Field Marshal Erwin Rommel shortly after arriving in North Africa, 1941

Desert Fox, the most respected Nazi commander. German General Erwin Rommel arrived in Tripoli, Libya with the newly formed Africa Corps to reinforce the position of the beleaguered Italians.

In January 1941, Adolf Hitler established the Africa Corps for the express purpose of helping his Italian Axis partner maintain territorial advantage in North Africa. "For strategic, political and psychological reasons, Germany must assist Italy in Africa", declared the Führer.

The British were inflicting devastating blows on the Italians; In three months he drove the Italians out of Egypt, injuring or killing 20,000 Italian soldiers and taking another 130,000 prisoners.

After commanding a Panzer Division in Germany's successful French and Low Countries campaigns, General Rommel was sent to Libya with the new Africa Corps to control the deteriorating situation.

By that time, Italian General Ettore Bastico was the overall commander of Axis forces in North Africa – which included a German Panzer Division and an Italian Armored Division. Rommel was only given command of his Africa Corps and an Italian corps in Libya, but he wound up running the entire North African campaign.

But why are they wearing such heavy clothes?

It gets cold in the desert. In the winter months, it can be below freezing and normal daytime temperatures are usually around 10 °C (50 °F), sometimes even colder. Most likely, this photo was taken in winter.

The vehicle is the Horch 1937 Type 901, it was one of the few vehicles that Rommel was known to use in North Africa. They also used three SDKs. FZ250/5 One is called "Greef" which translates to Griffon, the other is called "Igel" which translates to Hedgehog, and the last SDK. FZ is pronounced "Adler" which translates to Eagle. Another vehicle that Rommel used was a British AEC 4×4 ACV (often called the Dorchester).

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