Afrika Korps

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The Afrika Korps, were a German military unit led by Field Marshal Erwin Rommel. It is most well known for its unlikely victories and for being one of the German units to never be accused of war crimes. The Afrika Korps entered the North African campaign to aid Germany's Italian allies when the Italians suffered a series of defeats at the hands of the British Commonwealth forces. Rommel launched an offensive from El Agheila which pushed the British back into Egypt. The British subsequently attacked advancing back to El Agheila. Again the Afrika Korps attacked pushing the British Commonwealth forces back to Egypt where the German advance was stopped at the first battle of El Alamein.

The British Commonwealth forces then defeated the Afrika Korps at Alam Halfa and the second battle of El Alamein in late 1942.

In Nov. 1942 the Americans and British launched Operation Torch. Operation Torch was followed by Operation Retribution.

Rommel's aggressive campaigns continually lengthened their supply lines, even as the British Navy tightened its hold on the Mediterranean. As a result, the Afrika Korps was nearly always in need of vehicles, troops, and most importantly fuel. These supply issues were crucial to its eventual defeat, and with retreat across the sea blocked by the British, they had no choice but to surrender in the spring of 1943.[1]


North Africa was steep learning curve for American forces, the Battle of Kasserine Pass being the near-distasterous defeat that lead to vital restructure, and change in tactics. The German Field Marshall Erwin Rommel was considered to be a gentleman (as far as German officers went), and later participated in a failed assassination attempt on Hitler. It was his opinion that the Australian Forces represented the elite units of the Allied forces in the North African 'Desert War', this was based on the successful defence of the besieged Tobruk (240 days), and the Australian infantry's innovative means of engaging the German 'Blitzkrieg' Panzer strategy, which up until then was unstoppable without the large-scale use of artillery.