After the Capture – Benghazi 1942


Ronnie Gamble sent me a link to British Pathe for a small movie of the desert war. One of the side links was to a 4min 30sec movie taken in January 42 after the capture of Benghazi.

It is very interesting to watch, there is footage of a lot of tidily arranged war material (primarily Italian light guns); of British officers talking to native kids, etc.
The movie is dated 5 February 1942, which is of course highly ironic, since on 30 January 1942 Benghazi was recaptured by the rapidly advancing Axis forces during the second counter-offensive. So by the time it was released, events had well overtaken the movie.

One wonders if it was actually screened at all. And indeed what happened to the guns so neatly arranged – were they recaptured? Given the rapid departure of 7 Indian Brigade from Benghazi on 29 January, I doubt anyone had time to destroy them.

In any case, here it is in all its glory: Link to Movie Happy viewing!

Added 13 May 2012: I have today come across an ULTRA intercept of a German Y-Service intercept of a British message (complicated, huh?) about what the British captured by way of serviceable (sic!) German planes at Benina, the main airfield of Benghazi:

  • 1 Junkers 52 transport
  • 4 Junkers 88 medium bombers
  • 2 Messerschmitt 109 fighters 1 Messerschmitt 109F fighter (the latest model that outclassed anything the Commonwealth fielded in North Africa at the time)
  • 1 training airplane
  • In addition, 9 tons of petrol (i.e. almost nothing), and 9 crated engines for Ju 88.

2 thoughts on “After the Capture – Benghazi 1942

  1. My Father-in-Law was captured on 29 Jan 1942 at Benghazi whilst serving with 573 Army Field Company. I found the short Pathe-News film extremely interesting.


    • Thanks Geoff, glad it was of use and interest. If you are interested, I have Col. Peake’s report about the escape from Benghazi.

      All the best



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