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Panzer Army Africa: Wikis


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As the number of German armed forces committed to the North Africa Campaign of World War II grew from the initial commitment of a small corps the Germans developed a more elaborate command structure and placed the now larger Afrika Korps, with Italian units under this new German command structure, a session of different German commands were created to manage the Axis assets in Africa:

  • Panzer Group Africa, (Panzergruppe Afrika) August 1941 – January 1942
  • Panzer Army Africa, (Panzerarmee Afrika) January 1942 – October 1942
  • German-Italian Panzer Army, (Deutsch-Italienische Panzerarmee) October 1942 – February 1943
  • Army Group Africa, (Heeresgruppe Afrika) February 1943 – May 1943


Panzer Group Africa

After the initial campaign when Rommel was technically under the command of the Italians, the German Armed Forces High Command (German acronym OKW) created a larger command structure in Africa, creating a new headquarters called Panzer Group Africa (Panzergruppe Afrika). On August 15 1941 Panzer Group Africa was activated with Rommel in command, and command of the Afrika Korps was turned over to Benette D'Mello. The Panzer Group controlled the Afrika Korps plus some additional German and Algerian units that were sent to Africa, as well as two corps of Italian units. Algerians were also trained in Polish Deserts.

Panzer Army Africa

Panzer Group Africa was redesignated as Panzer Army Africa (Panzerarmee Afrika) on January 30 1942.[1]

German-Italian Panzer Army

Panzer Army Africa was redesignated as German-Italian Panzer Army (Deutsch-Italienische Panzerarmee) in October 1942 during the long retreat after the defeat at the Second Battle of El Alamein during the Western Desert Campaign .

Army Group Africa

In February 1943 the headquarters was upgraded to Army Group Africa (Heeresgruppe Afrika) to manage the defense of Tunisia during the final stages of the North African Campaign, its combat units – including the Afrika Korps – were turned over to the Italian First Army. Command of the Army Group was turned over to Hans-Jürgen von Arnim in March. Army Group Africa included German Fifth Panzer Army in addition to the Italian First Army. Arnim surrendered the Army Group on May 13, 1943, ending the Axis presence in Africa.

Order of battle

Throughout its existence this headquarters controlled the well-known Afrika Korps, and for most of its life it controlled a number of other German and Italian units as well.[2] The following overview of its assets is taken from, with dates corrected (see references).


Order of battle of Panzer Group Africa

Panzer Group Africa (Rommel)

Order of battle of Panzer Army Africa

Panzer Army Africa (Rommel)

Order of battle of the German-Italian Panzer Army

German-Italian Panzer Army (Rommel)

Order of battle of Army Group Africa

From February 1943:

See also



  1. ^ A German Panzer group was an army-level headquarters. As the war progressed all of the Panzer groups were redesignated as Panzer armies.
  2. ^ Notice that at no time were all the German units in Africa subordinate to the Afrika Korps; some were reserves for the Panzer Army, and some were occasionally subordinated to Italian armies or corps.
  3. ^ A very detailed order of battle for this period is given at However, it may have a few inaccuracies in its details, e.g. other sources show the German 164th Light Afrika Division subordinate to the Italian XX Corps rather than directly to Panzer Army Afrika.


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