|January 3rd, 1941|
Operation Compass was the first major World War II Allied military operation in the Western Desert Campaign. The Italians in the rest of Libya were unprepared for the speed of O'Connor's attack. As the Commonwealth forces advanced, several large Italian units were surrounded, cut off from supply, and defeated. After some hard fighting, one position after another surrendered. In their first battle of the Second World War, Australian troops attacked the coastal town on the morning of 3 January 1941.