LEFT TO RIGHT: Marder I , Panzer III and Panzer II
These 3 Pictuers supplied by George at Achtung Panzer
The 88mm Flak Gun
Introduction Written by George - At Achtung Panzer
During the African Campaign, German Panzer divisions in Africa were supplied with various kinds of tanks, assault guns, tank destroyers and other equippment. In the early stages of this campaign Germans were equipped with Panzer Is, Panzer IIs, Panzer IIIs and small number of Panzer IVs. In 1942, both Panzer I and II became obsolete and were used only as reconnaissance tanks. To make further use of them, Germans used their chassis as bases for various conversions such as the tank destroyer; Marder II, self-propelled artillery Wespe and others. During the African Campaign a few Panzer Is were also converted in the field to mount flame-throwers. The main battle tanks used by the Germans in Africa were Panzer III and IV's which proved effective during Blitzkrieg, but were not up to standards on the Eastern Front. Since Adolf Hitler did not pay too much attention to the African Campaign, Rommel's supplies were neglected and rarely consisted of the latest equipment. On the other side British were equipped with poorly armed and armored Cruiser Mark Is, Cruiser Mark IIs, Cruiser Mark IIIs, Cruiser Mark IVs and Crusaders which proved to be no match for the experienced German crews with their Panzer IIIs and IVs. Only British made Mark III Matildas and Mark IV Churchills (and its latter variants) were a match with their 40mm guns and thick armor. British were also supplied with American tanks like M3 General Lee (American standards) , M3 General Stuart (British standards), M4 Sherman and others which were a match for German Panzers. To oppose all of those tanks tyhe Afrika Korps relied on both Panzer III and IVs. Panzer III`s were mostly armed with either 37mm guns or 50mm guns depending on the variant. Panzer IV were armed with short or long barreled 75mm guns that proved very effective. In early 1943 the first Panzer VI Tigers reached Africa. The Tiger was armed with a powerful 88mm gun that was superior to any Allied tank and its thick armor made it almost indestructible to Allied anti-tank weapons. However the Tiger's arrival was too late to change the fate of Axis Forces in Africa.
Pictures from Mike Hicks at Panzer Lehr
Produced between 1942 and 1945 and 5976 produced The Panther was one of the most formidable tanks in the German armoury and was developed as the solution to the Soviet T-34 tank which was probably the most successful tank in the Second World War. The Panther weighing 45 tonnes had a 75mm gun which was devastating against any of the British or American tanks deployed in North Africa. With its sloped armour up to 120mm thick on the front of the Turret and 80mm on the front of the Hull, the Panther Tank was a very hard tank to disable. British tanks and anti-tank guns mostly 2 pounders and some 6 pounders were ineffective to say the least against this far superior machine.
Diverted and Committed Troops
Weapons In North Africa
Commanders and their tactics
High Command Disputes And Interference
Concluding thoughts on the North African Campaign
Back to the Start