The German Afrika Korps has, at least until somewhat recently, operated
very successfully in North Africa. No small part of this success can be
attributed to an efficient German supply system.
According to prisoner of war statements the division supply elements of
the German 21st Armored Division (Afrika Korps) consisted of a supply company
and 12 supply columns.
The 12 supply columns consisted of 4 heavy columns, 7 light columns, and
1 gasoline and oil column. A heavy column had 24 vehicles with an aggregate
capacity of 60 tons; a light column had 12 vehicles with an aggregate
capacity of 30 tons. The 12 columns, exclusive of the gasoline and oil
column, thus has a total cargo capacity of 450 tons.
The supply company was actually an Arbeitskompanie or labor company. Its
function was to cooperate with the division supply columns by carrying out
such tasks as unloading, establishing dumps, maintenance, etc. The strength of
the company was estimated at from 200 to 250 men.
The division was reported to maintain 3 supply dumps--one each for Class I,
Class III, and Class V supplies--which were close together and forward of
which supplies were never moved by division transport. It was the function of
unit transport to move supplies to the front from these dumps. The operating
radius of both the supply columns and supply company was said to be
from 100 to 200 kilometers (60 to 120 miles).