14 February 1941 – first German combat troops arrive in North Africa

Continuing with the war diary of the D.A.K.

Arrival and Departure of Subordinated Troops


Arrived in Tripoli:

Panzerjaeger 39, A.A.3[2]

During the night air attack on Soluch and Agedabia.

14.2. first Luftwaffe day attack. Destroyers and Stuka on vehicle columns, accommodation, and tanks.[3]

Lieutenant Hundt with instruction to reconnoitre and instruct departed to Sirt by car.

Commanding General visited units already in Tripoli (Field Hospital 4/572, Light Truck Column 800/804, Light Truck Column for Filter Equipment and Tyre Section 13) in their accommodations at Kilo 5 south of Tripoli.

At 11.00 hours welcome reception in the Castello with the Vice-Governor of Libya, His Excellency De Rubeis. Participants Commanding General, Colonel Schmundt, and Chief of Staff.

At 13.00 hours breakfast in Grand-Hotel Tripoli, with welcome addresses by both sides.

Colonel Schmundt departed with first situation report.

Afternoon reconnaissance trip by Commanding General and Chief of Staff to Homs, visit at General Della Bone. Inspection of the position, anti-tank ditch, 7,000 men.

18.30 hours the first combat troops enter the harbour of Tripoli, A.A.3 and Panzer-Jaeger-Abteilung 39. Commanding General and Chief of Staff inspect the disembarkation, which is carried out immediately during the night, within the space of 12 hours. Risk of illuminating the vessels is taken. Ghibli today.

[1]See previous post notes for explanations as well.
[2]AT battalion 39 and Reconnaissance Battalion 3.
[3] The attack is very well described at this link (scroll down to ‘Air attacks on EL AGHEILA 13/14 February’). One Me 110 was shot down and the crew captured in the Me 110 strafing attack, while one Ju87 was shot down in the later dive bombing attack, with the pilot killed and the rear gunner captured.

History of the Liner Victoria, sunk 23 Jan 1942

History of the Liner Victoria, sunk 23 Jan 1942


The liner Victoria operated as troopship during convoy operation T.18 (Naples – Tripoli), the second major convoy of January 1942. It was the first time a liner was operated after the desaster in September when HM/Sub Upholder sank two liners in the same convoy. Troop transports since then had been on armed merchant cruisers, warships, and by air.

She was sunk on 23 January 1942 with heavy loss of life by two successive aerial torpedo hits, first by a Bristol Beaufort of No. 39 Squadron R.A.F., and then by a Fairey Albacore of No. 826 Squadron F.A.A. both operating out of Berka airfield in northern Cyrenaica. A detailed account of her loss is (in Italian) at this link. There are also surviving reports from German personnel embarked on her.


There is a beautiful website with a detailed history and lots of material relating to her histor.  It can be found at this link

Both sites are well worth a visit.

Victoria dalla Duilio 1942Victoria during her last voyage, picture taken from Duilio. From La difesa del Traffic.” USMM, Rome, 1965, via Con la Pelle Appesa a un Chiodo