D.A.K. war diary 13 March 1941

13 March 1941

Marada is taken under control by a German-Italian detachment under German command.

The command staff of the Afrikakorps (Commander, Chief of Staff, IaIc, and IIa with aide de camps, support officers and office personel moves to Sirt. The Commander flies with the Chief of Staff and 2nd Lt. v.Goerne at 14.00 hours with an Italian Ghibli[1] from Melaha. Because of a sand storm the flight turns around and force lands in Melaha. From there continuation of the journey in a car put at his disposition.. Arrival in Sirt only at midnight due to sand storm.

Major Ehlert (Ia) and Lt. von Hoesslin (O1) with the office personnel cannot take off and remain in Tripoli during the night, to fly to Sirt the next morning.

[1]Caproni Ca.309, a multi-role twin-engined plane built specifically for and used heavily by the Italian air force in North Africa, for armed reconnaissance and liaison duties.


Ca.309 Ghibli pre-war. Image from Wikipedia.

D.A.K. war diary 12 March 1941

12 March 1941

The Commander flies back to Tripoli during the morning. At 17.00 hours a parade and passing is held at the Castle in Tripoli by II./PR5, those elements of I./PR5[1] already in Tripoli and a tank battalion of Div. Ariete[2]. II./PR5 afterwards moves to Sirt in four night marches; during the march the battalion remains directly subordinate to the Afrikakorps.

Nordafrika, Truppenparade in Tripolis

Italian medium tanks M13/40 parading in Tripoli on 12 March 1941. Picture from Wikipedia’s Bundesarchiv project

Under command of Major Schraepler (IIa) a preparatory command drives to Sirt in the early morning hours, to prepare the new Corps HQ for the command staff.

[1]Second and first battalions of the armoured regiment of 5.lei.Div., respectively.
[2]These were the tanks of 7th Battalion 32nd Armoured Regiment, which had arrived the day before. See this older link.