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26. Defeating the Axis in Africa and Europe

26a. Stopping the Axis in Africa | 26b. The Americans Arrive - The Allies Push the Axis out of North Africa | 26c. Stopping the Axis on the East Front - Stalingrad | 26d. The British and the Resistance | 26e. Allied Invasion of Sicily and Italy; The East Front | 26f. Air Power | 26g. D-Day, 6 June 1944 | 26h. End of the Third Reich | 26i. Germany Post-War

Continued from previous page, # 25, War in the Pacific

This is page # 26, Defeating the Axis in Africa and Europe, of Oliver's Site.  

This site has been moved here from its previous location

           Oliver's Site
Table of Contents | 1. Earth | 2. The Origin of Life and Evolution of Man | 3. Civilisation | 4. Fertile Crescent | 5. Egypt | 6. Indus Valley | 7. Yellow River (Haung He/Huang Ho) | 8. Hittites, Canaanites, Phoenicians, Assyrians | 9. New World (B. C./Pre-Columban) | 10. Greeks and Persians | 11. Rome ( - B. C. - A. D. 96) | 12. Saul of Tarsus | 13. Rome ( - A. D. 275) | 14. Rome and Byzantium (Nova Roma) | 15. Islam | 16. Charlemagne | 17. Vikings | 18. Turks, Crusaders, Mongols, Moors, Explorers and Conquistadors | 19. Renaissance, Reformation, Enlightenment (-1700s) | 20. Mid-1700s - early 1900s | 21. The Great War | 22. Inter-War Years | 23. The War in Europe and Africa | 24. Second World War | 25. War in the Pacific | 26. Defeating the Axis in Europe and Africa | 27. End of Japanese Imperialism | 28. Ending the War | 29. Conquest of Space | 30. Averting Nuclear War | 31. End of Empire | 32. Man on the Moon | 33. Arms Race and Limitation | 34. Lifting the Iron Curtain | 35. Outer Space | 37. | 42.
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26a. Stopping the Axis in Africa and the Mediterranean


The Allied bombing campaign in western Europe


The Air War over Europe


Turning the Tide

Episode 7 of the 2010/2011 British documentary series WW II in Colour

Allied strategic aerial fire bombing and Axis submarine intervention (51:17)


Target for Tonight

1941 British movie recounts the step-by-step procedure of an RAF night bombing raid on Freishausen, Germany

Features Vickers Wellington medium bomber  (47:47)

or  (43:31)


They asked for it!

Sir Arthur Harris

Sir Arthur Travers Harris ("Bomber Harris") (1892 - 1984), Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Air Force Bomber Command from 1942 to 1945



Episode about Britain's aerial bombing campaign from the BBC's four-episode 2001 Battlefields series with Richard Holmes 

Precision raids (largely unsuccesful attacks against factories) and area bombing (targeting residential sections of big cities)

Ep. 3. (49:03) 


The Bombing War

2004 documentary discusses aerial bombing in WW2  (1:36:10)

The Men Who Lit Up Germany

Episode 9 of the 2004 documentary series Heroes of World War II

Britain's Pathfinder Squadrons flew ahead of strategic bombers to mark targets with flares. (23:39) 

Appointment in London

RAF Pathfinders in 1943

1953 British film with Dirk Bogarde (90 min., upload repeats film at end) 



Lancaster Bomber

Target Germany

Episode from the 2000 documentary series Battle Stations  (43:48)


Lancaster at War

1995 documentary 

On Timeline (48:37)

Lancaster at War

Documentary (41:49)

Bomber Boys

2012 BBC documentary (1:29:01)

RAF pilot flies one of two surviving British Lancaster bombers 

Lancaster Legend

Squadron Leader Jack Currie

Documentary (27:03)


Let's  Go  Slumming

Charlie and his Orchestra
Karl ("Charlie") Schwedler, singer

Lutz Templin, bandleader 

Lyrics by the Propagandaministerium

Broadcast from Berlin







The Italian Empire in 1939

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Map of the Italian Empire in 1939.

Italy unified as the Kingdom of Italy in 1861.

Italy claimed Italian Eritrea in 1882.

Italian Somaliland, by treaties in 1888, 1889, 1894, 1906 (united in 1908) and 1925.

Concession of Tianjin in China in 1901.

Cyrenaica and Tripolitania taken from the Ottoman Empire (1911); Fezzan (1911); merged as Italian Libya in 1934; made a national province of Italy in 1938.

Dodocanese Islands, along the Aegean coast of Anatolia, taken from the Ottoman Empire in 1912.  

Invades Abyssinia in 1934 and occupies and annexes it to Italian East Africa in October 1935.

The Italian Empire (1936 - 1946) included all Italian possessions overseas.

Italy Invades Albania and annexes it to the Italian Empire in April 1939.

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Europe and North Africa in August 1939

Italy from the Kingdom of Sardinia in 1859 to today

Animated Map




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German invasion of France, May-June 1940.

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Daily News (New York), 10 June 1940

10 June 1940 -  As the Germans approach, the French government declares Paris an open city and leaves

10 June 1940 - Italy declares war on Britain and France

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Daily Mirror

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Fitchburg Sentinel

Mussolini declares war on Britain and France

Rome, 10 June 1940

Mussolini aligns with Hitler

Khan Academy

Allied campaign in the Mediterranean


North Africa

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Mediterranean Theatre of Operations (map)


Mediterranean Mosaic

Episode 5 of the 1952 documentary series Victory At Sea with emphasis on naval warfare   

The Mediterranean in 1941 

The British colonies of Gibraltar and Malta, British convoys, the Germans bomb Malta 



Mare Nostrum

Episode 8  of the 1952 documentary series Victory At Sea

Mussolini claims the Mediterranean as "Our Sea"   -   Mare Nostrum. Greeks and British defeat Mussolini's invasion of Greece. The Germans back up the Italians. The British defend the Suez Canal against Germany and Italy.



The Battle for the Mediterranean

Episode from the Battlefield documentary series (2002)



The Mediterranean and North Africa

Episode # 6 of 13 from the documentary series WW II in Colour



Battle of Cape Matapan

27 - 29 March 1941

Southern tip of the Peloponnesian Peninsula of Greece

Royal Navy defeats Italian navy

Italian Fleet Smashed

March 1941

British Pathé newsreel


After the Battle

British Pathé newsreel after the Battle of Cape Matapan


Brought to the Boil

Episode from the 1960 British documentary series War at Sea recounts events in the Mediterranean from 1940 to 1942, including the Battle of Cape Matapan.






The War in North Africa 

1940 - 1943

Africa in 1939

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Map of North and East Africa in 1940

10 June 1940 - Italy, which has been neutral in the war between its Axis partner Germany and the Allies Britain and France, declares war on Britain and France

Italian dictator Benito Mussolini orders Italian forces in the Italian Libya to invade and conquer Egypt, a British protectorate, capture the port of Alexandria, the Royal Navy's base in the western Mediterranean; the Suez Canal, which controls shipping between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, and Port Said at the mouth of the Suez Canal.

talian forces in Italian East Africa (Abyssinia, Eritrea and Italian Somaliland) are to invade British Somaliland, a British protectorate, and the British colony of Kenya.

The island of Malta, a British colony and the Royal Navy's Mediterranean Fleet Headquarters, between Sicily and North Africa, would have to be neutralised.   

11 June 1940  -  Italian planes bomb Malta, beginning the Axis siege of the island.

13 June 1940 - Italian planes attack a British air base in Kenya.

14 June 1940  -  British troops in Egypt, under Gen. O'Connor, launch cross-border raids into Libya and harass Italian convoys by land. The Royal Air Force (RAF) harass by air and the Royal Navy by sea.

August 1940  -  Italians occupy British Somaliland and claim it as part of Italian East Africa.

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13 September 1940  -  Italian forces in Libya launch an invasion of Egypt. The Italians take the Egyptian town of Sidi Barrani and dig in there. 

Why did Mussolini invade Egypt in 1940?


Italy invades Greece

20 October 1940

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Evening Standard, 1940

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Bergen Evening Standard

28 October 1940 - Italian forces in Albania invade Greece. The Greeks stop the Italians several miles inside Greece on 13 November. The Greeks push the Italians back to the border, continue north and are well inside Albania by 6 January 1941. Italian counter-attacks are repelled. With British assistance, the Greeks press northwards but not as far as planned. Neither side has advanced by April 1941.   



British counter-offensive in North Africa

9/10 December 1940 - British attack Sidi Barrani. Italians surrender en masse on 10/11 December.

5 January 1941 -  Australians capture Bardia, Italian fortress on the Libyan-Egyptian frontier.  

Soldiers wearing greatcoats and steel helmets with fixed bayonets run past whitewashed buildings damaged by shellfire.

Australians enter Bardia on 4 January 1941.


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News Chronicle, London, 4 January 1941

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The Kingston Gleaner (Jamaica), 23 January 1941

22 January 1941  -  British and Australian forces capture the Italian port of Tobruk in eastern Libya.

The British can drive west and capture the port of Tripoli in western Libya.

The Battles of Bardia and Tobruk

Australians capture Bardia, 3 - 5 January 1941, and Tobruk, 21 - 22 January  

Documentary (1960)

The Italians are defeated by the British in Egypt and Libya

The North African Campaign 1940 - 1941 
Part 1 of the documentary series Battlestorm

The Italians attack the British in Egypt and are repulsed.

The North African Campaign to the Battle of Beda Fomm
Operation Compass 1940 - 1941
British and dominion forces defeat the Italians


Mussolini asks Hitler for help

The Germans come to the aid of the Italians


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Generalleutnant Erwin Rommel (1891 - 1944), distinguished himself in combat in the First World War (1914 - 1918).

Erwin Rommel
Episode from The Great War series with Indy Neidel


Commanding a tank division (7th Panzer Division) in 1940, Rommel led a fast advance force into Belgium and France in May and captured Cherbourg in June.

In February 1941, Rommel was given command of the German expeditionary force in North Africa (1941 - 1943), the Deutsche Afrika Korps (DAK).

12 - 14 February 1941 -  Rommel and the Afrika Korps arrived in Tripoli in western Libya to re-enforce the Italians.

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Rommel, left, reviews troops in Tripoli with Italian General Italo Gariboldi, right, in February/March 1941.

Rommel and the Afrika Korps were to be under the command of Gariboldi.



The Desert War 1940 - 1943

The see-saw war across the Sahara

Map shows the war in North Africa, from December 1940 to January 1943, in brief:

Italian dictator Benito Mussolini ordered the Italian invasion of Egypt from Libya (June 1940).

Italian Marchal Rodolfo Graziani sent Italian forces into Egypt on 9 Sept. 1940.

General Archibald Wavell, Commander-in-Chief of British forces in the Middle East, ordered Generals O'Connor and Gott, commanding British forces in Egypt, to push the Italians out of Egypt. The British pushed the Italians across Libya to El Agheila (Operation Compass, 9 Dec. 1940 - Feb. 1941).

German Lt.-Gen. Erwin Rommel and the Afrika Korps arrived in the Libyan port of Tripoli (Feb. 1941) and launched an offensive, pushing the British back into Egypt (Mar. to May 1941). The Libyan port of Tobruk remained in British hands, under siege by the Germans and Italians.  

British troops under Gen. Claude Auchinleck, Commander-in-Chief of British forces in the Middle East, forced Rommel back to El Agheila (Nov. 1941 - Jan. 1942).

Rommel launched a second offensive in late Jan. 1942, captured Tobruk and pushed the British out of Libya and across Egypt to within striking distance of the Royal Navy's base in Alexandria and Egypt's capital, Cairo.

Auchinleck held Rommel at El Alamein, 60 miles from Cairo (July 1942).

British Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery, commanding British forces in Egypt, forced Rommel out of Egypt and Libya(Oct. 1942 - Jan. 1943).     


24 March 1941 - Rommel advances

The Desert Fox

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Rommel ignored and disobeyed orders from the German High Command to follow the orders of Italian commanders.

Rommel ignored and disobeyed orders from Italian commanders to maintain a defensive posture or pursue a slow offensive.

Rommel pushed British forces out of Cyrenaica and back into Egypt by 8 April 1941.

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The three provinces of Libya.

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Map shows Rommel's drive to Tobruk in 1941.  

British forces held onto the Libyan port of Tobruk.

Rommel placed Tobruk under siege on 10/11 April.  

Bardia was retaken by the Axis.

If the Germans pushed farther east into Egypt they could seize the Royal Navy base of Alexandria.
Continuing east, the Germans could seize the city of Cairo on the Nile River.
Farther to the east was the Suez Canal, which controlled shipping between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea.
East of Suez, the Germans could seize the oil fields of the Near East. 

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Rommel's First Battle in the North African Campaign
Part 2 of the documentary series Battlestorm
From Rommel's arrival in Libya to the Battle of Tobruk in 1941.
Rommel overcomes British and Australian forces at Mersa Brega and pushes them out of Libya and back into Egypt.
But the British and Australians hold onto the port of Tobruk.



Italians lose East Africa

Feb. 1941  -  British troops push Italians out of the Sudan, Kenya and British Somaliland.

6 April 1941  -  British troops occupy Addis Ababa, capital of Abyssinia. Italians surrender.

6 May 1941  -  Haile Selassie, Emperor of Abyssinia, returns to Addis Ababa.

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Haile Selassie greets British Lt.-Gen. Alan Cunningham, Commander of the British Expeditionary Forces, at his palace in Addis Ababa in June 1941.


Germans invade Greece and Yugoslavia

6 April 1941

The Germans help the Italians  

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News Chronicle

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New York Times


The Axis Siege of Tobruk

Libyan Port

10 April   -   27 November 1941

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9/10 April - Axis troops begin Siege of Tobruk held by Australian, British, Indian and Free French forces. The siege lasts 240-plus days.

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British troops charge Axis position in Tobruk in April 1941.

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Australian troops on patrol through barbed wire on Tobruk's outer defenses on 30 April 1941.

30 April - Germans occupy a sixth of Tobruk

16 May - Italians force Australians in Tobruk to withdraw

15 - 17 June 1941  -  Operation Battleaxe - British attempt to relieve Tobruk. The attack is repulsed.

Operation Battleaxe

Battle Storm 


Greeks surrender to Germans and Italians

April 1941

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The Honolulu Advertiser

Germans invade Crete

20 May 1941

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Minneapolis Star Journal

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Chippewa Herald-Telegram

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Daily News


Germans invade Soviet Union

June 1941

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The Boston Herald

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The Milwaukee Journal

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Axis advances from 1939 to December 1941


5 July 1941  -  Gen. Claude Auchinleck, Commander-in-Chief India, trades commands with Wavell. Auchinleck is C-I-C of Middle East Command. Wavell is C-I-C India.

Western Desert Force renamed Eighth Army.

18 September 1941 -  Germans bomb Cairo by air.

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A German dive-bomber, a Junkers ju 87, bombs a British supply depot near Tobruk in October 1941.

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British troops defend Tobruk, 11 November 1941


Our Desert Stronghold

British Pathé newsreel

Rommel planned an attack on Tobruk and flew to Rome in early November to persuade the Italians to back it. The Italians agreed and the attack was set for 23 November.  

British counter-offensive

18 November 1941 -  Auchinleck launches Operation Crusader, an offensive to destroy Axis forces and relieve Tobruk.

Rommel returns to Africa.

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The Oregon Statesman, Salem, Oregon, 21 November 1941

27 November - New Zealanders reach Tobruk. 

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Gen. Auchinleck on cover of Time magazine, 1 December 1941 

9 December - British, Indian, New Zealand and South African troops relieve the siege of Tobruk.

Rommel withdraws to Gazala. 

16 December - Rommel orders westward withdrawal from the Gazala line

Our Libya Offensive

British Pathé newsreel

Rommel on the Run

British Pathé newsreel

31 December - Rommel falls back to El Agheila, giving up all ground gained during the year.

Auckinleck inspects troops

British Pathé silent film footage (1941)

31 Dec. 1941 - 2 January 1942  -  South Africans recapture Bardia, take 8,000 Italian prisoners.

The Fall of Bardia

British Pathe 1942

Operation Crusader

Battle Storm

All 15 episodes in one upload 

1. Churchill

2. The Eighth Army

3. The Plan

4. Franz Halder and Rommel

The Axis Order of Battle

The British Order of Battle 

5. Three Preliminary Operations: Rommel's Raid into Egypt, Attempt to assassinate Rommel

6. The Battle Begins

7. Dancing Panzer, Hidden Rommel

8. The Panzers Strike

9. Sunday of the Dead

10. Dash to the Wire

11. The End of Cunningham

12. The Infantry Battle

13. New Zealand's Final Stand

14. Rommel Retreats

15. The End  -  Accidental Victory

Colour Film Footage of Operation Crusader

Operation Flipper

Commandos attempt to kill Rommel.


1942 Australian documentary about the German Siege of Tobruk in 1941 

ANZAC is an acronym for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps






Episode from a documentary series Battleline

The view of the siege from both sides

(3 clips)





General Smuts at the Front

South African Prime Minister in North Africa 1941

British Pathé


The Rats of Tobruk

Australian documentary

2 clips (parts 1 and 2 of 10)




The Siege of Tobruk

British Army Film Unit (AFU) documentary (16:10)

The Rats of Tobruk

Advertisement for 1944 Australian movie



Episode from the documentary series Desert War


Czechs defend Tobruk


Poles defend Tobruk


Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf

Charlie and his Orchestra

Karl ("Charlie") Schwedler, singer

Lutz Templin, bandleader

Lyrics by the Propagandaministerium

Broadcast from Berlin


The Americans enter the war

December 1941

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The Denver Post (Denver, Colorado)

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Daily News

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Journal American

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San Francisco Examiner

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The High Point Enterprise

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Santa Ana Register


Churchill in Washington

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Winston Churchill addresses joint-session of the U. S. Congress on 26 December 1941.

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Winston Churchill's address to Joint Session of U. S. Congress

26 December 1941


Excerpts (longer)

Entire address (audio only)


Churchill and Roosevelt
May 1940 – April 1942
Episode 2 of 4 of the 2007 documentary series Warlords

By Timeline


In 5 clips:



I Can't Give You Anything But Love

Charlie and his Orchestra

Karl ("Charlie") Schwedler, singer

Lutz Templin, bandleader

Lyrics by the Propagandaministerium

Broadcast from Berlin


On the Sentimental Side

Charlie and his Orchestra

Karl ("Charlie") Schwedler, singer

Lutz Templin, bandleader

Lyrics by the the Propagandaministerium

Broadcast from Berlin



21 January 1942  -  Rommel launches his second offensive

Falling back to El Agheila on 31 December 1941, Rommel quickly resupplied, with more men and tanks, and went back on the offensive.

Rommel forces the British out of Benghazi and back to Gazala.

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The Panzer MK III, the main German tank in North Africa, in February 1942.

A German MKIII tank advancing along with infantry in North Africa.

The Panzer MK III

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A mechanic, sitting on the wing of a Kitty Hawk fighter plane, directs the British pilot through a sandstorm in Libya on 2 April 1942.

The Battle of Gazala 

26 May - 21 June 1942 

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La Cyrénaique en 1940

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The Axis Plan, decided in Berlin, on 1 May: Feign an attack from the west in the north, towards Gazala; go around the heavily mined Gazala Line to the south, at Bir Hakeim; drive north and attack the Allies from behind, from the east; drive north and capture Tobruk. Then drive into Egypt.  

26 May 1942  -  Axis forces attack the Gazala Line (west of Tobruk), towards Gazala in the north, and strike Bir Hakheim in the south.
Auckinleck Up Front

British Pathé film footage (1942) 

Map of the battle 24 - 27 May  

Rommel in North Africa by KraljAleksandar
Rommel west of Tobruk

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Map of the battle 26 May - 1 June

The first Americans in a land battle against the Germans

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U. S. Senator Henry Cabot Lodge II of Massachusetts (Republican), a major in the U. S. Army 1st Armored Division, under British command, led a squadron of tanks at the Battle of Gazala on 11 June 1942.


Bir Hakeim

Southern end of the Gazala Line

The Battle of Bir Hakeim, Libya

26 May - 11 June 1942

26 May 1942  -  Axis forces attack the heavily mined Gazala Line, west of Tobruk, from Gazala in the north to Bir Hakeim in the south. The Axis attack Bir Hakeim. The Axis go around it.

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Bir Hakeim

Free French Foreign Legionnairs.jpg

The French Foreign Legion in Tobruk charge German positions on 12 June 1942.  

The Battle of Bir Hakeim

In French with English sub-titles


Battle of Bir Hakeim

Excerpt from an episode of the documentary series Battlefield 

La bataille de Bir Hakeim

Au cœur de l'Histoire

Franck Ferrand avec Jean-Mathieu Boris, vétéran de la bataille, et François Broche, journaliste et historien

70e anniversaire de Bir-Hakeim (2012) 

La bataille de Bir Hakeim en 1942     (Removed )


1943 Bir Hakeim - un an apres   


La bataille de Bir Hakeim (1942) 

2000 ans d'histoire  -  Seconde guerre mondiale

ou en deux parties:



La bataille de Bir Hakeim 1942

Quand la France renaît 




Bir Hakeim was evacuated on 11 June.

Deutsche Afrika Korps



13 June - Axis forces defeat British armoured divisions

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Rommel surveys Tobruk.

Tobruk falls to the Axis

21 June 1942 

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The Honolulu Advertiser, 22 June 1942

21 June 1942  -  Axis capture Tobruk

Tobruk Fällt


Silent film

Italian newsreel

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32,000 to 33,000 British soldiers surrender to Germans at Tobruk on 21 June 1942.  

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British prisoners from Tobruk.

The Axis drove east.

The Axis recaptured Bardia in June 1942.


You're the Top

Charlie and his Orchestra

Karl ("Charlie") Schwedler, singer
Lutz Templin, bandleader

Lyrics by the Propagandaministerium

Broadcast from Berlin







The British and allied troops retreated east into Egypt, dug in at El Alamein, sixty miles west of Cairo, and laid a long field of mines north-south.

The Axis pushed east into Egypt and stopped at El Alamein.    

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San Francisco Chronicle, 4 July 1942 

           First Battle of El Alamein

                         1 - 27 July 1942

British forces under Gen. Auchinleck stop the Axis eastward advance on Alexandria, Cairo and the Suez Canal.

Sixty miles from Cairo.


The Theatre of Operations in Europe and North Africa

Map of Egypt

Map of Egypt's Western Desert

Some key points of the Desert War in 1941 and 1942






1. Vor der Kaserne
Vor dem großen Tor
Stand eine Laterne
Und steht sie noch davor
So woll'n wir uns da wieder seh'n
Bei der Laterne wollen wir steh'n
|: Wie einst Lili Marleen. :|

2. Unsere beide Schatten
Sah'n wie einer aus
Daß wir so lieb uns hatten
Das sah man gleich daraus
Und alle Leute soll'n es seh'n
Wenn wir bei der Laterne steh'n
|: Wie einst Lili Marleen. :|

3. Schon rief der Posten,
Sie blasen Zapfenstreich
Das kann drei Tage kosten
Kam'rad, ich komm sogleich
Da sagten wir auf Wiedersehen
Wie gerne wollt ich mit dir geh'n
|: Mit dir Lili Marleen. :|

4. Deine Schritte kennt sie,
Deinen zieren Gang
Alle Abend brennt sie,
Doch mich vergaß sie lang
Und sollte mir ein Leids gescheh'n
Wer wird bei der Laterne stehen
|: Mit dir Lili Marleen? :|

5. Aus dem stillen Raume,
Aus der Erde Grund
Hebt mich wie im Traume
Dein verliebter Mund
Wenn sich die späten Nebel drehn
Werd' ich bei der Laterne steh'n
|: Wie einst Lili Marleen. :|


Lili Marleen

Lale Andersen (1938/1939)


Lili Marlene

Marlene Dietrich

1944 and/or 1945


in English:

Excerpt from Judgement at Nuremberg (1961) dubbed in Italian


The True Story of Lili Marlene

British film (1944)

(21 minutes)

Fist ten minutes only:


In Italian

Carlo Buti

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British soldiers defend positions at El Alamein, 17 July 1942 


General Sir Claude Auchinleck, Commander-in-Chief of British armed forces in the Middle East from June 1941 to August 1942, stopped Rommel's advance at El Alamein in July 1942.

Photo on 31 July 1942 by Lt Palmer, No 1 Army Film & Photographic Unit (from the collection of the Imperial War Museum) 

All Roads to Al Alamein

British Pathé newsreel


Battle of Egypt

British Pathé newsreel


27th July 1942

Allies halt the Axis advance in the First Battle of El Alamein



August 1942


German advance stopped

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Winston Churchill in El Alamein on 19 August 1942.

Premier in the Middle East

British Pathé newsreel

Churchill visits Egypt

4 - 10 August 1942







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Maps showing the Axis Powers in 1942

World Ablaze (1941 - 1942)

Episode 4 of the colourised 2009 French documentary series Apocalypse   -  The Second World War in HD 

- Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Battle of Midway (first defeat for the Japanese), Guadalcanal (the Americans begin to push back the Japanese)

- Operation Fall Blau (1942 German offensive across the southern Soviet Union; Germans take Stalingrad)  (47 min.)

or with American narrator and captions 


or in French as

La deuxieme guerre mondiale

L'embrasement 1941 - 1942

Episode 4 (52:00)


The World at War

1942  U. S. government documentary film

From Pearl Harbour in December 1941 to the summer of 1942 (43:19)








British take Madagascar from French

May - November 1942

The British, alarmed by the presence of Japanese submarines in the Indian Ocean and the threat they posed to British shipping, took the port of Diego Suarez in Madagascar from the Vichy French.

In the next two months, the Japanese sank a British ship in Diego Suarez and 23 British supply ships bound for British forces in Egypt in the Indian Ocean.

So, with the Free French of Charles de Gaulle, the British took Madagascar's capital and occupied the entire country.


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The Oregon Statesman (Salem, Oregon), 5 May 1942 

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Bergen Evening Record, Hackensack, New Jersey, 7 May 1942

Map of Madagascar and Indian Ocean sea lanes threatened by Japan.  Axis controlled territory shown in black.  


Map of British amphibious operations in the Second World War.


The Battle of Madagascar

BBC History Magazine podcast

6 September 2012

Click here:

BBC History Magazine podcast about the Battle of Madagascar

The Battle of Diego Suarez
La Bataille de Diego Suarez
Extrait du documentaire D'une guerre à l'autre diffusé sur RFO le 11/11/2005
Madagascar   -   First Pictures
The Voice of Britain
British Pathe Gazette Special
British in Madagascar
British Pathe (September 1942)
A Brief Description of a Little Known Island that is World Headline News Today
African Mirror
British Pathe (1942)
The Battle of Madagascar
Japanese midget submarines off Madagascar
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German ships attack American ships off the U. S. east coast
Location of sunken WW2 German submarines

The Mystery of U-166
2014 National Geographic documentary about the exploration of a German submarine sunk in the Gulf of Mexico in July 1942

Military Aid to Soviet Union
24 of 35 ships of a British-American Arctic Convoy to Soviet Union sunk by German submarines and bombers
July 4, 1942
Convoy ships were ordered to scatter to minimise loss.
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Typical Convoy Diagram
Image result for Arctic Convoy PQ 17 formation
Track of PQ-17 and positions of ships sunk
An Arctic Convoy Disaster
BBC documentary (2014) (58:33)


Americans join air war over Europe

17 August 1942

 U. S. Eighth Air Force bombing targets from August 1942 to June 1943

American B-17Es, escorted by British Spitfires, on the first US bombing mission in the European war, to bomb railroad yards in Rouen-Sotteville, Normandy on 17 August 1942


Mission Accomplished:

The Story of the Flying Fortress

1942 documentary film of the Rouen raid




Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress

Episode from the documentary series Great Planes