The Battle of Sidi Barrani (10–11 December 1940) was the opening battle of Operation Compass, the first big British attack of the Western Desert Campaign of the Second World War. RAF-Army Cooperation in the Desert I ... [Royal Tank Regiment] was then to attack Nibeiwa camp from the west, while the Armoured Division covered the attack and prevented any intervention from the enemy to the north.” After Nibeiwa camp was captured, the Tummar group of camps would be attacked from the west, again supported by armour. Surprise was complete and there was widespread confusion amongst the Italians. The Attack on Nibeiwa took place on 9 December 1940 near Nibeiwa, Egypt, when the Italian fortified camp held by the Maletti Group, the armoured force of the 10th Army, was overrun by British and Indian troops.The attack was the opening engagement of Operation Compass a British raid which, if successful, would be followed up to try to expel the Italians from Egypt. Nevertheless it was felt that a surprise attack was possible. Battle of Nibeiwa 9 December 1940 AAR For the past few years, Dean has been slowly working on putting together the forces for the early Desert War between the British and Italians in World War Two and he has been the butt of continual jokes from me about the amount of time it is taking him to paint the figures.

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Meanwhile the Matruh Garrison Force (3rd battalion Coldstream Guards plus some artillery) would contain the enemy camp at Maktila on the coast and the Royal Navy would bombard Maktila and Sidi Barrani.
Once Nibeiwa was captured a second Indian brigade, again supported by 7th RTR would attack the Tummars. On 9th December Operation Compass was launched with dawn attacks on the Nibeiwa camp with a heavy artillery barrage. Italian tanks in the camp areas were unable to mount a co-ordinated counter-attack. The book "Iron Hulls, Iron Hearts" by Ian W. Walker gave a different version of the battle of Nibeiwa. A lack of Italian air–ground co-operation was exploited by the British to attack Nibeiwa camp from the rear, with the 11th Brigade Group of the 4th Indian Division and the Matilda infantry tanks of the 7th Royal Tank Regiment (7th RTR).

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