The 15th July 1940 the Italian offensive against the British was unleased in the Libyan-Egyptian border, but soon it would be
disappointing, for Genaral Graziani managed to advance only few kilometers.
An Italian patrol effectuates a harassment action in the area between Sollum and Halfaya, in Libya.
A sublieutenant of the Afrika Korps watches the movements of the enemy from an advanced lookout.
An Italian Savoia-Marchetti SM 82 transport airplane taking off from a Libyan airfield. Italy occupied
Libya in 1912, a territory which had been administered by the Ottoman Empire until then.
Italian tanks Fiat M14/41 ready to take action in the area of El Agheila. Italy was unable to success
in its plan of invading Egypt due to shortage of materials, an excessively static and conservative strategy and an irresolute
attitude of the commanders. Worse yet, in the following months the British offensives would finally take the region of Cirenaica
from the Italians.
Near to Ain-el-Gazala, the remains of Italian artillery elements lie abandoned after the British advance. Excessively self
confident, Italy refused the offer of two divisions made by Germany to assist the Italian war effort in the invasion of Egypt,
a decision that would have disastrous consequences for the Italians.
British soldiers, captured during the advance of the Afrika Korps, rest next to a destroyed armored car Marmon-Harrington.
For Italy, the problems in Africa were not limited to Libya, for in the meantime the British were attacking in Ethiopia as well.
For the offensive in this country, the British used above all colonial troops, such as this Masai warrior who wears a British uniform.
An American bomber Douglas Boston, acquired by the British by means of the Lend and Lease Law, is
about to take off from an improvised runway in the desert.
A flamethrower attack during the offensive of July 1940, which ended in Sollum, despite Mussolini asking to continue the advance
An Italian 20-millimeter anti-aircraft gun Breda 35 in Cyrenaica, weapon which was used as well by the German Army.
Italian Bersaglieri during a phase of the occupation of Cyrenaica, in April 1941, when the
Suez Canal seemed a target within easy reach.
An Italian 75-millimeter artillery piece, covered by a masking, fires against the attacking British units
in the area of Sirte.
An Italian Fiat 14/35 machine gun in an anti-aircraft position in the Libyan region of Cirenaica.
The British offensive occupied practically all of the Italian positions in Cirenaica; only the intervention of the German
Africa Korps would turn the events.
Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, commander-in-chief of the Afrika Korps, inspects the theater of battle after the Battle of Sollum.
His conviction of having a large advantage in North Africa, even without conquering Malta, had a negative influence in the military
A German tank destined to the Africa Korps is unloaded from a transport ship belonging to a convoy just arrived to Tripoli.
The Africa Korps led by Erwin Rommel had been organized in September 1939 following the accurate forecasting of a war in
Italian and German soldiers emplace a medium-caliber artillery piece in the area of Tobruk. This city was a British stronghold
in Libya that resisted a siege of eight months.