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Today in History: Arrival of the German Africa Corps in Libya

In other languages: zh-tw

In June 1940, Italy declared war on the Allies in World War 2. As an ally of Germany, the Italian force in North Africa soon clashed with the British forces.

Italian troops began the main attack on Egypt in September, the main zone of influence of the British in North Africa. Everything was under control in the early stages of the operation, but as December rolled around, the British sensed the mounting frustrations of the Italian force occupying Greece. Taking advantage of the situation, they orchestrated a counter offensive; the Italian force subsequently collapsed in a relatively short time. The Italian government itself faced no alternative but to ask Germany to intervene, primarily because an Italian colony in North Africa was in danger.

The German authorities soon agreed to assist the Italians, and arranged for a detachment to be sent to North Africa. General Erwin Rommel, the favorite of Adolf Hitler during that time, was placed in charge as its first commander. By war's end, this unit would come to be known as the reputable German Africa Corps.

 <Left: General Erwin Rommel; Right: General Rommel in the desert>

On 14 February 1941, the first party of the German Africa Corps arrived in Tripoli , the capital of Libya, and carried out a military parade in the city. From that day onwards, the annals of history would chronicle the actions of the German Africa Corps, helped along by General Rommel’s tactical brilliance. Due to his resourceful actions in battle, the 'Desert Fox', as Rommel soon came to be called, would earn the respect of even his Allied counterparts.

Tank commanders, you would be interested to know that there are several desert maps in World of Tanks that emulate the battlefields that Rommel and the German Africa Corps once participated in. If you are assigned to battle on these maps, don’t forget those tank commanders who battled in the desert 70 tears ago!

<Rommel in deep discussion with his officers>


<German Panzer III fighting in the desert sand>