Italy invades British Somaliland

Italian forces move into British Somaliland

On the Horn of Africa, British Somaliland, a protectorate then covering the northernmost part of modern Somalia, was invaded by Italy on 3rd August 1940. Surrounded on the landward side by Italian occupied territory and considerably outnumbered by the invading Italians the result was perhaps a foregone conclusion.

The Somaliland Camel Corps had only 14 British officers commanding just over 1400 native troops. In total a British Force of around 4,000 faced 24,000 Italians. The invaders had light tanks and armoured cars, the British forces had none, and no anti-tank weapons or artillery.

Yet the invaders found themselves constantly harassed by the more mobile British forces who made use of their superior knowledge of the terrain while conducting a fighting retreat.

Earlier in the war:

Later in the war: