You have arrived at The CRUSADER Project, either by a link on a discussion forum, or through a Google search using a clever search term or via Twitter. If you want to know what this project is about, start reading this page. If you have been here before, you may want to know what has changed recently. You’re in luck, I recently added an updates page, which you can find at this link. If at any given time you want to return to the Table of Contents, simply click on the picture on the top of the page.
Apart from the main purpose, I am also always happy to help those who had relatives in this battle, regardless of which army they fought with. Simply drop me a comment on the relevant page. I have already been able to help some to learn more about the services and sacrifices made by their fathers or grandfathers, and it is one of the pleasures of this work to be able to do this.
Why am I doing this? My late grandfather served involuntarily in the Wehrmacht in the counter-battery branch of the artillery, fighting in Poland, Holland, Belgium, and France, before moving to Russia. He ended the war in Denmark. He died in 2010 of old age. His experience inspired me to learn more about this chapter in Germany’s history, and I ended up with this project, which is better suited to my language abilities than trying to do justice to the war in Russia.
A small note of caution – this table of contents will only put posts under their major categories, not into multiple categories. The choice of category is made by me and maybe erratic. 🙂 I hope the Table contains all the pages, but I may have missed some due to a move to a new service provider a while back.
Finally, a note on links to other websites. I am not checking those regularly, and WordPress does not alert me to broken links. So if you come across a link that’s no longer working, either on the side bar or in an entry, drop me a line. It’s much appreciated!
Articles & Podcasts
- 8 Hussars against Panzerregiment 5, 19 Nov 1941
- A counterfactual assessment of Rommel’s decision to advance to Tobruk, April 1941
- Challenging the Narrative – Podcast
Daily War Diary Entries – D.A.K. War Diary No. 1 Feb to April 1941:
Panzergruppe Daily Intelligence Assessments during CRUSADER:
- Please click here for an overview table.
- Explanatory: Luftwaffe Aerial Recce Report – 12 January 1942
- Explanatory: Luftwaffe Aerial Recce Visual Report – Bildskizze morning 22 November 1941
- Small Naval Unit Losses
- Large Naval Unit Losses
- Supply Statistics for North Africa
- The Insect Gunboats
- The Dardo II destroyer series
- Successful Italian Convoys November 1941
- Italian Naval Vessels engaged during CRUSADER
- Transport Ship Tonnage Losses on the Italy-Libya Route
- The Italian ‘Liberty’ Ships
- German Sonar on Italian Naval Vessels
- German Sonar on Italian Vessels – Pt. 2
- German Sonar on Italian Vessels – Pt. 3
- Submarine Supplies to North Africa 1941
- The Emergency Supply Programme of 22 November 1941
- Naval Supply Situation – 1 December 1941
- Empire Prisoners of War Killed at Sea by Royal Navy Submarines
- Naval Personnel Losses during CRUSADER
- German AA gun installations on Axis merchants – 26 Nov. 41
- The Kriegstransporter Programme
- History of F-Lighters in the Med
- 12 September 1941 – Battle for the Tembien Convoy
- ULTRA Intercepts Relating to Convoy Operation MF3 and Loss of SS Thermopylae
- Mansplaining Submarines to the Regia Marina – German-Italian Cooperation September 1941
- Sinking of Submarine HMS P.38 on 23 February 1942
- The loss of HM/Sub Tempest, 13 Feb 1942
- Mystery Sub Loss – 8 Jan 1942
- HMS Urge has been found off Malta
- Survivor Interrogation Reports of German Submarines
- The Loss of MFP148
- The loss of HMS Barham – 25 Nov 1941
- Supreme sacrifice – the loss of HMS Kandahar
- The loss of cruiser Armando Diaz, 25 Feb 1941
- Loss of submarine Iride and the failed raid on Alexandria, August 1940
- First S.A.S. Operation – SQUATTER
- Defending Position 19
- Defending Position 19 – Part 2
- Defending Position 19 – Part 3 What happened next?
- Major Ground Commands and Commanders
- Counterbattery Observation
- 11th Indian Brigade in CRUSADER
- Some views on the Matilda II
- German Firing Trials Against the Matilda II Infantry Tank 19 March 1942
- 6 NZ Brigade on Totensonntag
- Di Nisio Column (Ariete) on 23 November 1941, Totensonntag at Sidi Rezegh
- Italian Division Strengths on 1 February 1942
- German General Officer Casualties During CRUSADER
- Battalion Kolbeck on Ed Duda 1/2 Dec 41
- Sonderverband 288’s Arrival in Africa
- German Army Unit Designations Explained
- The Stosslinie – Finding your way around the battlefield – German style
- The Tobruk Amphibious Assault Scare
- Who used the French Canon de 155mm Schneider C guns?
- More Info on the Use of the French 155mm Mle.1917 gun
- Some more on the French 155mm Mle.1917 gun
- Day 1 of the Tobruk Breakout from the German Side
- 1 RTR on 21 November 1941
- Night Operations 25 November I – who attacked strongpoint 903
- Tobruk Breakout Objective Names and Map
- The end outside Tobruk – 4 Dec 1941
- Kampfgruppe Burckhardt in North Africa Jan – March 42
- German and Italian new self-propelled anti-tank guns during CRUSADER
- Bencol – Advance on Benghazi Part I
- BenCol – Original Objective
- 22 Armoured Brigade and the Delay in Starting the Operation
- Losses of German 15th Armoured Division
- Empire Tank Numbers when CRUSADER started
- Mechanical Failures of 7 Armoured Division tanks – workshop report
- The Italian Parachute Carabinieri Battalion in CRUSADER
- ‘Sunshields’ British Armour Camouflage
- 1st Carabinieri Parachute Battalion in North Africa 1941
- Personnel Losses in the German Army Artillery during CRUSADER
- Panzerregiment 5 at the End of CRUSADER
- Experience with Tanks of 2 Armoured Brigade, January 1942
- Some more on experience with Cruiser tanks, Jan. 42
- Brandenburger Special Forces in North Africa, 1941
- German Tanks Sent in January 1942
- Use of the 3.7″ AA gun in the Ground Role – Lessons Learned 1942
- The first and last battle of 2 Armoured Brigade – 23 January 1942
- 8 Army Supply Organisation – Lorries Lorries Lorries
- British/US tank deliveries 2nd half of 1941
- Some more on problems with Cruiser tanks
- The first US soldier killed in ground combat?
- Cross-sections and plans of the Tobruk fortification system
- Strength of I./S.R.104 when entering the Halfaya Sector
- KDG on 28 November 1941
- 2-pdr Experience and Lessons Learned
- Tank losses in Operation CRUSADER
- Fuel Requirements Artillery Regiment 33 – 26 September 1941
- German armoured recovery
- Tank Deliveries for the D.A.K. Pt. 1
- Equipping a New Army – M3 Tank Deliveries
- Technical vs. Battle Losses in PR5
- Running out of tanks – 4 Armoured Brigade on 19/20 November
- German tank formation flag signals
- Tank Museum on A13 Cruiser
- 21 January 1942 – And they are off!
- Chieftain’s Hatch – Crusader Part I
- What really happened at Bir el Gobi 19 November 41?
- Before Bruneval – Chasing Radar in Libya
- Was Rommel right to advance on the Egyptian frontier in April 1941?
- Annual Report 21. Panzerdivision for 1941
- Sunshields Pt. II
- Interesting intervieww on a desert rescue
- The major air commands and commanders
- A look on the waterlogged landing grounds
- The Fleet Air Arm
- The impact of air operations
- Italian Air Force frontline strength
- Air Transport to North Africa
- I./StG 3 in North Africa
- Daily Italian Air Force History
- Regia Aeronautica Fighter Planes during CRUSADER
- Regia Aeronautica Bombers during CRUSADER
- More on I./StG3’s transfer to North Africa
- RAF Strength in the Middle East November 1941
- Luftwaffe raid on Giarabub 15 November 41
- Daily Report by Fliegerfuehrer Afrika 23 Nov. 41
- Luftwaffe Intel Assessment of Desert Air Force Strength 20 Nov. 41
- Boeing B-17 bombers in the Middle East, 1941
- Flight Archive on the Free French Air Force in 1941
- Ground Support by the Western Desert Air Force
- Operation Report No.12 S.A.A.F. Squadron, 29 November 1941
- Some more on German Air Transport during CRUSADER
- German Transport Aircraft Strength in Greece, December 1941
- The B-24 Liberator during CRUSADER
- 4 RAF Battle Missions
- The effectiveness of dive-bombing
- Axis Air Strength for the Planned Attack on Tobruk in November 41
- Effectiveness of Air Attacks on Axis Forces – 30 Dec 41 to 1 Jan 42
- No. 107 Squadron’s costly shipping strike on 11 October 1941
- Axis Aircraft found on Captured Landing Grounds
- eArticle on German Desert Rescue Squadron Announcement
- Beaufighters and Telegraph Poles
- Background to No. 220 Detachment’s B-17 planes in use during CRUSADER
- Air battle over Landing Ground 125, 23 November 1941
- Der Adler Archive
- Airwarpublications 2./H14 Article pt. 2
- Airborne artillery spotting at Bardia
- The Lorraine Squadron in CRUSADER
- Blenheims over Magrun – 22 Dec 1941
- An expensive visit to Castelveltrano
- The Blenheim IV in the Desert and the Rise of the Fighter Bomber
- Mystery Plane loss – 31 October 1941
- Preparing for the Air Campaign – Tedder’s Appreciation of 13 October 1941
- Loss of Wing Commander Harte and No. 107 Squadron crews, 9 Oct 1941
Combat Reports and War Diaries
- Italian Navy Reports on Engagements with Force K
- Force K Reports
- Combat Report 15th Rifle Brigade 28 Dec. 1941
- Combat Report Panzerregiment 8 29 November 41
- Diary of Composite Squadron NEMO
- Combat Report 7th Hussars
- 6 RTR War Diary 1 to 23 November 1941
- 3 R.T.R. on 23 November 1941
- Pictures from Force E’s Desert Ride to Gialo
- War Diary Detachment 101 Special Wireless Section 26 Nov to 13 Dec 41
- First Battle of Gazala 13 December 41
- 2 Beds & Herts War Diary for fight with Batallion Kolbeck – 1/2 Dec 41
- The New Zealand Night Attack, 26/27 November 1941
- Kampfgruppe Briel’s Defense of Gambut Airfield
- The Battle for 1 Army Tank Brigade’s repair workshop
- Ariete’s Actions on Totensonntag – After Action Report
- Tobruk Fortifications Analysis
- Combat Report – 3./Flakregt. 33 for Sidi Rezegh 23 November 1941
- Report by Lt.Gen Enea Navarini on African operations of XXI Corps
- Bardia, Halfaya, and the January Counteroffensive
- Translation of the War Diary, Commander U-Boats in Italy
Strategic, Intelligence, ULTRA
- Countries Involved in Fighting During CRUSADER
- Losses in Operation CRUSADER
- First Impressions
- The Role of Crete
- Crusader’s impact on Air Transport in Russia
- The Admiral’s Views are Wild
- German Strategy in the Mediterranean
- Directive No. 38
- The Impact of the War in the Far East
- The Strategic Impact of the Counteroffensive
- Rommel’s Misappreciation of the Battle – 2 Dec 41
- ‘The Good Source’ – the Axis intelligence success against US codes
- Supply Requirements of German Forces – November 1941
- Capacity of Tripoli and Benghazi ports
- The end of the Halfaya garrison
- German Code Names Used during CRUSADER
- German Security Lapses
- Protecting the Secrecy of Radio Interception
- 70 years ago today – 21 January 1942
- How to read Luftwaffe aircraft markings
- Misplaced Optimism – Directive No. 32
Orders of Battle
- OOB of 101st Motorised Infantry Division Trieste
- Order of Battle Division z.b.V. Afrika (later 90th Light) for 10 November 41
- OOB of 7th Armoured Brigade at the start of CRUSADER
- Oasis Battalion 300
- The Tobruk Garrison at the Start of CRUSADER
- 8th Army’s OOB and tank strength after CRUSADER
- 55th Infantry Division Savona
- Order of battle of a British Cruiser regiment in October 1941
- Jock Column OOBs 13 Dec 1941
- New Zealand Division on Zaafran, 1 Dec 1941
- OOB 8th Army 18 November 1941
- OOB for a new Rifle Company Organisation in Panzerarmee
- Number of Guns of 1 Armoured Division, 8 April 1942
- Empire Medium Guns on 5 November 1941
- Captured Guns in Use by 13 Corps, 17 February 1942
- OOB Data for Sonderverband 288
- Tank arrivals for 42 R.T.R. before Operation CRUSADER
- Order of Battle of Ariete Elements at Sidi Rezegh 23 November 1941
- Order of Battle for Italian XXI Army Corps 18 November 1941
- San Marco Marine Battalion OOB 1941
- Tanks and Tank Variants during CRUSADER
- Torpedoing of MS Nino Bixio, August 1942
- German Guidelines of use of the 88mm gun
- The death of Hans-Joachim Marseille
- Background to Me 109G-2 ‘Schwarze 6’
- Documents relating to the loss of ORP Kujawiak
- Not CRUSADER – The day they captured the Italian Army’s Comedian
- Lieutenant McGinlay’s DSO
- Jock Campbell’s VC
- Sir Arthur Coningham
- Personal Pictures by an Italian Soldier
- What’s with all the DSOs?
- Last Alexandria Frogman Died
- Video Interview with Giovanni Fascisti veteran
- Diary of Major Ling, 44 R.T.R.
- Ian Gordon Templer – Last Swordfish Pilot, R.I.P
- In Memoriam Cdr. Jeremy Nash RN, D.S.C.
- Personal recollections by Tony Bridge
- Happy 100th Birthday Staff Sergeant Staveley
- Post-CRUSADER careers by Empire officers
- India Remembers – WW2 veteran stories
Literature & Movies
- The Coleraine Battery
- The Tiger Kills
- Iron Hulls Iron Hearts
- Green Book on Torch
- The Mediterranean Fleet – Greece to Tripoli
- Books of Interest
- The War against Rommel’s Supply Lines
- Afrika Korps Tome 1
- The Battles of the Malta Striking Forces
- Sir Arthur Coningham
- A short write-up on Reid’s Force E
- History of 4th Armoured Brigade
- Fighting Flotilla
- Ali D’Africa
- Courage Alone
- To the Last Round
- Google News Archive
- Two New Books by Cedric Mas
- The other ULTRA
- Logistics Revisited Lecture
- Online Version of Official UK History
- Movie Monday: Giarabub (1942)
- Eagles over North-Africa 1940 – 1943
- Wochenschau Footage from CRUSADER
- Interesting Interview
- Book Review: A15 Cruiser Mk. VI Crusader Tank – A Technical History
- Book Review: Very Special Ships by Arthur Nicholson
- David Greentree: British Submarine vs. Italian Torpedo Boat (Osprey Duel 74)
- Book Review: “Flying to Victory” by Mike Bechthold
- Fact and Fiction and Alan Moorehead – 19 November 1941
- Lars Gyllenhall LRDG and SAS
- New Book – Strangling the Axis by Dr. Richard Hammond
- New book – Topography is Fate (then and now – North African Campaign)
- Book Review: ‘Ladybird Book of the Desert War’ by James Holland
- Book Review: Churchill’s Folly by Tony Rogers
- New Czech Movie “Tobruk” on Amazon Prime
- AHF Forum Discussions
- Discussion on SV 288
- War Art
- Souda Bay War Graves
- Happy 100th Birthday Royal Navy Aviation!
- Minitiature Modelling of 22 Armoured Brigade
- Operation CRUSADER in the News
- The New War in Libya
- Aerial Pictures of Tripoli, 1942
- Ankara 1941 and 2011
- The Cost of War
- British Pathe Newsreels on Operation CRUSADER
- Translation of Arab Terms on Maps
- A personal note
- Rommel’s ACE Hardware, Chincoteague Island
- Pictures from Duxford Flying Legends air show 2012
- More newsreels
- The War Illustrated on Operation CRUSADER
- Meeting Rommel
- Totensonntag 2013
- If it were in a movie, I wouldn’t believe it…
- Warship Pictures
- Italian Navy Vessel Pencil Drawings
- The Rommel Myth
- Italian Newsreels
- Fall of Bardia and Halfaya Videos
- Australian Documentary on the Desert War
- Air War Publications Article – 2.H/14 Pt. 1
- Air War Publications Article 2.H/14 Pt. 2
- Chieftain’s Hatch – Crusader Tank Pt. 1
- Website on the Royal Navy’s Inshore Squadron
- The Boarding of U-559
- Chieftain’s Hatch – Cruiser Mk. IV A10
- Painting the Past – Picture Colorisation
- The day they captured the Italian Army’s Comedian
- Tank Museum on the A.13 cruiser
- Mobile Device Readability Test – please comment
- War Pictorial News 26
- First News from the Desert
- Messerschmitt ME109 Trailer 2 – YouTube
- AWM Movie on Air Operations
- Lend-Lease Matilda II in German Propaganda
- Progress on books
- Bit of an update – September 2013
- Allied force actions on 8 January 1942
- Book update January 2016
- Editorial note – numbering corps and armies
- Source verification and selection – a case study
- Missing – A Social History of the Desert War
I have just come across this website as I try to identify which of the RTR regiments my father was in at Tobruk. He was captured when it fell so he may heve been either 4RTR or 7RTR. Do you have any mention of him in your studies of the war diaries. I do not know when he enterd Tobruk but he was in the siege.
Any help would be fantastic
I’ll have a look-see. Was he an officer or tank commander?
All the best
I have come across this looking into the death of my grat uncle who served with 2nd Bn York and Lancaster regiment. Died 24/11/41, likely in build up to assault on strong point ‘Wolf’ from what I can gather. I was hoping you could point me in the direction of some of the articles you have which would be most relevant, or if by some chance you had come across references to him / his unit. He is 4745747 Sjt H W Green
I understand what you have may not be that specific, but I would be grateful for anything you would be able to provide!
I am out on business for a few days, but I will have a look-see, and let you know what I can find.
All the best
Have you got any tips or sources I could look at for the actions of York and Lancaster Regiment?
This one slipped my mind. I haven’t been able to find a regimental history that looks promising. Hi Jon
So in the absence of this, I would think primarily the regimental, brigade, and tobruk fortress war diaries are of interest? These are all on my list of things to get. I will go through the 4 RTR diaries for you (remind me please!), and in the meantime there is a bit of information here, which you are probably already aware of:
And in these posts by me:
Both general situation, nothing specific on the 2 Y&L
Very sorry about completely forgetting about your question.
All the best
Did you get my email Jon? I have something for you.
All the best
Thanks for the info – a great insight into what the 2Y&L were doing, I will send you anything else I can dig out with any delving into the regimental archives or the war diary.
I have an original 1 ” thick field copy of the secret British report by 7th Armoured Div on events at Sidi Rezegh, published in the desert by Gott in January 1942. Of any interest to the project?
First class work!
Could you be as kind as to drop me an email as there is something I would like to run past you :0
My warm regards,
Hi Andreas, Thanks for your email, I have sent you a reply
Hello tried to contact you via ww2 talk, but it wouldn’t let me. My grandfather was lost on the ss chakdina.
Dear Ms. Powell
I have to apologise for the delay in response. Was there a specific question you had?
With kind regards
Hello, only just found your message
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Hi – wondered if anyone could help with my understanding of Tracer Card of my Great Uncle Alfred Hunt 7932295. It states he was a POW in 25/11/41 but recaptured from enemy hands 2/1/1942.The card shows 59TR – but I do know he was a Desert Rat???? I believe when captured would have been part of the Sidi Rezegh battles? Many thanks for any advice. C Stevens
Many thanks for your inquiry. I would suspect 59TR to be a typo for 5 RTR. If he was recaptured, he was one of the POW released when Bardia fell to the South Africans on 2 January – about 2,500 Empire POW were released that day, all of them ORs I believe, no officers, who had been shipped out. If you email me I will be happy to send you some more information on this.
All the best
Thank you for prompt reply!! Where would I find your email address please?
Dropped you an email.
Hello Andreas, excuse me if I chose this place for a ‘service question’ which has not much to do with your blog, but I have no idea how to find a solution for this. Do you know the e-mail of the ww2 talk user Brian/ADM199? I have tried to contact him for the lists of POWs who died on Italian ships that were sunk in 1941-1942 via private message, but it seems not to work.
I have looked through my emails, but it appears I only communicated with him through WW2 Talk as well. I am afraid I cannot help you.
All the best
Hello, I have just discovered this site and find the wealth of information very exciting.
I have a question that I hope you can help me with.
I have stumbled across a source (unnamed and unverified) that suggests that during Crusader the South African divisions contained Infantry battalions with only 3 line companies and a weapons company, as opposed to 4 line companies and a weapons company as was standard TO&E for commonwealth divisions. Can you shed light on this or verify actual TO&E for the Infantry Battalions in the South African Divisions?
Please and Thank you
I am afraid I have no clue. Unfortunately I have no access to South African war diaries, these are held in Jo’Burg, not in Kew.
It’s possible though, the South African divisions had a special organisational standard. I will have a looksee if the RDLI history contains any clues.
All the best
it is a wonderful repository of valuable knowledge on an important chunk of history. Kudos for the admin for the hardwork. I am recently compiling record of 4 Field Company Bengal Sappers and Miners and have kind of stuck a dead end. Can anyone put me wise by sharing any relevant details regarding employment, location and any other pertinent input regarding the 4 Field Company of Bengal Sappers and Miners.
Thanking you in advance.
Many thanks for the compliment. I am afraid I have not noted down anything specific for them, but will now have a look when I go through the records. and revert here.
All the best
Has anybody ever heard of a Baron F Von de Genf? I have silver topped swagger stick inscribed “Baron F Von de Genf, Mekili 1942”. There is also the outline of a tank and three crosses or X’s inscribed on it like so; XXX.
I would be very grateful for any information.
I am sorry, but that doesn’t ring a bell.
All the best
Thank you anyway Andreas. I have some information that he was a Swiss/German national but nothing more. I will keep looking.
I run a similar blog to yours at tankarchives.blogspot.com. I focus largely on the Eastern Front, but there are documents that would be relevant to me that you might have. Have you perhaps come across ballistics tables? While Soviet artillery tables appear to be easy to find, I have had trouble with foreign guns. Do you perhaps have the table for the 8.8 cm KwK 36, 7.5 cm KwK 40, or 7.5 cm KwK 42? Also, is there an email I can contact you at directly?
Very nice site you have there! I am afraid I have nothing as technical as what you are looking for. I am very sorry I cannot help you there.
With kind regards
Just found this and it looks quite good. I emailed the location on to my old co-author Alessandro Massignani. I understand that there were more than five Oasis Companies . . . .
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Dear Mr. Greene
Many thanks for the compliments! I look forward to any other comments you may have,
On the Oasenkompanien, I am basing my entry on the September 1941 OOB for Panzergruppe. This is not a flawless document, but the best I have. I haven’t looked into whether further companies might have been assigned at a later date, especially considering that some were lost at Bardia, I think.
All the best
Vance von Borries may know a bit more – he is the one who let me know 5 companies was NOT the answer. I forwarded him this site. Could additional ones have arrived later . . . ?
Quite possible. I have amended the article with a copy of the source, to make it transparent where my number came from.
All the best
do you know where I can find a full casualty list following the sinking of SS Chackdina on the 5th December 1941
Hi, I am afraid I have never seen a full casualty list. Naval History Net has the navy/merchant navy losses, there are also pages for the New Zealand and Australian losses, and maybe you can construct the British/South African losses from a search on CWGC, but I doubt you can find a list of German and Italian casualties.
All the best
Do not know the losses for SS Chakdina This is all I know. Jack Greene http://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?16046 http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-WH2MMed-c8-19.html
Hello, i am new to this, so i hope that i get this right, !!!, My uncle William John Turrell army number 6286126 was with the Royal East Kent Regiment “the Buffs”, he was one of the brave men who was involved in the battle of Alem Hamza Ridge (bless them) sadly on the 15th of December 1941 he and many others were out numbered, captured and taken prisoner,
I have a photo that was taken of my uncle along with 6 other men while in a POW camp, maybe you could help, put names to faces, i will email you copy of photo if requested, as my uncle wrote and dated info on back of photo.
However, what i would like to know is from point 204, what route would the pow’s had taken ??
My uncle i know ended up at a Pow camp at Mullin Near Pupping.
His POW number was 155006.
He remained a POW from 15th December 1941 until the 5th of May 1945,
Any help or information about the above would be gratefully received.
thank you, kind regards
My uncle, John Brian Cother DOB 11/04/16, Second Lieutenant Royal Artillery, 72 Field Regiment, Service # 137857, Date of Death 5/08/41 Cyprus, buried Nocosia War Cemetary. . I am attempting to track this soldiers path to Cyprus, I believe his unit travelled with the 5th Bn Green Howards and the 150th Infantry Brigade aboard the Empress of Asia, arrived Port Twefik on 23 June 1941, the 72nd remained at Quassassian . Here is a slight difference as one report has them moving to Cyprss with no date The second report I have found the regiment assembled at Knutsford Cheshire, moved to Weymoth 1940. April 1941 it left England and arrived by sea Egypt on June 13, 1941 It embarked for Cyprus on 24th July 1941 and landed there the next day.
I believe the second notes pertain to my uncle, what I would like to know, where the basic training depot was in UK, Uncle Brian came from Hove Sussex. At what age did he sign up, I have no details of this,
I live in Central Florida, I will be in the UK during the summer and plan to request his military papers. I am compiling his biography for his soon to be 95 year old sister.
Any information you may have would be sincerely received. I have photos.
many thanks for the comment. I am afraid I have absolutely nothing on the 50th Division and 150 Brigade. I am sorry I cannot be of any help.
All the best
My Father Flt. A.E.Marshall DFC, DFM was in North Africa flying Hurricanes with the 73rd Squadron. I have, not only his Pilots Log Book but his diary from that time frame as well as a lot of other “things” that could possibly help in your quest for a “complete history” not one determined by academics as the “only truth”.
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Many thanks for your post. I’d love to see those!
All the best
Hi Andreas, I tried to forward some photos but they were “not accepted”!
If you want I can send from my personal e-mail address but I would need yours to start: Mine is email@example.com
I recently started researching a piece of trench art I bought over 50 years ago – the piece is in the shape of a shield in Black slate/stone. On and on the back is carved “Angefertigt in der Kriegs gefangenschaft Sudafrika 1942”. On the front is a battle scene with Tanks, Artillery and a fort. Inscribed on the front is DAK 1941 with an Eagle and swastika. Below is “Bewidmet der 12.Oasen Komp Sidi -Omar 22.11.1941”. I can mail you some Pics if this is of interest to you. firstname.lastname@example.org
A wonderful source of information here!
Im just wondering of you would have any further information on the fighting at Point 204 on 19th December 1941?
My Great-Uncle was with the Buffs during their last stand and was captured there.
Hi Piers, I have quite a bit of information on this. Apologies for the late reply. You can email me on a.biermann[at]gmail.com
Ladies and Gentlemen, my father was a soldier in North Africa (15th Panzerdivision / Kradschützen-Bataillon 15) in the period from the 5th of April until his capture on 3th of December 1941. He spoke on several occasions that during this time he had come to the Siwa Oasis as part of a military reconnaissance. Was this possible? Do you know anything about it? Who could know something? Here in Germany and also Internet I have so far for this period no information found.
I would be very grateful to you for any hints.
Hi Bernd, I am sorry, I thought I had responded. Your father was almost certainly captured in the failed advance of Vorausabteilung Geissler towards Bardia. I very seriously doubt the Siwa story, I have no record of any German forces coming near it in 1941. The Siwa/Giarabub oases were well defended, and very far away from the main area of operations.
The battle in which your father was most likely the one described here from p. 158 onwards. This includes a German report. It was pretty much a total disaster for the Germans.
With kind regards
Andreas, many thanks for the answer. The facts and assumptions you have presented are correct or I see them as well. I already knew the New Zealand source. Thanks for that too.
Danke! Kannte ich noch nicht 🙂
Subject: article on German Antisubmarine Equipment on Italian vessels – Destroyer Da Mosto – war diaries of the second officer
Through the internet site “Con la pelle appesa a un chiodo” managed by Lorenzo Colombo, I knew of your very interesting site “The Crusader Project”, where I could read the article of the German Antisubmarine Equipment on Italian Vessels of July 15 2009.
I’m Mario Fuselli, nephew of Rodolfo Balbo, Lieutenant during the Second World War of the Italian destroyer Da Mosto that, on 1st December 1941, was escorting a tanker from Sicily to Libia. As you know, during the voyage, the convoy was attacked by Blenheims of RAF 18th Squadron, that damaged the tanker, and then it was intercepted by cruisers of Force K HMS Aurora and HMS Penelope, escorted by the destroyer HMS Lively. The result was an uneven but epic battle, but with an inevitable end. Destroyer Da Mosto was sunk, and more than half of its crew perished.
Fortunately my Grandpa survived, along with the commander, some officers and 135 other men. He told me many times the story of this action, also telling me that the crew of HMS Lively saluted the survivors on life boats giving them the military honour for the bravery shown during the battle.
My Grandpa died on September 2007, he was 95 y.o. Recently I was tiding up his archive (he left war diaries along with a lot of documents, letters and photographs from the period 1940-46) and I was really struck by the fact that he and his comrades in arms have been reunited themselves after the war’s end for years and years, till mid 90s, to commemorate and celebrate the episode and to remember their mates perished during the battle.
In his war diaries, especially in the page of the battle of 1st December he clearly mentioned two of the German sailors who survived the battle, the Petty Officer Rublack and the seaman Maidenoff (in his diary and in the official Navy documents he his named Naidenoff).
Recently came to my mind the idea to write a book on the action of Da Mosto, not a mere account of the battle, but a collection of remembrances and emotions of the men that wrote – as was written by an Italian historian many years ago – one of the most virtuous pages of history of the Italian Navy.
Sorry for this long digression, now I go straight to the point. Considering your site a very interesting and useful source of information, I ask you if I can cite this interesting report, obviously citing your work within the sources.
In addition, I would be very grateful if you could help me to contact some relatives of the German sailors of time and/or you could send me some documentation, war diaries, or whatever of that period you have relating the Da Mosto.
I think that even today, nearly 80 years after such events, the remembrance of our grandfathers should not be forgotten and lost and we must preserve their memory.
Address: Via F. Pozzo 4/3, 16145, Genova, ITALY
Caro Mario, thanks a lot for the very interesting story, and I am glad to hear your grandfather survived when so many of his comrades did not. He was lucky then that unlike his commander he did not transfer to Scirocco!
On a more general note, I think the action by da Mosto is irrefutable proof that the reputation of the Regia Marina as unwilling to fight and protect its charges is wholly unwarranted.
I can see what if anything I can do to help regarding the German sailors. You are of course more than welcome to use any material on this site to help your work.
I have some other posts on the S-Geraet that contain background information you may find useful.
With kind regards
Any serious study of the war in the Med will show the bravery of Italians in the entire period of the war. The failure was in their government NOT supplying the best means to fight. Check out my co-authored THE NAVAL WAR IN THE MEDITERRANEAN 1940-1943.
Dear Mr. Greene,
I couldn’t agree more.
With kind regards
What a comprehensive effort!
Apologies if I missed it, however, is there a list/roster of all German troops serving under Rommel, specifically, or with the Afrika Korps during its time in N Africa?
I doubt such a list exists.
All the best
Andreas, thank you for responding. Odd search, in that my mother or aunt had been pen pals with a German soldier. Do not have any of the letters, but have a name, and do not know how they got connected to him from US. Regards, Josh
Dear Andreas, just discovered your site. I am into my 40th year in the defence force, with an interest in armour. Your site is marvellous! And I am soo pressed with the help_support you give to others. Keep up the good work. William
Dear William, thanks for the kind words. I am glad you like the site and find it useful.
All the best,
What a brilliant website this is.
“Hit” it by accident while searching for tank types deployed in the North Africa campaign. My intent is to build a (fictional) diorama of tank engagements, encompassing as many Allied and Axis types as I can find (1:72/76 scale).
Inspired by an Italian friend and model-maker, who is attempting to build a mini-diorama of an RAF airfield in the desert, featuring a 1:72 Gloster Gladiator no less. He has been working on it for almost 9 months, using “after-market” parts, and the top wing is still not fitted to the lower one! I understand that this level of model-making is still a major activity in Italy.
Bottom line – does anyone have photos of said airfields and/or Gladiators that he could use?
And, totally unrelated, my late father was an AOP pilot in WW2 (652 Squadron), if anyone is interested in the Normandy to Holland theatre. I have a handful of photos of himself and his Auster aircraft in Normandy …
Thanks for the compliments Roger!
My pleasure, Andreas. Since my last post I have “spun off” a new interest in the air war over N Africa. (with a view to extending my friend’s diorama of his Gloster Gladiator. Sadly, I haven’t been able to find any useful photos of either Allied or Axis landing grounds/airfields to get an idea of the general “clutter” that would surround the aircraft on the ground, e.g. refuelling, re-arming, trolley accs, crew tents etc. Can you suggest any references please?
Kind regards. Roger.
P.S. If you ever need any help, I live about half a mile from the PRO in Kew! …
Hi Roger, let me have a trawl. I will revert. Thanks for the offer to help! And careful I may take you up on it. All the best, Andreas
Danke schoen, Andreas. (I am just guessing at
your Nationality – the English verb “to revert” means to “go back”, i.e. return to a prior state or condition. The idiom you had in mind is “come back” – antworten noch einmal!) Ich amusierte mich mein “Schuelerin-Deutsch” praktischieren, 56 Jahren weiter !…
I have just found your In Memoriam article for Commander Jeremy Nash, OBE, DSC, RN. He was my father, and I want to make a correction about the date he died, which was 23rd November 2018, and not 3rd January this year as you state. There will be a Thanksgiving Service for him at The Minster in Wimborne, Dorset on 12th February at noon if anyone is interested in attending.
Many thanks for getting in touch and for the correction.
I apologise for mistakenly going by the date of the publication of the obituary, which was not very clever of me.
I am truly sorry for your loss, and hope that your father had a good life.
With kind regards
Hello Andreas. Thank you for your great site. I am hoping you will be able to help with some information regarding my Great Uncle Heinrich Gutfrucht, Gefreiter, 7./Kompanie, Schuetzen Regiment 104. His sister told me about him when I was visiting Germany in 1974, when I was 14. My recollection of that is he was a Sanitaeter, taken prisoner and while prisoner worked to help care for wounded, and was killed Nov. 28 1941 when the RAF bombed their own red cross area. From Volksbund Graebersuche, I have Todesort: Gefangenschaft b. Bardia a.d. Kuestenstr. Via Balbia Km.Stein 22 westl.Bardia. The family received a letter from Padre D.D. Thorpe 2NZEF middle east, which says gefallen im Einsatz am 28 November 1941, Begraben in Bir-Ez-Zemlah westlich Bardia, and that he performed the service in the presence of german and NZ officers and enlisted men. I have been reading in http://www.22battalion.org.nz, so have determined that Padre Thorpe was with A company of the 22 NZ Battalion. Also that the Knabe group attacked their positions Nov. 27 while the Brigade HQ fell. In the NZ Medical Services diary page 260 it mentions german medical personnel released from the POW cage to assist with wounded Nov. 26. In “The Relief of Tobruk” Chapter 21 a footnote mentions 1 Army Tank Brigade/Divisional and Corp rear headquarters 12 miles south of Bir el Chleta being bombed by RAF or FAA at 1 a.m. on Nov. 28. Would you be able to see in your DAK or other war diaries when/where Heinrich was taken prisoner, if he was a sanitaeter and anything else related to him? All of the other stories told me by my Great Aunt checked out so it would be very much appreciated if you had additional information to help me understand what happened. Could you please email to me directly? Thank you very much. Mike
I will have a look-see. Do not hesitate to email me on email@example.com if it takes too long 🙂
All the best
I have just come across this website my great uncle (Frank) was in Tobruk. He was captured when it fell or possibly after as he and some others may have done a runner. I believe he was 4th RTR Do you have any mention of him in your studies of the war diaries. He won a Military Medal, maybe that might be mentioned. I have no idea what he won it for.
Any help would be fantastic
Let me have a looksee and revert
Been digging, no luck yet.
All the best
Hi Gareth – been through it and no mention. Which means he wasn’t wounded in CRUSADER. Sorry there is nothing else.
I believe a relative of mine is amongst the casualties on one of these vessels SS Ariosto [Ariostol, Ariostal, Arioste] alias Prioto (sunk 15 February 1942), SS Tembien (sunk 27/February 1942) and SS Pepe (sunk leaving Tripoli harbour, 27/28 February 1942) all sunk by friendly fire. How would I go about finding his details from a causality list?
I’m still working on it.
Hi, I have an Italian friend whose grandfather was captured at Sidi Omar 22 November 1941 along with two village friends. The three men served with the 16th Regg Fanteria. Do you have an email I can direct him to? Thanking you in advance. After capture they were sent to India and then Australia. But Francesco is interested in knowing more about Sidi Omar and its capture.
First of all, I’d like to say that this is a superb website. You are doing a fantastic job.
My grandfather served in the 3rd Royal Tank Regiment during Operation Crusader. I know very little of his service, only that he held the rank of Trooper, was a tank gunner gunner and was wounded in action on (or around) the 18th December 1941. Long after he’d passed away I was fascinated and intrigued when my Great Uncle mentioned in conversation that he was ‘rescued from his burning tank by retreating Italian soldiers’. I have tried searching for more information, but all I can find from around this time is that 3rd RTR may have been fighting around the town of Mechili, and may have been trying to cut off Italian and DAK soldiers who had been ordered to pull back. If you have any information or resources to point me towards, it would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you very much and Merry Christmas!
Flattery will get you anywhere, so I sent you an email!
All the best
Hi Andreas, I’ve just found your site! Wow, I think you’re doing a great job. I’ve been researching this campaign recently as my father served in NZ 26 bn in 6 bde that fought Totensontag and Sidi Rezegh. He never discussed much but told me how (I assume it was in the desperate fight on Nov 30 against what I assume to be 21 panzer) he and his friend were faced with the choice of surrender or retreat under fire back to the escarpment. He told me how he had run for it but friend his friend had surrendered only to die in the ship taking him to Italy. I think this must have been the Jantzen, torpedoed by a British submarine. Anyway just wanted to say hello as this campaign has been much in my thoughts lately and I was delighted to find your site.
Incredible site, I would like to find out a bit more about my great uncle, Ronald Douglas Carter, number 947100 who was I believe a 2nd lieutenant in the Royal Artillery, Battleaxe Brigade. I have a box full of documents and photos which show bits and pieces but I was never able to have a good chat with him when he was alive – he used to keep quiet about his service. He was born in 1919 and died in 2001.
Hi, sorry for the delay. I suppose that means he was in 78 Infantry Division. AS this fought in Tunisia, I am afraid it is not something I have looked into very deeply.
All the best