D.A.K. War Diary Entry 21 April 1941

21 April 1941

Weather: 19 degrees Celsius

Arrival and Departure of Subordinated Troops:

Arrived in Tripoli:

  • Staff 15.Panz.Div. 2nd Echelon and Staff quarters, staff company 
  • S.R.115
  • A.A.33
  • Remains Signals Battalion 33 (N.A.33) (concentrated in one company due to sinking)[1]

10.5cm artillery battalion Kalamita (1st Battalion 24th Artillery Regiment), until now under Div.Ariete now subordinated to 2nd Fast Artillery Regiment (2nd Articelere)

Morning report Gruppe Herff: “03.15 hours attack of enemy planes with explosive and incendiary bombs and machine guns on right wing Kradschuetzen Btl. 15

During the morning, Div. Brescia captured one paymaster and 12 men who were dispersed from 2nd English armoured division.

Air Situation:

During the day lively air activity. During attack on Derna airfield 4 Italian fighters damaged. On 21 April Gazala airfield was twice attacked with bombs, including once by a concentrated formation of 12 planes. Several dead and wounded.

At 17.15 hours 68 of our bombers attacked the harbour of Tobruk. 3 ships of 4 – 5,000 tons suffered in some cases several direct hits. 1 ship burning.[2]


German Stukas in April 1941. Rommelsriposte.com Collection.

During aerial combat 1 Hurricane was shot down, one of our fighters was lost. The pilot was shot down by Hurricanes while parachuting down.

During the night 20/21 April Tripoli was fired on by heavy naval units until 05.00 hours. No significant losses to German personnel and material, since fire was generally wide. A heavy bombing attack at the same time caused damage to buildings.[3]

A larger convoy with navy escort was reported off the southern tip of Crete, going south. [4]

The Italian high command was sent a message about the further intent of the Corps, see the same.

Appreciation of the situation by the D.A.K., see report to O.K.H.

General Rommel communicated to the commanders or Ia of the divisions his plan for an attack on Tobruk following the re-organisation of forces, for the time around 1 May. Written order with sketch issued on 22 April, see the same.

General staff of the Italian armed forces informed via the military attache in Rome that the bringing up of the two static divisions which had been requested was not possible due to a lack of transport capacity.

Order concerning tasks of I./Flak 18 see the same. The Guastatori battalion subordinated to the Corps arrived and received the order to be ready as reserve (see order).[5]

[1]This was one of the most important units to be severely damaged in the destruction of the Lampo convoy.

[2]Two losses can easily be confirmed for this attack. i) SS Bankura, a 3,159 GRT steamer was hit in the cargo hold and run aground. She was further damaged in future attacks and finally broken up in 1950. See this link. ii) SS Urania, ex. German Patmos, a 1,907 GRT steamer built in 1902. See this link.

[3]Operation MD2 – see this link.

[4]This may have been the force moving from the bombardment of Tripoli back to Alexandria.

[5]XXXII Guastatori. See this post on its sister battalion, XXXI Guastatori. This history of the 32nd is at this link (in Italian).


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