Enter Erwin Rommel - The British Advance in Africa - WW2 - 077 - February 15 1941

  • 🎬 Video
  • ℹ️ Description
Enter Erwin Rommel - The British Advance in Africa - WW2 - 077 - February 15 1941 5

While the Germans send one of their best generals to North Africa to bail out the Italians, Great Britain switches focus from Libya to Greece, but make symbolically important gains in East Africa.

Written and Hosted by: Indy Neidell
Produced and Directed by: Spartacus Olsson and Astrid Deinhard
Executive Producers: Bodo Rittenauer, Astrid Deinhard, Indy Neidell, Spartacus Olsson
Creative Producer: Joram Appel
Post-Production Director: Wieke Kapteijns
Research by: Indy Neidell
Edited by: Iryna Dulka

Colorizations by:

- Bundesarchiv
- A German soldier poses atop a tank, photo credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Perquimans County Library
- US National Archive
- IWM: A 4035, HU 39482

A TimeGhost chronological documentary produced by OnLion Entertainment GmbH.

💬 Comments on the video

When you know the story going forward it's fascinating to see how the decisions unfold this week - the reshuffling of command both on the Axis and Allied side might seem like innocuous administrative decisions when you don't know the future. But if you have a crystal ball, you'll know that not just Rommel arriving in North Africa, but also the decisions on the British side this week will have momentous impact on the war in total. That's one of the things we discovered early-on with a chronological narrative, it suddenly puts things in a new perspective. The relationship between events changes, and things that might seem too boring, or undramatic to include in a 'great story' take on a whole new meaning, increasing our understanding of cause and effect of the 'greater' events that will come. On a different note, we just finished shooting a new batch of videos today and we'll be announcing some fascinating developments on our program in the coming weeks. Stay tuned, and stay awesome, you all are by far the best community on YouTube!

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Author — World War Two


Rommel was Hitler's Valentine's Day gift to Mussolini.

Author — JoDonHo


Ok, so after Indy's Palpatine intro, I somehow imagined Rommel's arrival to Africa with the Imperial March in the background. It seems those remaining British have to prepare for the boss fight, even if they don't know it yet...

Author — Ágnes Keresztury


Love Indy’s Emperor Palpatine impression

Author — Charlie Ladas


*Seees the intro is an Original Trilogy Meme*

"It's an older code, sir, but it checks out."

Author — Beautiful Banjo


Rommel : Arrives in Africa

Allies : "Why do I hear boss music ?"

Author — Daniel Le Bladec


When you realise that when Indy quotes Palpatine, "their concern for their friends is theirs [weakness]", he means the British concerns for the Greeks...

Author — The Commander


Patrolling the Sahara almost makes me wish for a nuclear winter

Author — Yours Truly


“ Now, Rommel was not a member of the Nazi party…” foreshadowing.

Author — G S


Sand: It's rough, it's course, it's irritating, and it gets everywhere in your tank engines.

Author — VideoCrowsNest


This week in the Greco-Italian War is marked by the push to Tepelenë:

On Monday, February 10, eleven Greek fighters of 21 & 22 Fighter Squadrons, attacked three Italian CANT Z.1007bis medium bombers of 47o Stormo heading to Bubës in a bombing mission. Flight Lieutenant Gregorios Fanourgakis of 22 Fighter Squadron shot down one Italian bomber over Këlcyrë (Klisura). Flight Lieutenant Andreas Antoniou of the same squadron, was credited with one probable.

On Tuesday, February 11, at 0630 hours, the regrouped Greek 33rd Infantry Regiment (Lt. Col. Theophilus Kontis) from XV Infantry Division assaulted Hill 757 (Shalës). The regiment was making progress, but failed to take the hill because a Greek officer accidentally discharged his flare gun, a signal for artillery support. Many Greek troops died as a result of friendly artillery bombardment, and the regiment's advance was called off.
This battle marked the northernmost engagement of Greek forces in the Greco-Italian War. The area in which the Shalës hill is located in the district of Elbasan, which extends to the Gllavë mountain range - aka 'The Three Eggs' - was the northernmost point the Greek army reached in Albania, about 87 km (57 mi) S of the Albanian capital, Tirana.

Also on February 11, in early morning, Greek tracking and reporting of enemy aircraft services were caught unaware by eighteen Italian CANT Z.1007bis medium bombers and Macchi C.200 Saetta fighter planes heading towards Katsikas in Epirus, in a Deep Air Support mission against the Greek forward airfield there. Only two Greek Gloster Gladiator Mk.II of M2828 unit, were ready to intercept the Italians. Flight Sgt. Nikolaos Kostorizos barely managed to take off before being hit. He crash-landed his mangled Gloster Gladiator Mk.II at the end of the runway miraculously unharmed. Flying Officer Anastassios Bardavilias took off and engaged in a desperate air fighting. Eventually, succumbing to a much superior force, Bardavilias' plane was shot down and he was killed.
On February 12, the Greek XX Infantry Division was hastily formed in anticipation of the Italian Spring offensive, with Col. Miltiades Papaconstantinou as its first overall commander.
The division fielded three regiments:
-35th Infantry Rgt (Col. (Reservist) Emmanuel Marinakis) with 2, 800 men (800 of whom were Navy personnel, and 200 were muslims from Western Thrace),
-80th Infantry Rgt (Col. Vassilios Madzouranis) with 2, 500 men (500 were muslims from Western Thrace who had just completed recruit training), and,
-The most credible force the division was able to deploy, the 'Regiment of Dodecanesian Volunteers' (Lt. Col. (Reservist) Ioannis Nikolaou).
However, the division would see action during the German invasion in early April 1941 only, of the fear of Italian harsh retaliatory measures against the Dodecanesian islanders in case of possible capture, because they were Italian citizens (the Dodecanese islands were under Italian occupation and constituted the Italian colony of 'Isole Italiane dell'Egeo - Italian islands of Aegean Sea' since 1912).

On Thursday, February 13, the Greek C-in-C General Alexandros Papagos opened the second phase of the Battle of Mal Trebeshinë, the Tepelenë Offensive, by ordering V and XV infantry divisions to advance along the Këlcyrë - Taroninë - Gllavë line, take the northern summit of Mali i Shëndëllisë, advance to Tepelenë and from there to the port-city of Vlorë, despite strong opposition expressed by Col. Dimitrios Machas, Chief of Staff B' Corps, and Maj. Gen. Georgios Papasterghiou, overall commander of V Infantry Division. Gen. Papasterghiou was relieved of his command for insubordination.
The two divisions would advance their line but they would eventually fail to take Tepelenë, because the Italians in the sector had achieved numerical superiotity, and were prepared to die than yield further ground.

On February 14, the Greek 6th Infantry Regiment (Col. Ioannis Theodorou) of III Infantry Division, repulsed an Italian attack trying to carry the Skutara line near Hill 504. The attack aimed to dislodge the Greek defensive line in the coastal sector, near the Albanian port-town of Himarë. The regiment suffered 109 casualties in the engagement.

By February 15, the Greek V 'Cretan' Division (now under the divisional Chief of Staff, Col. Dionysius Papadongonas) and XV Infantry Division (Μaj. Gen. Panaghiotis Spiliotopoulos) had seized Qafa e Mezhgoranit and the hills 1647 (Punta Nord), 1260, 1178, 1308 and 1812 in the district of Tepelenë, accepting severe casualties. The Cretan sacrifices in the Tepelenë offensive have been immortalized in a traditional Cretan musical declamation:
'The Puntanordi mountain, and Mezhigorani, taught mothers how to weep, young lads have sent to Hades.'

Also on February 15, the Greek 34th Infantry Regiment (Col. Alexandros Tsingounis) and 39th Evzone Regiment (Μaj. (Reservist) Pausanias Katsotas) from Α' Army Corps (Lt. Gen. Georgios Kosmas), took Mali i Golikut (Golico mountain), 9 km (5.6 mi) SE of Tepelenë, near Peshtan, at the point of the bayonet. The area was defended by three battalions of 8th Alpini Regiment from 3rd Alpini Division 'Julia' (Div. Gen Mario Girotti), and by one battalion of 3rd Alpini Regiment from 1st Alpini Division 'Taurinense' (Brig. Gen. Giovanni Maccario). The two Greek regiments unleashed a ferocious attack that forced the Italians into a disorderly retreat, leaving behind 34 officers and 775 other ranks prisoner. Sporadic fighting in the area of Golico would not stop until March 12, with each side launching local attacks and counter-attacks, while artillery dueling was not uncommon. After Golico fell into the Greek hands, the Greek General HQ officially reported that by mid-February in the Muskopol - Tepelenë sector, the Greeks had completely routed the Italian XI. Army Corps (Corps Gen. Mario Robotti).

The melting of the snow as temperatures warm up in Spring, would reveal the unburied remains of dozens of fallen soldiers from both sides in the area. In fact, one of the most iconic (and graphic) photographs of the Greco-Italian War, is the one depicting unburied Greek and Italian dead sodiers on mount Golico. Their remains were revealed after the snow melted in late Spring, 1941.

Author — Αποστόλης Μ.


"Field Marshal, Erwin Rommel..." Not so fast Indy, not so fast, it's a long way to go! ;)

Author — trr yy


Fronts in Africa and Europe : Lots of movements, outstanding victories.
Meanwhile WW 1 has called China and Japan, it wants its Methods of Warfare back

Author — kaiser doge


Allies: *do anything*

Italy: “aight ima head out”

Author — Mez


When he arrived in North Africa, Rommel was a Generalleutnant. He was promoted to Generalfeldmarschall on 22 June 1942.

Author — Großadmiral Raeder


"I'm getting on very well with the Italian Command and couldn't wish for better cooperation"
Boy is that quote gonna age badly

Author — Lord Fedjuve Kinval


Germany: Sends Rommel

Me: Ah, yes, the negotiator

Author — Netro Lancer


"And i would've gotten away with it too. If it weren't for you meddling Allies"

Author — Neptune


"He (Meaning Churchill) also wants to make a good impression on Turkey."

*he sure couldn't...*

Author — Ahmet Serdar Ünal


I would have been in tears laughing if you had literally ended the episode after 30 seconds "What more can I say?" The End

Author — Kris Frederick