Updates etc.

11 April 2021

After quite a bit of time on Twitter (too much arguably), a recent conversation made it clear that it simply wasn’t a productive use of time, as I would not be able to get what I needed out of it and it detracted from the work at hand to get things done. In consequence, the account was shut down today. The project continues, and is producing output. The time on Twitter was helpful in a number of aspects, but the marginal utility was declining. But it did drive updates to a large number of articles, including reformatting, error correction and content addition. It also allowed me to network and make some very useful connections, while enabling me to share documentation and analysis with a wider audience. I very much approached this as a 2-way street, and while it did work in that way, in the end I can only be grateful to those who positively interacted with me, while noting that it was fun while it lasted, but had to come to an end to enable me to focus on output. 

In terms of output:

  • An article on the loss of Empire POWs on MV Sebastiano Veniero on 9 Dec 1941 has been published in the Review of the Naval Historical Society of Australia.
  • An article on the Battle of Cape Spada is under preparation for the Review.
  • A peer-reviewed article on the tank battle between 4 Armoured Brigade and Kampfgruppe Stephan on 19 November 1941
    is forthcoming in the next issue of Scientia Militaria.
  • Near-term planning for books is crystallizing on two separate ones:
  1. Oasis Force and Force E. The manuscript is late stage.
  2. Republication of a revised edition of Michele Palermo’s Battaglie Aeree. This is a project Michele and myself have just started.

7 April 2020

  • Added new page to concentrate more in-depth articles.
  • Continued re-writing and re-design of blog articles in the new style.

09 February 2020

  • We joined Twitter under @crusaderproject in 2018. Give us a follow!
  • We are working on updating posts with additional information, corrections, and also for a more coherent and better look.

23 September 2018: I took a new job abroad in 2017, and work has been progressing very slowly since then.

3 May 2016: As of today I have to put the D.A.K. war diary translation project on ice, to enable me to put time against more urgent, book-related tasks.

28 February 2016 Quite a bit of activity recently. I have created pages instead of posts to be able to easily find the D.A.K. war diary and Panzergruppe intelligence assessment overview tables.

21 February 2016 Updated the Movie Sunday Post showing Italian war news with embedded Youtube links and additional videos.

19 February 2016 Commenced new project to translate and post all entries in the KTB No. 1 (first war diary) of the D.A.K. Overview table is at this link.

8 December 2015 Updated Table of Contents to bring it fully up to date.

01 September 2013 Almost a year, an update on progress and plans can be found at this link.

30 September 2012 Updated Capacity of Tripoli and Benghazi Harbours with information from a German document.

10 July 2012 Updated Duxford Flying Legends 2012

9 July 2012

24 June 2012 Update on publishing status –  Due to the fortuitous discovery of a large volume of Italian first-hand evidence (my Googlefu was strong), the publication of our first book has had to be pushed back, because we need time to process this material. It may also alter the structure of the book, but we are not sure yet. This book will be self-published either towards the end of 2012, or in early 2013 (more realistic), and you will be able to order it here, or through Kuno’s website Desert Stories. My own first book is still planned for 2013. Regarding this blog, I have toyed with the idea of moving it to a more permanent home in form of a webpage. While this has obvious attractions in terms of handling content, I don’t have the time to do this, so the blog will continue in its current format. It will (for the time being) remain advertisement free.

23 June 2012 Given the increasing content of the blog, I decided to put the Table of contents upfront, and provide it with a short covering text. Feedback welcome on whether this helps navigation and finding information.

20 June 2012 Corrected error in the article on 11 Indian Brigade. Many thanks for David Rixey and D. O’Brien for pointing it out.

15 June 2012 Added movie link to The Insect Gunboats and a German document and more info to German Tanks Sent in Jan 1942.

31 May 2012 Added losses to Naval Personnel Losses during CRUSADER .

26 May 2012 Corrected errors in Reports by Commander of Force K

21 May 2012 Further updated 1 RTR’s casualty list in Not a Good Day at the Office – 1 RTR and Day 1 of the Tobruk Breakout

19 May 2012 Updated 1 RTR’s casualty list in Not a Good Day at the Office – 1 RTR and Day 1 of the Tobruk Breakout

15 May 2012 Updated Naval Personnel Losses during CRUSADER with info on German losses.

13 May 2012 Updated Benghazi – After the Capture with ULTRA information on how many serviceable German planes were captured at Benina.

20 April 2012 Updated Small Naval Unit Losses and Damage with some new information on damage to Italian destroyers.  Since the last update added a couple of new posts.

25 Jan 2012 Updated post on experience of 2 Armoured Brigade with cruiser tanks with some info from the experience of 4 Armoured Brigade earlier in the battle (click here to read it)

24 Jan 2012 Updated the post on the Tobruk breakout from the German perspective (click here to read it) with a report from Tobruk Fortress on the 21 November, indicating the losses inflicted on the Axis. Updated the second post dealing with the B-17s of No. 90 Squadron with some information on the raids they undertook (click here to read it).

18 Jan 2012 I changed the lay-out to a new theme, since I hope this gives a bit more space to the text, instead of the very wide empty space on the left that the old theme had. Unfortunately this curtailed the size of the header picture. In response to this, I am preparing some additional header pictures by Mr. McIntyre that will alternate at random across blog posts. They are all related to CRUSADER, or the desert war. Still struggling with the tech though, so at present there are only six of these. I would appreciate feedback on the new layout created today. Oh, and I created an update page…

30 Dec 2011 Things on this blog will slow down a bit following the birth of my daughter Frida. It means I will have to divide time between my day-job, my family, the book projects, and this. Nevertheless, I will try to keep this place interesting for those of you who follow it. Happy New 2012! Andreas

7 Sept 2011 We think after three years it might be time for an update, also because the project has changed considerably in the course of researching it.

1) Change of Scope

There is a slight change of scope, in that it has now been extended to provide the most extensive cover yet of the Operations of Oasis Force under Brigadier Reid. This will be a stand-alone book, co-authored by me, Andreas, Kuno Gross (co-author of ‘Incident at Jebel Sherif’, ‘The Occupation of Kufra’, and author of ‘The Bagnold Sun Compass’), and Roberto Chiarvetto, who co-authored the former two books with Kuno. This is a book we are very excited about. It’ll be a self-publishing venture, and we hope to have it out by early 2012. More on that in a few weeks. Nevertheless, the project is still focused on Operation CRUSADER, and nothing else.

2) Change of Approach

The initial intent was to publish a very simple, one-volume history of CRUSADER from the German perspective. In the course of developing this, it became clear that there is no satisfactory treatment of this very important operation from the Commonwealth side. In the conceptualisation of this, it became clear that it will not be possible to fit this into one volume. We have undertaken very considerable archival research at Kew, the UK’s National Archives, to lift a lot of the original unit records, messages, reports, etc., and have by now probably the foremost library on this matter outside the archive. We will also be giving a much higher importance to the air battle than originally planned. For this we will lean on Michele Palermo’s ‘Le Battaglie Aeree in Africa Settentrionale’ (The Air Battles over North Africa), which covers November and December (see for this link for a preview, and this link to order. As well as Michele’s and Ludovico Slongo’s earlier ‘Ali d’Africa’, the history of 1st Italian Fighter Wing (see this link for preview, and this link to order). Both books are bilingual, and a very important addition to our knowledge. Especially Michele’s Battaglie supercedes Shores and Ring’s prior standard work. Michele has confirmed that he is interested to work with me on Vol. III, which will cover a period he has not yet addressed in detail.

3) Outputs

First, obviously the book on Oasis Force. For the main opus, we are now looking at a 3-volume edition, with the first edition to be published in January 2013 (if all goes well). The order will be somewhat off, being Vol. III (El-Agheila and the Counteroffensive), Vol. I (Sidi Rezegh, Tobruk), Vol.II (Pursuit, Gazala, Agedabia, siege and occupation of Bardia and Halfaya). This will follow the way the Germans split the battle into phases. It will also ensure that each volume will have sufficient amounts of things going on to be of interest in its own right. We are in detailed discussions about a publishing contract for Vol. III, and would presume that the same publisher will go with all three volumes. We welcome comments on this.

Crusader 6

Two Crusader Mk. I Tanks during operations around Tobruk, 26 November 1941. IWM

9 thoughts on “Updates etc.

  1. re: 11th Indian brigade. To the best of my knowledge the Cameronians were not attached
    to this brigade of the Indian Army. The 2nd battalion Cameron Highlanders were, and went
    into captivity on the fall of Tobruk.


    • Many thanks. I must say that even after 15 years of dealing with it, British regiments have a tendency to fool me. You are quite right of course. I’ll correct that.

      All the best



      • My father Harry Finlayson was a tank comander with the 5th Battalion Royal Tank Regiment and fought at the battle of Sidi Rezaegh and was captured. He met Rommell, who he remembered as a small man who spoke perfect English. The POW ship “Sebastiano Veniero” on which was transported to Greece was torpedoed by the British sub Porpoise. He survived to spend four years in POW camps. A little of his story will be told in a BBC documentary to be shown on Sunday 6 January 2013 at 21:00 GMT. Harry is now 97 and still in good health. Mike Finlayson’


  2. Hi Mike

    Sorry I never replied. I watched the programme, very interesting. Many thanks for the pointer, and very good to hear your father is still around. It’d be interesting to hear his stories.

    All the best



  3. Hello old friend How are you I had some questions about captured Stuart tanks belonging to 8 th hussars during Operation Crusader when the 4th BDE night leaguer was overrun. I read 4 were recovered and used by 2NZ Cav during the battle. So did German use any captured Stuart in Operation Crusder battle? If so how many and did any engage britsh tanks? Finally were any shipped back to Germany for evalautions? were any more recovered by Britsh forces during the battle > Thanks again Ken


    • Hi Ken, my apologies, I intended to reply, but forgot. I believe some of the tanks were indeed used by the Germans, but I don’t know if they engaged British tanks. To be honest, given the record situation I doubt this will ever be known. I am not sure that any would have been sent back to Germany, and none seem to be with the German or Italian forces once they arrive in Agedabia at the end of December.

      All the best



  4. Ken pls connect with me My interests encompass the German’s radio service encryption to send wireless to Gen Rommel. My profession is wireless telecoms: I had projects in 1990-2005 evolution; a colleague tells me that the German service developed CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access); Wehrmacht had a small research budget with Tlefunken Gescellshaft (likely a GMB); unfortunately too few radio researchers were available; we have good histories on radio development by Bell Labs and MIT labs–mostly started in early 1942. BUT, with CDMA in Operation Crusader Germans were on leading edge. CDMA, now highly developed by QualCom and embedded in Siemans handsets, is now revolutionary, but I want to know if/how Germany developed and used it–even before having high frequency radio sets…
    Richard Kenneth Burns….Missouri USA….. kennethobyrnes@gmail .com


  5. Hi Andreas, or CP as I got to know you on Twitter. Sad to see you leave the plattform, I did like your posts and regard them as high class added value on a plattform that I primarily use for scale model buidling. Reading your update above, your step it makes sense though.
    Bis bald e bon lavoro sul progetto!

    Slightly Caddish


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