Egypt 1940

In Egypt the declaration of war found the armoured cars of the 11th Hussars (Prince Albert’s Own) [11th Hussars wikipedia] under Lieutenant-Colonel John Combe [John Frederick Joyce Combe (1895-1967) wikipedia] lying close to the frontier.

With instructions to raise hell, they immediately crossed the fence of barbed wire built by Italian engineers along the 400-mile (644km) border. In a series of dashing hit-and-run raids, they attacked forts and shot up transport columns, capturing bewildered soldiers whom nobody had bothered to inform about Mussolini’s declaration.

By dawn on 12 June, all their patrols had returned, bringing with them 70 prisoners and having suffered no casualties. More importantly, they had established a moral superiority over the Italians.


Jon Latimer
taken from Operation Compass 1940
[Campaign Series 73 – Osprey Publishing]