Hello to all
Water supply in the African campaign 1941-1943.
In July 1942, during the attack of the German-Italian armored units on the heavily developed British fortress of Tobruk, the Military Geology Detachment 12 (Wehrgeologenstelle 12) drew up a report on the possibility of expanding the water point of Bagush-Burbeita. A report by the head of Military Geology Unit 12 states that the Italian troops in North Africa had no military geological organization at all, while the German troops had no personnel trained in well construction and vice versa. However, it was known about the organization of water supply in the Italian armies: each army had a company of sappers versed in water supply, endowed with equipment, hand and motor pumps, drills at a depth of more than 100 m, pipes, containers and tank trucks.
Until February 1941, the water was not verified by geologists but by dowsers. Failures occurred in both a 1000 m deep well in Tobruk and twelve other wells which remained dry. An article in the Italian magazine "Tempo" of October 03, 1940, which reported on dowsers in Italian water companies, showed that the use of the dowsing rod for the search for drinking water was very popular in the Italian army. Five liters of water per man/day were envisaged. The water requirement for cooling a motor vehicle was 50 l/day, for a mule 50 l/day and for a camel 200 l/day.
A German Africa Corps (DAK) instruction of September 17, 1941 regulated the "Water Competencies" within the corps personnel. The "Water" Group reported to the intendant and was made up of a group leader, the corps geologist, the corps hygienist, the water engineer, and a water officer.
The tasks were established as follows:
- The water group was responsible for the acquisition, testing, replenishment and distribution of drinking and service water required.
- The group leader was to ensure the anticipated cooperation of the individual administrators and report to the mayor on the water situation.
-In addition to his other duties, the Corps Geologist was responsible for exploring and providing practical testing of the water.
- The hygienist of the Corps ordered the first chemical and bacteriological examination of the water. He also arranged for hygienic control of all water transport and storage vehicles.
- The hydraulic engineer was in charge of the technical repair, maintenance, expansion and new construction of water points and water pipes, as well as the filtration of water where necessary.
- The water officer processed the instruction of the German and Italian divisions for the water distribution points and the load levels according to the type and strength of the vehicle and its distance from the distribution point. He proposed the use of the water columns and supervised their activity.
Sources: Fuentes: Militärische Trinkwasserversorgung – einst und jetzt. Berichte der Geologischen Bundesanstalt, ISSN 1017-8880, Band 113, Wien 2015
Wehrgeologenstelle 12 – Rommel’s Military Geology Team in North Africa 1941-43
Cheers. Raúl M
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.