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North Africa

 

Please take the time to enjoy a small selection of the artifacts that we have on display at the Museum of World War II. Every artifact in our collection has its own history, and ties to human lives. Each artifact has a small section of its story told here.

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This section contains artifacts specifically about the North African Front of World War II. Several important collections of papers have been brought together to create a very significant display in this area. Many letters and maps of Rommel are exhibited, together with a museum copy of his Field Marshal's baton. German maps of the African campaign are shown together with large air reconnaissance photographs of Alexandria.

PLEASE NOTE: All firearms displayed at the Museum of World War II have been rendered inoperable.

Map of the Museum

 

Several important collections of papers have been brought together to create a very significant display in this area. Many letters and maps of Rommel are exhibited, together with a museum copy of his Field Marshal's baton. German maps of the African campaign are shown together with large air reconnaissance photographs of Alexandria.
 
Bernard Montgomery's address to the Eighth Army, just before the battle of El Alamein, is one of the most important manuscripts of the war, and it is shown beside his handwritten manuscript message to the troops exactly three months later on the defeat of German forces. Large scale maps of El Alamein, heavily annotated with defensive and offensive moves, are displayed together with an extraordinary letter from George Patton to the Sultan of Morocco announcing his landings, and threatening devastation if Morocco does not surrender by midnight.
 

BERNARD MONTGOMERY

MONTGOMERY'S BERET: In an accompanying letter, Montgomery noted: "This beret was worn by me in the desert, where I commanded the British Eighth Army." Montgomery's medals and autograph manuscript signed, March 1, 1947: "I have tried the bar of miniature on the tail coat and dinner jacket; it goes excellently."
 
Insignia from the tail of Montgomery's plane. Montgomery's Corps Pennant, flown on his car in Africa and in Sicily.
 
Montgomery, autograph manuscript, message to the Eighth Army, January 23, 1943: "The defeat of the enemy in Battle at Alamein, the pursuit of the beaten army, and the final capture of Tripoli...is probably without parallel in history..."
 
"IN MY TANK DURING BATTLE OF ALAMEIN." Noted on the verso by Montgomery. Map of El Alamein.
 
Montgomery, autograph photo, May 1944
 

GEORGE S. PATTON

Daggers collected by Patton while in North Africa.
 
Patton's own copy of the letter he wrote to the Sultan of Morocco two days after American troops landed near Casablanca:

"...My forces have landed in your country in irresistible numbers. We desired to come among you as friends, not as conquerors, not as enemies.... I hereby guarantee that if you offer no resistance, your religious institutions, your customs and your laws will be completely respected, and that at the termination of hostilities with the Nazis, Morocco will be returned to you and to the civil government of France in exactly the same state that it was before the war. Your Majesty must realize the painful sentiments which I entertain in contemplating the necessity of shedding the blood of my friends, but the stern necessity of war demands that if the French armed forces continue the hostility they have already shown, it is my military duty and purpose to attack by air, by sea and by land, with the utmost violence known to modern war. Your beloved country must inevitably suffer irreparable injury because once serious battle is joined I cannot be responsible for the consequences...."
 

ERWIN ROMMEL

Artifacts including Erwin Rommel's detailed and analytical manuscript "Combat Report on the Breakthrough Battle at Tolmin," 1918; a museum copy of Rommel's Field Marshal baton; various autograph manuscripts; and letters to his wife, including July 15, 1943: "...Our troops are fighting bravely and I am convinced that the Russians are suffering heavy losses...We cannot prevent the enemy air force from getting closer to our infantry."
 
Rommel's analytical manuscript, "Combat Report on the Breakthrough Battle at Tolmin," 1918 Rommel's Baton ROMMEL'S FIELD MARSHALL'S BATON: [museum copy from the original which was given by Eisenhower to Soviet Marshal Zhukov and is in the Russian Archives.]
 
Photograph album of a British soldier in Africa. Pictures from an Afrika Korps photo album.
 
Canteen used by the Afrika Korps in 1942. Dagger found in North Africa.
 
German city map of Cairo. German city map of Alexandria.
 
Two pen and ink sketches by Ivor Beddoes, an artist with the British Army in North Africa, 1942.  These are entitled "Christmas Celebration".
 
Ivor Beddoes' watercolors, done while travelling with the British 8th Army in North Africa.
 
Anti-Nazi posters, written in Arabic.
 
British Anti-Tank gun.