Italian air-ground attacks during Operation Compass

Discussion in 'North Africa & the Med' started by Chris C, Mar 18, 2019.

  1. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    This is taken from a comment on Flying to Victory on amazon (

    "Contrary to what the author states, British ground forces anti-aircraft fire was not that effective against Italian planes. The 11th Hussars diary, for instance, is clear on that score.

    Last, but not least, Italian ground strikes (especially between Dec. 14th and 16th) are altogether downplayed as nearly insignificant. Instead, Italian pilots reported about scores of British vehicles and other material damaged, knocked out or destroyed, and no matter what some British accounts state, the fact that some important damage was inflicted is borne out by 11th Hussars being pulled out of the line for rest and refit after Dec. 15th and the British advance slowed down considerably for 48 hours. "

    Does anyone have the WD of 11th Hussars for December 1940?
  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    This left 7th Armoured to continue the battle around Sidi Barrani and they soon took the Rabia and Sofafi camps, which the Italians had abandoned. At this time the 11th Hussars had discovered the Italian 64th Catanazaro Division, under General Armico, well dug into the dunes west of Buq-Buq, behind the salt flats, with thirty-five guns of all types covering the east and another twenty-five guns of all types covering the south. A hastily assembled force of 3rd Hussars, a squadron of 2nd RTR, cruisers from the 8th Hussars, along with 'B' & 'C' Squadrons of the 11th Hussars, plus a battery of 4 RHA, all under the command of Lt-Colonel John Combe (11th Hussars) attacked the Italian force. They met strong opposition from the Italian artillery, which stopped the advance of 'C' Squadron, 3rd Hussars, and knocked out many of the tanks of 'A' Squadron. The Italians were finally overwhelmed by a flank attack by 8th Hussars, in Cruiser tanks, along the western seaward side.

    Shocked by the violent assaults and the number of defeats, the Italian army was now in full retreat, while being harried by 7th Armoured's Support Group and of course roving patrols of 11th Hussars. These forces were of Birkforce (consisting of 7th Hussars, half of 11th Hussars, with two Batteries [1 field, 1 Anti-Tank] of RHA) and Combeforce (2nd RTR, half of 11th Hussars, with two Batteries [1 field, 1 Anti-Tank] of RHA). On many occasion the Italian air force (Regia Aeronautica) attacked these two forces, delaying their progress
    Battles 1940
    Chris C likes this.

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