Friday, September 30, 2005

The attack on Giarabub

Australian cavalry reconnoitered the approaches to Giarabub from the south. About March 19, 1941, the forces that would attack Giarabub were maneuvering into position. They apparently included a battery of the 4th RHA, part of the regiment which was commanded Lt-Col. Jock Campbell. Jock Campbell had concerns about their ability to move artillery across the soft terrain. The battery commander, however, got his guns in position. Some of them were moved by captured Italian tractors. The initial exploratory attack succeeded beyond expectations. The next phase of the attack would happen early on March 21st. The cavalry's objective would the airfield on the north side of Giarabub. The attack went well and Giarabub had fallen. The total casualties for the attackers were 17 killed and 77 wounded. They captured an estimated 50 officers and 1,250 men. This is based on the account in To Benghazi.

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