roland Anthony Oliver, The Cambridge History of Africa, vol. 6 (1985), p. 159
William E. Watson, Tricolor and Crescent: France and the Islamic World (2003), p. 28