Rommel's Afrika Korps: Tobruk to El Alamein by Pier Paolo Battistelli

By Pier Paolo Battistelli

In 1940 a British offensive within the Western wasteland provoked a tremendous Italian army catastrophe. by means of early February 1941 the total of Cyrenaica have been misplaced, and German support grew to become essential to steer clear of the lack of the total of Libya. On 14 February 1941 the 1st echelons of German troops hurriedly arrived on the port of Tripoli, beginning the 27-month German engagement in Northern Africa. This booklet covers the advanced and oft-changing service provider and constitution of German forces in North Africa from their first deployment via to the belief of the conflict of El Alamein, an engagement that irrevocably replaced the strategic scenario within the Western desolate tract.

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Only a year later, at El Alamein, did these tactics break down under extreme conditions. In early July, after some one and a half months of fighting from Gazala to Alamein, the DAK and Axis forces in North Africa had suffered heavy losses and a corresponding fall in morale. The Italians eventually broke down and the advance toward Suez was halted. Reinforcements began to arrive, but the crisis was not yet over and British counterattacks now started. These focused in the area of Ruwesait that, by mid-July, was defended by both 21.

Panzer Division's left flank, though not much was expected from it and actually no support came at all. The events of Totensonntag clearly show that the tactics actually worked, but also that the DAK still needed to improve its unit coordination and training. After an intense artillery bombardment the attack began, soon turning into chaos. /Panzer Regiment 8 moved north through the brigade trains position, soon losing contact with Schutzen Regiment 115. /Schutzen Regiment 115 to advance, only to face the counterattack led by 22nd Brigade's Composite Regiment.

As opposed to the July 1941 reorganization, this time experience played its part and senior commanders had their voices heard. 1eichte Afrika Division) criticized the current organization of infantry battalions. He suggested they should be composed of four balanced companies, each one having its own heavy weapons and anti-tank guns, as opposed to three infantry and one heavy company. Panzer Division, sent Rommel a proposal that focused on the strengthening of Panzer and artillery units. He also proposed a reduction in the number of infantry, with a commensurate increase in the both the number and quality of weapons and equipment (in particular vehicles).

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