Wednesday, September 28, 2005
In January 1941 at Siwa
By January 4, 1941, the force at Siwa had grown to include 200 men from the 6th Australian Divisional cavalry "in the mobile force" and 109 at the Siwa base, "115 artillerymen with the field and Bofors guns, and 32 engineers". They had been reinforced with "four 25-pounder guns of a British regular regiment". Their Italian counterparts were believed to have 1,200 troops with another 755 Libyans. The Italians were mostly machine gunners (840 were in 6 MG companies). In late December, Brigadier Moreshead was informed that his 18th Australian Brigade would take Giarabub in late January 1941. After the fall of Beghazi, they started to see Italian deserters headed for Giarabub. 218 were captured on February 15th. The 18th Brigade had still not arrived. Moreshead was now 9th Australian Division commander. This is based on the account in To Benghazi.