| Of all the campaigns of World War II, none were the natural environment and the methods of fighting it dictated more unique than in North Africa. The savagery of combat and the hostility of the Lybian desert placed unparalleled hardships in the path of the German Afrika Korps and their Allied antagonists. Their struggle against the merciless elements - and against each other - is vividly depicted in this IHF program, made up exclusively of original German World War II footage. |
Also featured is the legendary Desert Fox, Erwin Rommel. This dauntless German commander, who emerged as a genius of mechanized warfare, is seen and heard as he leads his troops in the desolate desert war.
Afrika Korps opens with German Soldiers in Africa, an army film produced for troops ordered to duty on the Dark Continent. Reserves are shown being medically examined and fitted with tropical uniforms, traveling by train to Naples, and encamping there. Supplies are loaded onto steamers, and the unit crosses in convoy to Tripoli. Shown next are scenes of the desert landscape, wildlife, and primitive nomadic tribes. Arab civilization is depicted with footage of cultivated oases and a typical North African village on market day. German troops are seen arriving in Tripoli. Liberal footage showing the city's scenic places is included.
German Newsreel: February 1942
German and Italian naval officers participate in a ceremony honoring successful U-boat commanders in the Mediterranean. An Italian battleship protecting a German convoy to Tripoli engages attacking British destroyers in an artillery duel. General Rommel watches Axis field guns bombard advancing enemy tanks. Italian armor counterattacks. British prisoners are shown.
German Newsreel: June 20th through 26th, 1942
Colonel Adolf Galland visits an air base in the desert. Lieutenant Marseilles lands in his Me-109 fighter. General Rommel is decorated by Italian General Bastico. German vehicles advance on Bir Hacheim. A British armor attack is repulsed by anti-aircraft guns. A captured battle post which had been disguised by the British as a field hospital is shown. An Allied garrison manned chiefly by colored auxiliaries surrenders. General Rommel photographs a shot-down English fighter plane.
German Newsreel: June 27th through July 3rd, 1942
German mechanized troops cut off the British garrisons at Acroma and El Gazala. Engineers clear a path through a minefield. Italian flak engages attacking British aircraft. Italian infantry is shown in action. Stuka dive bombers raid Tobruk. German engineers bridge an anti-tank ditch as German armor advances. British soldiers from the Tobruk garrison surrender.
German Newsreel: July 4th through 7th, 1942
German 88-millimeter guns take up positions on the Mediterranean coast and bombard British ships evacuating Tobruk harbor. Field Marshal Kesselring flies over the captured city. German troops enter Tobruk as thousands of British soldiers are sent to POW assembly areas. Rommel orders a further advance from his field headquarters.
German Newsreel: August 8th through 14th, 1942
Mussolini visits Axis troops in North Africa. A German convoy arrives in Tobruk. Marshal Rommel is seen at the front. Italian Bersaglieri troops are shown in action.
German Newsreel: August 1942
German soldiers at a coastal position swim in the Mediterranean. A new well is dug to replace one poisoned by retreating British troops. German reinforcements for the Alamein front pass a caravan enroute to their new positions. Marshals Rommel and Bastico observe a British armored thrust which is repulsed by heavy artillery. Damaged British tanks litter the battlefield. Rommel decorates anti-tank gunner Gunther Halm on August 7th, 1942. (original synchronous sound)
German Newsreel: October 31st through November 6th, 1942
A bomber squadron holds a situation conference. Heinkel III bombers are prepared for a long- range mission. Aircraft bomb the British-held Kufra oasis and strafe British flak positions.
German Newsreel: October 10th through 16th, 1942
Marshal Rommel, with Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels holds a press conference in Berlin. Hitler presents Rommel with a field marshal's baton. Rommel attends the annual Winter Help rally in Berlin with Hitler, Goebbels, Himmler, and Keitel.
Transferred to DVD from original 35mm prints for superb audio and visual quality. With English Subtitles.
Germany, 1942, B&W, 81 minutes.