The Western Desert Campaign (German Afrika Korps in film Part 2)

by osloj | created - 26 Feb 2016 | updated - 19 Jul 2016 | Public

Heat over Africa’s ground, the sun is burning, Our tank motors sing their song, German tanks in the desert sand, Figthting against England, The treads are rattling, the motor is droning, Tanks are rolling forward in Africa!

-Afrika Korps Marching Song Deutsches Afrikakorps (DAK), Afrika Korps, from late 1940 until its surrender in May 1943.

The Afrika Korps was the German expeditionary force in North Africa during the Desert Campaign of World War II.

Erwin Rommel popularly known as the "Desert Fox" was designated as commander, or German field marshal.

To fight a war of tanks in the desert, the two most essential provisions were fuel and water.

Also see War in the Desert (German Afrika Korps in film Part 1) for more films.

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1. Sahara (I) (1943)

Approved | 97 min | Action, Drama, War

After the fall of Tobruk in 1942, during the Allied retreat in the Libyan desert, an American tank picks-up a motley group of survivors but they face advancing Germans and a lack of water.

Director: Zoltan Korda | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Bruce Bennett, J. Carrol Naish, Lloyd Bridges

Votes: 8,423

2. Rommel ruft Kairo (1959)

105 min | Thriller, War

In 1942 the Germans devised an operation to introduce in Egypt spies to provoke a rebellion against the British.

Director: Wolfgang Schleif | Stars: Adrian Hoven, Elisabeth Müller, Peter van Eyck, Paul Klinger

Votes: 91

3. Der Stern von Afrika (1957)

88 min | Drama, War

Biographic Movie of the German fighter ace, who was killed in a plane crash after over 150 kills in North Africa.

Director: Alfred Weidenmann | Stars: Joachim Hansen, Marianne Koch, Hansjörg Felmy, Horst Frank

Votes: 297

4. Casablanca (1942)

PG | 102 min | Drama, Romance, War

100 Metascore

A cynical expatriate American cafe owner struggles to decide whether or not to help his former lover and her fugitive husband escape the Nazis in French Morocco.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains

Votes: 542,429 | Gross: $1.02M

No Afrika Korps, but good background information of North Africa region.

5. The English Patient (1996)

R | 162 min | Drama, Romance, War

87 Metascore

At the close of World War II, a young nurse tends to a badly-burned plane crash victim. His past is shown in flashbacks, revealing an involvement in a fateful love affair.

Director: Anthony Minghella | Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche, Willem Dafoe, Kristin Scott Thomas

Votes: 183,979 | Gross: $78.65M

6. Lion of the Desert (1980)

PG | 173 min | Biography, Drama, History

In 1929, Italian Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini appoints General Rodolfo Graziani as colonial governor to Italian Libya with orders to stamp-out all resistance from Libyan nationalists led by rebel guerrilla leader Omar Mukhtar.

Director: Moustapha Akkad | Stars: Anthony Quinn, Oliver Reed, Rod Steiger, Irene Papas

Votes: 14,954 | Gross: $3.27M

No Afrika Korps, but good background information of North Africa region.

7. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

PG | 115 min | Action, Adventure

85 Metascore

In 1936, archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before Adolf Hitler's Nazis can obtain its awesome powers.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, John Rhys-Davies

Votes: 916,263 | Gross: $248.16M

Pre Afrika Korps!

8. The World at War (1973–1974)
Episode: The Desert: North Africa - 1940-1943 (1973)

TV-PG | 52 min | Documentary, History, War

In 1940 Mussolini deploys a massive army to invade British held Egypt, to capture the Suez Canal and most of all to establish an Italian empire to rival Germany's. So begins a multi-year ... See full summary »

Stars: Laurence Olivier, David Belchem, Paola Colacicchi, Francis de Guingand

Votes: 316

10. World War II: The War Chronicles (1983– )
Episode: North Africa... the Desert War (1983)

21 min | Documentary, History, War

The birth of the Afrika Korps and it's leader Erwin Rommel who was to earn the pseudonym Desert Fox.

Director: Don Horan | Stars: Patrick O'Neal, Erwin Rommel

Votes: 10

11. Sirocco (1951)

Passed | 98 min | Action, Drama, Film-Noir

A cynical American expatriate gets involved in smuggling and gun-running for the rebels during the 1925 Syrian insurgency against French occupation.

Director: Curtis Bernhardt | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Lee J. Cobb, Märta Torén, Everett Sloane

Votes: 2,120

No Afrika Korps, but good background information of North Africa region.

12. The Steel Bayonet (1957)

85 min | Drama, War

A small band of British soldiers is sent on a mission to hold up a German advance.

Director: Michael Carreras | Stars: Leo Genn, Kieron Moore, Michael Medwin, Robert Brown

Votes: 93

13. The Tuskegee Airmen (1995 TV Movie)

PG-13 | 106 min | Drama, History, War

The true story of how a group of African American pilots overcame racist opposition to become one of the finest US fighter groups in World War II

Director: Robert Markowitz | Stars: Laurence Fishburne, Allen Payne, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Courtney B. Vance

Votes: 6,065

15. The Way Ahead (1944)

Approved | 91 min | Drama, War

World War II drama that follows a group of British draftees, starting with their rigorous basic training, and ending with their deployment in North Africa.

Director: Carol Reed | Stars: David Niven, Stanley Holloway, James Donald, John Laurie

Votes: 1,928

17. Sahara (1995 TV Movie)

PG-13 | 106 min | Action, War

A tank commander and his men along with a group of assorted stragglers they picked up along the way try to keep a limited supply of water away from the Nazis.

Director: Brian Trenchard-Smith | Stars: Jim Belushi, Alan David Lee, Simon Westaway, Mark Lee

Votes: 2,896

18. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

PG-13 | 127 min | Action, Adventure

65 Metascore

In 1938, after his father Professor Henry Jones, Sr. goes missing while pursuing the Holy Grail, Professor Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr. finds himself up against Adolf Hitler's Nazis again to stop them from obtaining its powers.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Alison Doody, Denholm Elliott

Votes: 716,690 | Gross: $197.17M

No Afrika Korps, but good background information.

19. Valkyrie (2008)

PG-13 | 121 min | Drama, History, Thriller

56 Metascore

A dramatization of the July 20, 1944 assassination and political coup plot by desperate renegade German Army officers against Adolf Hitler during World War II.

Director: Bryan Singer | Stars: Tom Cruise, Bill Nighy, Carice van Houten, Kenneth Branagh

Votes: 234,665 | Gross: $83.08M

20. Operation Condor (1991)

PG-13 | 80 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

Jackie is hired to help the UN find Nazi gold hidden in Sahara. He's accompanied from Spain by 2 (later 3) cute women. As there are others wanting the gold, lots of kung fu fighting and comedy follows.

Director: Jackie Chan | Stars: Jackie Chan, Carol 'Do Do' Cheng, Eva Cobo, Shôko Ikeda

Votes: 19,715 | Gross: $10.44M

21. Days of Glory (2006)

R | 120 min | Action, Drama, War

82 Metascore

During WWII, four North African men enlist in the French army to liberate that country from Nazi oppression, and to fight French discrimination.

Director: Rachid Bouchareb | Stars: Samy Naceri, Roschdy Zem, Sami Bouajila, Jamel Debbouze

Votes: 14,366 | Gross: $0.32M

22. Death Race (1973 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 90 min | Action, Drama, War

In the North African desert in World War II, a damaged American fighter plane that is unable to take off tries to evade and destroy a pursuing Nazi tank.

Director: David Lowell Rich | Stars: Lloyd Bridges, Roy Thinnes, Eric Braeden, Doug McClure

Votes: 281

23. Darby's Rangers (1958)

Approved | 121 min | Action, Drama, War

The lives, loves, and battles of fictional characters in the Army's First Ranger Battalion during WWII.

Director: William A. Wellman | Stars: James Garner, Etchika Choureau, Jack Warden, Edd Byrnes

Votes: 1,304

24. Vacation from Marriage (1945)

Passed | 102 min | Drama, Romance

A dull married couple, separated by their enlistment during World War II, reunite after three years to find that they have become very different people.

Director: Alexander Korda | Stars: Robert Donat, Deborah Kerr, Glynis Johns, Ann Todd

Votes: 1,178

25. Raid on Rommel (1971)

GP | 99 min | Drama, War

In 1942 Libya, a German-speaking British Intelligence officer uses former British POWs, some dressed in German uniforms, to fulfill a secret sabotage mission inside German-captured Tobruk.

Director: Henry Hathaway | Stars: Richard Burton, John Colicos, Clinton Greyn, Wolfgang Preiss

Votes: 2,201

26. Saint-Ex (1996)

PG | 82 min | Biography, Drama, Fantasy

Poetic biography of author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

Director: Anand Tucker | Stars: Bruno Ganz, Miranda Richardson, Janet McTeer, Ken Stott

Votes: 208

27. The Plot to Kill Hitler (1990 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 94 min | Drama, History, Thriller

On July 20th, 1944, German Army Colonel von Stauffenberg plans to assassinate Nazi leader Adolf Hitler with a briefcase-bomb, during a military conference, while other high-ranking plotters in Berlin are preparing to take power in a coup.

Director: Lawrence Schiller | Stars: Brad Davis, Madolyn Smith Osborne, Ian Richardson, Kenneth Colley

Votes: 450

28. War Italian Style (1965)

Approved | 84 min | Comedy

In May 1943, two American soldiers, Joe and Frank, of Italian descent are searching the North African desert for a German general called Von Kassler, when they are captured by Von Kassler ... See full summary »

Director: Luigi Scattini | Stars: Franco Franchi, Ciccio Ingrassia, Buster Keaton, Fred Clark

Votes: 199

29. Massacre Harbor (1968)

81 min | Action, Adventure, War

Rommel's last open port is maintained by POW labor against Allied bombing, a commando operation is undertaken to liberate the prisoners.

Director: John Peyser | Stars: Christopher George, Gary Raymond, Lawrence P. Casey, Justin Tarr

Votes: 36

30. The Desert Rats (1953)

Approved | 88 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Richard Burton plays a Scottish Army officer put in charge of a disparate band of ANZAC troops on the perimeter of Tobruk with the German Army doing their best to dislodge them.

Director: Robert Wise | Stars: Richard Burton, James Mason, Robert Newton, Robert Douglas

Votes: 4,811

31. Secret Service in Darkest Africa (1943)

Approved | 243 min | Action, Adventure, War

An American secret agent travels to Africa to infiltrate a Nazi spy ring.

Director: Spencer Gordon Bennet | Stars: Rod Cameron, Joan Marsh, Duncan Renaldo, Lionel Royce

Votes: 86

32. The Autobiography of a 'Jeep' (1943)

Unrated | 9 min | Documentary, Short, War

The invention and use of a jeep are described, from the viewpoint of one of the vehicles.

Directors: Irving Lerner, Joseph Krumgold | Stars: Desi Arnaz, Claire Chennault, King George VI, Douglas MacArthur

Votes: 178

33. History's Raiders: Desert Raiders (2001 TV Movie)

45 min | Documentary, History, War

Tells the story of World War II British special forces units whose lightly armed jeeps penetrated deep behind enemy lines conducting reconnaissance and sabotage missions

Director: Jonathan Martin

Votes: 8

34. Combat Sergeant (1956– )

30 min | War, Drama

It's North Africa in World War II and Gen. Harrison issues order to Sgt. Nelson to do all the right things vis-a-vis the Allies and the Germans. Romance sometimes entered as well.

Stars: Michael Thomas, Cliff Clark, Cliff Clark, Dennis Dengate

35. The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel (1951)

Approved | 88 min | Biography, Drama, War

The story of the final years of the respected World War II German general, Erwin Rommel.

Director: Henry Hathaway | Stars: James Mason, Cedric Hardwicke, Jessica Tandy, Luther Adler

Votes: 5,942

36. The Steel Lady (1953)

Not Rated | 84 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Cameron finds a tank buried in the Arabian desert during WWII, and proceeds to attack the Arabs with it.

Director: Ewald André Dupont | Stars: Rod Cameron, Tab Hunter, John Dehner, Richard Erdman

Votes: 302

37. The Young Lions (1958)

Approved | 167 min | Action, Drama, War

WW2 drama that follows the lives of three young men, one German and two Americans, during wartime.

Director: Edward Dmytryk | Stars: Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, Dean Martin, Hope Lange

Votes: 7,793 | Gross: $9.96M

38. The Rat Patrol (1966–1968)

30 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

The World War II North African missions of an Allied commando patrol squad of the Long Range Desert Group.

Stars: Christopher George, Gary Raymond, Eric Braeden, Lawrence P. Casey

Votes: 1,573

39. Shootout! (2005– )

46 min | Documentary, History

A television program that chronicles famous shootouts from the perspective of both sides of the fight.

Stars: Erik Thompson, David Sessions, Matthew Scott Wilcox, Cougar Zank

Votes: 119

40. The War Devils (1969)

PG | 99 min | War, Drama

A German Captain and American Captain help each other survive the North African desert during WWII. They meet again a year later during combat operations in France.

Director: Bitto Albertini | Stars: Guy Madison, Venantino Venantini, Anthony Steel, Pascale Petit

Votes: 160

41. Mythos Rommel (2002)

43 min | Documentary

3-part series examining the life of Field Marshall Erwin Rommel. Interviews from surviving soldiers who fought under Rommel and against Rommel in the British Army. The series examines the ... See full summary »

Stars: Winrich Behr, Michael Carver, Ulrich de Maizière, Isaac Levy

Votes: 36

42. Tobruk (1967)

Approved | 107 min | Drama, War

A Canadian POW major is rescued by a special British military unit made up of Germans to help lead an attack on a major Nazi fuel depot in Tobruk, Libya.

Director: Arthur Hiller | Stars: Rock Hudson, George Peppard, Nigel Green, Guy Stockwell

Votes: 3,078

43. The Lighthorsemen (1987)

PG | 131 min | Drama, War

In 1917 when the British forces are bogged down in front of the Turkish and German lines in Palestine they rely on the Australian light horse regiment to break the deadlock.

Director: Simon Wincer | Stars: Peter Phelps, Nick Waters, John Larking, John Heywood

Votes: 1,682

No Afrika Korps, but good background information of region.

44. The Battle of the Damned (1969)

79 min | War

After landing in North Africa in World War II, a group of soldiers led by Capt. Bruce Clay is assigned to attack an enemy position in order to destroy a large oil storage cellar in the desert.

Director: Roberto Bianchi Montero | Stars: Dale Cummings, Maurice Poli, Herb Andress, Lex Monson

Votes: 103

45. The Russian German War (1995 Video)

Not Rated | 68 min | Action, History

This 2-Disc DVD set is a rare look at one of the worst horror stories in the long infamous history of warfare. This series features captured German and Russian film footage, much of which has never been seen before.

Stars: Heinz Guderian, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Douglas Rain

Votes: 30

46. The Lost Patrol (1934)

Passed | 73 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

A dozen British soldiers, lost in a Mesopotamian desert during World War I, are menaced by unseen Arab enemies.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Victor McLaglen, Boris Karloff, Wallace Ford, Reginald Denny

Votes: 3,219

No Afrika Korps, but good background information of Desert region.