D.A.K. war diary entry 22 February 1941

D.A.K. war diary entry 22 February 1941

22 February 1941

Morning conference at the port of the divisional commander concerning possibility to disembark from lighters and barges on the open shore. Afterwards conference with the Commanding General of X.FliegerkorpsGeneral der Flieger[1] Geissler, concerning tasks of the air force in Libya. Closest co-operation is agreed. Subordination under the German Commander in Chief (Befehlshaber[2]) in Libya at present not possible since an order from Berlin in this regard is missing[3].

Commander in Chief, General der Flieger Geisler and Major-General Streich together with close staff members invited for lunch with His Excellency General Gariboldi. Afterwards flight of the Commander in Chief with Major-General Streich, Corps Aide-de-Camp and two officers of the staff to Sirt. Inspection of the AA position in the area around Sirt and of some Italian positions. Stay overnight with a platoon of the Field Hospital which had been moved to Sirt.

Bundesarchiv Bild 183 L06496 Hans Geisler

General der Flieger Geisler, February 1941. Bundesarchiv Bildarchiv.

[1]A branch-specific rank similar to General der Panzertruppen, or General der Infantry. It was equivalent to the British Lieutenan-General, but outranked the German Generalleutnant. General Geisler therefore outranked General Rommel at this time.

[2]Befehlshaber was a position rather than a rank. It indicated that Rommel was in command of all German Army troops in Libya, he was also Kommandierender General (General in Command) of the D.A.K.. His rank at the time was Generalleutnant, equivalent to a British Major-General. He nominally reported to the Italian theatre commander, General Gariboldi.

[3]This was a potential problem for future combat operations, and the issue was never resolved. The relationship never moved beyond ‘instructed to cooperate’ (auf Zusammenarbeit angewiesen)