The German Afrikakorps (German: Deutsches Afrikakorps, DAK ) was the original German expeditionary force in Libya and Egypt during the North African Campaign of World War II. The German language (de ''Deutsch'') is a West Germanic language and one of the world's major languages. Libya ( ليبيا ar-Latn Lībiyā; Libyan vernacular: Lībya; Amazigh:) officially the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab This article is about the country of Egypt For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Egypt topics. During World War II, the North African Campaign, also known as the Desert War, took place in the North African desert from June 10, 1940 World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including The force was kept as a distinct formation and became the main German contribution to Panzer Army Africa which evolved into the German-Italian Panzer Army (Deutsch-Italienische Panzerarmee) and Army Group Africa. As the number of German armed forces committed to the North Africa Campaign of World War II grew from the initial commitment of a small corps the Germans developed a more elaborate
The Afrikakorps was formed upon the arrival on February 12, 1941, of General Erwin Rommel after the German Armed Forces High Command or Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW) and Army High Command or Oberkommando des Heeres (OKH) had decided to send a "blocking force" to Libya to support the Italian army, which had been routed by a Commonwealth Force's counter-offensive led by the British Eighth Army, in Operation Compass. Events 1429 - English Forces under Sir John Fastolf defend a supply convoy carrying rations to the army besieging Orleans from attack by the Year 1941 ( MCMXLI) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (the link will display 1941 calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel ( ( 15 November 1891 – 14 October 1944) (also known as the " Desert Fox " Wüstenfuchs For other uses of OKW see OKW (disambiguation. The Oberkommando der Wehrmacht ( OKW) ( English: "High Command The Oberkommando des Heeres (OKH was Germany 's Army High Command from 1936 to 1945 Libya ( ليبيا ar-Latn Lībiyā; Libyan vernacular: Lībya; Amazigh:) officially the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Operation Compass was the first major Allied military operation of the Western Desert Campaign during World War II. The German "blocking force", commanded by Rommel, at first consisted of only the 5. /leichte "Afrika" Panzer Regiment which was quickly cobbled together from the second regiment of the 3. A panzer, pronunced, is a German Tank, especially in the context of World War II. A regiment is a Military unit, composed of a variable number of Battalions – commanded by a Colonel. /Panzer Division and various other small units attached for water treatment and medical care. These elements were organized into the 5th Light Division when they arrived in Africa from February 10–March 12, 1941. The 21st Panzer Division was a German Armoured division best known for its role in the battles of the North African Campaign from 1941 - 1943 during In late April and into May the 5th Light Division was joined by transference of the various elements constituting the 15th Panzer Division from Italy, though it did not completely arrive until after Rommel had made a counter-offensive and re-taken most of Cyrenaica and then subsequently gone back over to the defensive. The 33rd Infantry Division (later 15th Panzer Division and 15th Panzergrenadier Division) was a unit in the German Army during World War II. At this time the Afrikakorps consisted of the two divisions plus various smaller supporting units, and was officially subordinated to the Italian chain of command in Africa (though Rommel had conducted his offensive without any authorization).
In August, 1941, the German 5th Light Division was redesignated 21st Panzer Division (commonly written as 21. The 21st Panzer Division was a German Armoured division best known for its role in the battles of the North African Campaign from 1941 - 1943 during The 21st Panzer Division was a German Armoured division best known for its role in the battles of the North African Campaign from 1941 - 1943 during /PD), still attached to the enlarged entity still known as the Afrikakorps.
During the summer of 1941 OKW and OKH invested more command structure in Africa by creating a new headquarters called Panzer Group Africa (Panzergruppe Afrika). As the number of German armed forces committed to the North Africa Campaign of World War II grew from the initial commitment of a small corps the Germans developed a more elaborate On August 15 Panzer Group Africa was activated with Rommel in command, and command of the Afrikakorps was turned over to Ludwig Crüwell. Events 778 - The Battle of Roncevaux Pass, at which Roland is killed Ludwig Crüwell ( 20 March 1892 - 25 September 1958) was a German General known for his involvement with the The Panzer Group controlled the Afrikakorps plus some additional German units that were sent to Africa, as well as two corps of Italian units. (A German "group" was approximately the equivalent of an army in other militaries, and in fact Panzer Group Africa was redesignated as German Panzer Army Africa (Panzerarmee Afrika) on January 30, 1942. An army (from Latin Armata "act of arming" via Old French armée) in the broadest sense is the land-based Armed forces As the number of German armed forces committed to the North Africa Campaign of World War II grew from the initial commitment of a small corps the Germans developed a more elaborate Events 1648 - Eighty Years' War: The Treaty of Münster is signed ending the conflict between the Netherlands and Spain Year 1942 ( MCMXLII) was a Common year starting on Thursday (the link will display the full 1942 calendar of the Gregorian calendar. )
After the defeat at El Alamein and the Allied invasion in Morocco and Algeria Operation Torch, OKW once more upgraded its presence in Africa by creating the XC Army Corps in Tunisia on November 19, 1942, and then creating a new 5th Panzer Army headquarters there as well on December 8, under the command of Colonel-General Hans-Jürgen von Arnim. El Alamein (or Al Alamayn) ( العلمين is a town in northern Egypt on the Mediterranean Sea coast in Matruh Governorate. In general allies are people groups or nations that have joined together in an association for mutual benefit or to achieve some common purpose Operation Torch (initially called Operation Gymnast) was the British - American invasion of French North Africa in World War II Tunisia (تونس Tūnis officially the Tunisian Republic ( is a country located in North Africa. Events 1095 - The Council of Clermont, called by Pope Urban II to discuss sending the First Crusade to the Holy Land The 5th Panzer Army, also known as Panzer Group West and Panzer Group Eberbach (German 5 Events 1609 - Biblioteca Ambrosiana opens its reading room the second public library of Europe. Hans-Jürgen von Arnim ( 4 April, 1889 &ndash 1 September, 1962) was a German Colonel-general of Cavalry
On February 23, 1943 Panzer Army Africa, (now called the German-Italian Panzer Army,) was redesignated as the Italian 1st Army and put under the command of Italian general Giovanni Messe, while Rommel was placed in command of a new Army Group Africa (Heeresgruppe Afrika) created to control both the Italian 1st Army and the 5th Panzer Army. Events 1455 - Traditional date for the publication of the Gutenberg Bible, the first Western Book printed from Movable Year 1943 ( MCMXLIII) was a Common year starting on Friday (the link will display full 1943 calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The Italian First Army was an Italian army formation in World War I, facing Austro-Hungarian and German forces and in World War II Giovanni Messe ( December 10, 1883 - December 19, 1968) was an Italian soldier politician and a distinguished Italian Field As the number of German armed forces committed to the North Africa Campaign of World War II grew from the initial commitment of a small corps the Germans developed a more elaborate The remnants of the Afrikakorps and other surviving units of the 1st Italian Army retreated into Tunisia. Command of the Army Group was turned over to von Arnim in March. On May 13 remnants of the Afrikakorps along with all other remaining Axis forces in North Africa surrendered. Events 1497 - Pope Alexander VI excommunicates Girolamo Savonarola.
"Afrika Korps" is derived from the original German name properly written in one word. Strictly speaking the term refers to the original formation which, although not dissolved, became part of the ever expanding German and Italian presence in North Africa for its February, 1941- May, 1943 role in the North African Campaign. However, it is sometimes used by the news media and veteran Allied soldiers as a name for all the German units in North Africa. Some notable attached units include the 15th Panzer Division, 21st Panzer Division, Afrika zbV (zur besonderen Verwendung, "special purpose") Division -which was created as an infantry division and slowly upgraded to a fully motorized division, and then redesignated as the 90th Light Afrika Division; the 164th Light Afrika Division, the 999 Light "Afrika" Division, also the 334th Infantry division; and the Luftwaffenjäger-Brigade 1 or Fallschirmjäger-Ramcke Brigade Ramcke Parachute Brigade (named after its commander Hermann-Bernhard Ramcke). The 21st Panzer Division was a German Armoured division best known for its role in the battles of the North African Campaign from 1941 - 1943 during The Infantry is the oldest and most numerous of the Combat Arms in the Armed forces, and consists The 90th Light Infantry Division was created in August 1941 as Division zbV Africa, from units already in Africa under the control of Divisions-Kommando z Fallschirmjäger-Brigade Afrika Fallschirmjäger-Brigade Ramcke Luftwaffenwaffen-Jäger-Brigade 1 The Fallschirmjäger-Brigade Hermann-Bernhard "Gerhard" Ramcke ( January 24, 1889 - July 4, 1968) was a German General. There were also eight Italian divisions (out of the ten Italian Divisions in North Africa) under Rommel's command in Panzer Army Afrika, including two armored divisions, two motorized divisions, three infantry divisions, and the Folgore parachute division. As the number of German armed forces committed to the North Africa Campaign of World War II grew from the initial commitment of a small corps the Germans developed a more elaborate The Folgore Parachute Brigade is the largest unit of paratroopers of the Italian Army; a second smaller unit is the 4th Alpini Regiment Monte The army was supported by a number of smaller units from both the German and Italian armed forces.
The designation "Light" (German: Leichte) did not refer to a standardized table of organization and equipment (TOE) for the various German divisions that bore that designation. German unit organizations were based on tables of organization, (Kriegsstärkenachweisungen or KStN). Every unit in the German Army raised had one, and all orders raising units indicated the corresponding KStN number and date which applied to them.
For instance, the 5. /leichte "Africa" or 5th Light "Africa" had an organizational structure that was missing specific elements to make it a complete Panzer 'Division' as did its late April to May 1941 arriving 'full complement' partner division in Africa. . . the 15. /Panzer Division. The 5. /le. "Africa" Division eventually became at least partially expanded into the 21. /PD or 21st Panzer Division. It was given German unit elements that were already on the ground in North Africa and some replacement equipment to meet the prescribed full Panzer Division KStN constraints (except for the Motorcycle Battalion component which was never complete) and then renamed in August 1941. As the entire Afrikakorps organization was restructured and even renamed in August 1941, the nomenclature of Afrikakorps lasted less than six months. The famous force, with the short-lived name Afrikakorps, became a major German component of Panzer Army Africa - Panzerarmee Afrika which evolved into the German-Italian Panzer Army - Deutsch-Italienische Panzerarmee and then to Army Group Africa - Heeresgruppe Afrika in the twenty seven months of the campaign for this force. 
Additional forces were brought to Africa and became components of the Panzer Army Africa - Panzerarmee Afrika. Examples like the 164. /le. "Africa" or 164th Light Afrika Division was at first only a partially motorized infantry division and actually never had any tanks at all but only armored cars and reconnaissance vehicles attached to this division. Various German divisions in Africa occasionally reorganized or re-equipped without a change of name, or conversely were redesignated with a new name without any substantial reorganization. None of the German Armies actually fielded for service in North Africa completely met the service KStNs directed for their completion because of battle losses, sinkings across the Mediterranenan while in transit and the tremendous wear on the vehicles.
Luftwaffe Fallschirmjäger (paratroopers) from FJR3 and FJR5 of the Herman Göring Panzer Division, plus ground and mechanized forces were sent to Tunisia beginning in mid-November 1942 and through to major components into March 1943. (often rendered Fallschirmjager in English; from the German Fallschirm "parachute" and Jäger, "hunter The Fallschirm-Panzer-Division1 Hermann Göring ( 1st Paratroop Panzer Division Hermann Goering - abbreviated Fallschirm-Panzer-Div 1 HG Over 5,000 from this force were buried in the Cape Bon peninsula, Tunisia.
Luftwaffenjäger-Brigade 1 known by its most common name today as the Ramcke Parachute Brigade
Certain divisions were resurrected in Europe after the cessation of fighting in Tunisia:
2nd Song: "Unser Rommel" ("Our Rommel")
Translation of verse 1
Translation of verse 2
3. German East Africa (Deutsch-Ostafrika was a German Colony in East Africa, including what is now Burundi, Rwanda and Tanganyika German South West Africa ( German: Deutsch-Südwestafrika, DSWA) was a Colony of Germany from 1884 until 1915 when it was taken
Translation of verse 3
^ Generalmarsch: A German military signal meaning:"Attention! Assemble at your positions!"