Erwin Rommel (full name: Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel) was born in 1891 and probably died by forced suicide in 1944. He was one of the most famous German generals of the Second World War, nicknamed the Desert Fox. Erwin Rommel gained his war experience from the first weeks of the First World War. In his course, as an infantry officer, he was active in Argons in France, Italy and Romania. Throughout this conflict, he often displayed personal courage and skillfully led his troops into battle. For his achievements on the Italian front, he was awarded the highest order of Imperial Germany: Pour Le Merite. After 1918 he remained in Reichswer. During this period he also wrote a large, still up-to-date book "Piechota attacks!" (in German "Infanterie greif an!"). At the beginning of World War II, in recognition of his merits, he headed Adolf Hitler's headquarters in Poland. However, as early as the summer of 1940, he commanded the German 7th Armored Division with great success during the French campaign. However, in 1941-1943 he led the Afrika Korps during its fighting in North Africa, often presenting at that time an unconventional, courageous, extremely offensive action, sometimes disregarding the logistical conditions. Ultimately, due to the numerical superiority of the Allied forces and their own supply problems, the campaign in North Africa was lost by the Axis countries. In the period 1943-1944 he held high command posts in France. Due to the still unclear role of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in the attack on Hitler on July 20, 1944, he was most likely forced to commit suicide in October 1944. The first tanks of the German army appeared at the end of the First World War: these were the A7V machines. After the Treaty of Versailles was signed, the German military was prohibited from developing armored weapons, but the German side did not honor these restrictions and secretly developed armored weapons. However, after Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933 this development became fully official and in 1935 the 1st Armored Division was formed. In 1935-1939, additional divisions were formed, and their main equipment was Pz.Kpfw cars: I, II, III and IV. A single armored division at that time consisted of a tank brigade divided into two armored regiments, a motorized infantry brigade, and support units including reconnaissance, artillery, anti-aircraft, and sappers, among others. It consisted of about 300 full-time tanks. It is also worth adding that the German armored forces (German: Panzerwaffe) were trained and prepared to implement the lightning warfare doctrine, and not - as in many armies of the time - to support infantry activities. Thus, emphasis was placed on the "pancerniaków" training on interchangeability of functions, independence in decision-making by officers and non-commissioned officers, and the best technical mastery of owned tanks. All this led to great successes of German armored weapons in Poland in 1939, but above all in Western Europe in 1940. Also in the course of the fighting in North Africa - especially in the period 1941-1942 - the German armored forces proved to be a very difficult. Before the invasion of the USSR, the number of German armored divisions almost doubled, but the number of tanks in these units decreased to about 150-200 vehicles. Even during the fighting on the Eastern Front - especially in 1941-1942 - the German armored forces were superior in training and organization to their Soviet adversary. However, contact with vehicles such as the T-34 or the KW-1 forced the introduction of the Pz.Kpfw V and VI tanks to the line in 1942 and 1943. The increasing losses on the Eastern Front, as well as the lost battles - in Stalingrad or Kursk - they made the German Panzerwaffe weaken. Its structure included heavy tank battalions (with 3 tank companies), and armored grenadier divisions were established in 1943. There was also an increasingly clear advantage of the Soviet side and, since 1944, the need to simultaneously fight Soviet troops in the east and the allies in the west. It is also assumed that it was then (in 1944-1945) that the training of the German armored forces was weaker than in the previous period and did not constitute such a significant advantage on the German side compared to before. The last large-scale operations of the German Panzerwaffe were the offensives in the Ardennes (1944-1945) and Hungary (1945). Afrika Korps (full German name: Deutsches Afrikakorps, abbreviated DAK) is colloquially understood as the collective name of the German ground units that fought in North Africa in 1941-1943. The Afrika Korps was formed in February 1941, following the painful defeats suffered by the Italian army during the battles with the British in Africa at the turn of 1940/1941. Its main task was to come to the aid of the Italian ally and stop the advance of British troops in Libya. The unit commander was a general, and later a field marshal, Erwin Rommel. Initially, the DAK consisted of only the 5th Light Division (later transformed into the 21st Armored Division), in May 1941 it was joined by the 15th Armored Division and in late 1941 by the 90th Light Division. It is worth adding that already in the middle of 1941, Panzergruppe Afrika was founded, headed by Erwin Rommel, which was joined by the Afrika Korps. Despite the defensive tasks, the DAK (or more generally the Panzergruppe Afrika) very quickly after the landing - on the initiative of its commander - went into strictly offensive operations, inflicting a series of desert defeats on the British in 1941-1942. However, it was then that his commander was nicknamed Desert Fox. At the same time, however, from the outset, DAK was troubled by supply problems, which negatively impacted its ability to conduct offensive actions. It suffered a significant defeat at the Second Battle of El Alamein (October-November 1942), which forced the DAK to retreat as far as Tunisia, where it fought until May 1943.
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