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Chronology of the Battle of North Africa 1940-1943


Italian troops in Libya in 1940

1940

June 12 - British units crossed the Egyptian-Libyan border.

June 16 - The first battle took place between the British and Italian units in Libya.

August 5 - The Italian army passed Cyrenaica and gathered on the Egyptian-Libyan border.

September 8 - The Italian army crossed the Egyptian-Libyan border and rushed to Egypt.

September 13 - The attack of the Italian army began.

September 16 - The Italians captured Sidi El Barani. A pause began.

December 9 - Operation "Compass" begins. The British went on the offensive.

December 10 - Sidi El Barani passed into the hands of the Allies.

December 16 - The British captured El Salloum.



Afrika Korps in the desert in Libya

1941

January 3 - The British assault on the fortress of Bardia began.

January 5 - Bardia fell.

January 22 - The defenders of the Tobruk fortress laid down their arms.

February 6 - Allies capture Benghazi.

February 8 - British troops enter El Agheila.

February 11 - The British decided to stop the offensive.

February 12 - Erwin Rommel arrives in Tripoli.

February 24 - The first clash between German and British intelligence units.

March 23 - Rommel's first offensive began.

March 30 - The first battle of the Italo-German formation with the Allies took place during the offensive.

March 31 - El Agheila passed into the hands of the Axis. Rommel rushed to Cyrenaica.

April 2 - Ajedabiya is captured by the Italo-German troops.

April 4 - The Germans entered Benghazi.

April 8 - The garrison of the city of El Mekili fell.

April 10 - Bardia fell, and some parts of the Axis troops crossed the Egyptian-Libyan border.

April 11 - Reconnaissance in force was carried out on the outskirts of Tobruk.

April 14 - The first attack on Tobruk.

April 16 - The second unsuccessful Italian attack on Tobruk.

April 29 - General mass attack of the Axis troops on Tobruk.

April 30 - The second attempt to massively attack. The beginning of a long siege of the fortress of Tobruk.

May 15 - The beginning of the British operation "Brevity" with the aim of recapturing Es Sollum and Fort Capuzzo.

May 27 - Rommel recaptured all the positions left as a result of a surprise operation.

June 15 - The beginning of the British operation "Battlaexe" with the aim of going behind the lines of the Axis troops at Halfaya.

June 17 - The Germans again drove the British back to Egypt. A pause began.

November 18 - The beginning of the largest British operation "Crusader" in Africa to relieve the blockade of Tobruk.

November 21 - The beginning of the battle for Sidi Rezeg.

November 22 - Second attack on Sidi Rezeg.

November 23 - Tobruk garrison failed to get out of the encirclement.

November 26 - Tobruk garrison broke through the Italian positions and captured Ed Duda. The siege has been lifted.

November 27 - The beginning of the second battle for Sidi Rezeg.

November 30 - Encirclement, assault and capture of Sidi Rezeg by Axis troops.

December 1 - Tobruk is again blocked by the Italo-German troops.

December 4 - An unsuccessful attempt by the Germans to capture Ed Duda.

December 5 - The siege of Tobruk, which lasted 242 days, was finally lifted.

December 7 - The beginning of the retreat of the Axis troops.

December 11 - The beginning of the battle at the turn of El Gazala.

December 15 - El Gazala passed to the Allies.

23 December – British failure to breach the Via Balbia highway between Benghazi and Ajedabia.

December 24 - Afrika Korps left Benghazi.



Erwin Rommel in Tobruk in 1942

1942

January 5 - Rommel withdrew troops to the last fortified point in Mersa El Brega.

January 21 - The beginning of the second attack by Rommel with an attempt to capture Tobruk.

January 22 - Ajedabiya and Antelat are occupied.

January 24 - The beginning of the attack on Msus.

January 25 - Axis forces capture Msus airfield.

January 29 - Rommel takes Benghazi.

February 6 - Italo-German troops stopped at El Gazala and Bir Hakeim. A pause began.

May 20 - Renewal of Rommel's attack. Beginning of mobile battles.

May 30 - The failure of the British during an attempted counterattack near Sidi Muftah.

May 31 - The encirclement of large Allied forces near Sidi Hakeim.

June 1 - Encircled Allied forces at Sidi Hakeim surrender.

June 5 - Bir Hakeim is surrounded, which was defended by the "Free France" Brigade.

June 11 - The encircled French broke through to the Allies, and Bir Hakeim passed to the Axis forces.

June 12 - The British were overwhelmed and the Battle of El Gazala was lost by the Allies.

June 13 - The capture of Rigel.

June 14 - The British began a mass retreat.

June 15 - Army "Afrika" ​​approached Tobruk.

June 16 - The Germans captured Sidi Rezeg, the beginning of the fighting near El Adem.

June 17 - The Allies left El Adem, the Germans captured Gambut.

June 18 - Tobruk is completely surrounded.

June 19 - The Germans entered Bardia and Bir El Gobi.

June 20 - The beginning of the assault on Tobruk.

June 21 - Rommel's greatest victory and England's worst defeat in history - Tobruk fell!

June 22 - Pursuit of the remnants of the Allied troops towards Egypt.

June 23 - AfrikaKorps first crossed the Egyptian-Libyan border.

June 25 - Panzer Army "Afrika" ​​approached the line of defense of Mersa Matruh.

June 26 - The beginning of the attack of the Italo-German troops.

June 28 - Complete encirclement of Mersa Matruh.

June 29 - Axis troops entered Mersa Matruh, most of the Allies managed to escape.

June 30 - AfrikaKorps moved towards El Alamein.

July 1 - AfrikaKorps captured the stronghold of Deir El Shein.

July 9 - The British left Karet El Abd, the Italians near El Alamein were almost defeated.

July 13 - Rommel launched an attack on El Alamein. Two unsuccessful assaults were made.

July 15 - A war of attrition began with oncoming counterattacks.

July 22 - A massive Allied attack ends in total failure. A pause began.

July 27 - The Allies captured Sanyet El Miteiriya but were pushed back.

July 30 - Rommel launched a desperate attack, once again receiving no reinforcements.

July 31 - A sudden attack on Allam Khalfa did not take place due to minefields and bad weather.

September 1 - The attack stopped for lack of fuel, Montgomery was afraid to attack.

September 2 - Leaving almost all motionless equipment, Rommel retreated. A pause began.

September 27 - Rommel urgently flies for treatment, his place was taken by Stumme.

October 9 - Massive air attacks began on the positions of the Italo-German troops.

October 20 - Massive three-day air attacks began again on the positions of the Axis troops.

October 23 - The decisive Allied attack at El Alamein begins.

October 25 - Rommel returned as a matter of urgency, but Stumme had already made mistakes and died himself. Rommel analyzed the consequences of Stumme's mistakes and realized that nothing could be fixed.

October 30 - Another Allied breakthrough was prevented.

November 2 - Rommel organized a desperate counterattack, but the AfrikaKorps had no forces left to break through.

November 3 - The Allies dropped 400 tons of bombs on the Italo-German troops.

November 4 - A solid front line was broken at Tel El Akkakir. Rommel lost hope.

November 7 - The remnants of the Axis troops retreated to the line from Mersa Matruh to Sidi Barani.

November 8 - Anglo-American landing in Algiers. The beginning of the end of the African campaign.

November 9 - Italo-German troops left Tobruk without a fight and began to retreat to Benghazi.

November 11 - Allied landings in Algeria and Morocco completed. The French went over to the side of the Allies.

November 13 - The Allies occupied empty Tobruk.

November 16 - An English airborne battalion was thrown into the Souq El Arba area in Tunisia.

November 17 - The Americans captured Gafsa. Axis paratroopers landed at Mejez El Bab.

November 18 - Mejez El Bab was liberated and the Allies retreated across the Mejerda River.

November 19 - The Germans captured the key cities in Tunisia on the way to Tripoli: Sousse, Sfax and Gebes.

November 22 - A small German tank column drove the French out of Sbeitla.

November 25 - General Anderson's attack on Tunisia begins.

November 27 - The British in Libya occupied El Agheila.

November 29 - An Anglo-American commando was thrown out on the coast north of Jefna.

November 30 - the attack completely choked. The detachment of commandos was forced to leave because of this.

December 1 - An Axis counterattack pushes the Allies out of Djedeida to a position near Teburba.

December 3 - General Nering threw all available forces into battle and pushed the Allies out of Teburba.

December 6 - The continuation of the attack forced the Allies to leave Jebel El Hesse.

December 9 - The defense of Tunisia, which was waiting for the approach of the Army "Afrika" was divided into three sectors.

December 11 - Rommel withdrew troops from Gasr El Brega and a powerful British bomb attack failed.

December 25 - The Germans completely captured all their previous positions in Tunisia.

December 26 - It became clear that the Allies had lost the "race for Tunisia". Rommel retreats to Tunisia.



Erwin Rommel in Tunisia in 1943

1943

January 17 - Repelling a two-day onslaught, Rommel withdrew to Tarhuna and Homs, avoiding a trap.

January 22 - The remnants of the Panzer Army "Afrika" ​​retreated to the Tunisian border.

January 23 - The Allies entered Tripoli without a fight.

January 30 - The German division attacked the French at the Faid pass.

February 14 - Rommel launched his brilliant offensive, breaking the American defenses at Faid.

February 15 - The Italians occupied Gafsa.

February 16 - The Italians captured the American airfields at Telepta.

February 17 - Rommel occupies Sbeitla.

February 18 - Chaos broke out in the Franco-American ranks. All warehouses were set on fire.

February 19 - Due to the erroneous decision of the Italian command, Rommel moved to Le Kouf.

February 20 - Kesserin pass was captured on the second attempt.

February 22 - The Germans were stopped on the way to Tebessa due to the huge superiority in strength.

February 23 - Montgomery approached the Maret Line. The Germans retreated through the Kesserin Pass.

February 26 - Arnim's hopeless attack did not reach the goal and stopped 15 km from Beja.

February 27 - General Arnim's troops began to retreat.

March 6 - German-Italian troops dealt a desperate blow to the Maret Line, but immediately retreated.

March 9 - After much debate with the high command, Rommel was recalled from North Africa.

March 17 - The Americans launched an offensive north of the Chott Jerid salt marshes.

March 20 - Montgomery launched an offensive around the Maret Line.

March 20 - Americans passed the area of ​​Kesserin.

March 21 - The Americans occupied the Station de Sened and continued their advance to the east.

March 22 - Montgomery's troops were stopped and did not hold their positions when wedging.

March 23 - The British began to transfer their attack to the left flank of the Maret Line. Patton's Americans launched a famous failed attack and were stopped.

March 24 - Again, Patton's division was stopped by small infantry.

March 25 - Another attack by Patton's division, supported by tanks, was again repulsed by infantrymen.

March 26 - Montgomery launched an attack on Maret's left flank and Axis forces withdrew to Wadi Akarit.

March 28 - Patton attacked in two directions and was again stopped at El Guettara and Gebes.

March 29 - Montgomery went to Gebes and South Tunisia was in the hands of the Allies.

April 5 - Montgomery continued his offensive.

April 6 - Montgomery failed to destroy the Axis troops as they retreated to Enfidaville.

April 7 - The two Allied armies joined in the Gafsa area.

April 8 - The attack on Fonduk was stopped by the Italo-German troops.

April 9 - The Allies broke through the Fonduk Pass.

April 11 - Italo-German troops have already completely retreated to Enfidaville.

April 12 - The transfer of the British from south to north began to deliver a decisive blow.

April 19 - The general offensive of the Allies began in four converging directions.

April 21 - Montgomery ordered a halt as a result of heavy Allied casualties.

April 25 - The Axis nearly ran out of food, fuel and ammunition.

April 26 - The final stage of the fighting in North Africa began with an attack by the Americans.

May 2 - In the north, the exhausted Axis troops withdrew to Bizerte.

May 6 - The main attack began, and the Allies captured the heights in the Jebel Bu Aukaza area.

May 7 - A victorious offensive rushed in the direction of the city of Tunis.

May 8 - The Allies captured the cities of Tunis, Ferryville and Bizerte. Axis troops are driven to Bon.

May 10 - The fortified defense points of the Bon Peninsula prepared in advance were broken through.

May 12 - The massive bombardment of Bon began. The Axis troops stopped resisting.

May 13 - The surrender of the Axis troops on the Bon Peninsula. End of the North African campaign.

Captured German soldiers in Tunisia on the Bon Peninsula



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