Came across these two newsreels on Youtube. The fall of Bardia and Halfaya was a major event in the desert war. It was the first substantial and clear defeat of a German force that the Empire forces could point to (CRUSADER itself still being somewhat unclear at this point), yielding several thousand German and Italian POWs, including a German general. It was also the first time a German force commanded by a general surrendered formally to Empire forces (and this in fact would not happen again until May 1943 in Tunisia).
The second video leads off with a nice view of a Heliograph in operation too. Interestingly, it appears this was also the last operation during which the Heliograph was used by the British army, at least according to this article.
On the first video (Halfaya) a rare Vickers AA light tank appears on the last frames (the second vehicle)
General Schmidt, the German commanding officer at Bardia surrendered to the South African 2nd Division in early January 1942. It may have been the second time he had surrendered to South Africans, as he was captured during the German South-West Africa campaign (1915) as a young officer. It was the young South African Army’s first war, and GSWA was the first of Germany’s possessions to fall to the Allies. The campaign was a very difficult one due to the harsh desert conditions, but the outcome was not unexpected as the German forces, who generally fought well, (also not unexpected) were out numbered by the South Africans.
Thanks a lot David, that’s quite interesting, as it is not an angle I had considered before. Must have been a very rare, if not unique occurence.