Review: Mussolini's Afrika Korps
- Published: 28 April 2010 28 April 2010
- Last Updated: 12 July 2013 12 July 2013
This book, the Mussolini's Afrika Korps: The Italian Army in North Africa 1940-1943, deals with the Italian forces in Libya prior to and during World War II.
The book is divided into three parts:
I - The Italian Colony of Libya
II - Italian Military Ground Forces
III - War in the desert
The first part covers the colonial administration and the various fascist organisations in Libya. I found this part very interesting and it is a shame that such background information is ignored in so many books.
The second part covers the various Italian ground troops in Libya, such as colonial troops, blackshirt militia, african police and of course the regular army, and their equipment. This section includes specification on the Italian equipment such as tanks, trucks and artillery, another thing covered is the fact that artillery designed for use in Russia were sent to Africa, were it of course failed to operate.
The last part covers the actual war and it gives a very good description of the war before the German troops arrived with orders of battle and map. The arrival of German troops and their effect on the war is briefly covered. The Italian naval convoys are described and statistics on them are also provided.
It includes lots of very good photos (both including many action photos) and illustrations (mainly of equipment, but also of uniforms and maps). I would have liked the book to be printed in a larger format since the maps and some of the illustrations are too small to be of much use.
Despite the issue with the size and a certain rushed feeling to the book, this is an very good source for information on the Italian forces in North Africa and it also provides some interesting info on the organisation of the Italian colony Libya, both areas that have been largely ignored in English language publications.
(Reviewed by Marcus Wendel)