Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Command changes on the Axis side in the summer of 1941
The German high command (OKH) had wanted to setup General Gause as a new level in the command structure, with his responsibilities as a liason to the Italian commander in North Africa, and for ensuring that supplies flowed smoothly. In fact, neither the Italians nor Rommel liked this arrangement. The Italians actually preferred either an Italian general or else Rommel in the role of an Army commander. Rommel was acceptable, as he had gained the support of the Italian people with his successes in Libya. To further strengthen their hand, the Italians replaced General Garibaldi with Generatl Bastico. The OKH relented and made the new headquarters Panzer Gruppe Afrika, with General Gause as chief of staff and Rommel as the commander. Rommel would command Italian as well as German troops in his new role. General Bastico would also have an Italian mobile corps with General Gambara as commander. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.