5

During the Second World War, did the Arabs of North Africa care at all that the Germans were invading their countries, or did they think that there was no difference between the Germans and France and Britain?

4

German troops operated in three of the countries in that region. To call them invasions would be misleading. The word "presence" in your title is about right.

In Libya, the Germans were only there to assist the Italians. The Italians were the civil authority in that country and any anti-European resentment was directed their way rather than towards the Germans.

Tunisia was "occupied" by the retreating Germans at the end of 1942. Their presence there lasted only a few months. I'm not aware of any local sentiment (either pro or anti) towards an occupier who was clearly not there for keeps.

Only Egypt was indeed "invaded", arguably, by German forces, and here there was some enthusiasm for the Germans. This documentary (see 21:30 onwards) shows daily demonstrations in Cairo in favour of the advancing Germans.

1

The relations between Nazi Germany and the Arab world are well-documented. As a general rule, the Arabs and other occupants of North Africa tended to be politically neutral. Many people in the Tunis and other areas under Italian occupation were probably not too happy to see the Germans. On the other hand, Egyptian nationalists were secretely hoping to be rid of the British.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.