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‘OPERATION COMPASS’ BRINGS BREAKTHROUGH IN BARDIA
Reports reached Malta today of a significant Allied breakthrough yesterday in Bardia, Libya. The attack was preceded by a heavy naval bombardment by three battleships, supported by destroyers, with aircraft cover from HMS Illustrious. Australian troops took part in the offensive, their first such engagement since the outbreak of war. Thousands of Italian prisoners have already been taken and the Allied force is pressing forward to take the fortress.
The attack on Bardia follows successful bombing raid on the port of Tripoli by aircraft from Malta overnight on 1 January. Reconnaissance photographs taken on Thursday and enlarged now confirm that Wellingtons of 148 Squadron sank a 10000 ton merchant vessel anchored in mid-harbour. Salvage has evidently been attempted and the vessel has been manoeuvred to the quayside where it appears sunk near the western side of the harbour.
German forces are also said to be extremely active on road and rail construction work in Slovakia. Intelligence sources suggest that this is in preparation for a major Axis military campaign in the Balkans.
AIR RAIDS DAWN 4 JANUARY TO DAWN 5 JANUARY 1941
Weather Cold and fine.
No air raids.
OPERATIONS REPORTS SATURDAY 4 JANUARY 1941
AIR HQ No air activity due to bad weather.
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