Purchase these Items

Products mentioned in this Article

--None--
 

 

North Africa
German Forces In The Mediterranean
with Phil Yates

In 1942 and 1943 Germany deployed a wide variety of units to the Mediterranean Theatre. This article briefly discusses the units in each area and how to field them in Flames Of War using North Africa.

Initially the German forces in Africa consisted of 15. Panzerdivision and 21. Panzerdivision, which between them formed the Deutsches Afrikakorps under General Rommel. They were quickly joined by 90. leichte Afrikadivision, a formation scraped together from any units available. It was with these three divisions and their Italian Allies that Rommel won most of his victories over the British. These divisions are well covered by German Forces in North Africa section of North Africa.
Libya and Egypt 1942

Division
Regiments
Arrived
Battles
21. Panzerdivision
5 Pz, 104
Feb 1941
Sonnenblume, Brevity, Skorpion, Battleaxe, Sommernachtstraum, Crusader, Theseus, Venezia, Aida, Brandung, Second Alamein, Mersa El Brega, Buerat, Morgenluft, Sturmflut, Capri, El Hamma.
15. Panzerdivision
8 Pz, 115
Mar 1941
Sonnenblume, Brevity, Skorpion, Battleaxe, Sommernachtstraum, Crusader, Theseus, Venezia, Aida, Brandung, Second Alamein, Mersa El Brega, Buerat, Morgenluft, Sturmflut, Capri, Mareth Line, Wadi Akrit, Enfidaville, Medjerda.
90. leichte Afrikadivision
155, 200, 361Afrika, 288 zbV
Aug 1941
Crusader, Theseus, Venezia, Aida, Brandung, Second Alamein, Mersa El Brega, Buerat, Capri, Mareth Line, Wadi Akrit, Enfidaville.
164. leichte Afrikadivision 125, 382, 433
Aug 1942
Aida, Second Alamein, Capri, Mareth Line, El Hamma, Enfidaville.
Fallschirmbrigade Ramcke
  Aug 1942 Second Alamein, Sturmflut, Enfidaville.
When the advance into Egypt stalled at El Alamein in August 1942, Rommel found himself desperately short of troops to hold the line. 164. leichte Afrikadivision and Fallschirmbrigade Ramcke were flown in as reinforcements. 164. leichte Afrikadivision is also covered by North Africa, the Ramcke Brigade is best fielded using the Fallschirmjägerkompanie in North Africa briefing from North Africa (p. 42). The only thing that would be entirely inappropriate would be the Marder II tank-hunters — the Brigade arrived with almost no mechanical transport and no armoured vehicles. 
DAK Panzer III J

Tunisia

Division
Regiments
Arrived
Battles
Division von Broich (later von Manteuffel)
Barenthin FJ, 160, 10 Bersaglieri (Italian)
Nov 1942
Teboura, Eilbote, Ochsenkopf, Medjerda.
10. Panzerdivision
7 Pz, 190 Pz Bn, 69, 86, 501. schwere Panzerabteilung
Nov 1942
Teboura, Eilbote, Frühlingswind, Sturmflut, Ochsenkopf, Medenine, El Guettar.
Division General Göring (part)
1 HG, Jäger HG
Nov 1942
Teboura, Eilbote, Ochsenkopf, Medjerda.
334. Infanteriedivision
754, 755, 756 Gebirgs, Phalange Africaine
Jan 1943
Eilbote, Ausladung, Bizerte.
999. Afrika Division
961 Afrika, 962 Afrika
April 1943
Fondouk, Medjerda.
504. schwere Panzerabteilung (with 15. Panzer)
  Mar 1943 Maknassy, Medjerda.
Tiger I E in Tunisia

All of the German formations in Egypt made their way back to Tunisia where they were re-equipped and reinforced. In Tunisia they were joined by a variety of other formations. 10. Panzerdivision had been training in southern France prior to returning to the Eastern Front and was fully equipped when it was shipped to Tunisia along with the Tiger tanks of 501. Schwere Panzerabteilung. These are covered in German Forces in Tunisia and Italy section of North Africa. But to field a Schwere Panzerabteilung in Tunisia use the Tunisia Tiger PDF breifing.

Click here to learn how to field a Schwere Panzerabteilung in Tunisia...

Division von Broich (later Division von Manteuffel) was a scratch formation of whatever troops could be mustered for the defence of Tunis. It included a regiment of Fallschirmjäger, or paratroops, the Italian 10th Bersaglieri Regiment, and a regular infantry regiment. Its exact composition varied over time and is not well documented.
Fallschirmjager in tropical uniforms
Fallschirmjager in tropical uniforms Everything should be motorised rather than horse-drawn and armoured support other than Heavy Tank Platoons should be avoided. The Bersaglieri can be modelled using the Avanti Savoia section of North Africa starting on page 86. They may have been supported by Semovente 47/32 self-propelled guns, but had little else in the way of armoured support.

Division General Göring was Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring’s personal army. It was formed of ‘politically reliable’ Luftwaffe (air force) troops, but fought under army command. The first part of the division to enter battle was Jägerregiment H G (previously 5. Fallschirmjägerregiment or Sturmregiment Koch). This regiment, like 1. Grenadierregiment H G, which arrived later, these forces can be modeled using the German Forces in Tunisia and Italy scetion of North Africa. Once again, everything should be motorised rather than horse-drawn and armoured support other than Heavy Tank Platoons should be avoided. One interesting item of equipment is the RW43 Püppchen used by this division in Tunisia.
334. Infanteriedivision and 999. Afrika Division were two infantry divisions sent over to Tunisia. While 334. Infanteriedivision was a typical infantry division, 999. Afrika Division was a penal unit. Its soldiers were stripped of their honours, even their belt buckles lacked the usual inscription Gott mit Uns (‘God with us’)! Again, everything should be motorised rather than horse-drawn and armoured support other than Heavy Tank Platoons should be avoided. 
German soldiers take a break in some historic ruins
334. Infanteriedivision had a couple of interesting units, 756. Gebirgsjägerregiment (756th Mountain Regiment) and Phalange Africaine. As the division was only formed just before shipping out for Tunisia, the ‘mountain’ designation probably meant little, although the regiment apparently lacked an infantry gun company. The Phalange Africaine (‘African Phalanx’ also known as Légion des Volontaires Française de Tunisie or ‘Legion of French Volunteers of Tunisia’) is an interesting unit, being a small battalion of local French volunteers fighting against the Allied invaders!

Sicily

There were two German divisions in Sicily when the Allied landed, 15. Panzergrenadierdivision and. Both were still in the process of forming, having been created from parts of divisions intended for Tunisia. 

Division
Regiments
Panzerdivision Hermann Göring
Pz HG, 1 HG, 2 HG
15. Panzergrenadierdivision
215 Pz Bn, 104, 115, 129, Reggio Bn
29. Panzergrenadierdivision
129 Pz Bn, 15, 71
1. Fallschirmjägerdivision
1 FJ, 3 FJ, 4  FJ
HG Poster

Despite this both were well equipped. 15. Panzergrenadier-division had 46 long-barrelled Panzer IV tanks with 6 long-barrelled Panzer III tanks (presumably as battalion command vehicles).  

Panzerdivision Hermann Göring was even better equipped with 43 long-barrelled Panzer III (probably L or M variants), 7 Panzer III N, and 32 long-barrelled Panzer IV tanks, as well as a battalion of 20 StuG and 9 StuH assault guns and a company of 17 Tiger I E heavy tanks! These two divisions were reinforced by 29. Panzergrenadierdivision with 43 StuG assault guns. None of the tanks on Sicily were equipped with Schürzen. Avoid using armoured half-tracks and other armoured vehicles apart from Marder tank-hunters. Although Panzerdivision Hermann Göring officially had an armoured half-track battalion and an armoured half-track reconnaissance battalion, while 29. Panzergrenadierdivision officially had an armoured half-track reconnaissance battalion and an armoured artillery battalion, I doubt that they were ever issued and have seen no evidence of their use.

The other division to reinforce Sicily was, the 1st Parachute Division. This force is best modelled using the Fallschirmjäger briefing on page 43 of North Africa (although they did air drop near Primasole Bridge just ahead of the British airborne assault!).
HG cuff
Division
Regiments
Panzerdivision Hermann Göring
Pz HG, 1 HG, 2
16. ‘Stalingrad’ Panzerdivision
2 Pz, 64, 79
26. Panzerdivision 26 Pz, 9, 67
3. Panzergrenadierdivision
103 Pz Bn, 8, 29
15. Panzergrenadierdivision
215 Pz Bn, 104, 115, 129
29. Panzergrenadierdivision
129 Pz Bn, 15, 71
1. Fallschirmjägerdivision
1 FJ, 3 FJ, 4  FJ
5. Gebirgsdivsion
100 GJ, 85 GJ, 95 GA
Italy

Italy was largely garrisoned by divisions reforming after a mauling on the Eastern Front prior to being sent back there. As might be expected, they often had the latest and best equipment. 26. Panzerdivision even had a Flame-tank Platoon in each Panzer battalion when it fought at Salerno!

Use the German Forces un Tunisia and Italy section of North Africa to model these divisions.
Tanks should mainly be Panzer IV G and H and StuG assault guns, either with or without Schürzen, although Panzerdivision Hermann Göring still had a batch of long-barrelled Panzer III and half of the 26. Panzerdivision tanks were short-barrelled 7.5cm Panzer III N and Panzer IV F1 tanks. Panther tanks, although present with units in training in Italy, were not used in combat until the Anzio landings in January 1944. Of supporting armour, assault tanks, Ferdinand heavy assault guns, and Hornisse heavy tank destroyers were not present until 1944.

~ Phil


Last Updated On Thursday, March 18, 2010 by Blake at Battlefront