Rommel Storms Into North-Africa - WW2 - 084 - April 4, 1941

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Rommel Storms Into North-Africa - WW2 - 084 - April 4, 1941 5

The British thought they would be safe for a while, but this week they are proven wrong. This week, Erwin Rommel begins his advance towards the East of North-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:
- Daniel Weiss

- National Portrait Gallery
- Narodowe Archiwum Cyfrowe
- Bundesarchiv
- Yugoslav military maneuvers at Torlak, 1940, by Boksi from Wikimedia
- US Holocaust Memorial Museum
- Војни архив
- Documents icon by Srinivas Agra from the Noun Project

A TimeGhost chronological documentary produced by OnLion Entertainment GmbH.

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Author — World War Two


"Italian forces have surrendered. This is not an April Fool's joke."
" totally believe you..."

Author — David Beach


British Generals: Rommel can't possibly do an major offensive yet
Rommel: I'm sorry I can't hear you over the sound of the fastest April Fool's prank ever

Author — Iosephus Rex


"Alright, let's do this!

-General Rommel going on the Offensive in North-Africa, probably

Author — Alexander Sturnn


Hitler: "Don't attack"


Author — Hades 131313


Others: we cannot advance, the terrain is impassable

Rommel: *Fine, I'll do it myself*

Author — Farhan Zulkarnain


"However, Rommel's forward units run out of fuel." Keep that in mind, it'll be a running theme throughout this campaign.

Author — CreatorUser


Allies: you can't attack until May!
Rommel: hahaha tank goes zoom

Author — RGM 96X


"Italians want to avoid the battle of the Karen"
We shall all avoid such monstrous calamities whenever possible.

Author — براہمداغ


"He who defends everything defends nothing". I like it!

Author — Valentin Stoyanov


"You can't do an offensive, the terrain is impassable!"

Rommel, traveling 20 Km himself:

Author — Mieszko Zdun


Rommel driving 20 miles into the frontlines just to prove a subordinate wrong might be one of the biggest big d energy move at this moment of the war

Author — Gijs Tubben


"Stronger even than Karen."

Nothing is stronger than a Karen and her desire to see the manager.

Author — Jesse Carozza


British Forces: "What the bloody hell is that music we're hearing?"

Author — MarvinT


5:02 "Gondar? Where was Gondar when the Westfold fell? Where was Gondar 
when our enemies closed in around us!? Where was Gon — No, my Lord Neidell, we are alone."

Author — Victor Bruant


2st April - Northern Germany - First jet engine trials of Luftwaffe were concluded successfully
2nd April - Paris - France - German ambassador Otto Abbetz orders Vichy France to accelerate Jewish emigration
2nd April - Churchill orders British ambassador Sir Stafford Cripps to warn Stalin about and incoming German invasion of Soviet Union at early summer
2nd April - 5th Light Divisions attack (under Rommels command) causes uncertainty and even panic among Allied troops in Libya. 2nd Armored Division only unit resisting Germans is crippled with insufficient numbers of tanks and existing tanks among their ranks malfunction and broken down all the time Germans capture Agadebia and its water wells
2-3 April - UK, Bristol is heavily bombed by Luftwaffe
3rd April - Benghazi is recaptured by Axis
2-3 April - North Atlantic, German U-Boat pack attacks and sinks ten merchant ships from convoy SC26 out of 22 ships. In exchange one U-Boat (U-76) is sunk by depth charges of escort vessels, Royal Navy destroyers HMS Wolverine and HMS Scarborough

Author — merdiolu81


"they said" . . . one of those 'theys' was the German high command who told Rommel to wait till May. The thought occurs to me that part of the British complacency about the possibility of a German offense was due to decoded enigma messages which indicated Rommel's orders were to wait.

Author — Steve Barrett


Teleki and Hungary in general was in a difficult situation, which I'm sure you will reflect on later. The governement with Teleki at lead wanted to avoid war as many of them thought Germany will lose in the end, however the military and the general public was heavily germonophile. But the desire to annex Hungarian lands lost in Trianon meant Hungary had to appeal to Germany being the only major power who could deliver. I read somewhere that Teleki's governement rejetced 9 out of ten German requests (such as giving them use of railways in campaign against Poland) but they inevitably had to slowly descend into Germany's hands, which was excarbated by the total economical dependence on Germany.

Hungary signed a "treaty of eternal friendship" with Yugoslavia in 1940 december which had multiple reasons - both countries saw each other as some of the last more or less nonaligned nations in the region, through Yugoslavia Hungary wanted to maintain relations with the Allies, plus the Hungarian party wanted to have negotioations about handing back some lands and Yugoslavia was partially open to some minor revisions.

However the situation rapidly changed by 1941 April. Teleki understood that with the attack Hungary will become part of the German sphere and consequently end up on the losing side, which according to some Hungarian historians was the ultimate reason for his suicide. At the time many people thought the treaty effectively became void as Yugoslavia switched sides and that Hungary had to join tthe German campaign protect Hungarian minorities, but of course the whole matter is hotly debated even today.

As for his anti-semitism, that was sadly a hallmark of Hungarian society of the time. Hungary had a large Jewish population making up 5-6% of the population, the "problem" as seen by Hungarian nationals was that after Trianon there were much less opportunities for the middle class and suddenly Jews became overrepresented in many professions (54.5 percent of physicians, journalists 31.7%, and lawyers 49.2% etc, you get the picture). A further issue was the fact that many leading members of the Hungarian Soviet Republic were Jewish (including Bela Kun, Tibor Szamuely, Jenő Landler etc.), and in the interwar era the soviet republic was villified to no end and made a scapegoat for Trianon. And so the psychology of hate had fertile ground to spring from.

The irony about Hungarian antisemitism was that before 1918 many, including Teleki himself were "prosemitic" (if thats a word), seeing Jews as allies in the opposition with other minorities, Teleki himself arguing Hungarian Jews have "lost their Jewish character" and were patriotic Hungarians, since it was thanks to that 5% Jewry that gave Hungarians a slight majority in the kingdom.

Author — Franzur


"I think we may have underestimated this Rommel chap" - British High Command.

Author — Thomas Languell


This week in the Greco-Italian War:

On April 2, ten Italian CANT Z.1007bis medium bombers of 47o Stormo heading to the Greek town of Florina in a bombing mission, were intercepted by eight Greek Gloster Gladiator Mk.II of 21 Squadron. Flight Lieutenant Ioannis Papadimitriou, Flying Officer Ioannis Katsaros and Flight Sergeant Nikolaos Kostorizos share two Italian bombers shot down and one probable.

On Thursday, April 3, 1941, a joint tripartite emergency conference was held at Kenali, a railroad station close to the border of Greece with Yugoslavia, to address the military situation some fifty hours before the German invasion.
The conference was attended by General Alexandros Papagos (Greek C-in-C of the Land Army and Director of the Operations Staff), Colonel Stylianus Kitrilakis (Director of the Greek 3rd Staff Office-Current Operations), General Radivoje Janković (Yugoslav Chief of Army Operations), and Colonel Miloslav Perišić (Yugoslav Army's liaison with Greek HQ). The British delegation did not actively participate.
During the conference Yugoslavia promised to block the Strymon (Struma) valley in case of a German attack across their territory. Moreover, Greece and Yugoslavia agreed to launch a common offensive against the Italians in Albania.
General Papagos, rejected again the British proposal of a voluntary withdrawal of Greek fighting forces from Albania and Greek units from the NE border of the country to the Haliacmon line, still believing that ultimately Yugoslavia would put up a strong resistance to the Germans. He was concerned that a Greek retreat from Albania and the abandonment of the second largest Greek city, Salonika, would have had disastrous results on Greek morale.
British Gen. Henry Maitland Wilson openly scoffed at Papagos' clinging to his 'doctrine of not yielding an inch of Greek soil to the Italians' (sic). He even called it 'a fetischism' (sic).

Author — Αποστόλης Μ.