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Map showing Fort Capuzzo

Fort Capuzzo was a Fort in the Italian colony of Italian Libya, located near the Libyan-Egyptian border and next to the Italian Frontier Wire. It is famous for its role during World War II.


Within a week of Italy's 10 June 1940 declaration of war upon Britain, the British Army's 11th Hussars (assisted by elements of the 1st Royal Tank Regiment and supported by Gladiators of No. 33 Squadron and Blenheims of No. 211 Squadron[1]) captured Fort Capuzzo. A few days later, the Italian 1st (23 March) Blackshirt Division recaptured it during an attack which reached Sidi Barrani, Egypt on 13 September 1940.[2]

In December, the Western Desert Force regained the Fort during Operation Compass. It was then re-captured by General Erwin Rommel during his first offensive, falling on 12 April 1941.[3]

During Operation Brevity, the Fort changed hands briefly on 15–16 May, but ultimately remained in German-Italian possession when the operation failed and the attacking British Brigade group withdrew.[4] The fort was retaken by the New Zealand Division on 22 November 1941, during Operation Crusader.[5]

Axis forces once again took possession following the Battle of Gazala before the Fort was returned to Allied control for the final time following the Second Battle of El Alamein.[6]



  • Latimer, Jon (2001). Tobruk 1941: Rommel's Opening Move. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 0-275-98287-4. 
  • Playfair, Major General I.S.O.; Brigadier C.J.C Molony, Captain F.C. Flynn, R.N. and Group Captain T.P. Gleave, C.B.E. (2006) [1954]. Mediterranean and Middle East Volume I: The Early Successes Against Italy (to May 1941). History of the Second World War, United Kingdom Military Series. Naval & Military Press. ISBN 1-84734-426-7. 
  • Playfair, Major General I.S.O. (2004) [1956] (hardback). The Mediterranean and Middle East Volume 2: The Germans Come to the Help of Their Ally, 1941. Official History of the Second World War, United Kingdom Military Series. East Sussex, UK: Naval & Military Press. pp. 406 pages. ISBN 1-84574-066-1. 
  • Playfair, Major General I.S.O. (2004) [1960]. History Of The Second World War: The Mediterranean and Middle East, Volume 3: British Fortunes Reach Their Lowest Ebb. United Kingdom Military Series. Uckfield, UK: Naval & Military Press. ISBN 1-84574-067-X. 

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External links

Coordinates: 31°34′51″N 25°3′8″E / 31.58083°N 25.05222°E / 31.58083; 25.05222

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