Hearing reports of the intended advance of the Italians into Egypt, the plucky Western Desert Force mechanised units scuttle back from the border to Matruh to join the Machine Gunners of the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers and have a cup of tea and a friendly game of cricket against the CinC Middle East’s first XI.
10th Army attacks! The glorious legions march again for Mussolini’s dream of uniting Northern Africa under the benevolent iron fist of fascism. A short advance to Sidi Barrani is unopposed by the cowardly British. Telegrams sent back to Rome report the woeful road condition over the border requires substantial construction work before full supply can be achieved for the spearhead of the march to Cairo. Troops rest for chianti (except for the Libyans who piously suck oranges). A whole 14 REs are countered by RAF recon planes, and the commander, General Roberto Guilliamo, is promoted to Marshall for displaying such valour in the field.
Indian forces are railed into Matruh with the 4th Indian Divisional HQ team trouncing the Armoured Corp team by an innings and 8 wickets in a friendly played over several days. Free French forces look on in disbelief. To remind the world that Britain remains undefeated, an attack of by Blenhiem bombers attacks Tobruk. A hit is made on the port. Italian fighter pilots at El Adem airfield are caught napping in the fierce African heat and do not react. The wrath of the CinC is great and fearsome to behold… (I forgot to intercept!!)
Meanwhile at Halafaya, construction continues of the road to Sidi Barrani. Italian engineers complain bitterly of the lack of resources to assist in such a thankless task while infantry at the sharp end organise well laid out camps and have community singing sessions in the evenings along the beaches of the Med…… 250 SM 79.1 bombers fly a retaliatory raid on Alexandria, weak and ineffective AA fire misses but the bombs fall wide of the mark and the port is safe.
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