Wednesday, February 12, 1941 - E. Rommel takes command in North Africa

Louis

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Hitler had decided that he had to provide his main ally Mussolini with military support before there were political repercussions in Italy itself. The Italian army had suffered a series of reverses. It had been pushed out of Greece after its invasion from Albania on 28th October, and was now under pressure from Greek forces in Albania itself. And it had just been been comprehensively routed in Egypt and pursued back into Libya by much smaller British, Indian and Australian forces in Operation Compass. Hitler had no particular strategic interest in North Africa but he could not see Mussolini totally humiliated. Erwin Rommel had demonstrated his zeal for aggressive independent leadership during the invasion of France, when he had surprised the Highland Division at St Valery. He was regarded as the ideal man to lead the relatively small Panzer force that would become known as the Afrika Korps.


Erwin Rommel, soon to earn the nickname 'the Desert Fox' took command on the 12th and probably arrived in Tripoli on 14th Feb 1941