Friday, August 12, 2005
While a direct attack on Derna would be difficult, outflanking would succeed
The Italians in the vicinity of Derna were staging a vigorous defence, on January 27-28, 1941. Their artillerymen were firing off large stocks of ammunition that were making the Australians very uncomfortable. Late on January 28th, the 11th Hussars had sent armoured cars to Chauan, where they encountered an Italian group that was situated across the tracks leading to Italian settlements (Gavin Long calls them a "colony"). The 17th Australian Brigade was now positioned to the left of the 19th Brigade. The divisional cavalry was now to their left, and in contact with the 11th Hussars. On the night of Janary 29th, the Italians had withdrawn from Derna. General Bergonzoli, the XXth Corps commander expected an attack, and withdrew before it could occur.