The African Campaign
The Gibraltar Strait

Fighting officially started with the Italian declaration of war in the summer of 1940. Naval conflicts for control of two strategic points became the most important in the area: The Gibraltar Strait was a main focus because it could cut off the British from supplies if held by the Axis. The Suez Canal because it could would allow easier access to vital sources of oil.

Initially land conflicts centered around Libya and Egypt. After the Italians began to lose ground the German Afrika Corps under General Rommel were sent in and the axis began to have success pushing back to the pre-war line. However one ally controlled city, Tobruk, kept its ground and became a thorn in the axis advance. It held out for about 7 months before allied troops managed to successfully rescue the city from the siege and distracted axis troops from being able to advance. The forces then engaged in a series of offensives and counter offensives eventually ending the fight over Libya and Egypt with Montgomery's victory at El Alamein.

Operation Torch
Around this time the Allies also launched Operation Torch to create two fronts for the axis to defend. They launched a massive invasion into Morocco and Algeria. They created three groups of foot holds in the areas and from there forced the surrender of the Vichy French command in the region.

After this the Allies were forced to stall their final push into Tunisia so that they could ensure that the Vichy French were going to cooperate and not double cross them. During this time German and Italian forces had started to congregate in Tunisia in preparation for a defensive and the counter offensive. Then during late November the allied invasion began. Over the winter it was a stalemate between both sides. Then by the start of March the allied forces numbers and positioning began to shift the battles. On the 7th of May the axis forces surrendered with an army of nearly 300,000 troops.

The end of the war in North Africa allowed the allies to launch the invasion of Italy.