Rapporté par Elder of Zyon: Most histories of World War II describe the following incident very tersely:
The British drove the Italian Tenth Army from Egypt and achieved a major victory on 3 January 1941 at Bardia, just inside Libya.
In January, Bardia fell to the British, prompting the Italians to withdraw to Tripolitania... I just read The Forgotten Ally, a 1943 book by Pierre Van Paassen. I hope to write a review soon but this is a great story.Australians also take credit for the fall of Bardia. The details are a lot more interesting.
This comes from "The Forgotten Ally" by Pierre Van Paassen, a 1943 book (out of print now) that I hope to review soon.
"Just as soon as we start the big push," said General Montgomery, "I want to create a little diversion behind Rommel's lines. I would like to take one of his supply depots on the Libyan coast. I had thought of the town of Bardia, that is the nearest to us. I do not think we could hold it for any length of time, for the place is strongly held by an entire division of Italians who have German artillery support. But holding on to Bardia is not the first essential at the present stage of the game, although permanent seizure would, of course, be a big help. For the moment I would be satisfied with raising hell there for a few hours, blowing up the munition dumps and the petrol supply which is stored in the caves near the shore, wrecking the tank and aviation repair shops, and ruining the harbor. What do you say? Do you think it can be done?"
The words were addressed to Commander Osterman-Averni, chief of a Jewish "suicide-task force" from Palestine serving with the Eighth Army. Commander Osterman-Averni has told the story in the Hebrew daily newspaper Hamashkif, which is published in Jerusalem and I have verified it from other sources. SUITE.