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German and Italian troops surrender in North Africa

Discussion in 'North Africa: Operation Torch to Surrender of Tuni' started by Spaniard, May 13, 2010.

  1. Spaniard

    Spaniard New Member

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    On May 13 1943, German and Italian troops surrender in North Africa. In the last week of April, the British swept
    through all enemy resistance as the US Forces maneuvered through the hills, while being inflected heavy casualties,
    but emerged victorious. Since the Supplies had run out the Axis troops were starving and out of ammunition++, the
    Allies Forces attacked the Axis convoys to prevent any reinforcements and supplies reaching them. In the beginning
    of early May they unleashing a Flurry of artillery shells before moving in the Soldier and armor Into Axis held positions.
    General Omar Bradley in the end the US lost 47 tanks. When they broke through, it was like a dame breach with a great
    force that they flooded into Tunis the capital city, completely suprizing Jerry which put up a resistance until they literally
    ran out of fuel and ammunition, as the Germans stood defenseless. On the 12th and 13th of May after 3 long exhaustive
    years of fighting, the Afrika Axis Korps surrendered. In Tunisia alone Jerry lost 40,000 men and gave up 275,000 POW's,
    Italians included. Tommy had 35,000 casualties, the French 16,000 and the US Forces 14,000.




    CAMPAIGN SUMMARIES OF WORLD WAR 2
    NORTH AFRICAN CAMPAIGNS, Part 2 of 2
    1943


    North Africa, Algiers, Tunisia, Longstop, Algeria, Louisberg, Avorio, Asteria, Erica, U205, Paladin, Isis
     
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  2. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    from WWII stats (abwicklungsstab Tunis):Army losses after 01 april (till 13 may)
    dead :3238
    POW :95943
    missing 9293
    not clarified :2435
     
  3. tali-ihantala

    tali-ihantala Member

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    where did you get your figures
     
  4. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    WWII stats .com:cool:;to find :google on 'human losses in WWII',look at topic nr 8 ,google and look for 'news'
     
  5. yan taylor

    yan taylor Member

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    Hitler should have withdrawn these troops to fight another day, his crazy idea of fighting to the last man was stupid, he did the same at Stalingrad, he must have drove his Generals to mad.
     
  6. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    I have read recently that there is a school of thought that the inexperience of US troops advancing from the west, and Monty's typicly cautious following of the Africa Korps, encouraged Hitler to send the 15th Army to Tunisia. Or in other words, Allied Mistakes lead to a greater victory than should have happened.
     
  7. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    IMHO,it is very debatable,because,immediately after Torch the Germans (and the Italians ?) were sending reinforcements to Africa,while the first combats between Germans and US were only weeks later .It also is questionable that Monty's following of Rommel was that cautious ,I would rather think that logistic problems were causing difficulties .
    Maybe the reason for Hitler sending reinforcements was not to let the AK be captured .
     
  8. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    First I think it is a fair comment that the US forces were very green and the commander of US II Corps, Ferdenhaul?, was a complete failure. Nor do I consider it a condemnation to call Mongomery a cautios commander. He understood that Britain could not accept large casualties with the Empire in its sunset years. While the AK were falling back on their own supply depots, the Korps was a mere shell of itself, under allied air control. Further the 8th army supply situation bore little comparison to 1940/41. Had a Manstein, Gurdarian, Rommel or even a Patton commanded 8th Army in pursuit of the AK it seems doubtfull that enough could escape to be worth saving.
     
  9. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Well,I think that you are underestimating the logistical difficulties af advancing 2000 km in the desert,where the enemy was destroying roads,railways and Harbours .
    About the US troops,my point is that their inexperience was irrelevant:Hitler was already sending reinforcements before the inexperienced US troops were fighting the Germans (btw,there also were British units of general Anderson).How could the Germans knew that the US were inexperienced ?
    From Hyperwar:from Torch to 31 january 1943,the Germans were sending 81222 men,Italy :30.735 men,and,if I am not wrong,before the major US-German battle (the Kasserine pass was in february )
     
  10. yan taylor

    yan taylor Member

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    Didnt heavy rain turn the desert to a sea of mud to slow down Monty ?, I think once the Americans got over Kasserine they were a very effective force, given that then the Sherman was in good supply and the Germans were still relying on the PZ IIIs & PZ IVs (no Panthers yet and only a small amount of Tigers) it must have put the Americans on allmost an equell footing with the Germans in the field, I read also that the Stug III was pretty rare beast in Africa and a ship containing a Company was sink en-route.
     
  11. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    A 2,000 mile advance would be a formidable task as you point out, but then logistics was an area where the Allies excelled, and Germany did not. More to the point, it should not devolved into a 2,000 mile stern chase in the first place. When Rommel finally disobeyed orders and began his retreat the Italian Infantry was either destroyed or trapped unable to influence the battle. So too the Italian mobile units, only the remnants of the DAK could retreat as effective combat units. At this point in the battle the 8th Army had a 10 to 1 advantage in tanks, anti-tank guns and artillery. The Allies also had near complete air supremacy over the battlefield.

    Somehow Rommel's reteat surprized Montgomery, and he stole a march on the 8th Armry. Montgomery compounded his delayed pursuit be re-organising his victorious army, or in his own words, "tidying up the battlefield". A rommel, Gurdarian or Patton would chucked the re-organization, and sent anything combat effective after the shattered remnants of an ebeny army. Montgomery had a chance at Fuka, and Mersa Matruh to trap and destroy the remnants of DAK and PanzerArmee Africa, but failed to do so. Had he destroyed the Axis remnants in Egypt there would be no army for Hitler to save.

    I do not intend this as a diatribe against the 8th Army of Montgomery, he and they did achieve the Allies first real ground victory against Hitler and his allies. Montgomery gained his victory by playing to his strength, thurough planning, and playing close to the vest and not taking chances when he could win without them. He won a commendable victory, but could have had an complete victory. Prolonging the fight for central north africa was a factor encouraging Hitler's deployment of the 15th Army, which lead to an even grander defeat when it was trapped in Tunisia.
     
  12. yan taylor

    yan taylor Member

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    Is it true that German Forces took over Italian transport leaving them stranded ?.
     
  13. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    I think this is an exageration,because,if it was true,no Italians could escaped.
     
  14. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    In total the Germans had over 250,000 men in the theater throughout the campaign in the desert, so that seems like it could suffice as a second front of action to take pressure off the Russians... They were complaining that North Africa wasn't enough, but over a quarter of a million German troops isn't anything to scoff at. Plus the air campaign in Germany forced the Germans to bring most of their aircraft home to defend the homeland, which ultimately gave Russia complete domination of the skies in the East, all before D-Day and the France campaign.
     
  15. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    The vast majority of the quarter of a million Germans you mentioned were actually Italians. Here's a few numbers from wiki at the time of the surrender of the Axis forces in North Africa.

    • [​IMG] Italy
      22,341 dead or missing;
      340,000 captured.
    • [​IMG] Germany
      18,594 dead; 3,400 missing;
      130,000 captured.

    But like you say, the numbers involved were certainly nothing to scoff at. Of course nothing less than a cross-Channel invasion would make the Rooskies happy though.
     
  16. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WWII Veteran

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    I might be considered to be dead lucky with regard to my experience of the fighting in North Africa.

    I first landed in Algiers on the 21st April 1943 and kicked my heels in a dispersal unit until the powers that be finally decided that my future regiment should be the 49 th Light Ack Ack Regt. who were part of the 78th British Infantry Div.

    While the Army was making up it's mind, the war in North Africa ended on the 13th May and I did not reach my unit, in Tunis, until 9 days later, the 22nd of May.

    What I did get to see, however, was the huge streams of walking Jerry POWs making their way to POW camps that were hastily being built for them in the rear areas prior to their being shipped out of the country.

    I also managed to buy (for a few cigarettes) an armband from one of the thousands of Afrika Korps veterans and it sits today in Page 62 of the album I gave to the Imperial War Museum in London.

    http://ronsactualarmyalbum.blogspot.co.uk


    Don't get thrown by the caption in the Album which refers to it as a cap ribbon, 60 years later, someone on ww2talk pointed out my error :)

    Ron
     
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  17. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Some more reliable figures (from WWII stats com)

    Abwicklungsstab Group B (Tunis)

    Strength on 1 april 1943 (replacements arriving after that date are included):130.061

    Returned : 25.152
    Dead : 3228
    POW:95943
    MIA:3293
    Not clarified:2435
     
  18. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    So that strength on April 1 1943 you posted represents all the German troops in North Africa from 1941 thru then?
     
  19. squidly the octopus

    squidly the octopus New Member

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    Surrendering to the Western Allies in early 1943 was about the best fate a German soldier could hope for (with the benefit of hindsight). Although Hitler's reinforcement of Tunisia in early '43 was dumb from a strategic perspective, he unwittingly did those guys a big favor.
     

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