D.A.K. war diary entry 11 February 1941

D.A.K. war diary entry 11 February 1941

11 February 1941

10.30 hours visit of the German embassy by Commanding General, Chief of Staff, and Colonel Schmundt[1], visiting Fürst Bismarck. Following this drive to Italian war ministry. There report to the Generals Guzzoni and Roatta[2] (equivalents to Keitel and Brauchitsch).[3]

445px Mario Roatta portrait

General Roatta. Italian Army Archives via Wikipedia.

Conference progresses highly satisfactorily. Defense of Libya no longer to be based on Tripoli, as planned up to now. General Roatta should come along to Tripoli to make all the arrangements agreed upon.

Around 13.00 hours joint breakfast.

Afternoon flight from Rome to Catania on Sicily. Arrival there in the dark.

In Catania conferences with the Commanding General X. Fliegerkorps[4]. Air force elements to strike during the night 12/13 February against enemy in the area south of Benghazi.

Exploration staff is joined by Rittmeister von Plehwe[5] as Ic[6]. Remainder of exploration staff reaches Catania by train, coming from Rome.

Around 22.30 hours short discussion by Colonel Schmundt with General Jodl. Result: Luftwaffe has a free hand up to but excluding Benghazi.


[1]Hitler’s aide-de-camp, who was killed in the July 1944 assassination attempt.
[2]Deputy Chiefs of the Italian Armed Forces Command. Both survived the war. Roatta was tried for his role in war crimes in occupied Yugoslavia, and escaped to Spain after the war.
[3] This is not correct. They were the equivalent of Jodl at OKW and Halder, respectively.
[4]This was the German air force formation carrying out operations against Malta from Sicily. A Fliegerkorps was roughly equivalent to an R.A.F. Group, it was responsible for controlling operational units such as wings or squadrons in a particular geographical area. A good definition can be found at this link. The OOB for January 1941 can be found at this link (pdf).
[5]A cavalry rank used in the German reconnaissance forces, typically in charge of a squadron. Equivalent to Captain. von Plehwe did not serve long in the role. He survived the war and had a distinguished diplomatic career afterwards, ending as Secretary General of the West European Union.
[6]Responsible for intelligence matters.