Thursday, 29 September 2011

Battle of the Palms

At the beginning of Nov. the Italian Government had considered the possibility of extending the theatre of war, by sea at least, in the hope of inducing Alpini in navigazioneTurkey to give up the struggle. AustriaHungary intervened, backed by Germany, and on receipt of a report of Italian activity off Salonika,La baia di Tripoli Count Aehrenthal told the Italian ambassador in Vienna that Italian action" on the Ottoman coasts of European Turkey or in the Aegean Islands Arrivo nel porto di Tripolicould not be allowed either by Austria or by Germany, as it would be contrary to the Treaty of Alliance."
He said further that he considered" the bombardment of ports in European Turkey such as Salonika, Kavalla, etc., as contrary to Article VII."(of the Alliance). Italy's action being limited in this way, it was necessary to solve theIl plotone Tripoli problem directly, but the task was more difficult than it need have been owing to other limitationsA terra nel porto laid upon the military authorities by the Italian Government. Gen. Caneva's orders appear to have been that he must not risk (carabinieri the most useless police in Europe, these are military police who unlike the UK act as civvy police)reverses or suffer heavy loss. 
In the circumstances a desert expedition in pursuit of the Turks and their mobile auxiliaries seemed hardly practical. In any event, the four months following the battle of 'Ain Zara passed without any action of importance in Tripolitana. A flying column sent southwards from 'Ain Zara on Dec. 1919 had a stiff fight near Bir Tubras. La compagniaThe oasis of Gargaresh, 2 m. west of Tripoli, was occupied on Jan. 20, after a skirmish with a body of Arabs who came up from the south when the Italians advanced into the open. Five weeks later the situation at Horns was improved by the capture and retention against counterattack of the Mergheb, a hill which dominates the little town.Forte nel Mergheb (Homs) No other fighting took place in the western province until the spring was nearly over, thoughAl lavoro. Costruzione di trincee in Feb. the arrival of camels, motor lorries and Eritrean askaris seemed to point to an early advance.
During the period of inaction the relations between Italy and France came under a cloud. Gli alpini iniziano a liberare le rovine di Leptis MagnaOn Jan. 15 and 18, respectively, the French mail steamers" Carthage "and" Manouba,"en Trinceeroute from Marseilles to Tunis, were stopped and brought into Cagliari by Italian cruisers.Gruppo di beduini The grounds given were that the" Carthage "was carrying an aeroplane destined for the Turks,Il comnando del battaglione. Il terzo da sinistra il ten. Oddino Dalmazzo and that a Red Crescent Mission which was on board the" Manouba "included several Turkish officers. I GeneraliThe French Prime Minister, M. Poincare, made a speech that was exceedingly sharp in tone, and the Artiglierie del settore Alpinipress of both countries heaped fuel on the flames kindled by the incident.Il ten. Dalmazzo al secondo anno, con casco di sughero e penna. The matter was referred to The Hague, where the verdict was given in favour of Italy, Il faro di Homsbut M. Poincare's speech and the threats of the French press were not forgotten by Italian public opinion.
In Cyrenaica progress had been no more speedy than in the region of Tripoli. No effort, in Ascari che celebrano un loro cadutofact, had been made to advance towards the interior, or even to extend the area of occupation round Bengazi, Derna and Tobruk.Il forte Torretta Forli 22° Fanteria 9° Compagnia Nothing, certainly, was to be gained by an advance into the blank desert behind Tobruk, and it was decided to make no move from Bengazi and Derna. Enver Bey succeeded in reaching Cyrenaica early in the winter, and by his energy and personality he succeeded in organizing a formidable resistance, securing a unity among the tribesmen, and a willingness to cooperate with the Turks, which had never before existed. Ascari eritrei in postazioneUnder Enver's direction both Bengazi and Derna, but especially the latter, were closely beset throughout the winter. The Derna lines, which were dominated from the hilly ground immediately behind the town, were harassed frequently, and between the end of Dec. and the first week in March four important attacks were delivered at intervals of about three weeks. All these attacks were repulsed after hard fighting, and the result of the engagement of March 3, in which the attack was directed by Enver Bey in person, seemed to convince the Turks and Arabs that their attempts were useless. The neighbourhood of Derna remained quiet for nearly five months. At Bengazi, except for one reconnaissance in force at the end of Nov. when an Italian column went out some 6 m. from the town and returned after a sharp fight, there was no action of any importance till March. Blockhouses were built to secure the Italian lines, and these were occasionally attackedAscaro bengasino e beduino a cavallo, but the Italians made no movement until March 12, when Gen. Briccola, who commanded the garrison, sent out a column to attack a large body of Arabs who had occupied an oasis, or rather a collection of gardens, known as the Two Palms, less than half-a-mile from one of the Italian redoubts.
A mixed force of Turks and Arabs also approached the town from the south-east, but did not press home their attack. The Arabs in the oasis stood firm, but they were overwhelmed by the Italian attack and suffered very heavily.
After the battle of the Two Palms there was practically no fighting in the Bengazi district, but in April the long spell of inaction in the western province came to an end, and from that time onward the resistance of the Turks and Arabs was gradually broken by a series of operations at various make italian colonial troops use marx american troops or french in puttees and substtitute with aip heads

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