General Cunningham's Counteroffensive In A.O.I

Post topics relating to the invasion of British Somaliland, incursions into the Sudan, the defense of Eritrea, Italian Somaliland and Ethopia
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Bryan
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General Cunningham's Counteroffensive In A.O.I

Post by Bryan » Sun Dec 10, 2006 2:08 pm

In Anthony Mockler's book Haile Selassie's War,he lists 135 officers and men killed,310 wounded,and 52 missing,a rather high proportion.Can anyone comment on this stat?Bry.

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Italian losses in AOI

Post by Giulio_Gobbi » Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:01 pm

I can only report the official R.A. Stats ad September 1940.

143 officers and men killed, 71 wounded, only in the first three month of war!
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Post by Bryan » Sat Dec 16, 2006 5:23 pm

Looking for a battle which the Allies do not like to talk about.About 50 MIA.East Africa,or Egypt.Saw reference to it a number of years back.

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Post by Bryan » Mon Jan 15, 2007 6:01 am

I believe this event to be classified.

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Post by Editor » Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:53 am

do you know the year, area ... Bir el Gobi (NA) ?
Vince Tassone

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Post by Bryan » Tue Jan 16, 2007 5:56 pm

Now this was likely 6 or 7 years ago I saw this,on one of those websites that give brief accounts of various battles,I was not too acquainted with the weird names,but I believe it was Eritrea,40,41?.Maybe near Keren.An Allied formation(battalion?)unexpectedly ran into what was described as a "crack unit",battalion strength,and were "annihlated"."White flags littered the ground".The missing men were never recovered..."Their fate remains a mystery to this day".

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Post by Editor » Wed Jan 17, 2007 4:43 am

Interesting, I'll look around for some info.
Vince Tassone

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Response from Alessandro Gazzi

Post by Editor » Sun Jan 28, 2007 10:48 am

Sent: Saturday, January 27, 2007 3:45:24 PM
Subject: Re: Lost/Unknown Battle

Dear Vince
Instances of British units completely destroyed in combat are to be found not in Eritrea 1941, but in Somaliland, summer 1940, and at Gallabat, Ethiopia, October 1940.

In Somaliland, during the Italian assault on the Tug Argan fortified line, a Black Watch company was ambushed and wiped out; the commander reportedly "broke under fire" and fled, like most of his men probably did. If I recall correctly this episode is touched upon by Anthony Mockler in his excellent book on the East African campaign.

At Gallabat, the attack launched by Slim on the Italian fort went well at first, then foundered when an entire Essex battalion broke and ran under low level air attacks and the defenders' fire. It seems the Essex utterly disintegrated and Slim could not even stop the flight, a very rare case in modern British military history.

Perhaps either fact is the correct answer to the question.
Thank you and best regards!

Alessandro
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Post by Bryan » Mon Jan 29, 2007 6:15 am

Those instances are touched upon in Mockler's book.But in the battle I am seeking,the opposing units "ran into" each other by suprise.There were no Allied survivors on the battlefield.And more than 50 missing from the battlefield,according to the British tally.The white flags indicated that a surrender had taken place.This troubled the British.I don't believe this will be found in any common works.Bry.

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