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Allied North Africa Campaign and Erwin Rommel
Allied North Africa Campaign by Gabriela Chinea
The Allied North Africa campaign was also known as the Desert War of World War II. It took place in North African desert between 1940 and 1943; it was also in Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, and the Western Sahara.
The campaign was fought for two reasons. One, the Suez Canal was crucial to controlling the Middle East, two, for the Middle Eastern oil resources. The control of Egypt was important; it sat at the center of a vital geographic strategic network. Eastern Mediterranean, Abyssinia was invaded by the Italians in 1936 and was liberated by the allied troops, the British, in 1941. The American forces landed in western North Africa in 1942 to help out with the allied forces in the campaign. What were also involved in the North Africa Campaign were the East African campaign and the Western desert campaign.
The East African campaign refers the battles fought between the British, Common Wealth Forces (India, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana) and Italy. The western desert campaign began September13, 1940 and the eastern campaign started August 4, 1940. In the western desert campaign, the Italian forces were stationed in Libya; operation compass was also involved, when the British attacked. It was more successful than thought, many of Italian soldiers were taken prisoner. The operation helped the allied forces advanced to El Agheila. Yet,
planned to help the Italians.
Deutsches Africa Corps controlled the German panzer (tank) divisions in Libya and Egypt’s western desert. The Korps were commanded by “Desert Fox” General Erwin Rommel. Operation torch was commanded by General Bernard Montgomery, commander of the allied forces in North Africa. Major General George S. Patton led the invasion of the French in North Africa, code name “Operation Torch”.
The specific objectives of Operation Torch were to 1. Gain French controlled Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia as base 2. Assist British Libyan desert. 3. Open the Mediterranean to allied shipping. 4. Supply a stepping stone for subsequent operations.
The allies hoped to force the axis armies out of Africa and relieve pressure on the Russian forces. Allied forces landed on the coast of Algeria and morocco on November 8, 1942. They had caught the Germans by surprise. May 12, 1943, last organized axis army force in Africa surrendered. Allies had killed, wounded, or captured about 350,000 axis soldiers; the allies only suffered 70,000 casualties. The allies won the North Africa Campaign.
General Erwin Rommel
General Erwin Rommel was born in
Heidenheim, Germany, on November 15th 1891. Most of his childhood he wanted to study engineering, but his father said no, so Erwin Rommel joined the army in the year 1910. (Bruner
General Erwin Rommel was promoted many times in his military career. Rommel became a lieutenant by World War One, and won several metals including and Iron Cross in 1915 for his great work on the Western Front. After that he became captain serving on the Italian Front after leading an attack on Monte Matajur in 1917. In 1929 he was again promoted to be Instructor at Infantry School in Dresden, but later became lieutenant colonel and taught at the Postdam War Academy.
General Erwin Rommel published his own book on Infantry War Tactics in 1937.
Adolf Hitler read this book, and admired General Erwin Rommel’s tactics, resulting in having Rommel command his Headquarter staff in Austria and Czechoslovakia. Rommel was appointed to command the 7th Panzer division, and invaded France in 1910. Rommel’s troops were well known, for they moved the fastest and the farthest than any army in history.
Rommel was then transferred to command Deutssches Afrika Korps in North Africa. The reason for this was that Benito Mussolini asked for Hitler’s help to fight the British 8th army. Rommel was successful in his mission to drive the British 8th army out of Libya.
General Erwin Rommel started thinking him and his troops were unbeatable and moved on to Egypt to fight, but was defeated at El Alamein, and the USA’s military was forced to swarm from Tunisia. For all of his hard work and victories in his military career, he gained the name “Desert Fox” from the British.
A few years later, General Erwin Rommel was asked to join the July plot, made to assassinate Hitler, by Carl Goerdeler and Ludwig Beck. Rommel turned them down suggesting that it would turn Hitler into a martyr and suggested bringing Hitler to trial. Around the same time, Rommel also suggested to Hitler that the German army was getting weak and to end the war.
In 1944 Rommel was killed by Hitler’s generals after he realized that Rommel had been plotting against him for a while. Rommel was approached by two generals with an ultimatum; suicide with a state funeral and protection for his family and staff, and or a trial for high treason. (Bruner
If he lost the trial he would be hung, with no protection for his family and staff. Rommel chose to commit a suicide by swallowing a pill Hitler had given the generals to kill Rommel with. It was told to many people that all that had happened to Rommel was a brain seizure.
Rommel was planning an attack
Rommel posing for a picture.
Trueman, Chris. “Erwin Rommel.”
2008-2009. 8 April 2009. <
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2nd Works cited
, Jerome. “ Erwin Rommel.”
8 April 2009.
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