Italian Air Force bombed in the Desert

Indian troops encounter the remains of the Italian Air Force as they advance,
in this case a Savoia-Marchetti SM.79

From the AIr Situation for the week ending 12th December 1940, as reported to the War Cabinet:

Egypt and Libya

66. Intensive operations have been carried out by our Air Force in the Middle East. At dusk on the 7th December Wellingtons from Malta carried out a heavy and most successful attack on the aerodrome at Castel Benito (Tripoli) which achieved complete surprise.

Still heavier attacks by combined forces of Blenheims and Wellingtons from Egypt were made on Benina and El Adem aerodromes, where concentrations of enemy aircraft were known to exist. Considerable damage was caused to hangars, administrative buildings, bomb and petrol dumps and aircraft on the ground. It is believed that at Castel Beninto alone thirty-five aircraft were destroyed or damaged. Repeated daylight attacks have also been made on other enemy aerodromes and landing grounds.

67. In addition to attacks upon the enemy Air Force our bombers and fighters have afforded direct support to the military operations by attacks upon enemy positions, troop concentrations and lines of communications. Near Sof afi heavy damage was inflicted on troops and on a large concentration of 400 M.T. vehicles. Great confusion and disorganisation has been caused among enemy columns by low-flying machine-gun attacks.

68. Our fighters have proved immeasurably superior to the enemy and have inflicted heavy losses with only slight casualties to themselves.

See TNA CAB/66/14/8

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Andy May 19, 2011 at 10:15 pm

That aircraft may still be there I saw this photo posted on the internet. In the vicinity of Kufra SE Libya



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