Military Wiki
File: Afrika_korps_emblema.jpg
Symbol of the Afrika Korps

The Deutsches Afrika Korps (also simply called Afrika Korps or DAK) was an expeditionary force of the Wehrmacht that attacked at Northern Africa during World War II, The Afrika Korps became famous alongside its first commander, Erwin Rommel. Lacking resources and manpower, the Afrika Korps were defeated in May 1943.


The central philosophy of Rommel was the attack first, quickly, surprising and disorienting the enemy. Because the characteristics of desert warfare, the advance of large distances, pushing the enemy back to their lines, it was possible, using surprise and concentrated firepower. Their Achilles heel was logistics supplies, extremely difficult, as the Italians, responsible for supplying the troops, had to cross the Mediterranean in ships to supply the troops Afrikakorps. To further complicate the logistics operation, the landing supplies and fuel in Benghazi or Tripoli had to travel long distances in trucks to the front, even though they had conquered Tobruk and Mersa Matruh, more advanced positions. Some air refueling was done by the Luftwaffe, but in general inexpressive because it also did not live their best moments. Also, the African front was not the priority of the German High Command, so the Wehrmacht did not make great efforts to meet the needs of this front.

Some units have become notable in combat, including the 15th Panzer Division, 21st Panzer Division, a division initially created as an infantry division and slowly upgraded to a fully motorized division. The following has been redefined as the 90th Light Africa Division. Others, such as 164th Light Africa Division, the 999th Light Africa Division, and also the 334th Infantry Division, and Brigade Luftwaffenjäger-1 or Fallschirmjäger-Ramcke (Ramcke Parachute Brigade, named after its commander Hermann-Bernhard Ramcke). There were also eight Italian divisions (of the ten Italian divisions in North Africa), under the command of Rommel in Panzer Army Africa, including two armored divisions, two motorized divisions, three infantry divisions, and the Folgore Parachute Division.

Starting from Tripoli, the Afrika korps ran the coast of North Africa, defeating the British, through Cyrenaica, Gazala, Tobruk, heading to Egypt, where he intended to take possession of fuel sources that would help Afrika korps to keep their tanks running. By this time the British were restructuring their forces in Egypt, aimed against an attack. This restructuring was mainly due to the lease plan signed with the United States, managed tactfully by Churchill, where Field Marshall Montgomery begins to receive many M4 Sherman and all kinds of

Soldiers of the Afrika Korps maning a MG-34

military equipment and supplies. At the half of 1942, the turning point occurred in the Second Battle of El Alamein, where the fuels of Afrika korps nearly end, and the English starts their offensive. Then begins the journey back to the Afrika korps, unless it had been allowed to rearrange the Führer behind the lines (the famous order of Hitler - Victory or death) until the surrender of what is left of Rommel's army in Medjez el Bab in May 1943. Rommel was already evacuated from the African theater in February 1943, admitted to a hospital in Germany.

On April 7, 1943, at the end of the fighting, the fate and history records a fact that would try to change the fate of the Second World War. An English fighter-bomber, dives and reaches the car of Lt. Col. Stauffenberg (Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg), who commanded a retreat. The same falls seriously wounded and rescued immediately by a hospital car that accompanied the withdrawal. The men of the 90th Panzergrenadier Division (Armored Artillery Regiment 90), accompanied him without knowing that the man later to join the German resistance and joined history.


On the afternoon of May 12, 1943 General von Arnim, Commander in Chief of the Afrika Korps gave the enemy the capitulation of Army Group and the Afrika Korps. General Hans Cramer sent his last message:

To Wermatch high command. Ammunition fired until the end, weapons and equipment destroyed. Afrika Korps, under the orders fought until the end. The Afrika Korps will be reborn. Signed Cramer.

On 12 May at 18:00 the 90th Light Africa Division capitulated. On 13 May at 11:00 the 164th Light Afrika Division laid down its arms. At the end of 130,000 German soldiers were arrested, 18,594 were buried back in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, more than 3,400 missing. The number of Germans who had ended his days, and during flights over the Mediterranean or on the seabed is still unknown. The Italian authorities indicate a figure of 13,748 dead, 8,821 of these are in addition to missing He surrendered to the Allies on May 12, 1943, on the outskirts of Tunis, in Tunisia today, 773 days after the start of an offensive that put the Allied forces in North Africa on their knees, the legendary Afrika Corps capitulated.


Afrika Korps Marching Songs

1st song: Panzer rollen in Afrika vor / Heiß über Afrikas Boden

Heiß über Afrikas Boden die Sonne glüht.
Unsere Panzermotoren singen ihr Lied!
Deutsche Panzer im Sonnenbrand,
Stehen zum Kampf gegen England
Es rasseln die Ketten, es dröhnt der Motor,
Panzer rollen in Afrika vor!


The sun shines hot over African ground.

Panzer II of the Afrika Korps

Our panzer engines are singing their song!
German panzers in the blazing sun,
As they stand ready for battle against England.
The tracks rattle, the engine roars,
Panzers rolling forwards in Africa.

2nd Song: "Unser Rommel" ("Our Rommel") 1.

Wir sind das deutsche Afrikakorps
Des Führers verwegene Truppe
Wir stürmen wie die Teufel hervor
Versalzen dem Tommy die Suppe
Wir fürchten nicht Hitze und Wüstensand
Wir trotzen dem Durst und dem Sonnenbrand
Marschieren beim Takt unserer Trommel
Vorwärts, vorwärts
|:Vorwärts mit unserem Rommel!:|

Translation of verse 1

We are the German Africa Korps
The Führer's daring troops
We attack like the Devil
Make things hot for the Tommys
We fear neither heat nor desert sand
We brave the thirst and the blazing sun
Marching to the beat of our drum
Forwards, forwards
|:Forwards with our Rommel!:|


Die Briten fürchten uns wie die Pest
Sie sitzen auf glühenden Kohlen
Wir rächen Deutsch-Ost und rächen Südwest
Das einst sie uns feige gestohlen
Sind Churchill und Roosevelt auch Wut entbrannt
Wir werfen die Feinde in jedem Land
Es schlägt Generalmarsch die Trommel
Vorwärts, vorwärts
|:Vorwärts mit unserem Rommel!:|

Translation of verse 2

The British fear us like the plague
They're like cats on a hot tin roof
We're taking revenge for German East (Africa) and for South-West (Africa)
Which were cowardly stolen from us
Churchill and Roosevelt are getting mad
We beat the enemy in every country
The drum beats 'get ready'Generalmarsch[›]
Forwards, forwards
|:Forwards with our Rommel!:|


Mit uns im Kampf und im Siege vereint
Marschieren Italiens Scharen
Bis einst die Sonne des Friedens uns scheint
Und wieder gen Deutschland wir fahren.
Doch wenn mich die feindliche Kugel fand
So lasset mich ruhen im Wüstensand
Und rühret noch einmal die Trommel
Vorwärts, vorwärts
|:Vorwärts mit unserem Rommel!:|

Translation of verse 3

With us united in battle and in victory
Italy's cohorts are marching
Until one day the sun of peace will shine on us
And we will return to Germany.
But if the enemy's bullet gets me
Then let me rest in the desert sand
Let the drum beat once more.
Forwards, forwards
|:Forwards with our Rommel!:|

See also

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).