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As the number of German armed forces committed to the North Africa Campaign of World War II grew from the initial commitment of a small corps the Germans developed a more elaborate command structure and placed the now larger Afrika Korps, with Italian units under this new German command structure, a succession of different German commands were created to manage the Axis assets in Africa:

  • Panzer Group Africa, (Panzergruppe Afrika, Gruppo Carro Armato Africa) August 1941-January 1942; German-Italian force
  • Panzer Army Africa, (Panzerarmee Afrika, Armata Carro Armato Africa) January-October 1942
  • German-Italian Panzer Army, (Deutsch-Italienische Panzerarmee, Armata Carro Armato Italiano-Tedesco) October 1942-February 1943
  • Army Group Africa, (Heeresgruppe Afrika, Gruppo d'Armate Africa) February-May 1943

ContentsEdit

[hide] *1 Panzer Group Africa

[edit] Panzer Group AfricaEdit

When the Afrika Korps was formed on 11 January 1941 it was officially subordinated to the Italian chain of command in Africa. In the middle of 1941 the German Armed Forces High Command (German acronym OKW) created a larger command structure in Africa, forming a new headquarters called Panzer Group Africa (Panzergruppe Afrika, Gruppo Carro Armato Africa). On 15 August 1941, Panzer Group Africa was activated with newly promoted Lieutenant-General (General der Panzertruppe) Erwin Rommel in command. The Panzer Group controlled the Afrika Korps plus some additional units that were sent to Africa (notably the 90th Light Infantry Division), as well as two Italian corps, X and XX.

[edit] Panzer Army AfricaEdit

Panzer Group Africa was redesignated as Panzer Army Africa (Panzerarmee Afrika, Armata Carro Armato Africa) on 30 January 1942.[1]

[edit] German-Italian Panzer ArmyEdit

Panzer Army Africa was redesignated as German-Italian Panzer Army (Deutsch-Italienische Panzerarmee, Armata Carro Armato Italiano-Tedesco) in October 1942 during the long retreat after the defeat at the Second Battle of El Alamein during the Western Desert Campaign.

[edit] Army Group AfricaEdit

In February 1943, the headquarters was upgraded to Army Group Africa (Heeresgruppe Afrika, Gruppo d'Armate Africa) to manage the defense of Tunisia during the final stages of the North African Campaign, its combat units—including the Afrika Korps—were turned over to the Italian 1st Army. Command of the Army Group was turned over to Hans-Jürgen von Arnim in March. Army Group Africa included the German Fifth Panzer Army (5. Panzerarmee) in addition to the Italian 1st Army. von Arnim surrendered the Army Group on 13 May 1943, ending the Axis presence in Africa.

[edit] Order of battleEdit

Throughout its existence, this headquarters controlled the well-known Afrika Korps, and for most of its life it controlled a number of other German and Italian units as well.[2] The following overview of its assets is taken from lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de, with dates corrected (see references).

[edit] Order of battle of Panzer Group AfricaEdit

Panzer Group Africa (Rommel)

[edit] Order of battle of Panzer Army AfricaEdit

Panzer Army Africa (Rommel)

[edit] Order of battle of the German-Italian Panzer ArmyEdit

German-Italian Panzer Army (Rommel)

[edit] Order of battle of Army Group AfricaEdit

From February 1943:

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