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"General von Arnim's Orders for Ground Deployment" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following translation of a German order issued by General von Arnim in North Africa was published in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 34, September 23, 1943. At the time of the original German order, Generaloberst von Arnim was serving as Commander-in-Chief of Army Group Africa and commander of the Afrika Korps.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


Under date of 10 April 1943, General von Arnim, Commander-in-Chief of the Axis forces in Africa, issued the observations and order indicated below. As a sensible precaution against aircraft casualties, it is worth consideration. The translation reads as follows:

*          *          *

On my flight over the new positions today, I found there, and stretching far to the rear, unbelievable sights: vehicles and tents grouped together in very small spaces such as small woods, narrow, dry stream beds, etc. This must increase the heavy casualties by enemy aircraft.

I order:

(1) Distances between tents must be 100 meters;

(2) Distances between vehicles, 50 meters;

(3) Near a house, only one vehicle may be parked and then only on the shady side;

(4) When stopped on a highway, the distance of 30 meters from vehicle to vehicle must be enforced;

(5) If vehicles are parked already on part of the road, no further parking is allowed, and none will be parked on the opposite side of the road;

(6) When a motor convoy is parked, a traffic post must be set up at a distance of 30 meters in front of, and to the rear, of the column;

(7) Columns must not stop on bridges, curves, or in towns; single vehicles may park on side streets in towns, but not on the main highway.

The traffic posts and patrols must be especially watchful in carrying out the above regulations.

Signed: von Arnim


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