Destination Casablanca: Exile, Espionage, and the Battle for North Africa in World War II

Destination Casablanca: Exile, Espionage, and the Battle for North Africa in World War II

by Meredith Hindley


$27.00 $30.00 Save 10% Current price is $27, Original price is $30. You Save 10%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Eligible for FREE SHIPPING
  • Want it by Thursday, October 18  Order now and choose Expedited Shipping during checkout.
    Same Day shipping in Manhattan. 
    See Details


Destination Casablanca: Exile, Espionage, and the Battle for North Africa in World War II by Meredith Hindley

In the summer of 1940, following France's surrender to Germany, Casablanca went from exotic travel destination for European playboys and princesses to a city of strategic military consequence. Under the rule of the Nazis' puppet regime and General Charles Nogues, the city was overrun with Nazi agents. Bartenders, shopkeepers, taxi drivers, street urchins, beautiful women, and disgruntled bureaucrats made up a network of spies overseen by Theodore Auer, the head of the Moroccan Gestapo. Meanwhile, Jewish refugees from Europe like the Freud family and stylish ballerina Eugenia Edwardova flooded the city, hoping the Vichy regime would grant them exit visas to the United States. The city's ports and relative security from the tumult in Europe and other theaters in North Africa made it a desirable asset. The black market for valuable consumable goods like coffee and sugar was rampant, and Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt plotted to capture the city over martinis.

Operation Torch, a British-American effort led by General George S. Patton, allowed the Allies to wrest control of the vital port in November 1942, and transformed the city into a key logistical hub. Vichy's hold over the city dissolved, American and British Marines romped about the city, and the Moroccan independence movement gained momentum. The famous Art Deco Hotel Anfa hosted Churchill, Roosevelt, and French Generals Charles de Gaulle and Henri Giraud for the Casablanca Conference in 1943, during which the Allies famously determined to fight the Axis powers until "unconditional surrender." While celebrating their agreement at the nearby palace of Sultan Sidi Mohammed, Roosevelt lamented the continued presence of colonial powers, waxed hopeful about the future for Moroccan independence, and inadvertently spurred the rise of the nationalist movement.

Rife with plot twists, diplomatic intrigue, naval battles, Destination Casablanca is the riveting, true history of this glamorous and beloved city--memorialized in the classic film--at the heart of World War II.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781610394055
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 10/10/2017
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 159,599
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

Meredith Hindley is a historian and senior writer for Humanities, the quarterly review of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Her work has also appeared in the New York Times, Salon, Christian Science Monitor, and Barnes and Noble Review. Hindley received her PhD from American University.

Table of Contents

Maps vi

Prologue xi

Part I Collaboration and Resistance

1 The Faraway War 2

2 The Twilight 8

3 The Fall of France 13

4 Rebel for the Republic 20

5 Two Men and a Mission 27

6 The Evacuees 31

7 A Painful Surprise 40

8 Acts of Kindness 46

9 The Refugee Club 52

10 Keep Your Enemies Closer 58

11 Mon Legionnaire 63

12 Definition and Concentration 70

13 The President's Secret Envoy 76

14 The Agreement 82

15 Visa Problems 91

16 Absent Without Leave 98

17 The Apostles 108

18 On the Road to Missour 117

19 The French Conscience 124

20 Generals on the Ledge 130

21 Up to the Neck and In to the Death 134

22 Calling Station Lincoln 141

23 Robin Hood, Tweedledum, and Tweedledee 148

24 Sympathy and Chivalry 154

25 Of Locusts and Missed Ships 165

26 Resistance in Jeopardy 171

27 A Nerve-Wracking State of Uncertainty 178

28 Ms. Baker Comes to Casablanca 183

29 Ballade of the Second Front 188

30 Lieutenant Colonel MacGowan 193

31 Baggage Compartment 198

32 We Need a Hero 204

Part II Torching Morocco

33 Zigzagging 214

34 Robert Is on Time 222

35 The Best Laid Plans 227

36 San 233

37 Fédala 239

38 Off the Coast of Casablanca 244

39 The American Consulate 253

40 Mehdia and Port Lyautey 259

41 Vichy 264

42 Convergence 266

43 Lowering the Flag 274

44 Aux Armes, Citoyens! 280

45 The Return 287

46 Gentlemen's Agreement 291

47 Algiers 300

48 The Darlan Deal 306

49 Crooks and Turncoats 314

Part III "Men Pass, France and Morocco Remain"

50 Aftermath in the White City 320

51 Cheerful and Effective Cooperation 328

52 Hope and Delay 335

53 Loyalty 340

54 Air Commodore Frankland and Don Quixote 346

55 Round Up the Usual Suspects 351

56 The Work Begins 356

57 To the Bitter End 361

58 Uneasy Lies a Head That Wears the Crown 366

59 The Horse Race 373

60 Unconditional Surrender 378

61 The Club Scene 384

62 Leadership 390

63 Emptying the Camps 395

64 Why Have You Not Left? 403

65 I Leave Morocco My Heart 408

Conclusion 414

Postscript: Film Versus History 424

Acknowledgments 427

Notes 430

Bibliography 473

Index 481

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews