11 February 1941
10.30 hours visit of the German embassy by Commanding General, Chief of Staff, and Colonel Schmundt, visiting Fürst Bismarck. Following this drive to Italian war ministry. There report to the Generals Guzzoni and Roatta (equivalents to Keitel and Brauchitsch).
General Guzzoni. Italian Army Archives via Wikipedia.
Conference progresses highly satisfactorily. Defense of Libya no longer to be based on Tripoli, as planned up to now. General Raotta should come along to Tripoli to make all the arrangements agreed upon.
Around 13.00 hours joint breakfast.
Afternoon flight from Rome to Catania on Sicily. Arrival there in the dark.
In Catania conferences with the Commanding General X. Fliegerkorps. Air force elements to strike during the night 12/13 February against enemy in the area south of Benghazi.
Exploration staff is joined by Rittmeister von Plehwe as Ic. Remainder of exploration staff reaches Catania by train, coming from Rome.
Around 22.30 hours short discussion by Colonel Schmundt with General Jodl. Result: Luftwaffe has a free hand up to but excluding Benghazi.
Hitler’s aide-de-camp, who was killed in the July 1944 assassination attempt.
Deputy Chiefs of the Italian Armed Forces Command. Both survived the war. Roatta was tried for his role in war crimes in occupied Yugoslavia, and escaped to Spain after the war.
This was the German air force formation carrying out operations against Malta from Sicily. A Fliegerkorps was roughly equivalent to an R.A.F. Group, it was responsible for controlling operational units such as wings or squadrons in a particular geographical area. A good definition can be found at this link. The OOB for January 1941 can be found at this link (pdf).
A cavalry rank used in the German reconnaissance forces, typically in charge of a squadron. Equivalent to Captain. von Plehwe did not serve long in the role. He survived the war and had a distinguished diplomatic career afterwards, ending as Secretary General of the West European Union.
Responsible for intelligence matters.
10 February 1941
In Munich General Rommel joins the train. During the trip repeated conferences between Lieutenant General Rommel, Colonel Schmundt, and Lt.Col. v.d.Borne.
Brenner border crossing reached around 13.00 hours.
Arrival Rome Termini around midnight. At the train station the German military attache, Major General von Rintelen with his adjutant, and the Italian general Jodl.
This is almost certainly referring to German general Alfred Jodl.
9 February 1941
Lieutenant General Rommel flies to Munich. Visit at General (retired) Bauer. Exploration staff Rommel leaves Berlin at 20.05 by train.
Lt.Col. v.d.Borne, as Chief of the General Staff
Major (G) Grunow as Liaison Officer to the air force
Lt. Col. Hundt as Engineer Officer.
Lt. (Reserve) v. Goerne as Tank Officer
Lt.Col. (Reserve) Behrendt as Command Staff Quarters
Also Colonel Schmundt, Aide de Camp of the Fuehrer
8 February 1941
Conference Major-General Rommel, Lt.Col. v.d.Borne with Colonel Schmundt. Leave taken from Commander in Chief Army by phone. Promotion of Major-General Rommel to Lieutenant General. Lieutenant General Rommel flies to Wiener Neustadt.
7 February 1941
Conference with the Chief of the General Staff of the Army and the Chief of the Operations Department, for repeated instruction about situation and task. The Commander in Chief of the Army demands that the task is solved with a minimum of forces. Conference with various units of the High Command of the Army. Report by Lt.Col. von dem Borne as Chief of the General Staff. First conference with him.
First entry in the D.A.K. war diary No. 1. for 6 February 1941, when it was formed as ‘Staff of the Commander German Troops in Libya’. It became the rather better-known Deutsches Afrikakorps (German Africa Corps) on 21 February 1941.
6 February 1941
Midday arrival by air of Major-General Rommel in Berlin, report to Commander in Chief of the Army. Instructions for Libya issued and information about the pityful situation there given. Afterwards report to the Fuehrer, who also discusses all details of the situation and the task, and who promises the sending of another armoured division if the situation there can be rescued. Evening invitation to the Führer and discussion based on foreign pictoral magazines.
Rommel meeting Hitler at an unknown location and date. Rommelsriposte.com collection.
The table below gives easy access to the daily entries of the D.A.K. war diary No.1. This is a new project that I will pursue over the course of the next few months for the 75th anniversary of the events. Entries will be annotated with explanatory remarks and where easily possible provide additional information.
This is similar to the prior projects translating the Panzergruppe Intelligence Assessments, which can be found at this link.
At present I plan to go through all of the war diary No. 1, which ends in the middle of August 1941, but I can’t promise that I will be able to keep this up, and/or close to the actual days.