Image size: 1600 x 1582 pixel. 442 KB
Date: Friday, 22 January 1943
Place: Outside Tripoli, Libya
Photographer: Sergeant Silverside from No. 1 Army Film & Photographic Unit
General Bernard Law "Monty" Montgomery (17 November 1887 – 24 March 1976), left, with other officers planning the final assault on Tripoli beside a Humber Mk II armoured car, 22 January 1943. On the next day, The British 8th Army, under the command of General Montgomery, captured Tripoli from Italy. The Italian Governor, Alberto Denti di Piranjo, formally surrendered to the British, relinquishing Italian control of Libya that had started in 1912. This was part of a series of battles that initially started with the Italian occupation of Ethiopia. This thrust was eventually supported by the German Afrikakorps in the hope that the whole of North Africa would be occupied by the Axis forces, ultimately denying the Allies access to the reserves of labour and raw materials in the North African/ Middle Eastern Region. However, during the British Liberation of Tripoli, Germany was deeply involved on a second war front, with Russia. This meant that a depleted Germany force fought in North Africa, and the manoeuvres by Rommel amounted to slightly more than a series of fighting retreats. Each encounter further diminished the Axis' reserves of men and material, while the Allies received reinforcements every day. This was to lead to the ultimate defeat of the Axis forces in the North Africa. Among the Colonies that fought on the side of the British/Allies, were South Africa, New Zealand, Senegal and Australia.
Imperial War Museums, Catalogue number E 21450