Sunday, July 03, 2005

The assault on Bardia on January 3rd, 1941

The attack on Bardia started at 5:30am on January 3rd, 1941. The 2/1st Australian Battalion had reached its objective by 7am. The 7th RTR advanced at 7am and worked in conjunction with the 2/2nd Australian Battalion crossed the Bardia-Fort Capuzzo road. Meanwhile, the 6th Divisional Cavalry had advanced two miles in the direction of Bardia. They had their Bren carriers and little else. Six Italian medium tanks attacked and were eventually knocked out by two anti-tank guns. The 2/6th Battalion lost two platoons in a diversionary attack in the north. The battleships Warspite, Valiant, and Barham bombarded Bardia at 8:10am. The Illustrious provided air cover and spotter aircraft. The monitor Terror and the gunboats assisted the bombardment. The RAF hit airfields in the Italian rear. The second wave of the attack started at 11:10am, when the 17th Australian Infantry Brigade attacked from the south, along the road.

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