Destination Casablanca by Meredith Hindley

Destination Casablanca by Meredith HindleyDestination Casablanca: Exile, Espionage, and the Battle for North Africa in World War II by Meredith Hindley
Published by PublicAffairs on October 10th 2017
Genres: History
Pages: 512
Source: NetGalley

In November 1942, as a part of Operation Torch, 33,000 American soldiers sailed undetected across the Atlantic and stormed the beaches of French Morocco. Seventy-four hours later, the Americans controlled the country and one of the most valuable wartime ports: Casablanca.

In the years preceding, Casablanca had evolved from an exotic travel destination to a key military target after France's surrender to Germany. Jewish refugees from Europe poured in, hoping to obtain visas and passage to the United States and beyond. Nazi agents and collaborators infiltrated the city in search of power and loyalty. The resistance was not far behind, as shopkeepers, celebrities, former French Foreign Legionnaires, and disgruntled bureaucrats formed a network of Allied spies. But once in American hands, Casablanca became a crucial logistical hub in the fight against Germany--and the site of Roosevelt and Churchill's demand for "unconditional surrender."

Rife with rogue soldiers, power grabs, and diplomatic intrigue, Destination Casablanca is the riveting and untold story of this glamorous city--memorialized in the classic film that was rush-released in 1942 to capitalize on the drama that was unfolding in North Africa at the heart of World War II.

Destination Casablanca is a look at the shenanigans went on in Casablanca in particular, and North Africa in general, during the Second World War, as the competing countries and interests clashed. In some ways this felt like a sort of lower deck episode, to borrow a phrase from Star Trek. While the events of the war are discussed, and at times discussed in great detail, this is the story of the smaller people who were having to live their lives in the shadow of this great conflict.

I was actually surprised at how much I enjoyed this book, given that it was a different look on war compared to some of the more descriptive books that are out there. With that said, there were plenty of descriptive action scenes, involving ship to ship and aerial combat, but that is not the main focus of the book.

Destination Casablanca is a thoroughly enjoying read, for those looking to expand their knowledge, and perhaps their mind, about the events of the second world war.

I received a review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Rating Report
Overall: four-stars

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