Afrikorps 1941: The Official History by the General Command of the Afrikakorps


Translated from the Third Reich original Marsch und Kampf des Deutschen Afrikakorps – Band I, 1941 with brief foreword by General Field-Marshal Erwin Rommel. Most of the text was written by Colonel Bayerlein, the D.A.K.’s Chief of Staff. Includes over thirty original illustrations.

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SC. 61pp.

Translated from the Third Reich original Marsch und Kampf des Deutschen Afrikakorps – Band I, 1941. The German original was published by the General Command of the German Afrikakorps as a first volume for 1941. (A second volume was planned for 1942. There was even a full page advertisement for it at the back of the 1941 volume with the notation “appearing soon”, but it does not seem to have ever materialized.) The text was dual German/Italian. The brief foreword was handwritten by General Field-Marshal Erwin Rommel. The combat descriptions were written by Colonel Bayerlein, the Chief of Staff of the German Afrikakorps, the transport section by Lieutenant-Colonel Count von Klinkowstroem, head of Africa transports, and the cultural/historical portions by Sonderführer Kurt Caesar, who also created all of the drawings right at the front. The chapter on Libya’s history has been omitted. Likewise omitted are several of the original’s less dramatic illustrations, since some of them have already been published in our item #637-06 Afrikakorps War Art.


These days were extremely dangerous for the D.A.K.. Barely 80 German panzers had to absorb and repulse the thrust power of almost 400 enemy tanks. The majority of enemy tanks consisted of “Mark IV, Mark VI and Mark II” vehicles. The British troops employed aside from the tanks were likewise numerically far superior to the Italian-German troops.

But English calculations were thwarted once again.

General Rommel did not think remotely about defending himself, rather he immediately went over to the counter-attack with all the units at his disposal. The opponent intended to outflank and encircle us. GeneralRommel threw his units even deeper into the desert and launched a surprise attack against the opponent on his totally uncovered cover. This way, the right flank of the English could no longer fulfill its task, and the whole, so wonderfully calculated English plan was already thwarted even before it had developed in its beginnings. The troops that held the Halfaya Pass, brought further confusion into the opponent’s plans. Under the command of Major Bach and the Italian Major Pardi, a German battalion was located there, which had been reinforced with a few anti-aircraft gun units; furthermore, a detachment of Italian artillery. The heaviest fighting raged there for three days, which our units, totally cut off and without any water reserves, endured. Only the middle English column had some successes to show. It occupied Fort Capuzzo and on the second day of fighting Upper-Sollen.

This battle cost the English 270 tanks, while our own losses were downright insignificant.