Thursday, October 06, 2005

Reinforcements in late March 1941

Given the known shortcomings of the forces available to defend western Cyrenaica, the 3rd Indian Motor Brigade was to arrive on March 29, 1941. Their main positive feature was that they were mobile, and then that they were good troops. They were vastly underequipped, as they mainly had rifles. General Neame ordered them to Martuba. On March 24th, A squadron of the LRDG had become available. They had been ordered to Jalo to watch the inland flank. The Italians had been still sitting at Giarabub (or Jarabub). The Libyan troops had mostly deserted them. General Wavell sent the 18th Australian Brigade to finish off Jarabub. They took it between March 19th and 21st. Their casualties were 17 killed and 77 wounded. The Italians lost about 250 killed, while 1,300 were taken prisoner. The booty included 26 field guns. This is based on the account in Vol.I of the Official History.

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