You see, the Germans had a lot of grievances, among which was the fact that they lost their colonies in Africa after the First World War. One of their major objectives for the Second World War was to roll back all the sanctions and obligations placed on them when they lost the First World War. Therefore it was their hope that if they win the Second World War, they were going to get back their overseas territories in Africa like Namibia, Togo, Tanzania etc. For this reason, although he initially outsourced the fighting in Africa to Italy, he later got deeply involved and opened up several theaters of war.
Don’t forget that Africa is the source of all the gold and important minerals, so why would he not be interested in that?
Now the reason that Italy and ultimately the Germans lost their wars in Africa is due to the following:
Africans played a pivotal role in the Second World War, that led to victory on the side of allies, but as you might have realized by now, anything that paints Africans as achievers, is quickly minimized by Eurocentrists. Currently when European countries celebrate the anniversary of the Second World War, they give the impression that they did it all by themselves without the Africans.
So this is how the war unfolded on the mother continent:
With the African continent being so big, there were several theaters of the Second World War on the African continent.
In the first few years of the war, the Royal Air Force [RAF] recruited 10 000 West Africans for ground duties in the British West Africa colonies of the Gold Coast [now Ghana], Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and the Gambia.” The Gold Coast (Ghana) king, Asantehene, was indispensable because he mobilised the population and helped to construct airfields, harbours and roads.
Italy, itself a colonial power, attacked British positions in Egypt, Kenya and Sudan in 1940. These acts of aggression prompted the British war-time prime minister, Winston Churchill, to form an air supply route from the city of Takoradi in Gold Coast (Ghana) to Cairo in Egypt. “On 5 September 1940, the first shipment of a dozen Hurricane and Blenheim aircraft fighters in large wooden crates arrived at Takoradi (Ghana) by boat from the United Kingdom, and like many more consignments to come, they were unpacked and then assembled locally to be made airworthy for the flight to Cairo,”.
North Africa: North Africa was one of the main theaters of war, where Axis and Allied forces pushed back and forth repeatedly. Libya was an Italian colony at the time, while Egypt belonged to Britain. “Italy invaded Egypt in September of 1940, and in a December counterattack, British and Indian forces captured some 130 000 Italians,” reads American news website, The Atlantic. Hitler responded by forming his Afrika Korps under Field Marshall Erwin Rommel. Known as the Desert Fox, Rommel was one of German’s most popular generals during World War II, and he gained his enemies’ respect with his victories as commander of the Afrika Korps.
However, Lieutenant-General Bernard Montgomery’s British 8th Army eventually drove the Axis army out of Egypt and into Tunisia. The 8th Army consisted of troops not only from Britain, but also from its colonies of South Africa, India, New Zealand and Australia. “The campaign in North Africa was very important strategically for the Axis and the Allies,” reads the Desert War website. “The Allies used the campaign as an approach to a second front against the Axis of Fortress Europe and helped ease the pressure on the Russian front.”
East Africa: From 1940 to 1941, the British forces, made up of troops from across the British Commonwealth, which was made up of the territories of the British Empire, fought against the Italians in East Africa. The Italians were present in Abyssinia, today’s Ethiopia, and occupied Eritrea and Somaliland, now called Somalia. Once the Italians’ communication code was cracked, the British launched an offensive “from Sudan and Kenya with a mixed force of Indian, Abyssinian, Sudanese, Nigerian, Ghanaian, and South African troops”.
By 1941, after months of fighting, they pushed back the Italian forces at the Battle of Gondar in Ethiopia. “This morning the Duce was very much irritated by the paucity of losses in eastern Africa,” wrote the Italian foreign minister at the time, Count Ciano: “Those who fell at Gondar in November numbered sixty-seven; the prisoners ten thousand. One doesn’t have to think very long to see what these figures mean.” So I would argue that Africa and Africans made great sacrifices and contributions to the Second World War, without which the allied forces would have struggled to win the war in general.
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