Sunday, August 21, 2005

February 2nd, 1941 in Western Cyrenaica

The situation on February 2nd was that the 11th Hussars found that first Eluet el Asel had been abandoned by the Italians. Then, as the British and Australians sent patrols out to reconnoiter, they found that not just the fort, but Giovanni Berta and Cahaulan were abandoned. The 6th Australian Divisional Cavalry and carriers from the 2/7th Battalion reached Giovanni Berta in the afternoon. Brigadier Savige made his headquarters in the local school, that night. Progress had been delayed by the need to repair the roads and because of minefields. The 17th Australian Brigade had advanced 70 miles in three days, much of it by foot, and the next phase would require them to rest and recuperate before advancing. They might only have overnight and half of the 3rd to so, however. This is based on the account in To Benghazi.

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