D.A.K. war diary entry 18 February 1941

18 February 1941

During morning operation order for 18 February written out and sent over to Italian offices.

Activity of the air force:

Attack with 8 Ju 87 against enemy vehicle concentrations at El Agheila. Several bulls eye hits. Enemy fighter defense shot down 1 Ju 87, two force-landed on return flight. Crews rescued. Also successful attack by 5 Me 110 on enemy AA area el Brega.

Forward Detachment Wechmar remains in area Sirt during day. Ground recce without enemy contact. Reconnaissance flight by Commanding General to the oases south of Buerat and conference at Fliegerfuehrer Afrika in Bir Duffan.

Evening diner with His Excellency Melchiori and some Italian district heads. After that conference with General Gariboldi.

Major (G) Grunow (liaison officer to the air force) force landed at sea during flight to Sicily yesterday. Plane with reports meant for High Command of the Army (O.K.H.) lost. Crew rescued.

Lt.Col. (Reserve) Behrendt from the Staff of the Commander of German Troops in Libya[1] sent to the O.K.H. in Berlin to clear diverse questions and communicate requests.

[1]The name before becoming D.A.K.

D.A.K. war diary entry for 17 February 1941

17 February 1941

During morning wrote out operation order for 17 February, and sent copies to Italian offices.

Major Grunow sent to Catania to improve cooperation with X.Fliegerkorps.

Commanding General flew out at 09.30 hours with the intent to visit Oases at Socna and then on to Sirt. Flight to oases not possible due to Ghibli[1], therefore to Sirt only. From there during the afternoon transmitted instructions to Chief of Staff for reconnaissance and attack operations by German air force on 18 February.

English 11th Hussars Regiment pushed into the desert at El Agheila, direction unknown.[2] El Agheila and Casa Ristoto occupied by enemy. Destroyers[3] and Stuka have attacked these. Locate 11th Hussars.

Building of dummy tanks ordered. One model ready evening 17 February.

First conference by Captain Otto[4] and Captain Meixner[5] with Italian navy concerning sea transport of Panzerregiment 5 to the forward area.

[1]sand storm
[2]In fact the regiment was being pulled back to Tobruk. See the war diary at this link.
[3]Bf 110 twin-engined heavy fighters
[5]German navy, officer in command of naval affairs in North Africa at the time. His actual rank was Korvettenkapitaen, or Lt. Commander.