Monthly Supply Requirements of German forces in Africa – Nov. 1941

From the DAK War Diary appendices on supply, I can provide the following numbers on supply requirements for the Panzergruppe and Luftwaffe in Africa, which make quite interesting reading. The document is dated 19 November 1941, and a reply to a letter of Comando Supremo from 13 November 1941, which refers to a conference held in Rome on 11 November 1941.

The first table gives the strength on which the requirement is based. It is noteworthy that the number of planes is considerably higher than any I have seen reported for North Africa for the same time-frame. In general, Fliegerfuehrer Afrika seems to have had about 230-260 planes during the period, of which about half were serviceable. I am not sure where the overestimation comes from.

German strength in North Africa:

Ration strength:

65,000 men

of which 60,000 in Cyrenaica.

Vehicles:

13,200

Planes:

325

 

The tonnage given in the table below is for monthly requirements, but only for ongoing consumption, it does not include any stock-building. For each day of stocks to be built, another 1,100 tons need to be added to this. I am a bit puzzled about the high weight of rations. This is 4.5kg of rations per man per day. Since water was not shipped over, one wonders what else is included in this number, since that sees a lot of food, even if one considers wastage!

Supply Requirements German Forces North Africa Nov. 1941

Recipient

Type

Weight

Share

Share of Total

Army

Rations

9,000

48%

28%

  

Ammunition

750

4%

2%

  

Fuel

7,500

40%

23%

  

Volume Cargo (spares)

1,500

8%

5%

  

Total

18,750

100%

58%

Luftwaffe

Fuel

10,000

74%

31%

  

Ammunition

2,000

15%

6%

  

Engines and Spares

1,500

11%

5%

  

Total

13,500

100%

42%

German Forces

Total

32,250

2

100%

 

It is interesting to note that ammunition was only a small part of this requirement, while fuel was the most. But also here it is interesting to note that the requirement for the Luftwaffe outstripped that of the army considerably.

There are some puzzling items in this list, and I wonder if there was a purposeful attempt to inflate numbers a bit.

One thought on “Monthly Supply Requirements of German forces in Africa – Nov. 1941

  1. Just throwing this out there, but I remember reading that a typical German Infantry company carried twice as much ammo as a American company during WWII. Maybe the heavier weight carried by the individual soldier is explained there. I believe, if I remember, an American Company carried around 20,000+ rounds and a German Company carried 50,000+ rounds.
    Bevin Alexander, How Hitler Could Have Won World War II: The fatal errors that led to Nazi defeat

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