Special Sub-Topic: Afrika Korps
|Why was the Afrika Korps sent to Libya in 1941?|
to act as a blocking force. The Afrika Korps was deployed to Libya in early 1941 to act as a 'sperrverband', or a blocking force to support the Italian Army after its defeat by the British in Operation Compass.
|Which division was the Afrika Korps first organized as?|
5th Light Division. The Afrika Korps was initially formed from the 5th Leichte Regiment and was designated 5th Light Division when deployed.
|Soldiers in the Afrika Korps remember the heat in the North African desert. What was their second major complaint?|
the flies. The flies. Everyone complained of the flies which seemed to be everywhere and get inside everything.
|Who was Rommel refering to when he said,'they are certainly no good at war'?|
the Italians. 'They are certainly no good at war'. Rommel was refering to his Italian allies.
|What did the Afrika-Korps soldiers mean when they said,'reissen und scheissen'?|
aches and runs. 'Reissen und scheissen' was German Army slang for [rise with] aches and pains from trying to sleep in that environment (hard ground with freezing nights), and constant bowel movements caused by dysentery from the flies.
|What was 'Lili Marlene'?|
a song. Lili Marlene was a love song written by Hans Leip (1893-1983) and performed by Lale Andersen. It became immensely that became popular with the soldiers on both sides in the North African campaign. Fitzroy Maclean wrote later in "Eastern Approaches", 'Husky, sensuous, nostalgic, sugar-sweet, her voice seemed to reach out to you ...'
|Logistically, which item was a priority for the Afrika Korps?|
fuel. The Afrika Korps was a mobile formation; fuel was the number one priority. Munitions and spare parts were second. Even in the harsh environment of the desert, food and water did not supersede these four items.
|Who was entitled to wear the cuff title 'Afrika'?|
anyone who served six months in North Africa. Anyone who served six months in North Africa was entitled to wear the cuff title 'Afrika'. Rank and combat status were not a factor in awarding this cuff title.
|Who did the Germans model their field tropical uniform after?|
the British Army in India. The M1940 Tropical uniform used by the Afrika Korps was modeled after the British pattern used in India. This included a khaki tunic, pith helmet,and khaki trousers.
|Afrika Korps soldiers were called, 'alte Hasen'. What does this mean?|
old hares. 'Alte Hasen' means 'old hares'. This is German Army slang for old combat soldiers who have survived countless battles without being killed or becoming POWs.
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