The north African city was a key objective in the first American Army amphibious landings in Operation Torch in North Africa in September of 1942. As one of the three major objectives of Operation Torch, it was the first mass involvement of U.S. Troops in the North African Theater of operations. As the objective of the Western Task Force due to its status as the principal French Atlantic naval base, it was captured after a short siege. In January 1943, it was the site of the Casablanca conference between the Allied powers which adopted the key decision to accept only an unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany.

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