On the morning of 3 January 1941, Australians of the 6th Division led an assault against the Italian colonial fortressvillage of Bardia in Libya, not far from the Egyptian-Libyan frontier.
The ensuing battle was the second of the First Libyan Campaign, but the first battle of the Second World War planned and fought predominantly by Australians. The fortress fell to the attackers a little over two days after the attack began, in what could only be described as a remarkable victory. At a cost of 130 killed and 326 wounded, the 6th Division captured around 40,000 Italian prisoners and very large quantities of military stores and equipment.
The victory was heralded at the time in Australia as one of the greatest military achievements of that nationís military history. Quite soon afterwards, however, overshadowed perhaps by Rommelís subsequent desert advances, the tragedy in Greece, and the war in the Pacific, Bardia slipped from the public mind. Very few Australians today have heard of the battle. This book attempts to bring Bardia back into the light.
1. Bardia Fortress and the Plan to Take It
2. Cracking the Shell
3. From Break-in to Break Through
4. Blood in Muatered
5. Thrusting South
6. To Bardia Village