Author: ajcrou

8 – 10 November 1940

8 – 10 November 1940 Northern Front If the bulk of the battle of Gallabat – Metemma is over, Major General William Platt decides to regain control. He decides to move towards a new method by using the Gazelle Force. This denomination designates a group, under the orders of Colonel Frank Messervy, composed of elements…
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7 November 1940

7 November 1940 Northern Front Despite the dramatic events of the previous day, the British are not abandoning the idea of winning the air superiority, although they are more cautious. Four Gloster Gladiators of No.1 (SAAF) Squadron take off at 05h25 to escort five Vickers Wellesley of No.47 (RAF) Squadron to bomb Italian positions at…
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6 November 1940

6 November 1940 Northern Front The village of Gallabat is one of the border posts between Sudan and Ethiopia, and controls one of the main roads in the region (with the village of Metemma on the other side of the border). On 4 July 1940, a column under the command of General Pietro Gazzara occupies…
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Gallabat – El Wak – Introduction

Introduction Until now the situation of the two belligerents was relatively balanced and oriented towards a wait-and-see attitude or at least a defensive attitude. On the Italian side, this strategy corresponds to the orientations of the Duce and the General Staff. Isolated geographically, poorly prepared and lacking modern equipment, the Italian troops have no interest…
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4 November 1940

4 November 1940 Northern Front One of the few existing documents relating to No.1 (SAAF) Squadron provides some details. The unit is based in Azaza (Gedaref) with eight Gloster Gladiator Mk II and the following pilots: Major Schalk van Schalkwyk, Captain Brian J.L. Boyle, Lieutenant Johan J. Coetzer, Andrew Duncan, John L. Hewitson, Robin Pare,…
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2 – 3 November 1940

2 – 3 November 1940 Northern Front Christopher Shores indicates, in his book “Dust Clouds in the Middle East”, that during the day of 2 November, a Savoia-Marchetti 79 of 44bis Gruppo BT is involved in a confrontation with five Gloster Gladiatoer around 09h30 am. A Fighter is claimed destroyed while the Italian bomber is…
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1st November 1940

1er November 1940 Northern Front Ground fighting erupts in the region of Gallabat. Three Gloster Gladiators of No.1 (SAAF) Squadron are sent to escort Gloster Gauntlets, equipped with bombs, of No.430 (RAF) Flight. Several Italian vehicles are reported destroyed. At the same time, Caproni Ca.133 attack British troops. A short confrontation breaks out during which…
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The Italian Blitz – Richard Worrall

The Italian Blitz – Richard Worrall Richard Worrall. The Italian Blitz (1940–43) : Bomber Command’s war against Mussolini’s cities, docks and factories. Osprey, 2020. 96p. As the author points out, it should be noted that while the action of Bomber Command over Germany is relatively well documented, the same cannot be said of the bombing…
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31 October 1940

31 October 1940 Southern Front At the end of October, South African Prime Minister General Jan Smuts decides to organize an inspection tour of his armed forces in Kenya. He is accompanied for this purpose by his adviser General Pierre van Ryneveld. The visit also coincides with the arrival in Kenya of Major-General Alan G.…
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27 – 30 October 1940

27 – 30 October 1940 Northern Front After several days of intense training, No.14 (RAF) Squadron makes its first operation with its new Bristol Blenheim Mk IV. For this purpose, three aircraft take off with  Flight Lieutenant John K. Buchanan at 06h00 to bomb the warehouses of the port of Massawa from an altitude of…
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