Italian soldiers in North Africa
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.

Italian soldiers in North Africa
An Italian patrol effectuates a harassment action in the area between Sollum and Halfaya, in Libya.

German soldier watching from a trench
A sublieutenant of the Afrika Korps watches the movements of the enemy from an advanced lookout.

Italian transport airplane Savoia-Marchetti SM 82
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 M14/41
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.

Italian artillery pieces abandoned in Libya
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 prisoners of the Afrika Korps
British soldiers, captured during the advance of the Afrika Korps, rest next to a destroyed armored car Marmon-Harrington.

Masai warrior of British colonial troops
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.

American bomber Douglas Boston acquired by Britain
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.

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