|November 19th, 1942
Medjez El Bab
After the Torch landings a race for key points in Tunisia followed as both allied and axis forces tried to establish themselves in the French protectorate. Caught up in the middle of this were the French forces in Tunisia, their loyalties torn between Vichy and De Gaulle. The French General Barré had attempted to delay the Germans through parley while backing from Tunis to the strategic crossroads town of Medjez-el-Bab and also arming his command with weapons and supplies that had been stashed away following the fall of France in 1940. An ultimatum followed on November 19th; the French were to strike their colours before 7 AM or face a German attack. The French refused to fold, instead Barré made a call to French HQ in Algiers announcing both his return to the allied camp and the imminent destruction of his command. Only some British paratroopers managed to reach his positions at the time of the ultimatum.