Bardia Raid

19 Apr 1941 - 20 Apr 1941


ww2dbaseIn Jan 1941, the 2,000-strong British Layforce, under the command of Colonel Robert Laycock, assembled in secret in Egypt for commando operations. Their first mission took place during the night of 19 to 20 Apr 1941, where the men of A Battalion, supported by tanks of the Royal Tank Regiment, landed at Bardia, Libya to disrupt the enemy's rear. The commanding officer in the field was Lieutenant Colonel Colvin. The landing force was transported by infantry assault ship HMS Glengyle, which was supported by anti-aircraft cruiser HMS Coventry, destroyer HMAS Stuart, destroyer HMAS Voyager, and destroyer HMAS Waterhen. Although they were dropped at the wrong beach by mistake and behind schedule, the commandos were able to find Bardia. To their surprise, the town was undefended, thus some of their planned objectives were found to be non-existent. They were able to locate and destroy an Italian supply dump and an Italian coastal artillery battery before departing aboard HMS Glengyle. One officer was killed in a friendly fire incident, and 70 commandos were captured by the Axis forces after getting lost. Although the operation was marred by poor intelligence prior to and poor execution during the operation, plus the actual damage done to the enemy was rather minimal, the British later considered it a successful operation strategically, as it forced the Germans to leave behind a significant portion of an armored brigade to guard Bardia against future landing operations there.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Update: Oct 2010

Bardia Raid Timeline

19 Apr 1941 450 British commandos conducted an amphibious raid against Axis forces in Bardia, Libya. An Italian supply dump and a coastal artillery battery were destroyed. While most men were successfully evacuated after the raid, 1 was killed by friendly fire and 67 were captured after getting lost and going to the wrong beach.

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