Saturday, September 10, 2005
German concerns in January and February 1941
It turns out that Hitler and ther German staff were concerned that Italy would collapse, in early 1941, in the face of British successes in Libya and the quagmire in Greece. It was on January 11th that Hitler ordered aid for the Italians. This aid was most notably in the form of the redoubtable Flieger Korps X that was deployed to Sicily. There were also plans to send what became the 5th Light Motorized Division to Libya. The 5th Light Division would have a reconnaissance battalion with armoured cars, three anti-tank battalions with between 27 and 36 guns, thirty tanks, two motor machine gun battalions, and their support units. Gavin Long says that it was about the equivalent of the 7th Armoured Division Support Group. The 5th Light was to be ready for transport to Libya by February 15th. This is based on the account in To Benghazi.