Bardia is a load-bearing pillar in the temple of Australian military history. It has, however, been lost to view historically - overshadowed by the subsequent struggle with Rommel's Africa Corps in North Africa and the epic battles of the Pacific War. Bardia deserves better memory. Craig Stockings' excellent book restores it. Kim Beazley.
On 3 January 1941, Australian soldiers led an assault against the Italian colonial fortress town of Bardia. Two days later, after 55 hours of heavy fighting, the position fell to the Australians in a resounding victory. At a cost of 130 killed and 326 wounded, the Australians captured around 40,000 Italian prisoners and large quantities of arms and equipment. The success at Bardia was considered to be one of the greatest military feats in Australian history, however, this battle has been largely neglected by historians and the Battle of Bardia is not well known to Australians.
Craig Stockings, a leading military historian, writes the first in-depth study of this important battle. Providing a rare balanced account of the war in North Africa from British, Italian and Australian perspectives, he deals not only with what happened at Bardia but why the Australians were so successful, and reveals the real factors behind the Australian victory and Italian defeat.
Challenging in its perspective and controversial in its conclusions, Bardia is a riveting account of the first large-scale battle planned and fought by an Australian formation in World War II. --Book Jacket.