FACTOID # 14: North Carolina has a larger Native American population than North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana combined.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Operation Compass
Operation Compass
Part of World War II, North African Campaign

Italian soldiers taken prisoner during Compass
Date 8 December 19409 February 1941
Location Sidi Barrani, Egypt to El Agheila, Libya
Result Allied victory
Combatants
Western Desert Force
Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom

Flag of Australia Australia Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... During World War II, the North African Campaign, also known as the Desert War, took place in the North African desert from September 13, 1940 to May 13, 1943. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... is the 342nd day of the year (343rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 40th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see 1941 (disambiguation). ... Sidi Barrani is a village in Egypt, ~95km from the border with Libya, and ~240km from Tobruk. ... Operation Crusader November 18, 1941 - December 31, 1941 El Agheila is on the lower left (Click to enlarge) El Agheila is a coastal city on the Gulf of Sidra in far southwestern Cyrenaica, Libya. ... This article is about the independent states that comprised the Allies. ... The Western Desert Force, during World War II, was a British Commonwealth Army unit stationed in Egypt. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom. ... Image File history File links Imperial-India-Blue-Ensign. ... Anthem God Save The King The British Indian Empire, 1909 Capital Calcutta (until 1912), New Delhi (after 1912) Language(s) Hindustani, English and many others Government Monarchy Emperor of India  - 1858-1901 Victoria¹  - 1901-1910 Edward VII  - 1910-1936 George V  - 1936 Edward VIII  - 1936-1947 George VI Viceroy²  - 1858... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ...

Italian Tenth Army
Commanders
Flag of the United Kingdom Richard O'Connor Rodolfo Graziani
Pietro Maletti †
Annibale Bergonzoli
Strength
31,000 soldiers(december 1940 250,000)[1]
120 artillery pieces
275 tanks
60 Armoured cars
150,000 soldiers
1,600 guns
600 tanks
Casualties
500 dead
55 missing
1,373 wounded
15 aircraft[2]
3,000 dead
115,000 captured
400 tanks
1,292 guns
1,249 aircraft [3]

Operation Compass was the first major World War II Allied military operation in the Western Desert Campaign. It resulted in British Commonwealth forces pushing across a great stretch of Libya and capturing over 100,000 Italian soldiers with very few casualties of their own. Image File history File links Flag_of_Italy_(1861-1946)_crowned. ... The Italian Tenth Army consisted of ten divisions when it attacked Egypt on September 13, 1940. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Italy_(1861-1946)_crowned. ... Rodolfo Graziani, Marchese di Neghelli (August 11, 1882—January 11, 1955), was an Italian military officer who led expeditions in Africa before and during World War II and a war criminal responsible for thousands of Libyan and Ethiopian civilian deaths. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Italy_(1861-1946)_crowned. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Italy_(1861-1946)_crowned. ... Annibale Bergonzoli Annibale Bergonzoli (1884-1973), during World War II, was an Italian Lieutenant-General who commanded the defenses of Bardia, Libya, after the short offensive into Egypt made by Rodolfo Graziani. ... The Western Desert Campaign was the primary early theatre of the North African Campaign of World War II. It is sometimes referred to as the Egypt-Libya Campaign. ... During World War II. Operation Sonnenblume (German for sunflower) was the deployment of German troops (the “Afrika Korps”) to the North African Campaign in February, 1941. ... Combatants Australia United Kingdom South Africa Poland Czechoslovakia Germany Italy Commanders Leslie Morshead Erwin Rommel Strength 14,000 35,000? Casualties Britain: 9009 killed 941 captured estimated 12,000 total 8,000 The Siege of Tobruk was a lengthy confrontation between Axis and Allied forces, mostly Australian, in the North... Combatants Germany Italy  United Kingdom Commanders Erwin Rommel Archibald Wavell Noel Beresford-Peirse Strength Afrika Korps: German 5th Light Division German 15th Panzer Division Italian 132nd Armored Division Ariete Italian 27 Infantry Division Brescia Italian 102 Motorised Division Trento XIII Corps: British 7th Armoured Division Indian 4th Infantry Division 20... Combatants Panzer Army Africa British XIII Corps Commanders Erwin Rommel Archibald Wavell Noel Beresford-Peirse Strength 13,000 infantry 150-200 tanks[1] 20,000+ infantry[2] 200 tanks[3] Casualties 685 Germans, 592 Italians[4] 12 tanks[5] 10 aircraft[6] 960 (122 killed[7]) 91 tanks[8] 36... Combatants United Kingdom Australia New Zealand Poland Germany Italy Commanders Claude Auchinleck Alan Gordon Cunningham Neil Ritchie Erwin Rommel Ludwig Crüwell Strength 8th Army comprising XIII Corps, XXX Corps and 70th Division. ... Combatants Panzer Army Afrika Italian Army Eighth Army Commanders Erwin Rommel Claude Auchinleck Neil Ritchie Strength 80,000 390 tanks 175,000 949 tanks Casualties 32,000 dead, wounded, or captured 114 tanks destroyed 98,000 dead, wounded, or captured 540 tanks destroyed The Battle of Gazala was an important... Combatants Free French Forces Afrika Korps Commanders Marie Pierre Koenig Erwin Rommel Strength 3703  ? Casualties 140 Dead, 229 Wounded, 814 Captured 3300 Dead and Wounded, 277 Captured The Battle of Bir Hakeim (May 26, 1942 - June 11, 1942) is a World War II battle following the Afrika Korps 1942 campaign. ... During the siege of Bir Hakeim, and north of it, was a parallel complementary siege. ... Combatants Allies (mostly British Empire forces) Axis Commanders Claude Auchinleck Erwin Rommel Strength 150,000 troops in 3 army corps, 7 infantry and 3 armoured divisions 1,114 tanks, over 1,000 artillery and over 1,500 planes 96,000 troops (including 56,000 Italians) 8 infantry and 4 armoured... Combatants Allies: United Kingdom New Zealand Axis: Germany Italy Commanders Bernard Montgomery Erwin Rommel Strength XIII Corps (Eighth Army): 4 Divisions Panzer Armee Afrika: 6 Divisions Casualties 1750 killed, wounded or captured 67 tanks 67 aircraft[1] 2930 killed, wounded or captured 49 tanks 36 aircraft 395 other vehicles The... During World War II, Operation Agreement consisted of ground and amphibious attacks by British, Rhodesian and New Zealand forces on German- and Italian-held Tobruk (Operation Daffodil), Benghazi (Operation Snowdrop), Jalo oasis (Operation Tulip) and Barce (Operation Hyacinth) launched on 13 September 1942. ... Combatants British Eighth Army: United Kingdom Australia New Zealand South Africa India Free French Greece Panzer Army Africa: Nazi Germany Italy Commanders Harold Alexander Bernard Montgomery Erwin Rommel Georg Stumme Ettore Bastico Strength 220,000 men 1,100 tanks[1] 750 aircraft (530 serviceable) 116,000 men[1] 559 tanks... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... In general, allies are people or groups that have joined an alliance and are working together to achieve some common purpose. ... The Western Desert Campaign was the primary early theatre of the North African Campaign of World War II. It is sometimes referred to as the Egypt-Libya Campaign. ... The Commonwealth of Nations as of 2007 Headquarters Marlborough House, London, UK Official languages English Membership 53 sovereign states Leaders  -  Queen Elizabeth II  -  Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma Appointed 24 November 2007 Establishment  -  Balfour Declaration 18 November 1926   -  Statute of Westminster 11 December 1931   -  London Declaration 28 April 1949  Area  -  Total...

Contents

Prelude

After the Italian declaration of war on France and the United Kingdom on 10 June 1940, the Italian forces in Libya and the Commonwealth forces in Egypt began a series of cross-border raids. Among the more notable achievements of these raids were the capture of Fort Capuzzo by the British Army's 11th Hussars on June 17. One early British raid on 12 June resulted in 63 Italians being taken prisoner. Benito Mussolini urged the Libyan Governor-General Marshal Italo Balbo to launch a large scale offensive against the British in Egypt. Mussolini's immediate aim was to capture the Suez Canal, ultimately wanting to link up his forces in Libya with those in Italian East Africa. But, for many reasons, Balbo was reluctant. After Balbo's accidental death on June 28, Mussolini was just as adamant in urging his replacement, General Rodolfo Graziani, to attack. Like Balbo, Graziani too was reluctant. is the 161st day of the year (162nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Fort Capuzzo, at the beginning of World War II, was an Italian fort in Libya, Africa. ... The 11th Hussars (Prince Alberts Own) was a British Army cavalry regiment. ... is the 168th day of the year (169th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 163rd day of the year (164th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Mussolini redirects here. ... Governor-General (or Governor General) is a term used both historically and currently to designate the appointed representative of a head of state or their government for a particular territory, historically in a colonial context, but no longer necessarily in that form. ... Air Marshal Italo Balbo Italo Balbo (June 6, 1896 - June 28, 1940) was an Italian aviator, blackshirt leader and possible successor of Mussolini. ... For other uses, see Suez (disambiguation). ... Map of Italian East Africa Italian East Africa or Empire of Italian East Africa (Italian: Africa Orientale Italiana, AOI) was a short-lived (1936-1941) Italian colony in Africa consisting of Ethiopia (recently occupied after the Second Italo-Abyssinian War) and the colonies of Italian Somaliland and Eritrea. ... is the 179th day of the year (180th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Rodolfo Graziani, Marchese di Neghelli (August 11, 1882—January 11, 1955), was an Italian military officer who led expeditions in Africa before and during World War II and a war criminal responsible for thousands of Libyan and Ethiopian civilian deaths. ...


Graziani was the commander of the Italian Tenth Army in Libya, then an Italian colony, with the Fifth Army located towards the west in Tripolitania and the Tenth Army located towards the east in Cyrenaica. Once the French in Tunisia no longer posed a threat to Tripolitania, the assets of the Fifth Army were used more and more to supplement the needs of the Tenth Army. The Italian Tenth Army consisted of ten divisions when it attacked Egypt on September 13, 1940. ... Tripolitania is a historic region of western Libya, centered around the coastal city of Tripoli. ... The Roman Empire ca. ... Tripolitania is a historic region of western Libya, centered around the coastal city of Tripoli. ...


Initially the Allies only had 30,000 troops stationed in Egypt to defend against the 150,000 Italian troops stationed in Libya. Airplanes available to both sides in the desert tended to be older biplanes. The Italians had Fiat CR.32s and Fiat CR.42s while the British had Gloster Gladiators. Fiat CR.32 The Fiat CR.32 was a Italian biplane fighter used in the Spanish Civil War and WW2. ... Fiat CR.42 Falco The Fiat CR.42 Falco (Falcon) was a biplane which served as the primary fighter aircraft of Italys Regia Aeronautica at the outbreak of World War II. // Development The epitome of a biplane fighter, CR.42 represented evolution of the Italian designs starting with Fiat... Gloster Gladiator photographed in England in 2002 The Gloster Gladiator was a biplane fighter, used by the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy, as well as a number of other air forces, during World War II. The aircraft had a top speed of around 414 km/h. ...


Graziani expressed doubts about the capabilities of his larger but largely un-mechanized force to defeat the British, who, though smaller in numbers, were largely mechanized. Graziani's one mobile group was the partially motorized and lightly armored "Maletti Group". This group was commanded by General Pietro Maletti. But even this group was short on transport vehicles. Maletti Group's tanks were mostly machine gun-armed Fiat L3s tankettes. His heaviest tank type was the Fiat M11/39. This tank featured a relatively weak hull-mounted 37 mm tank gun, and their numbers were small. In comparison, the British were able to field some faster Cruiser tanks (A9s, A10s, and A13s) which were more than match to the M11/39s. The British also had a limited number of heavy Matilda Infantry tanks that, while slow, were strongly armored and well armed. The armor of the Matilda tanks could not be pierced by any of the available Italian tank guns or anti-tank guns available at that time though Italian anti-aircraft guns could be used against them in the same manner as the German 88 mm. The L3/35 was an Italian tankette that was developed along the lines of the British Carden-Loyd Mark VI and first appeared as the CV 29 (CV stod for Carro Veloce, fast tank) later built as the CV33 in 1933, but was retrofitted as the CV35 in 1935 and... Polish TK-3. ... The Fiat-Ansaldo M11/39 was an Italian medium tank used from 1939 through the early period of World War II. Although designated a medium tank by the Italian Army, in weight and firepower it was closer to contemporary light tanks. ... A M1 Abrams firing. ... The cruiser tank (also called cavalry tank or fast tank) was a British tank design concept of the inter-war period. ... General characteristics Length 5. ... General characteristics Length 5. ... General characteristics Length 6 m Width 2. ... The Tank, Infantry, Mk II, Matilda II (A12) (sometimes referred to as Senior Matilda) was a British tank of World War II. In a somewhat unorthodox move, it shared the same name as the Tank, Infantry, Mk I (A11). ... The infantry tank was a concept developed by the British in the years leading up to World War II. They were generally more heavily armoured compared to the lighter cruiser tanks, which would allow them to operate in close concert with infantry to help them break through heavily defended areas... Anti-tank, or simply AT, refers to any method of combating military armored fighting vehicles, notably tanks. ...


The Tenth Army Advances

Even so, Graziani followed Mussolini's orders and the Tenth Army attacked on 13 September 1940. The Italian troops advanced over the Libyan/Egyptian border into Egypt. In addition to several infantry divisions and the Maletti Group, the seven attacking divisions included most of the available Libyan units. The Savari formed part of the Regio Corpo Truppe Coloniali della Libia (Royal Corps of Libyan Colonial Troops), which included desert and camel troops, infantry battalions, artillery and irregular cavalry ("Spahis"). is the 256th day of the year (257th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Savari was the designation given to the regular Libyan cavalry regiments of the Italian colonial army in Tripolitania and Cyrenaica. ... Camel cavalry is, most generally, armed forces using camels as a means of transportation. ... Holzschnitt nach Melchior Lorch, 1646. ...


After recapturing Fort Capuzzo, progress was slow. The Italians advanced approximately 95 kilometers in three days. The advance stopped at the town of Sidi Barrani on September 16. The Italians then dug in, fortified their positions, and awaited reinforcements and supplies. Fort Capuzzo, at the beginning of World War II, was an Italian fort in Libya, Africa. ... Sidi Barrani is a village in Egypt, ~95km from the border with Libya, and ~240km from Tobruk. ... is the 259th day of the year (260th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


According to Virginio Gayda, Italian newspaper editor and mouthpiece for Mussolini's fascist regime: "Nothing can save Britain now."[4]


However, the British Navy had transferred assets, including the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious to the Mediterranean, making provisioning of North Africa problematic for the Italians.[5] The Royal Navy is the navy of the United Kingdom. ... Four aircraft carriers, (bottom-to-top) Principe de Asturias, amphibious assault carrier USS Wasp, USS Forrestal and light V/STOL carrier HMS Invincible, showing size differences of late 20th century carriers An aircraft carrier is a warship designed to deploy and in most cases recover aircraft, acting as a sea... The fourth HMS Illustrious (R87) of the Royal Navy was an aircraft carrier, arguably the one with the most distinguished and vital career of this proud lineage. ...


Initial British attack

On December 8, 1940, British Army and Indian Army forces under the command of Major-General Richard O'Connor attacked the Italian positions in the rear. O'Connor's forces were able to get to the rear of the Italian positions via a gap in the defenses south of Sidi Barrani. Planning of the operation (and discovery of the gap) is often credited to Brigadier Eric Dorman-Smith. is the 342nd day of the year (343rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The British Army is the land armed forces branch of the British Armed Forces. ... A group of native Indian Muslim soldiers posing for volley firing orders. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Major General Eric Edward Dorman-Smith (born 1895 in Bellamont Forest, Cootehill, County Cavan, Ireland; died 1969 in Ulster, Ireland) was a British Army soldier. ...


As a counter-espionage measure, many of the troops involved in Operation Compass were not informed that the operation was not an exercise until they were very nearly engaged in combat. The attack was supported by 25 Pounder artillery, Blenheim bombers, and Matilda Mk.II tanks. Spy and Secret agent redirect here. ... (Redirected from 25 pounder) The 25 pounder was the major British field gun/howitzer that was introduced into service just before World War II and was the British Armys primary artillery system into the 1950s. ... The Bristol Blenheim is also the name of the main model produced by Bristol Cars since 1994. ... The Tank, Infantry, Mk II, Matilda II (A12) (sometimes referred to as Senior Matilda) was a British tank of World War II. In a somewhat unorthodox move, it shared the same name as the Tank, Infantry, Mk I (A11). ...


The opening stage of Operation Compass was known by the Italians as the "Battle of the Marmarica"[6]. The British knew it as the "Battle of the Camps". The "Battle of the Marmarica" name was derived from the name of the coastal plain where the battle was fought. The "Battle of the Camps" name was derived from the individual Italian camps set up in a defensive line outside of Sidi Barrani.


The Italian defenses were better suited to a colonial war. Within five hours of the onset of combat, the Italian positions were over run, General Pietro Maletti was dead, and about 4,000 Italian and Libyan soldiers were dead or captured. Over the next few days the British 4th and 7th Armoured Brigades encountered significant resistance and found it extremely difficult to advance. Italian tanks and anti-tank gunners managed to destroy eighteen British tanks. General Mario Berti, who commanded 3rd 'Blackshirt' Division contested the British advance but eventually, 237 artillery pieces, 73 light and medium tanks, and about 38,300 Italian and Libyan soldiers would be destroyed or captured. But the price of victory had been high. The Rajputana Rifles had lost 41 officers and 394 men killed and wounded and dozens of British tanks had been destroyed or disabled. Due praise went to the 3rd 'Blackshirts' Division, who according to General Rodolfo Graziani "valorously resisted for two days". [1] The British and Indian forces having licked their wounds then moved quickly west along the Via della Vittoria, through Halfaya Pass, and again captured Fort Capuzzo in Libya. The Via della Vittoria (Victory Road), during World War II, was a road built by Italian engineers between ~June-December of 1940. ... Halfaya Pass (Hellfire Pass) is located in North Africa. ... Fort Capuzzo, at the beginning of World War II, was an Italian fort in Libya, Africa. ...


Ian W. Walker describes the destruction of Maletti Group in his 2003 book Iron Hulls, Iron Hearts. The following is quoted from a review of that book:

"The initial British assault would fall on Nibeiwa Camp, where the only available Italian armoured unit was based, and it achieved complete surprise. Raggruppamento Maletti, or Maletti Group, under General Pietro Maletti, was an ad hoc formation consisting of 2,500 Libyan soldiers and 2 Armoured Battalion, with thirty-five M11/39 medium tanks and thirty-five L3/35 light tanks. It was earmarked for early destruction in the assault, which commenced at 05:00hr with what appeared to be no more than another raid on the eastern side of the camp. At 07:00, however, forty-eight Matilda tanks suddenly appeared from the opposite side of the camp. They struck twenty-three unmanned M11/39 tanks of the Maletti Group, which had been deployed to guard the unmined entrance to the camp. The Italians were caught completely off guard and many did not even reach their tanks, including General Maletti, who was killed emerging from his dugout. They were slaughtered and their vehicles destroyed by the British in less than ten minutes. The Italian artillery fought on valiantly, firing on the Matildas and recording many hits, some at point-blank range - but none penetrated their 70mm of armour. The remaining Italian tanks were captured intact, and the Libyan infantry, left practically defenceless, quickly surrendered. The British had captured Nibeiwa and destroyed the only front-line Italian armoured unit in less than five hours." [7]

O'Connor wanted to continue attacking. He wanted to get at least as far as Benghazi. However, General Archibald Percival Wavell had ordered the Indian 4th Infantry Division to take part in an offensive against Italian forces in Italian East Africa. O'Connor would state, "[This] came as a complete and very unpleasant surprise . . . It put 'paid' to the question of immediate exploitation . . . ". The Australian 6th Division replaced the Indian troops from December 14. The Australians had barely finished training, were missing their armoured regiment, and as yet had only one artillery regiment equipped with the new 25 pounder field guns. Colourful buildings in the city centre. ... Archibald Percival Wavell, 1st Earl Wavell (May 5, 1883 - May 24, 1950) was a British Field Marshal and the commander of British Army forces in the Middle East during World War II. He led British forces to victory over the Italians, only to be defeated by the German army. ... Fourth Indian division during world war two served first in egypt where with western desert force it fought the italians who had decided to invaded egypt. ... Combatants United Kingdom Anglo-Egyptian Sudan British Somaliland British East Africa British India Gold Coast Nigeria N. Rhodesia S. Rhodesia Union of S. Africa Belgium Belgian Congo Free France Ethiopian irregulars Italy Italian East Africa German Motorized Company Commanders Archibald Wavell William Platt Alan Cunningham Duke of Aosta Guglielmo Nasi... Map of Italian East Africa Italian East Africa or Empire of Italian East Africa (Italian: Africa Orientale Italiana, AOI) was a short-lived (1936-1941) Italian colony in Africa consisting of Ethiopia (recently occupied after the Second Italo-Abyssinian War) and the colonies of Italian Somaliland and Eritrea. ... The most well-known 6th Division in the Australian Army was a unit in the Second Australian Imperial Force (2nd AIF) during World War II. (The 6th Division name was previously used for a short-lived World War I unit, formed from First Australian Imperial Force troops in England, in... is the 348th day of the year (349th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... (Redirected from 25 pounder) The 25 pounder was the major British field gun/howitzer that was introduced into service just before World War II and was the British Armys primary artillery system into the 1950s. ...


Bardia, Tobruk & Derna

January 22, 1941. Members of the Australian 2/11th Infantry Battalion regroup on the escarpment at the south side of Tobruk harbour, after penetrating the Italian outer defences and attacking anti-aircraft positions. (Photographer: Frank Hurley.)

The Italians in the rest of Libya were unprepared for the speed of O'Connor's attack. As the Commonwealth forces advanced, several large Italian units were surrounded, cut off from supply, and defeated. After some hard fighting, one position after another surrendered. The Australians captured Bardia on January 5, taking 38,300 prisoners for a loss of 130 dead and 326 wounded of their own. The war booty included 462 guns of various kind, 12 serviceable medium tanks, 115 L3/35 tankettes and 708 motor vehicles. [8] [9] Tobruk was captured January 22, yielding over 25,000 prisoners along with 208 field and medium guns, 23 medium tanks and more than 200 other vehicles. The Australian losses were 49 dead and 306 wounded. [10][11] After that, the advance continued towards Derna, and on January 24 the 4th Armoured Brigade engaged a force including 50 M-series tanks on the Derna - Mechili track. While the British managed to destroy nine Italian tanks in the battle, they themselves lost one cruiser and six light ones[12]. Derna itself was captured on February 3. Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Chateau Wood, Ypres, 1917 by Frank Hurley James Francis Frank Hurley (1885 - 1962) was an official photographer with the Australian Imperial Force during World War I. Hurley travelled on a number of expedititions to the Antarctic including Douglas Mawsons 1911 expedition. ... is the 5th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 22nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 24th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... The 4th Mechanised Brigade is a British Army brigade formed during the Second World War, it is currently based in Osnabrück, Germany. ... is the 34th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Italian General Annibale "Electric Whiskers" Bergonzoli, placed in command by Mussolini after the disaster at Sidi Barrani, initially commanded the defenses of Bardia. But 40,000 Italian troops in Bardia quit after one day after the Australian 6th Division attacked. Bergonzolli was able to stay just ahead of the Commonwealth forces as they then advanced to Tobruk. Annibale Bergonzoli Annibale Bergonzoli (1884-1973), during World War II, was an Italian Lieutenant-General who commanded the defenses of Bardia, Libya, after the short offensive into Egypt made by Rodolfo Graziani. ... Bardia is a geographic region in the Kingdom of Nepal. ...


Ultimately Bergonzoli became a prisoner in Benghazi [13] after the remnants of the Italian Tenth Army was cut off and defeated at Beda Fomm. Colourful buildings in the city centre. ... The Italian Tenth Army consisted of ten divisions when it attacked Egypt on September 13, 1940. ...


Battle of Beda Fomm

The rapid British advance caused the Italians to make a decision to evacuate Cyrenaica. In late January 1941, the British learned that the Italians were evacuating Cyrenaica by way of Beda Fomm. The British 7th Armoured Division under Major General Sir Michael O'Moore Creagh was dispatched to intercept the remnants of the fleeing Italian Tenth Army. The Roman Empire ca. ... The Roman Empire ca. ... The 7th Armoured Division (known as the Desert Rats) of the British Army was the most famous unit of its type in British service during World War II. It was a regular division in the Middle East, designated the Mobile Division at first, renamed the Armoured Division (Egypt) in September... Major General Sir Michael OMoore Creagh KBE MC (16 May 1892 - 1970) was a British soldier who served in both the First and Second World Wars. ... The Italian Tenth Army consisted of ten divisions when it attacked Egypt on September 13, 1940. ...


Creagh's division was to travel via Mechili, Msus and Antelat (the bottom of the semi-circle), while the Australian 6th Division chased the Italians along the coast road round the Jebel Akhdar mountains to the north (the curve of the semi-circle). The poor terrain was hard going for the tanks, and Creagh took the bold decision to send a flying column (christened Combe Force) south-west across the virtually unmapped Libyan Desert. Combe Force, under Lieutenant Colonel John Combe of the 11th Hussars, consisted of 11th Hussars, a squadron of King's Dragoon Guards, 2nd Battalion of the Rifle Brigade, a Royal Air Force armoured car squadron, anti-tank guns from 3 Royal Horse Artillery (RHA) and 'C' battery 4 RHA. The force totalled about 2,000 men. For the sake of speed, only light and Cruiser tanks were part of the Combe Force flying column. The most well-known 6th Division in the Australian Army was a unit in the Second Australian Imperial Force (2nd AIF) during World War II. (The 6th Division name was previously used for a short-lived World War I unit, formed from First Australian Imperial Force troops in England, in... The 11th Hussars (Prince Alberts Own) was a British Army cavalry regiment. ... The 11th Hussars (Prince Alberts Own) was a British Army cavalry regiment. ... The 1st Kings Dragoon Guards was a cavalry regiment in the British Army. ... The Rifle Brigade (Prince Consorts Own) was a regiment of the British Army. ... RAF redirects here. ... The Royal Horse Artillery (RHA) is a corps in the British Army. ... The Tank, Light, Mk VI was a British light tank built by Vickers and used by the British Army during World War II. // The Vickers design was ready for production when the United Kingdom began its large rearmament program. ... The cruiser tank (also called cavalry tank or fast tank) was a British tank design concept of the inter-war period. ...


On 4 February 1941, Combe Force arrived at the town of Beda Fomm and set up defensive positions to block the retreating Italian Tenth Army. The following day, advanced units of the Italian army arrived and attacked. The Italians attacked furiously and in desperation. But they failed to break through the blockade. is the 35th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see 1941 (disambiguation). ... The Italian Tenth Army consisted of ten divisions when it attacked Egypt on September 13, 1940. ...


For two days, the riflemen, tanks, and guns of Combe Force managed to hold off about 20,000 Italian soldiers supported by over one hundred tanks and two hundred guns. In this engagement most of the Italian tanks were the newly arrived Fiat M13/40 medium tanks. The M13s were a vast improvement to the M11s. They had a better turret-mounted 47 mm tank gun which was more than able to pierce the armor of the British light and cruiser tanks. The Fiat M13/40 light tank replaced the Fiat L6/40 and the Fiat M11/39 in the Italian Army in 1942. ... The Cannone da 47/32 M35 was an Italian artillery piece used during World War II. It was used both as an infantry gun and an anti-tank gun. ...


The fighting was close and often hand-to-hand. At one point, a regimental sergeant major captured an Italian light tank by hitting the commander over the head with a rifle-butt. Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) is an appointment held by Warrant Officers Class 1 (WO1) in the British Army, Royal Marines and many Commonwealth armies including the Australian Army and New Zealand Army, and by Chief Warrant Officers (CWO) in the Canadian Forces. ...


The final Italian effort came on 7 February when the last 20 Italian medium tanks broke through the thin cordon of riflemen and anti-tank guns. But even this breakthrough was ultimately stopped by the fire of British field guns located just a few yards from regimental HQ. After this final failure, with the rest of the British 7th Armoured Division arriving, and the Australian 6th Division bearing down on them from the Benghazi, the Italians surrendered in droves. is the 38th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... The 7th Armoured Division (known as the Desert Rats) of the British Army was the most famous unit of its type in British service during World War II. It was a regular division in the Middle East, designated the Mobile Division at first, renamed the Armoured Division (Egypt) in September... The most well-known 6th Division in the Australian Army was a unit in the Second Australian Imperial Force (2nd AIF) during World War II. (The 6th Division name was previously used for a short-lived World War I unit, formed from First Australian Imperial Force troops in England, in...


General Wavell's advance had cut off a garrison of approximately 1000 Italians at Giarabub, an oasis 160 miles to the south of Bardia and twenty-five from the border. Giararub was shelled for weeks and the number of supply aircraft able to land was severely restricted. After the fighting developed the Italian supply aircraft escorted by fighters would fly in replacement units to Giararub and evacuate the sick and wounded. There was great deal of patrolling, skirmishing and some air combat. The final attack on Giararub on 21 March lasted for about two days and once again the Australians and Italians took heavy casualties but the 2/9th Battalion won the battle losing 17 killed and and 77 wounded. It was estimated that 250 casualties had been caused to the Italian battalion under the weight of artillery softening up fire, hand to hand combat and the British airstrikes.


Conclusion

After 10 weeks the Italian Tenth Army was no more. The British and Commonwealth forces had advanced 800 km, destroyed about 400 tanks and 1292 artillery pieces, and captured 130,000 Libyan and Italian POWs. In contrast, the British and Commonwealth forces suffered 494 dead and 1,225 wounded. One in twenty-five of the Commeanwealth troops were either killed or wounded in the attacks. However the advance stopped short of driving the Italians out of North Africa. As the advance reached El Agheila, Churchill ordered that it be stopped, and troops dispatched to defend Greece attacked by the Italians. Also, on January 11, 1941, HMS Illustrious suffered a crippling dive-bomber attack, allowing the first troops of the German Afrika Korps to begin arriving in Tripolitania (Operation Sonnenblume), and the desert war would take a completely different turn. [14] The Italian Tenth Army consisted of ten divisions when it attacked Egypt on September 13, 1940. ... Geneva Convention definition A prisoner of war (POW) is a soldier, sailor, airman, or marine who is imprisoned by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict. ... Operation Crusader November 18, 1941 - December 31, 1941 El Agheila is on the lower left (Click to enlarge) El Agheila is a coastal city on the Gulf of Sidra in far southwestern Cyrenaica, Libya. ... Combatants Italy Albania Greece United Kingdom Commanders Sebastiano Visconti Prasca Ubaldo Soddu Ugo Cavallero Giovanni Messe Alexander Papagos Strength 529,000 men Under 300,000 men Casualties 13,755 dead, 50,874 wounded, 25,067 missing, 12,368 incapacitated by frostbites, ca. ... is the 11th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see 1941 (disambiguation). ... The fourth HMS Illustrious (R87) of the Royal Navy was an aircraft carrier, arguably the one with the most distinguished and vital career of this proud lineage. ... Junkers Ju-87 Stuka dive bombers A dive bomber is a bomber aircraft that dives directly at its targets in order to provide greater accuracy and limit the exposure to and effectiveness of anti-aircraft fire. ... The Deutsches Afrikakorps (often just Afrika Korps or DAK) was the corps-level headquarters controlling the German Panzer divisions in Libya and Egypts Western Desert during the North African Campaign of World War II. Since there was little turnover in the units attached to the corps the term is... Tripolitania is a historic region of western Libya, centered around the coastal city of Tripoli. ... During World War II. Operation Sonnenblume (German for sunflower) was the deployment of German troops (the “Afrika Korps”) to the North African Campaign in February, 1941. ...


Given other setbacks suffered during the early war years, the Allied troops of Operation Compass were highly publicized and became renown as "Wavell's Thirty Thousand," which was used as the title of a 1942 British documentary chronicling the campaign.[15] Year 1942 (MCMXLII) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link will display the full 1942 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Quotes

  • Bonner Fellers: "General Wavell told me they were going to do manoeuvres, so I went up as an observer, and God dammit — it was the works."
  • Anonymous Coldstream Guards officer: "We have [taken prisoner] about 5 acres [20,000 m²] of officers and 200 acres [800,000 m²] of other ranks."
  • Anthony Eden: (after the battle of Bardia) "Never has so much been surrendered by so many to so few."
  • Rodolfo Graziani: (writing to Mussolini after the defeat) "In this theatre of operations a single armoured division is more important than an entire [infantry] army."[16]

Bonner Frank Fellers (1896 - 1973), during World War II, was a Colonel who served as the USA military attaché to Cairo, Egypt. ... The Coldstream Guards is a regiment of the British Army, part of the Guards Division or Household Division. ... In military organizations, a commissioned officer is a member of the service who derives authority directly from a sovereign power, and as such holds a commission from that power. ... An acre is the name of a unit of area in a number of different systems, including Imperial units and United States customary units. ... For the eponymous hat, see Anthony Eden hat. ... Rodolfo Graziani, Marchese di Neghelli (August 11, 1882—January 11, 1955), was an Italian military officer who led expeditions in Africa before and during World War II and a war criminal responsible for thousands of Libyan and Ethiopian civilian deaths. ...

See also

During the era of World War II (1939 - 1945), Italy had a very varied and tumultuous military history. ...

References

  1. ^ The Italian 10th Army in the opening campaign in the western desert, June 1940 – December 1940, pg. 86
  2. ^ Jon Latimer, Operation Compass 1940: Wavell's whirlwind offensive, Westport, CT: Praeger, 2004, ISBN 0 275 98286 6, page 87; the British losses were 15 aircraft for all causes.
  3. ^ Latimer, page 87; Only the aircraft losses of the Italians are from the Latimer's book. The number comprises of 58 aircraft lost in combat, 91 captured intact on airfields and 1,100 damaged and captured.
  4. ^ Time Magazine, Liberation Out of Libya?
  5. ^ HMS Illustrious. Retrieved on 2007-02-23.
  6. ^ Time Magazine, Battle of the Marmarica
  7. ^ Iron Hulls, Iron Hearts, ISBN 1-86126-646-4
  8. ^ Time Magazine, Bardia & Excuses
  9. ^ Latimer, page 54.
  10. ^ Time Magazine, On To Derna
  11. ^ Latimer, page 64.
  12. ^ Latimer, page 65.
  13. ^ Time Magazine, Fall of Bengasi
  14. ^ The Battle of Alamein: Turning Point, World War II, pg. 50
  15. ^ Wavell's Thirty Thousand. British Film Institute. Retrieved on 2007-02-23.
  16. ^ The Battle of Alamein: Turning Point, World War II, pg. 46

Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 54th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... The British Film Institute (BFI) is a charitable organisation established by Royal Charter to encourage the development of the arts of film, television and the moving image throughout the United Kingdom, to promote their use as a record of contemporary life and manners, to promote education about film, television and... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 54th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Further Reading

  • Jon Latimer, Operation Compass 1940: Wavell's Whirlwind Offensive, Oxford: Osprey, 2000

External links

  • Time Magazine - Battle of the Marmarica

  Results from FactBites:
 
Operation Compass - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (529 words)
Operation Compass was a World War II Allied military operation in the Western Desert Campaign.
Planning of the operation (and discovery of the gap) is often credited to Brigadier Eric Dorman-Smith, who served as an adviser to O'Connor, though this is disputed.
As a counter-espionage measure, many of the troops involved were not informed that the operation wasn't an exercise, until they were very nearly engaged in combat.
World War II - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (9489 words)
British, Indian and Australian forces counter-attacked in Operation Compass, but this offensive stopped in 1941 when much of the Australian and New Zealand forces were transferred to Greece to defend it from German attack.
Operation Torch was launched on November 8, 1942 and aimed to gain control of Morocco and Algiers through simultaneous landings at Casablanca, Oran and Algiers, followed a few days later with a landing at Bône, the gateway to Tunisia.
Operation Bagration, a Soviet offensive involving 2.5 million men and 6,000 tanks, was launched on June 22.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m