Monday, October 10, 2005

The German forces in March-April 1941 in Libya

As early as January 11, 1941, Hitler ordered a "blocking detachment" sent to Tripoli. The actual implementation involved taking component units from the 3rd Panzer Division and use them as the core of the 5th Light Division. The next step was to designate the 15th Panzer Division for the Libyan operations. The commander of this new group would be General Rommel and it would be called the Deutsche Afrika Korps.

The newly formed 5th Light Division would have a strong force:

  • a reconnaissance unit with armoured cars
  • There would be a 12-gun artillery battery
  • an AA unit
  • two motor machine gun battalions, with anti-tank, engineers, and armoured vehicles
  • two anti-tank battalions with a few 88mm FLAK36 guns
  • an armoured regiment with two tank battalions (70 light and 80 medium tanks)
There would also be a reconnaissance squadron from the Luftwaffe. This is based on Vol.II of the Offiicial History.

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