Sunday, September 25, 2005

The border region in the south: Giarabub

60 miles to the south of the Egypt-Libyan border lies the oasis of Giarabub, just on the Libyan side of the border. On the Egyptian side is Siwa. To the south lies the Great Sand Sea. To the north is the rough escarpment that descends to the Mediterranean Sea. An attempt to capture Giarabub had been dispatched in July 1940, but the heat and lack of water caused the attempt to fail. In September 1940, the 1/King's Royal Rifle Corps was sent to Siwa. InNovember, it was replaced by a squadron of the 6th Australian Divisional Cavalry, so that the 1/KRRC could with the Support Group at Sidi Barani. This is based on the account in To Benghazi.


ulisse said...

I believe it is incorrect to say that the first attack failed because of lack of water. It failed because the Italian garrison, which was extremely determined and well led, prevailed over the attackers. It only capitulated at the end of March 1941, after almost nine months of stiff resistence against the more numerous and much better equipped Australians. This was due partly to lack of water, food and ammunition.

Jim said...

Thank you. What I wrote is what the volume To Benghazi had to say about the attack. This was an early volume of the Australian Official History. What you write makes sense.

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