The War in Libya Bardia (1941) newsreel
Copyright expired - public domain
On 3 January 1941, the 6th Australian Division attacked and broke through the Italian defences at Bardia in Libya. Fighting lasted until the morning of 5 January. The attack cost the 6th Division 130 men killed and 326 wounded. About 40,000 Italian prisoners and large quantities of supplies were captured by the Allies. In this newsreel footage, we see allied sailors and soldiers at Bardia, as well as Italian prisoners of war (POWs). This film would have been shown at cinemas throughout Australia. British Pathé FILM ID:1067.18
The Navy was there. As always, our ships at war had the run of the Mediterranean and in this case gave weighty assistance to our land forces attacking [Marshal Rodolfo] Graziani's fortress at Bardia [Bard?yah]. In the biggest bombardment by the Royal Navy since the war began, they poured hundreds of tons of high explosive shells into the town. [Sound of bombs exploding.] The wiping out of Bardia by combined land forces of the British and Australian Army, the Navy and the Royal Air Force adds another 25,000 prisoners to help make up the total of less than 400 admitted losses by the Italians. That sounds like crazy arithmetic but its Italian, not ours. Just to make quite sure, our people are sending their captives out of the danger zone. By thousands, the prisoners are being shipped to prison camps outside Egypt. Well, that's the end of Bardia. Events in Libya are now likely to proceed like a ladder in a stocking. What next? Tobruk? Benghazi? Tripoli? Time will tell. Pathé Gazette.