The German Afrika Korps was the expeditionary force that was sent to North-Africa during World War II.
It was first created as a holding force to buck up the Italian defense of their African colonies. The Afrika Korps fought in Africa, under various titles and commanders, from March 1941 until its surrender in May 1943.
The reputation of the Afrika Korps is intimately associated with that of its commander, Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel.
These often-chilling pictures offer us a fascinating insight into the hardware the Allies were up against in this theatre of WW2. The campaign was hard and bloody and left many hundreds of thousands dead, missing, wounded, or captured, but the fascist alliance of Germany and Italy was ultimately driven from the land. After the campaign, the Allies would turn their attention to Italy, where they would win another crucial victory in the fight against militant fascism in Europe
All pictures courtesy of the Bundesarchiv / Federal Archives
Arrival of the first Afrika Korps troops, General Rommel greets an Italian officer
A Captured British Mk II Mathilda Tank near Tobruk
A German soldier with goggles and a scarf to protect him from the desert sand
A German private first class (Gefreiter) carries a Panzerbüchse 39, tank hunting rifle, trough the desert.
General Rommel with General von Bismarck, commander of the 21st Panzer division discussing tactics on a map.
Erwin Rommel and Fritz Bayerlein standing in an open staff car in Tobruk harbor
Supplies being delivered in the desert
The commander of a Panzer Mk II stands in his turret, another Mk II can be seen in the background.
German soldiers with binoculars in German Half Track, Sd. Kfz 250. A Panzer Mk III can be seen on the right.
German soldiers sleeping on their Luftwaffe BMW with sidecars
A Panzer Mk III drives through the desert.
June 1st 1942 after the battle at Bir Hacheim, a German Half Track Sd. Kfz. 251 with what appears to be a radio antenna.
An Half Track tows an 88mm gun through the desert
A 5 ton Half Track, Sd.Kfz. 6, tows an 88mm gun
An 88mm gun is being towed into position near El Alamein
German troops near a mosque
German soldiers in a light Half Track, Sd. Kfz, 250 overlooking the battle (smoking vehicles can be seen in the background)
Close up of the gun of a Panzer Mk IV, 7,5 cm KwK/L24
German troops near a building that has “Reserved for Signalers. No Parking within 500 YDS” written on it
German troops driving in a hairpin turn up a mountain in Africa
Tunisia, a heavy field howitzer fires in support
Generaloberst Erwin Rommel and General Fritz Bayerlein in their command vehicle, a Sd.Kfz. 250/3 “Greif” Half Track.