Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Soldaten V.

This is coolbert:


Continuing with extracts and comments from the book: "Life of a Nazi Soldier".

"The Rommel Phenomenon"

1. The mystique of Irwin Rommel and the man himself almost a living legend during that particular  period of the Second World War [WW2].

"There exists a real danger that . . . Rommel is becoming a kind of magician or bogeyman to our troops, who are talking far too much about him. He is by no means a superman, although he is undoubtedly very energetic and able. Even if he were a superman, it would be highly undesirable that our men should credit him with supernatural powers. . . . The important thing now is to see that we do not always talk of Rommel when we mean the enemy in Libya."- -  Auchinleck.

Auchinleck, commander of British Empire troops in north Africa and in opposition to the Axis forces led by Rommel.

That success of  Rommel in measure due to American cryptographic insecurity, those TOP SECRET messages of the U.S. military attache' in Cairo [Bonner Fellers] intercepted and read in real time by the Axis. NOTHING SUPERNATURAL ABOUT IT!

"Fellers' radiograms provided detailed information about troop movements and equipment to the Axis. The information was extensive and timely to the Axis powers . . . Beginning in January 1942 information about the numbers and condition of British forces was provided to General Rommel the famed German commander in Africa. He could thus plan his operations with reliable knowledge of what the opposing forces were."

2. From that prior blog entry the question as asked:

"I suppose that those Italians bolstered by the presence of the Afrika Korps? Of this I am unsure."

And here we have the answer:

"the Africa Korps suffered 2,500 casualties in the Battle of Tobruk. They captured 2,000 vehicles - - including 30 British tanks - - 400 guns, 2,000 tons of fuel, 5,000 tons of provisions, and many tons of ammunition. According to historian Kenneth MacKsey, it was 'the greatest victory Rommel would ever win.'"

The garrison of Tobruk surrendering [1942] to Italians BUT evidently a very significant German presence and all Axis forces apparently under the command of Rommel.



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