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OPERATION COMPASS

December 1940

OVERVIEW In October of 1940, the Italian Tenth Army invaded Egypt from Libya against a much smaller Commonwealth army. The Commonwealth forces fell back before the invading Italians, offering only token resistance. After an advance of only 60 miles, halted mostly because of supply problems, the Italians dug in and built a series of fortified camps. For the rest of the year, the Italians planned and then postponed a series of offensives. In early December, the Brits attacked gaps in the Italian defence in what was supposed to be a large scale five-day raid, called Operation Compass. The Commonwealth forces had such success that they decided to keep pushing. Success snowballed and the entire Italian 10th Army was destroyed finally as the Brits at El and their allies after advanced 500 their miles, men, stopping Agheila exhausting

machines and supplies.

ITALIAN ORDER OF BATTLE


10 Armata Truppe del 10 Armata Brigada Babini XX Corpo d'Armata Truppe del XX Corpo d'Armata Divisione Libica 1 'Sibelle' Divisione Libica 2 'Pescatori' Raggruppamento 'Maletti' XXI Corpo d'Armata Truppe del XXI Corpo d'Armata Divisione Camici Nere 4 '3 Gennaio' Divisione Fanteria 63 'Cirene' Divisione Fanteria 64 'Cantanzaro' XXII Corpo d'Armata Guarnizione Tobruck Divisione Fanteria 61 'Sirte' XXIII Corpo d'Armata Truppe del XXIII Corpo d'Armata Divisione Fanteria 60 'Sabratha' Divisione Camici Nere 1 '23 Marzo' Divisione Camici Nere 2 '20 Octobre' Divisione Fanteria 62 'Marmarica'

COMMONWEALTH ORDER OF BATTLE


Western Desert Force Corps Troops 7th Armoured Division 4th Indian Division 6th Australian Division

10 ARMATA
Truppe del 10 Armata Battaglione Carri VII(M) 3x M13/40 Battaglione Carri VIII (M) 2x M11/39 Battaglione Carri I(L) 2x L3/33 Brigada Babini Reggimento Carri I(M) 3x M13/40 Reggimento Bersaglieri 8 - 3x Bersaglieri, 1x Motorbike MG Reggimento Articelere 1 1x 75mm L26, truck Battaglione Controcarri 2 1x 47mm AT, truck

XX CORPO D'ARMATA
Truppe del XX Corpo d'Armata Battaglione Carri IX(M) 2x M11/39 Divisione Libica 1 'Sibelle' Reggimento Fanteria Libico 1 1x Infantry Reggimento Fanteria Libico 2 1x Infantry Battaglione Carri XXI(L) 2x L3/33 Battaglione Artiglieria Libico 6 1x 75mm L26, truck Divisione Libica 2 'Pescatori' Reggimento Fanteria Libico 3 1x Infantry Reggimento Fanteria Libico 4 1x Infantry Battaglione Carri IX(L) 2x L3/33 Reggimento Artiglieria Libico 1 1x 75mm L26, truck Raggruppamento 'Maletti' Reggimento Fanteria Libico 5 1x Infantry Battaglione Carri XX(L) 2x L3/33

XXI CORPO D'ARMATA


Truppe del XXI Corpo d'Armata Reggimento Bersaglieri 12 3x Bersaglieri, 1x Motorbike, MG, 1x Motorbike, MG Divisione Camici Nere 4 '3 Gennaio' Leggione Camici Nere 250 1x Infantry Leggione Camici Nere 270 1x Infantry Reggimento Artiglieria 204 1x 75mm L26, truck Divisione Fanteria 63 'Cirene' Reggimento Fanteria 157 2x Infantry Reggimento Fanteria 158 2x Infantry Battaglione Carri LXIII(L) 2x L3/33 Reggimento Artiglieria 45 1x 75mm L26, truck Divisione Fanteria 64 'Catanzaro' Reggimento Fanteria 141 2x Infantry Reggimento Fanteria 142 2x Infantry Battaglione Carri LX(L) 2x L3/33 Reggimento Artiglieria 203 1x 75mm L26, truck

XXII CORPO D'ARMATA


Guarnizione Tobruck Guardia alla Fronteira Settore di Coperture 31 1x Infantry Reggimento Artiglieria 5 1x 75mm L26 Divisione Fanteria 61 'Sirte' Reggimento Fanteria 69 2x Infantry Reggimento Fanteria 70 2x Infantry Battaglione Carri LXI(L) 2x L3/33 Reggimento Artiglieria 43 1x 75mm L26, truck

XXIII CORPO D'ARMATA


Truppe del XXIII Corpo d'Armata Reggimento Bersaglieri 10 3x Bersaglieri, 1x Motorbike, MG, 1x Motorbike, MG Divisione Fanteria 60 'Sabratha' Reggimento Fanteria 85 2x Infantry Reggimento Fanteria 86 2x Infantry Battaglione Carri LXV(L) 2x L3/33 Reggimento Artiglieria 42 1x 75mm L26, truck Divisione Camici Nere 1 '23 Marzo' Leggione Fanteria 219 1x Infantry Leggione Fanteria 233 1x Infantry Reggimento Artiglieria 201 1x 75mm L26, truck Divisione Camici Nere 2 '28 Octobre' Leggione Fanteria 231 1x Infantry Leggione Fanteria 238 1x Infantry Reggimento Artiglieria 202 1x 75mm L26, truck Divisione Fanteria 62 'Marmarica' Reggimento Fanteria 115 2x Infantry Reggimento Fanteria 116 2x Infantry Battaglione Carri LXII(L) 2x L3/33 Reggimento Artiglieria 44 1x 75mm L26, truck

WESTERN DESERT FORCE - CORPS TROOPS


7th Royal Tank Regiment 4x Matilda II 1st Royal Horse Artillery 2x 25pdr, trucks 104th Royal Horse Artillery 2x 25pdr, trucks 51st Field Regiment, RA 2x 25pdr, trucks 7th Medium Regiment, RA 1x 6inch, truck 64th Medium Regiment, RA 1x 4.5inch, truck Bataillon d'Infanterie de Marine, Forces Franaises Libres 1x Infantry, truck Long Range Desert Group 4x Mg Jeeps Selby Force 5x Infantry, trucks

7th ARMOURED DIVISION


11th Hussars 6x Armoured Car Royal Air Force Armoured Car Squadron 1x Armoured Car 3rd Royal Horse Artillery 3x 2pdr AT portee 106th Royal Horse Artillery 2x 37mm AT portee 4th Armoured Brigade --2nd Royal Tank Regiment 4x A13 --6th Royal Tank Regiment 4x A9 / A10 --7th Hussars 4x Vickers 7th Armoured Brigade --1st Royal Tank Regiment 4x A9/A10 --3rd Hussars 4x Vickers --8th Hussars 4x Vickers Support Group 3x Infantry, trucks

4th INDIAN DIVISION


1st Field Regiment, RA 2x 25pdr, trucks 25th Field Regiment, RA 2x 25pdr, trucks 31st Field Regiment, RA 2x 25pdr, trucks Central India Horse Battalion 1x Vickers, 2x Bren Carrier Royal Northemburland Fusiliers 1x MG, truck 3rd Royal Horse Artillery 3x 2pdr AT portee 5th Indian Brigade 5x Infantry, trucks 11th Indian Brigade 5x Infantry, trucks 16th Indian Brigade 5c Infantry, trucks

6th AUSTRALIAN DIVISION


2/1st Field Regiment, RAA 2x 25pdr, trucks 2/2nd Field Regiment, RAA 2x 25pdr, trucks 2/3rd Field Regiment, RAA 2x 25pdr, trucks 6th Cavalry Regiment 1x Vickers, 2x Bren Carrier Royal Northumberland Fusiliers 1x MG, truck 16th Infantry Brigade 5x Infantry, trucks 17th Infantry Brigade 5x Infantry, trucks 19th Infantry Brigade 5x Infantry, trucks