Tuesday, August 16, 2005
A hill dominated the route out of Derna
An Italian rearguard had been in a dominating position to prevent a further advance from Derna. Colonel Mitchell ordered one company to lead an assault in the dark, and the others would advance behind them. The way turned out to be heavily mined. The men carefully proceeded, and started to encounter unsuspecting Italian soldiers. When the Australians reached the top, they "completely surprised fifty Italians in an old fort there and made them prisoners." By the time that they had arrived, they could hear trucks driving away. The Australians started to advance, only to be brought under fire by the next rearguard group, concealed in the difficult terrain. This is based on the account in To Benghazi.