L'odysée de la brigade Ramcke à El Alamein

Fallschirmjäger in Egypt from Bab el Kantara to Mersa el Brega with the war correspondent Hans Rechenberg

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El Alamein. It was there that Rommel’s seemingly unstoppable offensive was halted on the road to Alexandria in the summer of 1942. There followed long weeks of a war of positions in the sand and the rocks of the Egyptian desert under a blazing sun. Among the Axis units engaged was the Fallschirmjäger-Brigade 1 or Brigade Ramcke, after its famous corps leader. Alongside their Italian brothers in arms, these “German desert paratroopers” were waiting patiently to face the enemy. At the end of October 1942, British troops under Field-Marshal Montgomery started their assault, to the north of the brigade’s positions. Where they were, nothing budged. Suddenly during the night of 2-3 November, the order for retreat was given: the Fallschirmjäger had at all costs to fall back to the west to avoid being encircled and annihilated, in itself a huge task because to begin with the unit only had a few vehicles. The Luftwaffe’s war correspondent, Hans Rechenberg, at the time present among the brigade’s ranks, plunges us into the rough daily life of the Fallschirmjäger in the El Alamein positions, then during the retreat to Libya with its moments of anguish, privation and sometimes incredible surprises. The reader will find himself also in the privacy of the brigade’s officers with the emblematic figure of General Bernhard Ramcke.
Drawn up on the spot a short while before the author was captured in Tunisia in May 1943, this original, unique type-written document here comes out of oblivion after more than 77 years, and is published here for the first time. A lot of photographs of the unit and of the Battle of El Alamein accompany this personal account. Originally intended as propaganda for the Reich, this pathos-less document describes daily life in the desert and will surprise a lot of readers


Data sheet

Written in
21 x 29x7 cm
nombre de pages
Hans Rechenberg

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