5 Panzer Regt Records

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David W
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Post by David W » 02 Jun 2007 10:33


I've used your references to try to access the files via the Public Records (Kew) website. But to no avail. Is it possible? Am I doing something wrong?

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Richard Hargreaves
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Post by Richard Hargreaves » 02 Jun 2007 14:13

Not sure. I doubt they would have changed. I've not been for five or six years (when it was still the PRO). Back then the indexes were in huge bound volumes (which were easier to use than the computer system!)

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Richard Hargreaves
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Post by Richard Hargreaves » 02 Jun 2007 14:13

No, KTB = Kriegstagebuch = war diary
OOBs are usually Gliederung or Kriegsgliederung from memory

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Post by shane1967 » 02 Jun 2007 23:53


Thanks for explaining KTB. Are you able to answer the following questions:

1517 P F Extracts from German war diaries in North Africa, 1941

What units are covered in this item?

1023/1 P F KTB Afrika Korps, February 6th-April 14th 1941

How many pages is this item?


Shane Lovell
Canberra, Australia

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Richard Hargreaves
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Post by Richard Hargreaves » 03 Jun 2007 18:25

This is AL 1517

IWM AL 1517 Extracts from German diaries and reports, North Africa, 1941

Diary of Leutnant Joachim Schorm

March 10th 1941

We enter the harbour at Tripoli. We have done it! 15 miles from us, it's true, an Italian merchant ship and two tankers were sunk by submarines. Behind the colonel and adjutant, I leave the Marburg at 1300 hours at the head of half of 6th Company. The scene in the docks is indescribably picturesque. Rommel and German officers [are dressed] in field grey, the Luftwaffe in khaki trousers, breeches, shorts, the Italians in every conceivable uniform...

March 12th 1941

1400 hours. We move to the town and take up our position in the parade. After the review at 1700 hours, Generals Rommel and Garibaldi, Commander-in-Chief of forces in North Africa, speak. The German commander [speaks] with caution and tact, the Italian with emphasis. At 1800 hours, the panzers rumble through the port along the Via Balbia towards the east. All night long we are greeted by soldiers, settlers and natives...

March 24th 1941

0730 hours: We are in battle order, but the morning passes without action. Other formations had surrounded El Agheila on all sides. Not an Englishman in sight. Strangely enough, they let three lorries of Englishmen pass in and out again. Not a shot [was fired]...The place where the mines were on the road was clearly recognisable with yellow diagonal stripes. Engineers were elsewhere. The swastika flies over the citadel. Other units go forward to occupy the town...An armoured car from the reconnaissance battalion runs onto another mine south of El Agheila - total loss. These mines, German, Italian and British, are going to give us a lot of trouble all the way to Cairo.

March 31st 1941

The enemy reported to be here has vanished. There is not enough petrol for us to go round the salt lakes. Cross-country driving is impossible. Already, some of the panzers are stuck. At last, with tremendous effort, we reach the Via Balbia. There is considerable activity here. In the salt lake defile outside Mersa El Brega, the enemy's resistance has halted our venture...Again the British artillery blazes away. I throw myself down flat. [It is] not very comfortable, but nothing to worry about. Shells burst on every side, 50 yards away. Three troops withdraw into cover. We can't manage it yet, so I move back. We take up positions covering the southeast, fill up with petrol, then sleep.

April 1st 1941

The Tommies have made April fools of us. Under cover of night, they withdrew unobserved. Our advanced panzers are now 6km beyond El Brega. I visit the squadron commander. We share the booty. One officer's mess lorry and so for the first time, we have corned beef for breakfast and RAF cigarettes. Two 18-tonne tractors haul a tank back to its base. A little way off, prisoners are being interrogated...Everywhere [there are] abandoned lorries...

April 2nd 1941

Enemy tanks are reported near Aleim Ed Dib...At 1200 hours we are off! The gyro compass points north and we move along the road...We go crashing through the sand. The dust cloud must be visible for miles...Over the dunes we go, 15-20km/h...1800 hours: On high ground about 1,000m away I see vehicles. We halt for observation. No doubt about it, they are tanks. British or Italian? Squadron commander radios: "Presumably enemy tanks." Commanders and gunners are naturally standing or sitting on deck. Swish! That one fell 10 yards from the left-hand track. Everyone disappears inside the panzer. The hatches are slammed. Straight ahead, 11 o'clock! High explosive, 1,000m. Fire! Bang! A dud! And over my round, turret opening. The tracer shells whizz by! Driver overtake! Left steering,
Page 2 IWM AL 1517

brake! In front, behind, to the right and left, the shells burst. High explosive, 800m! Same tank. Bang! Too short! But my other tanks have the direction from the impact. Soon the enemy is on fire. Now for the next. Stop. Hatch open, breech open, out with the shell. Change position, right ahead. Armoured piercing shell, 800m! Tank moving on right. Sighted! Carrying [enemy] commander's pennant. Fire! Bang! A hit? Already three enemy tanks are burning. Stop! Breech won't open! Radio message: "Attack tanks on high ground. Roll up the flanks!" And the gun won't open. It must, must! Driver, one o'clock, to the high ground. Panzer 625 is out of the battle for the moment - brakes overheated. I reach the height with three panzers, past the burning British tanks and look for some more. Crash! That came from the left. Heavens!...British crews who have left their tanks come forward with their hands up. Six British tanks are burning. Well, thank God for that!...Radio order: "Squadron halt." But I go forward 500 yards on the dune to gain a view of observation and fire...We have to increase speed as it is getting dark. As the sun goes down, we really do look like wild huntsmen roaring along at 30km/h towards Agedabia. It is an incomparable experience. The enemy is smashed. Who will oppose us now? ...With the exception of myself, all the troop commanders are missing...With the satisfaction of having passed through my baptism in panzer combat without the loss of a man or panzer, I fall asleep.

April 3rd 1941

The morning brings fresh puzzles but little information...

April 4th 1941

After 30km we take up a covering position to the east. Scattered Arab camps. Rogues, these bedouins. They have robbed wounded British soldiers down to their shirts and left them helpless in the cold. I am sure they would do the same to us too. At the roadside are masses of Italian lorries abandoned in their flight...

April 6th 1941

At 0300 hours we move off. After an hour we give up. Even by day, with the sand whipped up by the panzers and wind it is wretched enough. By night, it is impossible. Every vehicle loses its way. When we reach the Via Balbia again - who will? - our panzers, or at least their engines, will be ruined. According to instructions, the engines must be changed at 2,000km. Their life is given by the firm at 2,500km. They have already done 500km in Germany. We have come 1,000km along the Via Balbia. By the time we reach Derna, every panzer will easily have passed the limit of 2,000km. 600km will have been carried out across the desert - in dust and heat, and that counts for more than treble [the normal strain]. However, on the radio, we hear of the advance into Yugoslavia. We hear that Wavell is there with troops from North Africa. Therefore, Rommel says, to work. I suppose Wavell is counting on the release of British troops from Abyssinia, and the Admiralty has as usual, I suspect, been prolific in its assurances. The Germans, then, cannot appear before the middle of May. But they are already there - a light division. Suddenly from the east, three planes dive on us, drop their bombs 50 yards away, then let loose with their cannons. Then they fly over again, this time without firing a shot. I'll eat my hat if they are not Messerschmitts who finally decided that we are really Germans...

April 7th 1941

There are endless columns moving along at our side and in our wake. It reminds me of Hannibal's crossing of the Alps...Everywhere there are lorries abandoned by the British in their flight...

April 13th 1941

An Italian column of at least 50 vehicles is moving west towards Tobruk. Surely, we think, they will not try to take Tobruk, for they have actually got three guns. Things like infantry guns! We have heard about them in the communiqu‚s, now we have seen them! If only we could wash, no water, no cream, no oil. The men look like old men, old tramps...

IWM AL 1517 Page 3

April 14th 1941

At 0715 hours, we begin storming Tobruk. With the least possible noise, the battalions move off, with their cars completely blacked out. It is bitterly cold. Of course, the enemy recognises us because of the noise. And, as luck would have it, a faulty spotlight on one of the cars in front goes on and off.
Soon, artillery fire starts up on us, getting the range. The shells explode like fireworks. We travel 10km, every nerve on edge. From time to time, isolated groups of soldiers re-appear, and then suddenly we are in the gap. Already, the panzer is nose-first in the first trench. The motor whines. I catch a glimpse of the stars through the shutter. Then, for the second time the panzer goes down, pulling itself out backwards with a dull thud, with engines grinding...
We are through, and immediately form up in battle order...Slowly, much too slowly, the column moves forward. We must, of course, regulate our speed with that of the infantry. Thus, the enemy has time to prepare resistance. As the darkness lifts, so the enemy strikes us harder...Our heavy panzers fire for all they are worth, it is true, just as we do. But the enemy, with his superior forces and all his tactical advantages on his own ground, blasts large gaps in our ranks...
Some of our panzers are already on fire. The crews call for doctors, who get off to help in this witch's cauldron. English anti-tank units fall upon us with their machine guns firing into our midst. But we have no time...
Above us, Italian fighters come into the fray. Two of them crash in our midst. The optical instruments are spoiled by the dust. Nevertheless, I get several unmistakable hits. A few anti-tank guns are silenced, several enemy tanks are burning. Just then we are hit, and the radio is smashed to bits. Now our communications are cut off. What is more, our ammunition is running out...Our attack is fading out. From every side, the enemy's superior forces fire at us.
Fall back! There is a crash just behind us...The panzer must be on fire. I look behind us. It is not burning. Our luck is holding...With our last strength, our panzer follows the others which we lose from time to time in the dust clouds. We have to press on towards the south, as that is the only way through. Good God! Supposing we don't find it and the engines won't do any more.
The gap is in sight. Everything hastens towards. English anti-tank guns shoot into the mass. Our anti-tank and 8.8cm guns are almost deserted, but the crews are lying silent beside them. Italian artillery which was to have protected our left flank is also deserted. English troops run out of their positions, some shooting at us with sub-machine guns, some with hands raised. With pistols drawn, they are forced to enter our tanks...We go on. Now the gap, then the ditch. The driver cannot see anything for dust. We drive by instinct.
The panzer almost gets stuck in the two ditches, blocking the road, but with great difficulty, manages to get itself out. With their last strength, the crew gets out of range and returns to camp. Examine damage to the panzer...The petrol tank is shot away. The petrol had run out to this level without igniting...

April 14th 1941

How fortunate it was that the regiment got out again. How splendidly the men fought.
Casualties...A few dead, several wounded, more missing. It went badly for the anti-tank units, the light and heavy anti-aircraft [units] but especially with the 8th Machine Gun Battalion. The regiment has lost all its doctors - presumably captured. The regiment is practically wiped out.

April 15th 1941

Once more, the main subject of discussion is the fighting in front of Tobruk on April 14th. We simply cannot understand how we ever made it out again. It is the general view that it was the bitterest battle of the whole war. But what can the English think of us? A weak battalion, only two companies strong burst through the complex defence system until it was only 2km from the town, shoots everything to bits, fights the enemy on all sides and then gets away again. The day will go down in the records of the regiment and deserves special mention...
The British are daring, as they meet very little defensive fire. They have complete air superiority, not to mention superiority in other fields...

Page 4 IWM AL 1517

April 16th 1941

The war in Africa is quite different from the war in Europe. That is to say, it is absolutely individual. Here, there are not the masses of men and material. Nobody and nothing can be hidden, whether in battle between opposing ground forces or in the air. It is the same sort of fighting - face-to-face, each side thrusts and counter-thrusts. If the struggle was not so brutal, so lacking in rules, one would think of the idea of a knight's journey...

April 28th 1941

Splendid weather. Dive bombers are over Tobruk. The second plane has made a forced landing next to us with a broken oil pipe...
We have now been away from Germany for two months and without butter, etc., into the bargain. Our principal food is bread, with something to spread on it. In this heat, every bite needs a sip of water or coffee to help it down. There is no fat. If one stops to think, one realises that one drinks three times as much as in Germany. Hence, the body has to adapt itself a lot. But we manage. Where would you find anybody in Germany who would drink water of this colour and taste? It looks like cocoa and tastes of sulphur. But that is good for us, as otherwise it would stimulate one's thirst...

April 29th 1941

In the evening, I drink a glass of chianti with the commander, our last drop. In Tobruk, there is more of the stuff, so we will have to restock our rations there!...

May 1st 1941

We intend to take Tobruk, my fourth attack on the town. We leave at 0430 hours...We pass through the gap where many of my comrades have already fallen...
The English artillery fires on us immediately. No German patrol is in front of us to reconnoitre. Row upon row of guns boom out from the triangular fortification in front of us...There is a frightful crash in front and to the right. Artillery shell hit? No, it must be a mine. Immediately, we send a radio message: "Enemy is attacking with tanks, but will be beaten off."...
Dive bombers and twin-engine fighters have been attacking the enemy constantly. Despite this, the British repeatedly counter-attack with tanks. As soon as the planes have gone, the artillery opens up furiously. It is beginning to get dark. Who is friend and who is foe? Shots are being fired all over the place, often on our troops and on panzers in front which are falling back...
Well, the attack is a failure...
We cover until 2345 hours, then retire through the gap. It is a mad drive through the dust. At 0300 hours I had a snack behind the panzer - 24 hours shut up in it, with frightful cramp and thirst as a result...

May 3rd 1941

[Our] artillery fire is heavy. Ten batteries are firing ceaselessly. Something is up. Naturally, the enemy answers equally briskly. At 2200 hours we are ready to move off. Out we go into the desert. Then the order to break off comes. Not until 0100 hours does the firing stop...
Radio message: "Ready for action. Captain Santo Maoro will lead." Oh hell! Where to? No idea! The Italians argue and gesticulate wildly. Oh well. I start by going as far as the gap and then turn right. No officer knows the position...The Australians have fallen back, leaving 26 dead behind. The Italians are in utter confusion. They have been under heavy artillery fire. Of 150 men occupying a height, there are over 100 dead and wounded...

May 4th 1941

Captain Prossen, and the other officers who served in the Great War, are all saying: "Yes, it was like that in 1916-1918. What we experienced in Poland and the Western Front was only a stroll by comparison."...

IWM AL 1517 Page 5

May 6th 1941

In the night, such a severe sandstorm blew up that by morning, visibility was reduced to 2m, and it forced us to get into the panzers. In the middle of this confusion, the rations have become even shorter. Everything is waiting in Tripoli. But Rommel needs soldiers and munitions. It clears up in the evening.

May 7th 1941

Plenty of sunshine, little food.
Dive bombers begin their work again. Let us hope they will accomplish something this time. To date, they have done nothing to speak of. It is only over the harbour and town that there are strong defences. In the fortified areas, they could circle round quietly and make out quite a lot and then pop in.

May 8th 1941

At noon, there is another sandstorm. In the chief's tent, there is a good deal of grumbling. What is there for a soldier to do when there is no fighting and nothing to eat. This morning, the bit of cheese wasn't even enough to go round for breakfast. The men want to attack and get into Tobruk. There, there is booty to be had. The replacements from Germany have not arrived. They are going to send in a fresh request for them in eight weeks. What rubbish! Boy, if only G”ring knew. We have already been in front of Tobruk for a month. Hour by hour, our advance becomes more difficult. The British lay mines, construct obstacles and positions, which we shall have to take again. The secret of our victories in Europe?
1. If advanced troops were held up, the commander sent mobile troops as reinforcements from behind the lines and pushed on or kept the situation fluid. If we had been able to do that in the case of Tobruk, it would have been a child's game, and we would have been in Alexandria by now.
2. Our opponents are English and Australian. No trained attacking troops, but men with nerves and toughness. Tireless, they take punishment...They are wonderful on the defence. Oh well. The Greeks also spent ten years before Troy. In this war for positions, we no longer talk of vipers and scorpions, despite the fact that there are still some crawling about...

May 10th 1941

Our next objective is Egypt. The frontier can be seen 2km from here. I thank God that the 2nd Company has not lost a single man or panzer, the only one in the regiment...

May 12th 1941

The enemy came to meet us, but now travels alongside us. When we approached a little, the order for the attack came...At 40km/h we rush off, approaching. The British limber up furiously. We are already under 2km away. Halt. High explosive shells and machine guns. Open up! This takes place. A light truck and munitions wagon are on fire. Behind those in flight, our shells burst. Rally! A couple of Tommies are dead, a couple are captured, but it is impossible to go further. The petrol is barely enough to get us home. It is frightfully hot - 58ø on the battlefield...
As we near the frontier, there is an air attack in depth. The 2cm anti-aircraft gun brings down a plane. New attack at 0500 hours. Machine guns spotted 1,000m away, ready to fire. Aim more ahead, still more. That's right! If you aim five lengths ahead, it will hit the mark. The last 50 rounds in the belt are well used, when the Englishman makes a right back. New belt, new attack. A few more times and then it is all over.Page 6 IWM AL 1517

Diary of Unteroffizier Kurt Martin

April 7th 1941

Wake up at 0500 hours. We took on additional water and petrol. The advance continues. We are on the enemy's heels. Suddenly, our engine fails. Every attempt to get it going again is in vain. We just have to stay where we are. For the first time, we realise how much stuff is moving forward. More and more troops pass us. Everything is trodden down, and we cannot go with them. We are seized with rage...

April 10th 1941

The fourth day in the desert. It is terribly boring. As guests we have two little birds, who have become quite tame. Otherwise nobody. Not very far off, we noticed some bright streaks that looked like water. But it wasn't...And all the time sandstorms and wind. We hope they will come soon and take us to the repair shop. We reach the stage where every movement is an effort. It's a good job we still have something to eat. In the evening, we have visitors. A ration tender stops not far from us. Tinned milk, potatoes and cigarettes are gratefully accepted.IWM AL 1517 Page 7

Olbrich's report on the assualt on Tobruk by 5th Panzer Regiment, April 11th-14th 1941

April 11th 1941

At 0730 hours, the regiment received orders to attack...
At 1600 hours, the regiment began its attack. The regiment was reduced to 25 vehicles. As it advanced over heights overlooked by the enemy, it met heavy artillery fire.
The regiment's advance was unexpectedly held up by an impassable anti-tank trench which runs all the way in front of Tobruk...
At 1715 hours, the regiment's vanguard reached the Tobruk-El Adem road where it found a wide minefield...
The regiment returned to its original positions and drew up facing Tobruk.
Reports given to the regiment had led it to believe that the enemy would fall back immediately when German panzers [attacked]. Nothing had been reported about the old Italian anti-tank trenches, or the large numbers of British anti-tank guns and artillery...

April 12th 1941

Acting on information, the regiment was led up to the point to renew its attack at 1515 hours, with 24 vehicles.
Already during its approach, English artillery began to fire into us with superb accuracy and at the same time a bombing attack with heavy calibre bombs was made on us...
As the regiment advanced, the enemy's fire grew so intense that the engineers could not follow, despite their great dash and daring...
Artillery and anti-tank guns were firing at the regiment within point-blank range, which halted then returned the fire without waiting for the engineers. When these failed to appear after 15 minutes, the order to withdraw was issued. The withdrawal was carried out in good order, accompanied by English artillery fire...

April 14th 1941

At 0600 hours, the regiment crossed a point and prepared to advance on the Via Balbia, completely alone, 6km behind enemy lines...
At the same time, six enemy fighters came roaring down in a low-level attack and enemy bombers dropped large calibre bombs as well. In this unpleasant situation, an attack was launched from the right rear by 14 enemy tanks...
Orders were given for an attack on these tanks...Visibility was considerably reduced by bursting grenades, burning tanks and the smoke of shells which added to our difficulties...
The regiment decided to withdraw as the losses in vehicles were too great, which it did in good order, firing in all directions and rescuing the wounded from shattered tanks...
Information about the enemy, distributed before the battle, told us he was about to withdraw, his artillery was weak and his morale poor.
Before beginning the three attacks, the regiment did not have a single piece of information about the excellently-constructed enemy positions, his various artillery positions and his enormous quantity of anti-tank guns. The presence of heavy tanks was also not known.
The regiment went into the battle in confidence and iron determination to defeat the enemy and take Tobruk. Only the enemy's superiority, our losses and total lack of support caused us to withdraw.Page 8 IWM AL 1517

15th Panzer Division Assessment of Personnel Re-organisation, February 14th 1942

Examination for fitness for tropical service

Reports from individual units reveal the maladies already familiar in captured reports, stomach illnesses, skin diseases, troubles with the inner ear, bad teeth, etc. In view of these, units agree with the divisional report that the medical examination for tropical service must be tightened practically without exception.IWM AL 1517 Page 9

Report of Workshop Company, 5th Panzer Regiment, May 5th 1941

1. Panzers: When the panzers arrive in Africa, the average odometer reading was 500km. By May 1st, the average reading per vehicle had reached 1,800km, of which 1,100km had been done on roads and 700km in the desert.
The journey by road when moving up was carried out without any particular damage, as long as the movement took place when it was cool, preferably by night, and as long as the speed limit of 18km/h was not exceeded...
The average journey of 700km in the desert had a very adverse effect on the panzers. Until the moment when the regiment moved into position before Tobruk...155 panzers had been brought into the workshop because of severe motor and suspension damage...
The regimental equipment with spare parts for operations in Africa was insufficient. The regiment asked for one spare engine, one spare set of bogies and one set of tracks per tank. This request was denied by ordnance. It has been fully justified after 1,500km travel. Further supplies of spare parts during operations were totally inadequate. Apart from difficulties in supply arising from enemy action, the response people at home did not quite understand the regiment's difficulties. As an example, the following case may be cited. Last week, a regimental request for spare parts was returned with the simple remark that the parts ordered were unavailable, and the regiment would have to request them again in two or three weeks. As the postal service is very slow, such treatment of regimental requests for spares means considerable hardship and delay.
Page 10 IWM AL 1517

British Weekly Review of the Military Situation, No. 91, February 23rd 1942

Axis propaganda has gone to considerable lengths to build up the legend of Rommel and the Afrika Korps.
This campaign has had two main aims - to increase German morale and give us a feeling of inferiority in face of this photogenic general who is supposed to be master of the Libyan desert.
No pains have been spared to build up the Afrika Korps legend. The men are said to be carefully picked after the strongest competition and the most severe weeding out. But German units in Africa we know complain that the home depots get rid of their undesirable elements by sending them to Libya. The men of Afrika Korps are said to be specially trained in hot houses in which the temperature resembles that of Africa, so that they arrive in Libya prepared for the rigour of the desert. Their sickness rate is much higher than ours, however. There has been much boasting about the German oasis companies' but these are actually low-category infantry, and the oasis company on the frontier surrendered even before Savona Division was starved into submission.
The picture of tough Germans under the waving palms of Libya has been built up. Strong, sun-tanned bodies, facing Churchill's unwilling colonial troops.
The focal point of this picture is the romanticised figure of Rommel himself.
Rommel is a typical Nazi hero. His very qualities are those which have given impetus to the Nazi movement, to which he owes his career - organisation, relentless and, if necessary, brutal pursuit of a goal, and an invigorating call to the young, a restless appetite for glory and expansion.
There is another side to Rommel, one that we have a right to stress despite his good qualities. We have abundant evidence that Rommel is arrogant, vainglorious and impatient of advice. We will share neither responsibility, nor glory. Solid and worthy officers who have come to Africa for a well-earned promotion have either fallen foul of his imperious will like Generalleutnant Streich, or kept in obscurity despite their previous record, like Colonel Menny. There are plenty of such instances.
What has Rommel done to deserve the reputation which has been built up around him?
He successfully led an armoured division in France, and was then given command of the German Expeditionary Force to Africa. In his first dash across the desert in March 1941, he cut through a weak screen of armoured cars and tanks to Tobruk with strong forces. There, he was held up by a half- trained and under-equipped Australian division, assisted by a weak force of British regulars. Good fortune rather than exceptional military genius gave him victory at Capuzzo in June 1941. In November, over-riding the advice of his two divisional commanders, he missed a good opportunity of inflicting a really serious blow against us, when he made his dash to the wire and back, instead of holding us at El Adem as his divisional commanders wanted, thus making us break ourselves against his concentrated forces.
It would be foolish to deny that Rommel is a worthy opponent. Whether he is a brilliant general is open to question. Whether he is one of the great captains remains to be proved. For us, Rommel is the man who failed to take Tobruk.
If the Rommel legend continues to be built up will lead to two things: criticism of our own generals by comparison, which is both improper and unfair because we are comparing the known with the unknown; the second, and equally dangerous, is maintaining the infallibility of an opponent who has already made obvious mistakes and who we can fairly say has enjoyed his fair share of good fortune.
The German soldier worships Rommel. "We do not know his plans, we are only amazed by them," a recent PoW stated. General von Ravenstein said that Tobruk would be Gerommelt. [ Rommeled']
We must therefore combat this insidious campaign, otherwise we too run the risk of being Gerommelt.IWM AL 1517 Page 11

Diary of Oberstleutnant Ponath

March 14th 1941

Worst sandstorm, everything is covered in sand. Tents collapse...

April 5th 1941

In the desert we meet elements of Brescia Division. Incredible track. Everything is stuck. In the dark, panzers run over nine motorcyclists. We lose our way...The march remains strenuous. It is very hot. Vehicles repeatedly fall out, lost in the lonesome desert...

April 6th 1941

Detestable march on a mine-infested track at Ben Ganina...At 0430 hours, Rommel bellows and chases us forward, out of touch with the battalion across the stony desert. Only ten vehicles are with us. With these against the rear of the enemy at Derna...

April 7th 1941

Several alarms in the rocky nest. Everyone sees or hears a ghost. Some shots at dawn. British aircraft start up...Attack on Derna airfield. Wonderful success, but [we are] shelled by the enemy's artillery. Retreat! Enemy tanks. We are discovered and the remainder of the enemy arrives later.

April 8th 1941

Unit advances on Derna. No enemy. Odd PoWs keep arriving. A heavy sandstorm is blowing up. A German aircraft lands and makes contact and takes the mail. Derna is clear of the enemy. Brescia Division approaches from the west. Order to move to Tobruk [arrives] at 2100 hours. Rommel is pleased with our success. Dead tired. Night march. Handing over of prisoners and captured material.

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Richard Hargreaves
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Post by Richard Hargreaves » 03 Jun 2007 18:30

AL 1023/1 in the condensed form I have (an old WP file which I no longer have :-( ) runs to about six edited sides of A4

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Post by shane1967 » 04 Jun 2007 01:12


Thanks for the explanation. 1517 P F Extracts from German war diaries in North Africa, 1941 seems to contain UK translations of captured documents that were distributed in the GHQ Middle East Daily Intelligence Summaries. The AWM holds a good set of these for 1940-43.

1023/1 P F KTB Afrika Korps, February 6th-April 14th 1941. Does this include the daily tank strength state? Any comments on orders for markings or vehicle painting?




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Richard Hargreaves
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Post by Richard Hargreaves » 04 Jun 2007 07:04

Not the edited translation I have. It's more about daily ops

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Post by shane1967 » 04 Jun 2007 07:22


Do you mean that the document has been translated into English?


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Richard Hargreaves
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Post by Richard Hargreaves » 04 Jun 2007 14:05

Yes, there's a typescript in AL 1023/1 file in the IWM. I'm almost certain they have the German language original. It might be worth e-mail Stephen Walton, their EDS expert, to check. He's frighteningly knowledgeable.

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Post by shane1967 » 05 Jun 2007 12:44


Thanks for the information. I am seriously considering contacting Stephen (he kindly sent me a copy of their NA catalogue recently) to order the first 30 odd pages of the II./Pz Regt 5 draft war diary to see whats in it. The overall document is some 300 pages for 6 months coverage.


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Joined: 09 Jul 2007 08:34
Location: UK

Re: 5 Panzer Regt Records

Post by lufty1 » 21 Jul 2016 10:40

There is a 2 volume book on pz rgt 5 by bernd Hartmann - panzers n the sand

Posts: 60
Joined: 16 May 2020 15:21
Location: France


Post by Dokis79 » 28 Jan 2022 15:50

Richard Hargreaves wrote:
02 Jun 2007 06:58
This is a list of some of the IWM EDS AL files I have

316 P F German operations at Anzio
510/1/2 P F Army Group B weekly situation reports, May-October 1944
528/1/2 P F Seventh Army telephone log, June 6th-30th 1944
596 P F KTB 7th Panzer Division, May 9th-25th 1940
608/1-9 P F KTB AOK 10, September 13th 1943-1944
700 Army Group B daily reports, October 1944
711 P F Account of the Battle of Stalingrad
761 P F KTB Skl 1939-1944
765 P F KTB AOK 4, April 26th-May 31st 1940
766 Partial translation: Der Feldzug in Nord Afrika, 1941-1943
767 P F OKW Directives 1939-1941
768 P F OKW Directives 1942-1945
772 General Messe: The Battle of Mareth, March 16th-31st 1943
773/1-2 P KTB 90th Light Division, May 8th-August 20th 1942
785/1 P T KTB OB West, July 1944
785/2 P T KTB OB West, August 1944
785/3 KTB OB West, September 1944
785/4 KTB OB West, October 1944
785/5 KTB OB West, November 1944
785/6 KTB OB West, December 1944
786 P OB West: A Study in Command
795 P F KTB Army Group A, appendices October 1939-February 1940
833/1-3 P F KTB Afrika Korps, May-August 1942
834/1 P F KTB Afrika Korps, August 3rd-November 22nd 1942
842/E1 P F Halder Diary
866/6 P T E Panzerarmee Afrika orders, May 25th-July 27th 1942
879/1-4 P F KTB 90th Light Division, September 5th-December 31st 1942
880/1-6 KTB 90th Light Division, January 1st-April 20th 1943
898/4 P F KTB Panzerarmee Afrika, August 20th-October 10th 1942
899/7 P F Von Mackensen: Operations by First Panzer Army in the Donetz
918 P T E KTB 21st Panzer Division, June 14th-July 28th 1942
925 P F KTB 21st Panzer Division, August 24th-September 10th 1942
926/1-8 KTB 21st Panzer Division, October 23rd 1942-March 30th 1943
973/2 P F Seventh Army telephone log, July 31st-August 31st 1944
974/1-2 P F KTB AOK 7, June 6th-August 16th 1944
976 P F Seventh Army telephone log, July 31st-September 17th 1944
1023/1 P F KTB Afrika Korps, February 6th-April 14th 1941
1028/1-3 P F KTB Afrika Korps, November 25th-December 31st 1942
1043/1 P T KTB Army Group A, June 26th-October 15th 1940
1044 P F KTB 5th Gebirgs Division, May 1941
1092 P F Fall Gelb: Armoured strength
1330 P F OB Südwest situation reports, December 1st-28th 1944
1331 P F KTB 16th Panzer Division, November 14th-28th 1943
1332 P F KTB 16th Panzer Division, November 1943-January 1944
1341/c P T FrHO Files 1939-1942
1346 P KTB LXXVI Panzer Corps, November 1943-January 1944
1347 P F XIV Panzer Corps situation reports, spring 1944
1349/1-11 P Rommel: personal papers and reports 1941-1943
1354 P T E F KTB AOK 6, May 9th-31st 1944
1356/1-2 P F KTB LI Gebirgs Corps, May 8th-June 7th 1944
1360/1-2 P F KTB AOK 14, July 17th-August 20th 1944
1367 P T E FrHO Lageberichte Ost, July 1940-June 1941
1372 P F KTB Army Group B appendices, May 9th-June 4th 1940
1397 P KTB Panzergruppe 1, February 2nd-July 10th 1941
1402/1-3 P KTB Afrika Korps, January 1st-February 28th 1943
1405 P T E F Army Group B Situation reports May-June 1940
1426 The ‘Marcks Plan’
1427 P Hossbach: Operations of Fourth Army in East Prussia
1428 P F KTB Army Group A, May 9th-31st 1940
1430/1-2 P T E F KTB Gruppe XXI, April 9th-26th 1940
1433 P F KTB Army Group B, May 9th-June 4th 1940
1434 P T E F KTB XV Panzer Corps May 10th-July 4th 1940
1440 P T E F KTB XIX Panzer Corps May 9th-June 24th 1940
1489 P F OKH Study: Military-political situation, March 1942
1502 P T E F KTB XXXIX Corps, May 13th-14th 1940
1517 P F Extracts from German war diaries in North Africa, 1941
1520 P T E Execution of British PoWs by SS Totenkopf Division, 1940
1528/3 P T Reports by OB West, Army Group B and FrHW 1944
1531/3 P T Army Group B daily reports, June-August 1944
1538/1-2 P T KTB LXXXI Corps, reports and telecons August-October 1944
1547/1-2 P T KTB Panzer Lehr Division, January-July 1944
1581/7 P T OKW Directives: Wacht am Rhein, November 1944-January 1945
1601/1-3 OB West Tagesmeldungen July-September 1944
1654/1 KTB 15th Panzer Division, November 19th-December 16th 1941
1656 P F KTB 15th Panzer Division, August 29th-December 18th 1942
1657/1 P F KTB 15th Panzer Division, October 23rd-November 11th 1942
1669 P T FrHW Correspondence 1940-1943
1672 P T FrHW Correspondence 1943-1945
P Italian reports on conferences with the Germans December 1942
1697/3 P T E Rommel’s Normandy Papers
1761 P T E F OB Süd Tagesmeldungen, January-June 1943
1789 P T Reports by the German General in Italy, January-May 1943
1809/a Report by Bastico on operations, November 1942-February 1943
1875 P T KTB X Corps, September 1940-July 1941
1899/1-2 KTB 10th Panzer Division, March 5th 1943
1901/1-6 P T E KTB PzAOK 5, June-October 1944
1933 P Canaris papers, September 9th 1939-June 5th 1943
1960/1-7 OB Südwest Tagesmeldungen 1/1-31/1/45
2509 P Weidling: Der Endkampf in Berlin
2520/1 Jodl’s study on the Ardennes offensive
2778/2 P Beck’s papers, 1935-1938
2778/3 P Fritsch’s papers 1938
2831 P Schörner, personal papers
2855 Admiral Krancke: Post-mortem of the Normandy landings
2863 Negotiations for the surrender of German forces in Italy 1945

Is there an index of the IWM EDS AL documents that one could access online? I have browsed the National Archives Website, but have only been able to find a list of documents in the CAD 146 section (like the ones posted previously). Just from the items listed in this thread, there appear to be documents that are not available at BAMA.


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