Saturday, May 21, 2005

The defense of Post 11 at Bardia

The last Italian position to surrender at Bardia was "Post 11". Post 11 had put up the most resolute defense of Bardia's defenders. Two tanks and some carriers from the 6th [Australian] Divisional cavalry attacked Post 8, shortly after Post 13 had been taken when carriers and soldiers with grenades had attacked. 70 prisoners were taken. from Post 13. Post 8 was taken with little effort besides a perfunctory attack. That stopped anti-tank gun fire that had been harrassing the attackers of Post 11. When the tanks appeared, Post 11 surrendered. The 2/6th Battalion took their surrender. It turned out that there had been 350 Italians in Post 11, along with two field guns, two 3in mortars, six anti-tank guns (presumably 47mm/L32), 12 medium MG, 27 LMG, and 325 rifles. Gavin Long remarked that two days earlier, Post 11 had been attacked by about 50 Australians with rifles and grenades. No wonder they had been repulsed. This is my recounting of what is in Gavin Long's To Benghazi, an essential source of information about the successful campaign against the Italian forces prior to the German's arrival.

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