Saturday, July 30, 2005

Next, Benghazi

Now that the General Staff put a priority on capturing Benghazi, their plans were now more closely aligned with those of General O'Connor. General Maitland Wilson was to be governor of Cyrenaica, which had yet to be totally captured from the Italians. Benghazi was a desirable objective, because the General Staff wanted the port for moving supplies westward in a manner that did not require road transport. While Tobruk was still being entered, elements of the 6th Australian Divisional Cavalry were sent towards Derna. This was on January 23rd, 1941, and the force was a combined arms team with A squadron of the 6th Divionsional Cavalry, a battery of the 2/1 Field Regiment, one troop belonging to J Battery of the RHA (probably anti-tank guns), one troop belonging to the 37th Light AA Regiment, one company of the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, as well as service and ambulance detachaments. This is based on the account in Gavin Long's book To Benghazi.

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