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Battle for Northern Africa-interesting info


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#51 Kai-Petri

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Posted 02 December 2003 - 06:01 PM

Mediterranean-

over 40% of total major warship losses of the Royal Navy world-wide

one battleship,
two fleet carriers,
20 cruisers and cruiser-minelayers,
67 destroyers and escort destroyers,
45 submarines,
escorts, minesweepers, landing craft, coastal forces

http://www.naval-his...t/WW2194505.htm

:eek:
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#52 AndyW

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Posted 03 December 2003 - 10:04 AM

Originally posted by Erich:
There were sepcial Ss security forces only. I have no pics sorry to say.

Also this has been discussed many times in the past, but there were no Waffen SS truppen in Afrika even though plenty of pics of a tropical uniform being worn.......

~E

This is Hitler's June 1942 order to Rommel to execute all german political refugees who were found with the Free French forces after their surrender.

http://www.ns-archiv...efehl_img.shtml

Cheers,
"Gentlemen! You can't fight in here, this is the War Room!"
(President Merkin Muffley in "Dr. Strangelove")

#53 Kai-Petri

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Posted 05 December 2003 - 01:12 PM

Operation Torch and U-boats:

It is astonishing that these huge convoys had escaped the submarines that were lying in wait for them; this was partly due to the chance that a group of U-boats near the Azores had been drawn off in their savage pursuit of an unrelated convoy heading towards the UK from Freetown which lost 13 ships, and partly to the improved British marine signals security. Off the landing beaches the uncertainty created by the deception campaign led to the U-boats being drawn back to form a screen deeper into the Mediterranean.

http://www.bletchley...4&sectioncode=3
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#54 KnightMove

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Posted 06 December 2003 - 04:49 PM

Small anecdote from North Africa:

A young German Luftwaffe Ensign requests his pay. The paymaster is about to record the transaction in the pay book.

Ensign: Take another page - here the awards must be added!
Paymaster: (is looking at the page, EK I being recorded) You really think you will receive more than the EK I?
Ensign: As a matter of course!
Paymaster: (scrolling over a view empty pages, sarcastic) Well then, I hope this will be enough for the Oak Leaves and Swords!

The Ensign was Jochen Marseille, with 158 victories the most successful pilot outside the Eastern front. If only the paymaster had foreseen the introduction of the Brilliants! ;)

[ 06. December 2003, 10:52 AM: Message edited by: KnightMove ]
If someone tries to remove the speck in your right eye, will you turn to him the other also?

#55 Kai-Petri

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Posted 06 December 2003 - 05:22 PM

I just read on Marseille that despite being a show-off ( at least before Africa ) he wasn´t very keen on talking to interviewers.

On a Finnish book on WW2 pilots there was a part where he kept answering very shortly. Something like this:

The interviewer followed by Marseille´s answer:

- So you are a famous pilot
- Yes, I am.

- Is it hard to fight in Africa?
- Yes, mostly.

- Are the British good fighter pilots?
- Oh yes!

- But you have dropped many enemy planes?!
- I think so.

- The Führer awarded you the Knight´s Cross!
- Yes.

And so on....

Seems like the Propaganda office did not get much on him in the films...

:eek:
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#56 KnightMove

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Posted 06 December 2003 - 05:54 PM

Originally posted by Kai-Petri:

- So you are a famous pilot
- Yes, I am.

- Is it hard to fight in Africa?
- Yes, mostly.

- Are the British good fighter pilots?
- Oh yes!

- But you have dropped many enemy planes?!
- I think so.

- The Führer awarded you the Knight´s Cross!
- Yes.

If you have a close look, it isn't Marseille's style of answer, but rather a stupid style to ask questions by the journalist. These *were* only yes/no-questions, or facts asking for confirmation.
If someone tries to remove the speck in your right eye, will you turn to him the other also?

#57 Kai-Petri

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Posted 07 December 2003 - 11:13 AM

Other way to stop the supplies reaching Rommel:

A blow against Rommel In November 1942, 180kg (400lb) of plastic explosive was used by an SOE team, aided by Greek partisans, to blow up the Gorgopotamos bridge on Greece's Salonika-Athens railway. This had been carrying vital supplies for Rommel's Afrika Korps in the desert war against the British 8th Army.

http://www.channel4....nion/cross.html
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#58 Paul_9686

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Posted 14 December 2003 - 09:00 PM

Originally posted by Kai-Petri:
Historical Postscript:
After the surrender in Africa three of the German divisions that had fought in the Western Desert were reconstituted in western Europe. The 15th Panzer Division was reformed as a Panzergrenadier division, and renumbered as the 115th since there was already a 15th Panzergrenadier Division on the books. The 21st Panzer Division was reformed under its own name. The 90th Light Division was reformed as the 90th Panzergrenadier Division ...

Begging your pardon, Kai, but this is incorrect. There was a 115th Panzergrenadier Regiment, but not a 115th Panzergrenadier Division. The 115th was a regiment of the 15th Panzergrenadier Division, which was the actual linear descendant of the 15th Panzer Division of the old Afrika Korps days. At least, every reference work I have says that the 15th Panzer was reformed as the 15th Panzergrenadier in Sicily with some extra units drafted in from elsewhere (for example, the 129th Panzergrenadier Regiment of the defunct 22nd Panzer Division, which was disbanded in Russia).

Yours,
Paul

#59 Kai-Petri

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 03:41 PM

Thanx for the info Paul!

And now:

On battle of Matapan

I myself was inclined to think that the Italians would not try anything… I bet Commander Power, the Staff Officer, Operations, the sum of ten shillings that we would see nothing of the enemy.’ Admiral Andrew Cunningham


http://www.waterside...ham/matapan.htm


It was the first fleet action of the WWII, the first since the Battle of Jutland, the first in the Mediterranean since the Battle of the Nile in 1798, and the first fought at night. It was the first time that carrier-borne aircraft played a vital and indispensable role and radar-equipped ships were used in a fleet action .

http://www.royal-nav...pages/5798.html

German dive-bombers had seriously damaged the aircraft carrier Illustrious in January and their intelligence believed that Admiral Cunningham’s Mediterranean Fleet possessed only one operational battleship. Accordingly the Italians, whose battlefleet was crippled at Taranto, calculated that a force of heavy cruisers supported by the battleship Vittorio Veneto would be sufficient to deal with light British forces around Crete.

In fact the British were in much better shape. All three battleships were intact and another carrier, Formidable, had recently arrived.

Ultra had broken Axis codes and warned when the Italian fleet sailed on 26 March.

Cunningham cleared the area of convoys and despatched Vice Admiral Pridham-Wippell’s cruiser squadron to the south of Crete. On 27 March a reconnaissance aircraft from Malta spotted three Italian cruisers and four destroyers heading for Crete. Cunningham sailed with his battlefleet that evening.

The battle commenced at 0745 on 28 March when Pridham-Wippell’s four light cruisers sighted a squadron of three Italian heavy cruisers. The Italians 203mm guns opened fire at a range at which the 152mm weapons of the British ships could not initially reply. Pridham-Wippell retired towards Cunningham’s force at the full speed in the hope of drawing the enemy into a trap, but at 0855 the Italians suddenly withdrew.

The Italian commander, Admiral Iachino, planned to annihilate the British cruisers involving a pincer movement with the battleship Vittorio Veneto. The action began well for the Italians when the Veneto’s 381mm guns opened fire at 1055 to the complete surprise of the British. Pridham Wippell’s cruisers laid a smokescreen, but were caught in the crossfire between the Veneto and the Italian cruisers.

Formidable’s Albacore torpedo-bombers attacked the Italian battleship without success, but having no air cover Iachino realised his vulnerability and ordered his forces to retire. The chase was on. In a further attack at 1510, the Veneto was hit by one torpedo and her speed was reduced. Cunningham knew he had no chance of catching the Italian battleship unless she was hit again, so he ordered at final air strike at dusk. Instead the heavy cruiser Pola was torpedoed and stopped dead in the water.

The Italian Admiral, unaware of the Cunningham’s pursuing battlefleet, now made fateful error. He ordered a squadron of cruisers and destroyers to return and protect the Pola. None of the Italian ships were equipped for night fighting. The British battlefleet detected the Italians on radar shortly after 2200. In one of the most dramatic moments in the war at sea during World War Two, the battleships Barham, Valiant and Warspite opened fire at only 3500 metres annihilating two Italian heavy cruisers in five minutes. In the melee that followed British destroyers sank two Italian destroyers and the unfortunate Pola.

Five ships were sunk and around 2,400 Italian sailors were killed, missing or captured. The British lost only three aircrew when one torpedo bomber was shot down. Cunningham lost his bet, but added another famous victory to the annals of the Royal Navy.

:eek:

http://www.ahoy.tk-j...eofMatapan.html

The German Vice Admiral E. Weichold, writing about Matapan, said:

"The unhappy result of this action, the first offensive operation which the Italian Fleet had undertaken through German pressure after nine months of war, was a shattering blow to the Italian Navy and it's prestige. If they attributed blame to the false German report of the torpedoeing of Battleships, and failure of Aircraft support, there at any rate remained an inner reaction, a more stubborn refusal to undertake offensive operations against a superior British sea power."

[ 18. December 2003, 09:45 AM: Message edited by: Kai-Petri ]
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#60 Kai-Petri

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Posted 04 February 2004 - 01:56 PM

Italian info:

The OVRA were the secret police of Benito Mussolini under Fascism Italy. They was formed in 1927 and lead by Arturo Bocchini. The full Italian name for OVRA was 'Opera Vigilanza Repressione Antifascismo' which means the 'Organisation for Vigilance against Anti-Fascist Activities' in English. About 4000 people were arrested by the OVRA and sent to prisons on remote Mediterranean islands. The conditions in these prisons were extremely poor so many anti-Fascists simply left Italy for their own safety. The death penalty had also been restored under Mussolini for serious offences, but from 1927 to 1940, 'only' ten people were sentenced to death. As a result, the actions of the OVRA have been massively overshadowed by the actions of their contemporaries, the Gestapo and SS in Nazi Germany.

http://www.4referenc...pedia/OVRA.html
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#61 Kai-Petri

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Posted 01 March 2004 - 04:00 PM

Nice Africa Korps pics:

http://home.online.no/~vestil/afrika/
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#62 chromeboomerang

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Posted 11 June 2004 - 05:00 AM

Of course Marseille was a show off, he was 18 when he started combat operations on channel coast. How mature were you when you were 18? I spent a lot of time drinking beer myself. It amazes me that these fighter pilots,( most notably Von Richthofen ), are put under the microscope for "correct" behaviour. They were kids. Buerling was a show off, so what?, he could do it! Dizzy Dean said; if you can do it, it ain't braggin. Don't mean to sound negative, just my 2 cents.

#63 Martin Bull

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Posted 11 June 2004 - 05:40 AM

Good point - I constantly remind people that Guy Gibson, for instance, was 24 when he led 617 Squadron to the dams.

Memoirs of the Battle of Britain often remind us that the RAF pilots weren't aware that they were 'saving civilisation' or whatever - 'we were just little John Waynes who couldn't wait to let rip with our eight Brownings...' ( Paddy Barthropp )
"Stand by to pull me out of the seat if I get hit" - Guy Gibson

#64 Stevin

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Posted 11 June 2004 - 04:45 PM

Indeed! When I look at the Squadron Leaders and Wing Commanders who are buried in Holland and who were up to eight years younger when they died than my age now(!!!!), I wonder what I am doing with my life.

Granted, Try and find an 25 year old WC nowadays in the RAF...
"Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!" - Homer Simpson
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#65 chromeboomerang

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Posted 11 June 2004 - 05:30 PM

MVR was 25 when he died. He was in charge of 4 air units, directionally, administratively, as well as hiring & firing pilots. I would be hard pressed to think I could have handled that at age 25.

#66 redcoat

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Posted 11 June 2004 - 10:18 PM

Originally posted by Kai-Petri:
The German Vice Admiral E. Weichold, writing about Matapan, said:

"The unhappy result of this action, the first offensive operation which the Italian Fleet had undertaken through German pressure after nine months of war, was a shattering blow to the Italian Navy and it's prestige. If they attributed blame to the false German report of the torpedoeing of Battleships, and failure of Aircraft support, there at any rate remained an inner reaction, a more stubborn refusal to undertake offensive operations against a superior British sea power."

a sad post-script to this story;
At daylight the British sent a couple of their ships to pick up Italian survivors , but they were forced to withdraw from the scene when they came under attack from the Luftwaffe, leaving many Italian sailors still in the water.
if in doubt....Panic!!!!

#67 Kai-Petri

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Posted 26 December 2004 - 10:16 AM

Italian subs and their actions

http://www.regiamari...emap_sub_us.htm
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#68 Kai-Petri

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Posted 01 February 2005 - 03:11 PM

Raymond Collishaw

http://www.constable.ca/colishaw.htm

He was promoted to Air Commodore and took over as Air Officer Commanding, Egypt Group in charge of RAF units in North Africa. He concentrated on strategy and tactics to neutralize the Italian air force and to gain aerial superiority in North Africa. This was a tough challenge considering that his men were flying outdated Gloster Gladiator biplane fighters and Vickers Wellesley bombers..

His pilots were badly outnumbered and outgunned. But he countered these deficiencies with expert advice on aerial tactics, aggressive attacks and trickery. He had only a single modern Hawker Hurricane fighter to use at the front (three others were relegated to training) dubbed "Colly's Battleship". He made the best of it by constantly moving it from base to base and letting the Italians see it. He came up with the idea of making many, single plane attacks on Italian formations to fool the Italians into thinking he had many Hurricanes. The result was that the Italians spread their superior fighters thinly across North Africa, and seriously diluted their strength.
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#69 Kai-Petri

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Posted 29 March 2005 - 03:02 PM

June 11, 1943: -

Pantelleria surrendered--first time in history that air power won surrender of a ground target. 99th was a key part of the air assault.

http://www.afa.org/m.../0602pantel.asp
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#70 Kai-Petri

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Posted 06 April 2005 - 02:09 PM

Oops....

Dec. 14, 1942
When Lieut. General Mark Clark was on his secret pre-invasion mission to North Africa, as is well known, he lost his pants. The small boat that was taking him off the shore capsized. The General had to shuck his trousers, which were weighted with $18,000 in gold, and swim ashore.
Ashore, he confronted Brigadier General Lyman L. Lemnitzer, who took a surprised look at his superior and quickly gave him his own pants. Shortly thereafter a British Commando captain happened by and snickered to see General Lemnitzer clad only in a blouse. No record was kept of the discussion, but in the end General Lemnitzer walked off in the captain's pants.

http://www.time.com/...,774126,00.html
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#71 Kai-Petri

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Posted 22 May 2005 - 09:47 PM

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Major Georg Karl Briel
The first to get German Cross in Gold in DAK

Also the man whom Rommel commanded to drive into Cairo and they´d drink coffee together at Hotel Sheppard later on.

http://www.afrika-ko...ery/album07/aaa
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#72 Kai-Petri

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Posted 18 June 2005 - 05:54 PM

Salerno and Battipaglia

Map:

http://www.kwanah.co.../141/14122a.htm

The Germans had amassed the 3rd, 26th, and 15th Panzergrenadier Divisions, Herman Georing, 16th Panzer Divisions, and the 76th Corps coming from of Calabria in the south. On September 13, the American sector was hit by a concentrated combined arms assault focused on the town of Altavilla.The retreating groups of men were rallied at the rear and dug in. Naval 6 inch (152mm) gunfire from the U.S. Navy cruisers Savannah, Philadelphia and Boise rained in and stopped the murderous Panzer advance.

On September 15th, the most intense Panzer attack came in the center of the beachead parallel to the Sele River. Here the American VI Corps in the south, and the British X Corps to the north were poorly joined. The commanding German General, Vietinghoff, saw this weak point and concentrated his panzers and infantry right into the vulnerable opening.The Division had a regiment defending the town of Persano, which was about to be in the path of the most powerful Wehrmacht assault of the entire battle. For the American Infantry battalions at Persano, it was a virtual slaughter.

In fact the line at Persano had been broken, and the only thing between the panzers and the beach were two American artillery battalions, the 189th, and the 158th. In frantic desperation 105mm pieces lowered their guns and fired direct fire missions at the Panzers, and their supporting infantry. round after round was fired with effect causing the enemy to halt their advance, and back away. A truly heoric action by the artillery units.

Clark ordered the parachute drop of over 2,000 Paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division inside the beachead. The Paratroopers hit the ground and went into the combat line immediately. The arrival of the immense firepower of the British battleships Warspite and Valiant made the difference with their massive 15 inch guns.

The Allied air and naval power was allowing no further penetrations for the enemy, and on September 17th, Field Marshall Kesselring called off all German attacks. The Allied beachead was saved, and the Wehrmacht began withdrawing north to the Volturno River line.

The Allied had taken over 13,700 casualties in 11 days of brutal combat. They lost 3 cruisers, and a number of transports. The intensity of the Salerno Battle is often overlooked, and is a monumentous victory often unappreciated.


:eek: :eek:

http://amh.freehosti...et/salerno.html

http://www.iwm.org.u...16-septhist.htm

http://www.kwanah.co...s/141/14122.htm
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#73 Kai-Petri

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Posted 09 July 2005 - 03:46 PM

The 190th Panzerjaeger unit was called the "Sardines and Malaria division", a nickname precipitated by the many cases of malaria this division had on Sardinia.

http://homepages.win...nt/vonstud.html
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#74 Kai-Petri

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Posted 09 July 2005 - 03:50 PM

Pics and info on Afrika Korps

http://homepages.win...t/frames11.html
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#75 Kai-Petri

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Posted 25 July 2005 - 03:30 PM

In mid-November II/JG 2 was moved to Sicily and then to Tunisia in an attempt to regain air superiority over Africa. Between November 1942 and April 1943, the Focke Wulfs of Richthofen Geschwader managed to claim ca. 150 Allied planes destroyed. Incredibly, almost 80% of these victories was scored by the unit's six aces:

Kurt Bühligen 40

Erich Rudorffer 27

Adolf Dickfeld ca. 18

Kurt Goltsch 14

Karl-Heinz Bänsch 10

Günther Rubell von Bülow ca. 7

http://www.ipmsstock...ile_fw190a4.htm
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