RAF maintain pressure in the desert

The RAF operated from bases in the desert that offered only the most basic facilities.

Egypt and Libya

Constant and heavy pressure has been maintained on Tobruk, whilst aerodromes likely to assist in the defence of the position have been made untenable by the attacks of our aircraft. Reports of abandoned aircraft and landing grounds indicate that the enemy has withdrawn his air forces to the Benghasi area.

Benghasi was heavily attacked five times. Hits were registered on five large ships in the harbour, on the mole and on Government buildings. The neighbouring aerodromes of Benina and Berka were also successfully attacked, and much damage was caused to aerodrome buildings, hangars and aircraft on the ground. At Benina, at least twelve enemy aircraft were set on fire.

On the 8th January there was a very successful bombing attack on a convoy of motor transport near Jerabub by Blenheims, followed by a machine-gun attack by Hurricanes, as a result of which the convoy was abandoned.

Our fighters were also very active. They maintained offensive patrols in the Tobruk and other areas, and destroyed several enemy aircraft both in the air and on the ground.

Several reconnaissances of the Libyan coast were flown by our Sunderlands.

Enemy aircraft activity was slight. An attack was made on our troops in the Tobruk area, but little damage was caused.

From the weekly Air Situation report see TNA CAB 66/14/33.

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