Tag Archives: Tobruk

First Siege of TOBRUK

I had planned to do a TOBRUK mini-campaign, but on closer examination, the following scenario problem seen at Phase V presented itself. I may work it up to a full game, but at present it does not hold enough operational interest to pursue before other projects:

Phase I: Operation Sonnenblume (6 February – 25 May 1941). The Germans drive the Allies east, isolate TOBRUK and on 10 April attack a largely Australian defence. The Australian infantry prove that a coherent infantry force behind well-sited concrete defences in three layers can contain a frontal armoured attack.

Phase II: Two unsuccessful allied relief attempts ensue, Operation Brevity (15–16 May), Operation Battleaxe (15–17 June), before Operation Crusader (18 November – 30 December) relieves TOBRUK on On 27 November 1941.

Phase III: Around TOBRUK itself, nothing happens for five months operationally. The Germans lack the strength to penetrate the defences and at the same time fight of the Allied counter-offensives.

Phase IV: After TOBRUK is relieved, the garrison is changed (see below).

Phase V: The Axis forces attack, and Tobruk falls in a matter of hours!

HQ 9th Australian Infantry  Division & Tobruk Fortress

HQ 3rd Armoured Bde (60 x tanks working; another 26 tanks in repair)

3rd Hussars/5 the Royal Tanks (Det 4 x light tanks and 18 x cruisers) 1 Crusader (CF3)
1st Royal Tank Regt (Det 15 x light tanks and 19 x cruisers) 1 Crusader (CF3)
1st Kings Dragoon Guards (30 x armoured cars) 3 Marmon Herrington @ (R1)
4th Royal Tank Regt (Troop of 4 x infantry tanks not modelled)

For local colour, substitute a Crusader for an M13 with a huge kangaroo painted on the side

18th Cavalry Regt (Indian)
HQ Royal Horse Artillery

 

1st RHA Regt 1 25-pounder (S2)+ tractor (L2)
3rd RHA (minus one bty) (16 x 2-pounder antitank guns) 2 2pdr Atk guns @ (S1)
104th RHA Regt (16 x 25-pounders) 1 25-pounder (S2)+ Quad tractor (L2)
107th RHA Regt (16 x 25-pounders) 1 25-pounder (S2)+ Quad tractor (L2)
51st Field Regt (12 x 18-pounders and 12 x 4.5 inch how) 1 4.5″ Howitzer (S2)+ tractor (L2)
2-3rd Aust Antitank Regt (Unkown no., type, Bofors
(minus one bty) 37-mm; Breda 47/32-mm; 2-pounders) 2  Atk guns @ (S1) (from the previous list)

 

HQ Royal Australian Engineers

 

2nd Aust Field Bn 3 Engr stands @ (E1)
2-4th Aust Field Park Company
2-1st Aust Pioneer Battalion 3 Pioneer stands @ (E1) –count as logistic when fighting

 

Signals 9th Aust Div
HQ 18th Aust Inf Bde 1 Comd stand (F3)
16th Aust Antitank Company 1 (C1) 2pdr Atk stand
2-9th Aust Inf Bn 1 Rifle stand (F3)
2-10th Aust Inf Bn 1 Rifle stand (F3)
2-12th Aust Inf Bn 1 Rifle stand (F3)

 

HQ 20th Aust Inf Bde (As 18th bde above)

20th Aust Antitank Company
2-13th Aust Inf Bn
2-15th Aust Inf Bn
2-17th Aust Inf Bn

 

HQ 24th Aust Inf Bde (-) (2-25th Inf Bn still in Australia) (As 18th bde above)

24th Aust Antitank Co
2-28th Aust Inf Bn
2-43d Aust Inf Bn

 

HQ 26th Aust Inf Bde (As 18th bde above)

26th Aust Antitank Coy
2-23rd Aust Inf Bn
2-24th Aust Inf Bn (as above)
2-48th Aust Inf Bn (as above)

1 Royal Northumberland Fusiliers 1 Machine Gun stand (S3)

9th Aust Div Supply Column
7th Aust Div Supply Column
2nd Aust Field Ambulance
9th Aust Div Provost Coy
9th Aust Div Protection Pl
9th Aust Div Empl Pl
9th Aust Salvage Unit

 

Fortress Troops
Royal Artillery
HQ 4th Antiaircraft (AA) Bde

 

13th Light AA Regt
14th Light AA Regt
51st Heavy AA Regt
3rd Aust Light AA Regt

 

Notts Yeomanry (coast defense)

Royal Engineers (under CRE, 9th Aust Div)

295th Field Coy Royal Engineers
551st Tps Coy Royal Engineers
4th Field Sqn Royal Engineers
143d Field Park Troops

Signals (under Comd Signals, 9th Aust Div)

K Base Section
27th Line Maintenance Section

 

Royal Army Service Corps (RASC)

309th Reserve Motor Coy
345th Reserve Motor Coy
550th Coy

Medical: 16th MAC

Royal Army Ordnance Corps [RAOC]

2nd Armoured Div Workshops RAOC
A Sect Ord Field Park AAOC

 

HQ Tobruk Subarea

1st Libyan Refugee Bn
2nd Libyan Refugee Bn
4th Libyan Refugee Bn
HQ 45th Group
1205-7th Indian Pioneer Coys

Admin units have been omitted and are represented by supply dumps.

Use the DAK orbat for Gazala for the Germans

 

Sources:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Tobruk [Accessed 7.11.16]
  2. http://www.ww2f.com/topic/24891-orbat-tobruk-fortress-april-1941/ [Accessed 7.11.16]

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, 8th Army - British and Commonwealth, Infantry, Land Battles, Western Desert, WWII

1st Free French Brigade Group at BIR HAKIEM

Converted Peter Pigs from Phil Steele’s collection. Copyright Phil Steele.

Crucial to any GAZALA Battle is the contribution of General Koenig’s Free French Brigade (1FF) at BIR HAKIEM. Fortunately, I don’t have to model them as Phil Steel has already made an excellent job of it in 15mm, allbeit he painted them originally as Vichy French. . 1FF seemed to be plentifully supplied with 75mm artillery of one sort or another, which I have amalgamated into the 1st Flying Column portee.

1st Free French Brigade (1FF) (Gen Koenig) – 1 Command Jeep (C3), 1 Signals Vehicle (L3)

1st Free French Tank Coy1 Crusader I,II OR III (F2) (But I own a Char 2C, so see my stand-in on the blog wallpaper!)

1st Free French Flying Column1 Automitrailleuse Dodge ‘Tanake'(F2),

Dodge tanake1 portee 75mm M1897 or ‘Conus gun’ SPG (S3)

conus gun

1st Fusiliers MarineComd (C1), 3 Rifle Bases (F3), Hotchkiss MMG, 81mm Mortar, Boyes ATkRifle (S3)

2nd Bn French Foreign LegionAs 1FM above.

3rd Bn Infanterie Marine PacifiqueAs 1FM above.

1st Moroccan SpahisAs 1FM above.

Engineer1-3 Engineer Bases (F1-3)

Anti-tank1 Fordson WOt2 25mm CLA portee (S3)

Anti-aircraft1 25 mm CA mle 39 towed/portee (S2)

Logistic1 Ammo Truck (L3), 1 Workshop Truck (L3), 1 Fuel Tanker (L3), 1 Ambulance (L3)

Later on, at ALAMEIN :

1st Free French Division : (Gen Koenig)
– Compagnie de QG51 : Lt Muracciole
– 2e Bataillon de la Légion Etrangère : Cl Amilakvary
– 1e Bataillon d’Infanterie de Marine et du Pacifique : Cdt Bouillon
– 22e Compagnie Nord Africaine : Cpt Lequesne
– 1e Regiment d’Artillerie : Cdt Laurent-Champrosay
– 1e Bataillon de Fusilliers- Marins (A.A.) : CC Amyot d’Inville
– Compagnie Anti-Chars (A.T.) : Cpt Jacquin
– 1e Compagnie de Sapeurs-Mineurs : Cpt Desmaisons
– 1e Compagnie Transmissions : Cpt Renard
– 101e Compagnie Auto (transport) : Cpt Dulau
– Atelier Lourd de Réparations Auto n°1 : Cpt Bell
– Intendance : Int Bouton
– Groupe d’exploitation n°1 : Lt Foussat
– Groupe Sanitaire Divisionnaire n°1 : Med-Cdt Vignes
– Ambulance Chirurgicale Légère : Med-Cdt Durbach
– Hôpital de Campagne Hadfied-Spears : Med Ch Vernier

Sources:

  1. Corbonnois, D. (2004) L’odyssée de la Colonne Leclerc : Les Français Libres au combat sur le front du Tchad, 1940-43
  2. http://minitracks.forumpersos.com/t155-engins-francais-depuis-1941-a-1945
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/13th_Demi-Brigade_of_the_Foreign_Legion
  4. Haugh, D. (2002) http://www.warwheels.net/images/AMDodgeTanakeDATASHEET.pdf
  5. Bishop, C. (1998) The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II. p.190. Sterling Publishing.
  6. Latimer, J. (2002) Alamein. p.329.
  7. Post by Reasoner, D. (2006) http://testofbattle.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=2916&sid=2b9b5a228faeb353ef45af3326d173d3

1 Comment

Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Infantry, Trucks, Western Desert, WWII

Gazala Tank Strengths Cross Referenced

Michael Carver’s Tobruk (1964) breaks down tank strengths on the 27th  of May 1942 for the start of Rommel’s Operation Skorpion (p.167). comparing this with the chain of command from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Gazala#Allies  threw up some anomolies, which I had to resolve by working out the strengths for the whole of 8th Army. The task was complicated by the British habit of splitting tanks into cruiser/medium heavy tanks, and infantry tanks, as two separate groupings.

15mm QRF Crusader with QRF? Austin 3Tonner 'A' Echelon support

“Where’s my truck!”…. “Behind You!”*

8th-army8th Army [Lt Gen Ritchie] – 843 (28) tanks of which:

30th-corps30 Corps [Norrie] – 167 (5) Grants, 149 (5) Stuarts**, 275 (9) Crusaders allocated as follow:

(2) Stuart, (2) Crusaders

1st-armdiv1st Armd Div [Maj Gen Lumsden](1) Crusader

2nd Armd Bde [Brig Briggs](1) Grant, (3) Crusader.

22nd Armd Bde [Brig Carr](1) Grant, (3) Crusader.

201st Gds Mot Bde [Brig Marriott/Johnson]

7th-armdiv-1st7th Armd Div [Maj Gen Messervey](1) Grant

4th Lt Armd Bde4th Armd Bde [Brig Richards/Gatehouse](2) Grant,  (2) Stuart.

(British) 7th Mot Bde [Brig Renton]2? motor rifle battalions

(Indian) 3rd Mot Bde [Brig Filose] – 3 motor rifle battalions

(Indian) 29th Inf Bde [Brig Reid]3 infantry battalions

1st Free French Bde [Brig Koenig]4 infantry battalions with supporting arms

Plus 1 Armoured Brigade (from Army Reserve) –  75 (2) Grants (s3) and 75 (2) Stuarts (s3)

IMGP0050

*http://www.btinternet.com/~ian.a.paterson/org.htm#Apr1942  gives for an armoured division:

6 RASC companies and 4 light field ambulances, with a Divisional Workshop, and a Brigade Workshop for each brigade. This is roughly as many trucks as tanks, and gives an idea of how big the logistic tail was stretching across the desert. Even this monster was unable to sustain battle for more than a few days at a time before resupply was needed.

**Stuart tanks seemed to be popular with Artillery FOOs in armoured formations, which would easily swallow the “missing” Stuarts in the breakdown above

May 1942 GAZALA (Venezia)

– this was my original breakdown. The slight differences probably reflect Crusaders being replaced by Grants as battle losses occurred.

Allied

Tanks – 849 (28) broken down as :

Armoured cars :  (10) Marmon-Herrington, (3) Humber

Cruiser : (3) Honey, (10) Crusader

Medium : (1) Lee, (4) Grant

Infantry : (3) Matilda, (7) Valentine

The collection in October 2012

Allied Tanks at GAZALA 4The collection in October 2015. Note the M5s , Shermans and even two ferrets filling in. The four blank bases are waiting for more Valentines

German

Tanks – 330 (11) broken down as :

Light : (2) PzII

Medium : (8) PzIIIh

Heavy : (1)  PzIVe

15th and 21st Panzer Divisions15th and 21st Panzer Divisions on the march

Italian

Tanks – 228 ( 7)  broken down as :

Light: (2) L6/39

Medium : (2)  M11/39, (3) M13/41

Box 023 ArieteAriete Armoured Division

Box 023 : 133 Littortio Armoured DivisionLittorio Armoured Division

The  pictures show the progress made since the original post

updated January 2017

2 Comments

Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, 8th Army - British and Commonwealth, DAK, Italian Army, Orbats, Wargames, Western Desert, WWII

Gazala – Axis Forces

German and Italian forces

balconySupreme Commander North Africa: General Ettore Bastico
Model of a a comfortable hotel somewhere in TRIPOLI with a grand balcony for reviewing parades*.

Italian Mobile Army (XX) Corps

Lieutenant-General Gastone Gambara  Comd car (C3), Signals Truck (C3), 20mm Flak Truck (S3), Ambulance Truck (L3), 

Signature Corps Troops
(from amalgamating troops that appear in divisions in small numbers)
Mixed AA Battalion – Cannone da 90/53 (S3) + limber (L3), 20/65 modello 35(S3) + limber (L3) (both may be self-propelled)
Artillery Battalion – Comd (C3),  FOO (R1), 100mm Howitzer (S3) + limber (L3)
Anti-tank BattalionSemovente 75/18 (S3), Semovente 47/32 (S3) [these may each have an SP L6 or M40 limber (L3)]
Armoured Bersaglieri Recce BattalionAutoblinda AB 41 (R3)

Ariete
  • 132 Armoured Division Ariete (General Mario Balotta) Comd car (C3), Signal van (C3), 20mm Flak Truck (S3), Ammo Truck (L3), POL Truck (L3), Engineer Truck (L3), 2 Engineer (F3), Autoblinda 41 (R3)
  • 132nd Armoured Regiment –  Comd car (C3)
    • VII Tank Battalion – M13/41 (F3)
    • VIII Tank Battalion – M13/41 (F3)
    • IX Tank Battalion – M11/39 (F3)
    • 32nd Light Armoured Regiment – L6/39 (F3)
    • 8th Bersaglieri Regiment (Motorised) – Comd car + Mortar + 47mm Atk (CS3)
    • III Motorcycle Battalion (Later II Motorised) Comd m/c or Car + (C3), 2 m/c + MG m/c (FS3)
    • V and XII Motorised Battalions 4 Trucks** (L3), 2 [ Bn Comd + MG + 45mm Mortar (CS3)], 2 [ 3Rifles (F3)]
    • 132nd Artillery Regiment – Comd Car (C3), FOO (R1), 75/25 Gun (S3) + Limber (L3)
  • littorio
  • 133 Armoured Division Littorio, Major General Gervasio Bitossi– Comd car (C3), Signal van (C3), 20mm Flak Truck (S3), Ammo Truck (L3), POL Truck (L3), Engineer Truck (L3), 2 Engineer (F3), Autoblinda 41 (R3)
    • 133rd Tank Regiment – Comd Car (C3), M13/41 (F3), M11/39 (F3)
    • 12th Bersaglieri Infantry Regiment4 Truck (L3), 2 [ Bn Comd + MG + 45mm Mortar (CS3)], 2 [ 3Rifles (F3)]
    • 3rd Artillery Regiment – Comd Car (C3), FOO (R1), 75/25 Gun (S3) + Limber (L3)
    • 133rd Artillery Regiment (part)(see corps troops)
    • 3rd Tank Group Lancieri di NovaraL6/39 (F3)
  • trieste

  • 65th Infantry Regiment  4 Truck (L3), 2 [ Bn Comd + MG + 45mm Mortar (CS3)], 2 [ 3Rifles (F3)]
  • 66th Infantry Regiment  4 Truck (L3), 2 [ Bn Comd + MG + 45mm Mortar (CS3)], 2 [ 3Rifles (F3)]
  • 9th Bersaglieri Regiment 4 Truck (L3), 2 [ Bn Comd + MG + 45mm Mortar (CS3)], 2 [ 3Rifles (F3)]
  • 21st Artillery Regiment  Comd car (C3), FOO (R1), Truck Limber (L3), 105mm Gun (S3), Light Truck Limber (L3), 47mm PaK [may be Semovente L/40 da 47/32] (s3), Limber (L3)
  • RECAM (Reconnaissance Unit of the Mobile Army Corps)  Saharina (R3)

Panzer Gruppe Afrika

HQ Panzergruppe Afrika
General der Panzertruppe Erwin Rommel
Comd car or SdKfz 250 [Greif] (C3), Signals Truck [or captured Dorchester] (C3), 20mm Flak Truck (S3) Ambulance Truck (L3), Armd Car (L3)

Deutches Afrika Korps DAKpalm

Generalleutnant Ludwig Crüwell
Comd car (C3), Signals Truck [or captured Dorchester] (C3), 20mm Flak Truck (S3) Ambulance Truck (L3), Armd Car (R3)
HQ DAK
  • 33 and 3 Motorcycle Battalions DAK 6 M/Cs or M/C combos @ R1

3 and 33 Kradshutz Abteilung

  • DAK Artillery –  Comd car or SdKfz (C3), FOO (R1), Sdkfz 7 Limber (L3), 210mm Gun (S2)

DAK Artillery. 21cm Gun

  • DAK 605 Panzerjaeger Abteilung(Battalion)* [To 90 Lt Div] – Panzerjaeger 1b 4.7cm (S3)[1941 onwards] or Diane Sdkfz6 [1942], limber (L3), Pak 36(r) (S2), Limber (L2)

DAK 605 Panzerjaeger Abteilung

DAK 606 Flak Abteilung

  • 33rd/II Luftwaffe Flak Abteilung –  Flak 8.8cm (s2), SdKfz 7 limber (L2), 20mm Flak 38 L/113 (S2), SdKfz 10 limber (L2)

DAK Artillery. 33rd/II and 606 Flak Abteilung

  • Grosstransportraum – Famo SdKfz 9 limber (L3), Sonder Anhänger 116 (L3),  a variable number of trucks, Axis and captured

DAK Grosstransportraum

15.PD2

8.PR

  • 8th Panzer Regiment Comd PzII (CF3), 4 PzIII*** (F3)

cropped-15pzdiv8pz.jpg

  • 115th Infantry Regiment Comd Sdkfz 250, 251 or 263 (CF3), 2 Comd car (1 may be an Sdkfz 250 or 251) (CF3), 37mm Pak (S3) + Limber (L3), 2 Sdkfz 251 (F3), 2 Truck (F3).

21PzGren2

  • 33rd Artillery Regiment {Comd Saurer Sdkfz 254 or Sdkfz 253 (C3)}, FOO (R1), {Sdkfz 11 (or 6) Limber (L3) + 10.5cm Gun (S3)}, {PaK 38 (r) 7.62cm or PaK 38 5cm (S3) + Sdkfz 11 (or 10) Limber (L3)}.

15 Pz Div 33 Art Regt

21.PD1

  • 21st Panzer Division (Generalmajor Johann von Ravenstein until 29 November (prisoner of war), then Generalmajor Karl BöttcherComd car (C3), Signals Sdkfz 222 or 232 [or captured Dorchester or SdKfz 263] (C3), 20mm Flak Truck (S3), Engineer truck (L3), 2 Engineer stands (F2), Ammo Truck (L3), POL Truck (L3),  Ambulance Sdkfz 251 (L3).

21PzHQ

  • 5th Panzer Regiment Comd PzII [or PzIII] (F3), 3 PzIII*** (F3), 1 PzIV (F3)

21PzTkRegt

  • 104th Infantry Regiment  Comd Sdkfz 250, 251 or 263 (CF3), 2 Comd car (1 may be an Sdkfz 250 or 251) (CF3), 37mm Pak (S3) + Limber (L3), 2 Sdkfz 251 (F3), 2 Truck (F3).
  • 155th Artillery Regiment Comd  Sdkfz 253 (C3), FOO (R1), {Sdkfz 11 (or 6) Limber (L3) + Lorraine Schlepper  15cm (S3)}, {PaK 38 (r) 7.62cm or PaK 38 5cm (S3) + Sdkfz 11 (or 10) Limber (L3)}.

21PzArty

90ltAfrika

(Renamed 90th Light Africa Division from 28 November 1941) (Generalmajor Max Sümmermann until 10 December (killed in action), then Generalmajor Richard Veith)

Comd car (C3), Signals Truck (C3), 20mm Flak Truck (S3), Ammo Truck (L3), POL Truck (L3), Engineer Truck (L3), 2 Engineer (F2)

  • 155th Infantry Regiment 3 Comd car (C3), 37mm Pak (S3), 2 81mm Mortar (s3), 2 Truck (F3), 2 Truck (S3)
  • 361st Infantry Regiment  Comd Sdkfz 250, 251 or 263 (CF3), 2 Comd car (1 may be an Sdkfz 250 or 251) (CF3), 37mm Pak (S3) + Limber (L3), 2 Sdkfz 251 (F3), 2 Truck (F3).
  • *Panzerjaeger Abteilung 605 {Panzerjäger Ib 4.7cm[1941 onwards] or Diane Sdkfz6 [1942](S3)}, limber (L3), Pak 36(r) (S2), Limber (L2)

Dak Artillery. Panzerjaeger Abteilung 605, 1942 onwards

  • Schwere Schützen-Regiment 155 /200   SiG 33 (S1) + Limber (L1) or just make the SiG 33 (S2)

90th Light Division, Schwere Shutzen-Regiment 155/200

*** For variety, instead of 4 PzIIIs, 1 PzII, 2 PzIIIs and 1 Pz 4 could be modelled, counting them all as medium tanks.

savona

  • 55th North African Infantry Division ‘Savona’ (General Fedele de Giorgis) Comd car (C3), Signal van (C3),  Ammo Truck (L3), POL Truck (L3), Engineer Truck (L3), 2 Engineer (F3), Autoblinda 41 (R3)
  • 15th Infantry Regiment 4 Truck (L3), 2 [ Bn Comd + MG + 45mm Mortar (CS3)], 2 [ 3Rifles (F3)]
  • 16th Infantry Regiment 4 Truck (L3), 2 [ Bn Comd + MG + 45mm Mortar (CS3)], 2 [ 3Rifles (F3)]
  • 12th Artillery Regiment Comd car (C3), FOO (R1), Truck Limber (L3), 105mm Gun (S3), Light Truck Limber (L3), 47mm Pak (S3)

Italian XXI Corps

Lieutenant-General Enea Navarrini   Comd car (C3), Signal van (C3), Ambulance (L3), Armoured Car (R3)
Signature Corps Troops
(from amalgamating troops that appear in divisions in small numbers)
Mixed AA Battalion – Cannone da 90/53 (S3) + limber (L3), 20/65 modello 35(S3) + limber (L3) 
Artillery BattalionComd (C3),  1 FOO (R1), 100mm Howitzer (S3) + limber (L3)
Anti-tank BatalionSemovente 75/18 (S3), Semovente 47/32 (S3), 2 Limbers (L3) (both may be towed guns with limber)
semovente
This 20mm CV33 is standing in as an L6 or M40 limber for the 15mm Semovente until a better one comes along.
  • 27th Infantry Regiment  2 [ Bn Comd + MG + 45mm Mortar (CS3)], 2 [ 3Rifles (F3)]
  • 28th Infantry Regiment  2 [ Bn Comd + MG + 45mm Mortar (CS3)], 2 [ 3Rifles (F3)]
  • 26th Artillery Regiment  Comd Car (C3), FOO (R1), 75/25 Gun (S3) + Limber (L3)

bologna

  • 39th Infantry Regiment  2 [ Bn Comd + MG + 45mm Mortar (CS3)], 2 [ 3Rifles (F3)]

  • 40th Infantry Regiment  2 [ Bn Comd + MG + 45mm Mortar (CS3)], 2 [ 3Rifles (F3)]
  • 205th Artillery Regiment Comd Car (C3), FOO (R1), 75/25 Gun (S3) + Limber (L3)

brescia

  • 19th Infantry Regiment  2 [ Bn Comd + MG + 45mm Mortar (CS3)], 2 [ 3Rifles (F3)]
  • 20th Infantry Regiment  2 [ Bn Comd + MG + 45mm Mortar (CS3)], 2 [ 3Rifles (F3)]
  • 55th Artillery Regiment  Comd Car (C3), FOO (R1), 75/25 Gun (S3) + Limber (L3)

trento

  • 102 Motorised Division Trento  Comd car (C3), Signal van (C3),  2cm AA truck, Ammo Truck (L3), POL Truck (L3), Engineer Truck (L3), 2 Engineer (F3), Autoblinda 41 (R3)
  • 61st Infantry Regiment  4 Truck (L3), 2 [ Bn Comd + MG + 45mm Mortar (CS3)], 2 [ 3Rifles (F3)]
  • 62nd Infantry Regiment  4 Truck (L3), 2 [ Bn Comd + MG + 45mm Mortar (CS3)], 2 [ 3Rifles (F3)]
  • 46th Artillery Regiment  Comd car (C3), FOO (R1), Truck Limber (L3), 105mm Gun (S3), Light Truck Limber (L3), 47mm PaK [may be Semovente L/40 da 47/32] (S3)
  • This picture is of course nothing of the sort, having a Russian, an American and several hairy Serbs or Croats crowded onto the balcony.

**Trucks: 4 small trucks each carrying 2 stands, or 2 large trucks each carrying 4 stands. APCs carry the same as a small truck – 2 stands and have an integral MG stand that can dismount in defence if the APC is not destroyed. The non-motorised battalions would draw transport from a limited army pool.

 

References

1.http://www.enotes.com/topic/Operation_Crusader_order_of_battle

 2. Greene, J. and Massignani, A. (1999). Rommel’s North Africa Campaign: September 1940-November 1942. Da Capo Press

3. This truck showcased on the Duchy of Alzheim Blog belonged to General Bergonzoli of the Centauro division and was not present at GAZALA. Even so, it would make an excellent signals truck for one of the armoured divisions.

4. by Hunter, B. (2006) Axis History forum. http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=104408

5. Thanks to Andreas from The Crusader Project (ibid) for amendments to the orbat for 33rd Artillerie Regiment

2 Comments

Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, DAK, Italian Army, Orbats, Western Desert, WWII

Gazala – British and Commonwealth Forces (Op Crusader)

Forces built up piecemeal in the desert on both sides, so I have taken an arbitary snapshot round about the time of the first GAZALA battles (November 1941) as the basis for a mini campaign. As ever, I am open to suggestions and comments from those with a better knowledge of the period.

British and Commonwealth Forces

Commander-in-Chief Middle East Command: General Claude Auchinleck

8th-armyBritish Eighth Army

Lieutenant-General Alan Cunningham, succeeded on 26 November by Lieutenant-General Neil Ritchie
Model of a Nissen hut with a Campari sun umberella outside.

30th-corpsXXX Corps

Lieutenant-General Willoughby Norrie
Comd Car (s3), Signals Truck (s3), Ammo Truck (s3), POL Truck (s3), Ambulance Truck (s3), Workshop Truck (s3)
Comd Car (s3), Signals Truck (s3), Ammo Truck (s3), POL Truck (s3)
  • Divisional troops
    • 4th South African Armoured Car Regiment – Marmon Harrington Armd Car (s3)
  • 102nd Royal Horse Artillery – FOO (s1), Limber (s3), 25pdr (s3)
  • 1st Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment RA – Bofors 40mm (s3) + limber (s3)

1st-south-african-division1st South African Division (Major-General George Brink) – Comd car (s3), Signals Truck (s3), Ammo Truck (s3), POL Truck (s3), Ambulance Truck (s3), Workshop Truck (s3)

  • 1st Royal Natal Carabineers SA Infantry Corps (Lieutenant Colonel Len Hay, M.C.) (As above)
  • 1st Transvaal Scottish SA Infantry Corps (As 1DoE above)
  • One Sqn 3rd SA Armoured Car Regt SA Tank Corps – Marmon Harrington Armd Car (s1)
  • 3rd and 4th Anti-Tank Batteries SA Artillery Corps – FOO (s1), Limber (s2), 2pdr (s2)
  • 1st Light Anti-Aircraft Battery SA Artillery Corps – Truck (s1), 20mm AA (s1) (or portee)
  • 1st Field Company SA Engineering Corps – Truck (s1), Engr (s1)
  • 11th and 15th Field Batteries of 4th Field Regt SA Artillery Corps – FOO (s1), Limber (s2), 25pdr (s2)
  • 7th, 19th and 20th Field Batteries of 7th Field Regt SA Artillery Corps  –FOO (s1), Limber (s3), 25pdr (s3)
  • 5th South African Infantry Brigade (As 1st bde above)
  • 22nd Guards BrigadeComd Car (s3), Signals Truck (s3), Rifle stand (s3) (Defence Platoon)

    • 9th battalion Rifle BrigadeComd (s3),  3 Rifle Stands (s3), VickersMMG (s3), 3″Mortar (s3), ATkRifle (s3), 2 3ton Trucks(s3)
    • 3rd battalion Coldstream Guards Comd (s3),  3 Rifle Stands (s3), VickersMMG (s3), 3″Mortar (s3), ATkRifle (s3), 2 3ton Trucks(s3)

13th-corpsXIII Corps

Lieutenant-General Reade Godwin-Austen
Comd car (s3), Signals Truck (s3), Ammo Truck (s3), POL Truck (s3), Ambulance Truck (s3), Workshop Truck (s3) 40mm Flak + Truck (s3)

2nd-new-zealand-infantry-division2nd New Zealand Division (Major-General Bernard Freyberg)

Comd car (s3), Signals Truck (s3), Ammo Truck (s3), POL Truck (s3), Ambulance Truck (s3), Workshop Truck (s3), 40mm Flak (s3) + Truck (s3)

  • 4th New Zealand Infantry Brigade – Comd (s3), Signals Vehicle (s3), Rifle stand (s3) (Defence Platoon)
  • 18th Infantry Battalion – Comd (s3), 3-4 Rifle Stands (s3), VickersMMG (s3), 3″Mortar (s3), ATkRifle (s3) (Boyes)
  • 19th Infantry Battalion – (As 18 Bn above)
  • 20th Infantry Battalion – (As 18 Bn above)
  • 5th New Zealand Infantry Brigade – (As 4th Bde above)
    • 21st Infantry Battalion
    • 22nd Infantry Battalion
    • 23rd Infantry Battalion
  • 6th New Zealand Infantry Brigade – (As 4th Bde above)
    • 24th Infantry Battalion
    • 25th Infantry Battalion
    • 26th Infantry Battalion
  • Divisional troops
    • (Reconnaissance) – Marmon Herrington Armd Car (3)
    • 1 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery FOO (s1), Limber (s3), 25pdr (s3)
    • 25 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery FOO (s1), Limber (s3), 25pdr (s3)
    • 31 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery FOO (s1), Limber (s3), 25pdr (s3)
Comd car (s3), Signals Truck (s3), Ammo Truck (s3), POL Truck (s3), Ambulance Truck (s3), Workshop Truck (s3)

Tobruk Garrison

Major-General Ronald Scobie
Comd car (s3), Signals Truck (s3), 40mm Flak + Truck (s3), Ambulance Truck (s3), Workshop truck (s3)

british_wwii_6th_infantry_division70th Infantry Division

Comd car (s3), Signals Truck (s3), Ammo Truck (s3), POL Truck (s3), Ambulance Truck (s3), Workshop Truck (s3) 40mm Flak + Truck (s3)
  • Polish Independent Carpathian Rifle Brigade
    • I Carpathian Rifle Battalion
    • II Carpathian Rifle Battalion
    • III Carpathian Rifle Battalion
    • 11 Czechoslovakian Infantry Battalion
    • 2/13 Australian Infantry Battalion
    • Carpathian Machine Gun Battalion
    • Carpathian Field Regiment FOO (s1), Limber (s3), 25pdr (s3)

***The Brigade was a mix of Valentines and mostly Matildas

Oasis Force

Brigadier Denys Reid
  • 29th Indian Infantry Brigade – (As 4th NZ Inf Bde above)
  • 6th South African Armoured Car Regiment – Marmon Harrington Armd Car (3)

Army Reserve

2nd South African Division Sign2nd South African Division (Major-General Isaac de Villiers) (All as 2 NZ Div above)

  • 3rd South African Infantry Brigade
  • 4th South African Infantry Brigade
  • 6th South African Infantry Brigade

Sources

Original text written by:

http://www.enotes.com/topic/Operation_Crusader_order_of_battle

Paolo Marcenaro http://comandosupremo.com/libya1941.html

and http://www.enotes.com/topic/Eighth_Army_%28United_Kingdom%29

Adapted for NQM with images from various sources, as are the following two posts

Leave a comment

Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, 8th Army - British and Commonwealth, DAK, Italian Army, Western Desert, WWII

Key Dates for the North African Campaigns in the Western Desert

This is a work in Progress as I rough out the framework for a North African Campaign, text taken wholesale from  http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/war/the-north-african-campaign/timeline :

In broad terms, there were 3 Major British desert land offensives: Compass (December 1940), Crusader (November 1941) and Lightfoot/Supercharge (October/November 1942).

These were followed by Torch (November 1942) and Vulcan (April 1943 ) in Tunisia

1940

10 June: Italy declared war on Great Britain and France; Canada declared war on Italy.

11 June: Australia, New Zealand and South Africa declared war on Italy.

11-12 June: East Africa campaign began.

4 August: Italy invaded British Somaliland.

13 September: Italy invaded Egypt.

28 October: Italy invaded Greece.

9 December: Operation Compass, the first Western Desert offensive began.

16 December: British offensive opened in Italian East Africa; Egypt cleared of Italian forces.

1941

6 February: OKW issue order for Operation Sonnenblume.

22 January: Tobruk in Libya fell to British and Australian troops.

7 February: Benghazi captured by British.

12 February: German forces under General Erwin Rommel arrived in TRIPOLI.

17 February: Instructions issued to military commanders for a Greek expedition.

6-7 March: British troops entered Greece.

24 March: Rommel captured EL AGHEILIA in Libya with little resistance.

30 March: Enemy counter offensive began in the Western Desert. German armour and Italian infantry advanced.

3 April: British evacuated BENGHAZI.

6 April: Germany invaded Yugoslavia and Greece.

10 April: Australians forced to withdraw to TOBRUK.

12-13 April: Rommel encircled TOBRUK. Siege began.

14 April: German attack on TOBRUK repulsed.

22-29 April: Evacuation of troops from Greece to Crete and Egypt.

27 April: Germans entered Athens. Greece surrendered to Germany.

15 May: Operation Brevity. Limited counterattack by Wavell retook HALFAYA pass.

17 May: Italian forces in East Africa surrendered.

20 May: German airborne invasion of Crete began. MALEME airfield captured.

26 May: Operation Skorpion (Venezia) began.

28-31 May: British and Commonwealth troops evacuated from Crete.

2-11 June: The Cauldron Battle around BIR HAMAT/SIDI MUFTAH

15-18 June: Operation Battleaxe failed to relieve TOBRUK.

4-6 October: BENGHAZI and TRIPOLI raided by RAF.

18 November: Operation Crusader began in the Western Desert. New Zealand Division crossed the Libyan frontier into Cyrenaica.

21 November: Tank battle between British 8th Army and Axis forces began south and south-east of TOBRUK.

23 November: Totensonntag

26 November: New Zealand Division linked up with garrison at TOBRUK.

27-30 November: Axis forces returned to TOBRUK front.

2 December: Heavy RAF raids on Axis supply bases in TRIPOLI and BENGHAZI.

10 December: Siege of TOBRUK lifted.

11 December: Germany declared war on United States.

16 December: Rommel began retreat to EL AGHEILA.

24 December: 8th Army captured BENGHAZI.

1942

2 January: 8th Army captured BARDIA.

6 January: Rommel commenced offensive at EL AGEDABIA.

8 January: Rommel repulsed and withdrew during sandstorms.

21 January: Rommel commenced second offensive.

23 January: Axis troops took EL AGEDABIA.

29 January: Rommel’s forces retook BENGHAZI.

20 February: Western Desert frontline stabilised at GAZALA.

26 May: Rommel launched Operation Venezia to recapture TOBRUK.

5 June: The “Cauldron battle around SIDI MUFTAH.

12 June: The “Knightsbridge” crisis at BIR BEL(L)EFAA.

21 June: Rommel captured TOBRUK.

30 June: Rommel reached EL ALAMEIN.

1 July: First Battle of EL ALAMEIN.

7 August: General Bernard Montgomery took command of 8th Army.

2 September: Montgomery drove Rommel back by  in the Battle of ALAM HALFA.

21 September: Rommel handed over command of Italian-German Panzer Army to General Stumme and left for Germany.

23 October: Operation Lightfoot (Second Battle of El Alamein) began. New Zealand Division captured MITEIRYA RIDGE.

25 October: General Stumme died. Rommel returned to North Africa.

28 October: RAF disrupted German armour reforming for possible counter attack at EL ALAMEIN.

2 November: Operation Supercharge began. 8th Army broke through Axis forces at EL ALAMEIN. New Zealand Division opened a way for British armour.

8 November: Operation Torch began. American and British forces land in French Morocco and Algeria under Lieutenant General Eisenhower.

11 November: Axis forces driven out of Egypt.

13 November: TOBRUK fell to the 8th Army

20 November: BENGHAZI recaptured by British forces.

13 December: Rommel withdrew from EL AGHEILA.

Fieseler Storch Fi 156. (1937), [STOL Army Cooperation]. All Fronts. (Tankzone model from the Author’s collection)

1943

23 January: 8th Army under General Montgomery entered TRIPOLIi.

29 January: 8th Army advance parties entered Tunisia.

27 February: 8th Army took up position opposite the MARETH LINE, Tunisia.

6 March: Rommel attacked 8th Army in Tunisia and was repulsed.

9 March: Rommel left North Africa and returned to Germany on sick leave.

20-28 March: 8th Army broke through the MARETH LINE.

5 April: Operation Flax. Allied air operation cut Axis air supply lines to North Africa

6 April: Axis forces in Tunisia withdrew as British and American forces link up.

22 April: Operation Vulcan. First Army offensive began against TUNIS.

7 May: Operation Strike. Operation Retribution was an air and sea blockade of Axis Naval forces to cut off North Africa.

7 May: Allies captured TUNIS.

12-13 May: German and Italian troops surrendered in North Africa.

Sources:

  1. ‘The North African Campaign timeline’,  http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/war/the-north-african-campaign/timeline, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage). I simply cut and pasted the text, deleted specific references to the Kiwi divisions and tidied up the tenses used to the past tense. Otherwise this can be considered an edited quote from this website. I have added further dates for German Offensives. The NZ site may have drawn it’s (uncredited) text from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_African_Campaign_timeline, as Wiki cites reference sources and the NZ Ministry for culture doesn’t. The two texts are too similar to be coincidental.
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Compass
  3. Ellis, J. (1993) The World War II Databook. London: BCA
  4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Flax
  5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Retribution
  6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Skorpion
  7. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Sonnenblume (Don’t miss the Hindi verion on youtube :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uB7YYIQvzbQ – Sadly, there is no singing!)

Leave a comment

Filed under 8th Army - British and Commonwealth, DAK, Italian Army, Western Desert, WWII