Assassination in Algiers: Churchill, Roosevelt, de Gaulle, and the Murder of Admiral Darlan

Anthony Verrier, Author W. W. Norton & Company $19.95 (302p) ISBN 978-0-393-02828-7
The conflict between Roosevelt and Churchill over the landings in North Africa in 1942 (Operation TORCH) revolved around the question of French participation. Roosevelt supported the collaborationist Vichy regime, represented in Algiers by Admiral Jean-Francois Darlan, and refused to recognize the Free French movement under General deGaulle--while Churchill, who considered Darlan ``an odious Quisling,'' supported the Free French. (Churchill's position was further complicated by FDR's determination to represent TORCH as an all-American effort.) The British were shocked to discover that Roosevelt had made a deal with Darlan, promising political leadership in postwar France. When Darlan was assassinated on Christmas Eve, 1942, by a young member of the local Resistance, there was ``a notable absence of regret'' on the part of the British and Gaullists. Verrier, a British journalist, chronicles behind-the-scenes maneuvering with narrative skill, rebutting the theory that Churchill was prepared to abandon deGaulle, and shedding light on FDR's baffling opposition to the Free French movement. Photos not seen by PW. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/1990
Release date: 09/01/1990
Genre: Nonfiction
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