Operation Sonnenblume

       Operation Sonnenblume (Sunflower) actually refers to the German emergency operation which sent troops to North Africa in February after the Italian 10th Army was destroyed by Allied forces.  The original force of a few tanks was quickly upgraded to enough forces to cobble together a make-shift "armored" division designated the 5th Light Division.  Rommel took this division along with some supporting Italian troops transferred over from the Fifth Army and began an offensive against the weakened Allied forces (several divisions had been sent to Greece).  Additional forces were added as they became available, including the 15th Panzer Division in May and the Italian Ariete Armored Division.

Axis Forces

Deutsches Afrika Korps

     Corps Troops

     5th Light Division

     15th Panzer Division

     African Division

XXI Corps

     Corps Troops

     17th Pavia Division

     25th Bologna Division

     27th Brescia Division

     102nd Trento Division

XX Corps

     Corps Troops

     101st Trieste Mechanized Division

     132nd Ariete Armored Division


Allied Forces

Cyrenaica Command

     Corps Troops

      2nd Armored Division

     9th Australian Division