German tank deliveries to North Africa are a fascinating topic for anyone researching the war in the desert, and have a substantial bearing on the ability of the Axis forces in the theatre to carry out their mission.
I originally published an article based on secondary sources, but tt was pointed out to me that the original article at this link contains errors. I have therefore gone back into the actual cargo ship loading manifests to try and correct it. The result is attached in the form of the PDF, which can be downloaded here: Tank Deliveries up to March 1942. The file is at present published for comment and corrections prior to finalisation.
I will continue this work through to the end of my documentation of manifests, which is sometime towards the end of 1942, as time permits me. At present the file covers to 31 March 1942 inclusive.
- Yellow highlighted cells indicate interpretation of tank type based on weight. I.e. no vehicle type other than ‘Panzer XX tonnen’ was given. 5-7 tons is a Panzer I or kleiner Befehlswagen (command tank on the basis of Panzer I chassis), 10 tons is a Panzer II or a Panzerjaeger I or a kleiner Panzerbefehlswagen for Panzerjaegerabt. 605, 20 tons is a Panzer III or grosser Panzerbefehlswagen (command tank on Panzer III chassis), and 22 tons is a Panzer IV.
- Peach highlighted cells indicate sunk tanks. For example, S/S Adana and Arta were part of the ill-fated Tarigo convoy which was sunk in its entirety off the Kerkennah banks off Sfax, Tunisia, during the night of 16/17 April 1941. This convoy primarily carried units of 15. Panzerdivision. The two tanks on Adana would almost certainly have been grosse Panzerbefehlswagen, while that on Arta is difficult to tell.
- This list does include tanks delivered on Italian cargo ships, such as Andrea Gritti.
Burning kleiner Panzerbefehlswagen in Libya, from the AWM via Wikimedia Commons
German steamer S/S Adana in better days. From Wrecksite.eu