World War, SOUTHERN THEATRE: Fall of Bardia

At dusk the British bombers began to thunder in from the east. Out in the desert the Australians lay hidden with their tanks. Offshore the main body of the Mediterranean Fleet was steaming into position.

The besieged Italians had never seen anything like it. After the first few minutes flares became an extravagance. Incendiaries and explosives touched off leaping fires that lit the whole town. Along the arc of defenses which guarded the landward side a rain of bombs gouged out pillboxes and machine guns. Tanks and armored cars were battered, gutted. Heaps of materiel were fired and blown up....

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