|Babini Group (Brigata Corazzata Speciale/Raggruppamento Babini)|
M13/40 tanks on the streets of Tripoli, March 1941
|General Valentino Babini|
The Special Armoured Brigade (Brigata Corazzata Speciale), also known as the Raggruppamento Babini (Babini Group) was an ad hoc armoured unit formed by the Italian Royal Army (Regio Esercito Italia) in Italian North Africa, at the start of the Western Desert Campaign of World War II. The group was formed in Libya, as part of a plan to assemble an armoured division from the tanks already in the colony and from units sent from Italy. The new division was incomplete when the British began Operation Compass in December but the Babini Group fought in defence of the area between Mechili and Derna in late January.
On 23 January, the group managed to inflict tank losses during a counter-attack on the 11th Hussars and force a delay in the Australian advance on Derna. The group then formed a rearguard for the 10th Army as it retreated from Derna and Mechili round the Jebel Akhdar towards the port of Benghazi. The Babini Group was destroyed south of the port at the Battle of Beda Fomm (6–7 February), when the Via Balbia was cut by Combeforce. The Italians failed to concentrate their remaining tanks at the head of the column before Combeforce was reinforced and were defeated in detail, with possibly only nine tanks escaping to the south.
- 1 Background
- 2 Prelude
- 3 Operations
- 4 Aftermath
- 5 Order of battle
- 6 See also
- 7 Notes
- 8 Footnotes
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
32nd Armoured Regiment
The 32nd Armoured Regiment was formed on 1 December 1938 and on 1 February 1939 became part of the 132nd Armoured Division Ariete, the second Italian armoured division. At the Italian declaration of war on June 11, 1940, the 32nd Armoured Regiment moved with the Ariete Division from Veneto to the border with France, as part of the Army of the Po but the war ended so quickly that the division was not used. On 28 July 1939, the I and II Medium Tank battalions received 96 Fiat M11/39 tanks to replace its Fiat 3000s. The inadequacies of the M11/39 tanks led to a decision on 26 October 1939, to replace them with M13/40 tanks and the first batch, built by Ansaldo at Genoa in October 1940, were used to equip the III Medium Tank Battalion with 37 of the new tanks.
Libyan Tank Command
In 1940, the Italian army had three armoured divisions in Europe, which were needed for the occupation of Albania and the invasion of Greece. The I Medium Tank Battalion (Major Victor Ceva) and the II Medium Tank Battalion (Major Eugenio Campanile) and their M11/39 tanks, landed in Libya on 8 July 1940 and transferred from the 32nd Armoured Regiment in Italy to the command of the 4th Armoured Regiment in Libya. The two battalions had an establishment of 600 men, 72 × tanks, 56 × vehicles, 37 × motorcycles and 76 × trailers. The medium tanks reinforced the 324 × L3/35 tankettes already in Libya. The Libyan Tank Command/Comando Carri Armati Della Libia (General Valentino Babini) was formed in Libya on 29 August 1940, to be the armoured regiment of a new armoured division, composed of tanks en route to Libya and the tanks already in the colony.
The new command comprised the Aresca Group/Raggruppamento Aresca (Colonel Aresca) with the I Medium Tank Battalion and the XXXI, LXI and LXII light tank battalions, the Trivioli Group/Raggruppamento Trivioli (Colonel Antonio Trivioli), with the II Medium Tank Battalion, less one company and the IX, XX and LXI light tank battalions. The Maletti Group/Raggruppamento Maletti (Colonel Pietro Maletti) had the LX Light Tank Battalion and the remaining M11/39 company from the II Medium Tank Battalion. When Operation Compass began, the IX Light Tank Battalion was still with the 2nd Libyan Infantry Division Pescatori, the II Medium Tank Battalion was with the Maletti Group and the LXIII and XX Light Tank battalions were in reserve with the XXI Corps HQ east of Frontier Wire in Egypt.
The III Medium Tank Battalion (Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Ghioldi) from the 132nd Armoured Division Ariete, equipped with 37 × M13/40 tanks in two companies, arrived in Benghazi in late September and joined the 417 vehicles of various types in the Libyan Tank Command, to begin training. In November, the III Medium Tank Battalion was sent to Mechili and on 9 December, the British began Operation Compass to push back the 10th Army from Sidi Barrani, 62 miles (100 km) inside Egypt. The III Medium Tank Battalion was sent forward to Sollum and the Halfaya Pass. On 22 January, the VI Medium Tank Battalion arrived at Benghazi, with 37 × M13/40s and another 36 × M13/40s for the XXI Light Tank Battalion, which was waiting at Benghazi to convert to M13/40s, after all of its L3/35 tankettes had been lost in the fall of Tobruk. Neither battalion had time to acclimatize or train but were sent to reinforce the Bignami Group near Solluch.
The Maletti Group/Raggruppamento Maletti (General Pietro Maletti) was formed at Derna the same day, with the LX Light Tank Battalion and the remaining M11/39 company from the II Medium Tank Battalion, seven Libyan motorized infantry battalions, motorized artillery and supply units as the main motorized unit of the 10th Army and the first combined arms unit in North Africa. After the invasion of Egypt in September 1940, the 10th Army began to prepare an advance to Mersa Matruh for 16 December but was forestalled by Operation Compass. Only the IX Light Tank Battalion, the II Medium Tank Battalion with M11/39s, with the Maletti Group at Nibeiwa camp and the LXIII and XX Light Tank battalions were still in Egypt. The camp at Nibeiwa was a rectangle about 1.6-by-2.4-kilometre (1 mi × 1.5 mi), with a bank and an anti-tank ditch. A minefield had been laid but at the north-west corner, there was a gap in the mines for delivery lorries, which was found a British night reconnaissance found the entrance.
The British attacked the camp from the rear, with infantry and Matilda infantry tanks at 5:00 a.m. on 9 December, from the north-west, with Bren carriers on the flanks, all firing on the move. About twenty of the Maletti Group M11/39s outside the camp were destroyed in the first rush. By 10:40 a.m., the camp had been overrun and 2,000 Italian and Libyan prisoners had been taken, along with a large quantity of supplies and water for a British loss of 56 men. After the battle, Alan Moorehead an Australian war correspondent, visited Nibeiwa and saw tanks inside the camp facing in all directions and light tank wrecks at the west wall, where the Maletti Group had made its last stand. In his history of the 32nd Armoured Regiment, Maurizio Parri wrote that a company of the II Medium Tank Battalion with its M11/39s had tried to counter-attack the British Matildas but the crews misunderstood flag signals, which caused delays and the attack failed. Maletti was wounded while rallying his men, then retreated to his tent with a machine-gun, where he was killed.
In early November, the V Medium Tank Battalion (Lieutenant-Colonel Emilio Iezzi), arrived at Benghazi with 37 × M13/40s in two companies and on 25 November, Graziani ordered the establishment at Marsa Lucch of the Special Armoured Brigade/Brigata Corazzata Speciale/Raggruppamento Babini (Babini Group) to be commanded by General Valentino Babini, with the III Medium Tank Battalion (less detachment) and the V Medium Tank Battalion, combined with the L3/35s of the 4th Tank Regiment. The medium tank crews were inexperienced and lacked training, many of the officers having only recently come from very short courses at training schools. The light tank battalions remained with the infantry divisions in Egypt, despite this interrupting training with the new M13/40s, which was complicated by the M13s coming from the first production batch with many mechanical defects. Only three of the III Medium Tank Battalion tanks had radio, which made the other crews reliant on flag signals limited to halt, forward, backwards, right, left, slow down and speed up.
The Babini Group had an infantry regiment of three Bersaglieri battalions, a motorcycle battalion, an artillery regiment, two anti-tank gun companies, an engineer company and supply units. On 11 December the under-trained III Medium Tank Battalion and the LI Light Tank Battalion in L3/35 tankettes, was made available to the 10th Army. Next day, two companies of the III Battalion were sent to Sollum, several tanks to Sidi Aziz and the rest to Halfaya, before the battalion was ordered to retreat west of Gazala to cover the rear of Tobruk. The 1st Tank Company (Lieutenant Elio Castanello) was detached to reinforce Bardia and the drive from Sidi Aziz exposed many technical failings in the M13/40s, including defective fuel pumps, inconsistent fuel consumption between tanks, engine wear and brittle armour.[a] In December, Comando Supremo reinforced the Babini Group with the V Medium Tank Battalion of the 132nd Armoured Division Ariete to join the III Medium Tank Battalion. The V Medium Tank Battalion was sent Derna to join the Babini Group on 16 January 1941 but a lack of tank transporters meant that the M13/40 had to drive on their tracks, which caused many breakdowns and on 19 December, Comando Supremo in Rome arranged to rush every available M13/40 to Tripoli.
The area east of the Jebel Akhdar mountains around Derna, was garrisoned by XX Corps (Lieutenant-General Annibale Bergonzoli) with the 60th Infantry Division Sabratha and the Babini Group, which had already lost some of its tanks in Tobruk. The III Medium Battalion and the V Medium Battalion had establishments of 55 × M13/40 tanks, which should have amounted to at least 120 × M13s in the group but 82 had recently been landed at Benghazi. The new tanks needed ten days to be made battleworthy and a three-day journey to reach Mechili but in the crisis, tanks had been rushed forward, driving on their tracks, due to a lack of tank transporters, which reduced the serviceability of the vehicles. A defensive position was established by the 60th Infantry Division Sabratha on a line from Derna, along Wadi Derna, with the Babini Group concentrating at El Ghezze Scebib, south of Mechili and Giovanni Berta and Chaulan, to guard the flank and rear of the infantry.
On 22 January, the British advanced towards Derna with the 19th Australian Brigade and sent another Australian brigade to reinforce the 4th Armoured Brigade of the 7th Armoured Division, south of the Jebel Akhdar, for an advance on Mechili. Next day, the 10th Army commander, General Giuseppe Tellera ordered a counter-attack against the British as they approached Mechili, to avoid an envelopment of XX Corps from the south but communication within the Babini Group was slow, because only the tanks of senior commanders had wireless. Next day, 10–15 M13/40s of the Babini Group attacked the 7th Hussars of the 4th Armoured Brigade, which was heading west to cut the Derna–Mechili track north of Mechili. The Italians fired on the move, hit several tanks and pursued as the British swiftly retired, calling for help from the 2nd RTR, which ignored the signals through complacency. By 11:00 a.m., the British had lost several light tanks and a cruiser tank, one cruiser had a jammed gun and the third was retiring at speed, after taking fifty rounds to knock out two M13s. Eventually the 2nd RTR was alerted, caught the Italian tanks while sky-lined on a ridge and knocked out seven M13s by 11:30 a.m., for the loss of the cruiser and six light tanks.
Tellera intended to use the Babini Group to harass the southern flank of the British, to cover a withdrawal from Mechili but Graziani ordered him to wait on events. By the evening, a report had arrived from Babini that the group was down from 50–60 tanks and that their performance had been disappointing, along with alarmist tales of 150 British tanks advancing round the southern flank. Graziani then ordered Tellera to disengage the Babini Group by next morning. Some tanks of the group had been held back at Benghazi and work had began on a defensive position at Sirte, 440 miles (710 km) to the south. On 25 January in the north, the 2/11th Australian Battalion engaged the 60th Infantry Division Sabratha and the 10th Bersaglieri of the Babini Group at Derna airfield, making slow progress against determined resistance. Italian bombers and fighters flew sorties against the 2/11th Australian Battalion, as it attacked the airfield and high ground at Siret el Chreiba. The 10th Bersaglieri swept the flat ground with field artillery and machine-guns, stopping the Australian advance 3,000 yards (2,700 m) short of the objective.
The 4th Armoured Brigade was ordered to encircle Mechili and cut the western and north-western exits, while the 7th Armoured Brigade cut the road from Mechili to Slonta but the Babini Group had retreated from Mechili during the night. The group retreated south of Slonta to Bir Melez and Antelat, covering 140 miles (220 km) through sandstorms and air attacks, pursued by the 4th Armoured Brigade until it had to stop on 28 January due to lack of fuel, exhaustion and camel tracks turning to deep mud in the rains. On 26 January, Graziani ordered Tellera to continue the defence of Derna and to use the Babini Group to stop an advance westwards from Mechili–Derna. Tellera requested more tanks but this was refused, until the defences of Derna began to collapse the next day. During the day, the 2/4th Australian Battalion in the Derna–Giovanni Berta area, attacked and cut the Derna–Mechili road and a company crossed Wadi Derna during the night. On the northern edge of the wadi, a bold counter-attack with artillery support was made across open ground by the 10th Bersaglieri of the Babini Group, which with reports in the morning that the group was attacking round the southern flank, deterred the Australians from continuing the advance on Derna, which cost 40 Bersaglieri killed and 56 captured.
During 27 January, Australian attempts to attack were met by massed artillery-fire, against which the Australian artillery were rationed to ten rounds per-gun-per-day; the 2/4th Australian Battalion repulsed another battalion-strength counter-attack. A column of Bren carriers of the 6th Australian Cavalry Regiment was sent south to reconnoitre the area where the Italian tanks had been reported and was ambushed by a party of the Babini Group with concealed anti-tank guns and machine guns; four Australians were killed and three taken prisoner. The 11th Hussars found a gap at Chaulan south of Wadi Derna, which threatened the Babini Group and the defenders in Derna with encirclement and Bergonzoli ordered a retirement. The Italians disengaged on the night of 28/29 January before the garrison could be trapped and Babini Group rearguards cratered roads, planted mines and booby-traps and managed to conduct several skillful ambushes, which slowed the British pursuit.
At Benghazi and Beda Fomm, the Babini Group had almost 100 × M13/40 tanks. During the retreat from Benghazi, commanded by the XXIII Corps commander, Lieutenant-General Annibale Bergonzoli the first convoy reached the area of Beda Fomm, ran into a minefield planted across the road and was engaged by the artillery, anti-tank guns and armoured cars of Combeforce, which threw the column into confusion. Some members of the 10th Bersaglieri tried to advance down the road and others on the flanks. (Combeforce had reached Antelat during the morning and by 12:30 p.m. had observers overlooking the Via Balbia west of Beda Fomm and Sidi Saleh, about 48 kilometres (30 mi) south-west of Antelat and 32 kilometres (20 mi) north of Ajedabia, with the rest of the force following on south of the Jebel Akhdar.) The Bersaglieri had little effect, being unsupported by artillery, most of which was with the rearguard to the north. The vanguard of the Italian retreat had no tanks, few front-line infantry and were trapped by the ambush, which forced them to fight where they stood.
Italian rear-area personnel and civilians tried to escape, by driving west off the road into the sand dunes and got bogged down. Lorries carrying petrol caught fire and lit the dusk, illuminating targets for the British gunners and giving the tanks en route a mark to drive for. The British artillery was not needed and the crews took about 800 prisoners. Tellera, commanding the rearguard, had to retain part of the Babini Group, rather than send all of it south to reinforce Bergonzoli, for the attempts to break through the British to Agedabia. The fort at Sceleidima had been garrisoned by the Bignami Group (Colonel Riccardo Bignami) of the 10th Bersaglieri, to block the route towards the north end of the Italian column on the Via Balbia and Tellera detached another thirty tanks from the Babini Group as a reinforcement. The breakthrough attempts to the south could not be fully reinforced and the Italians could not expect to be undisturbed by British attacks along the convoy or the Australian advance down the Via Balbia, towards the tail of the column. When the rest of the Babini Group arrived at Beda Fomm, it could be supported only by improvised artillery and infantry groups, which had little idea of British dispositions, in the absence of reconnaissance.
The retirement of the 4th Armoured Brigade into laager, led Bergonzoli to believe that the force would concentrate in defence of the road block and during the night, he organised an attack down the Via Balbia, to pin down the defenders. A flanking move by the Babini Group eastwards through the desert, just west of a feature known as the Pimple, was intended to get behind Combeforce. On the morning of 6 February, the Babini Group had 16 officers and 2,300 men, 24 × M13s in the V Medium Tank Battalion, twelve of the III Medium Tank Battalion at the rear, 24 × guns, 18 × anti-tank guns, 320 × assorted lorries and other small vehicles. At 8:30 a.m. the Babini Group advanced without artillery support and with no knowledge of the situation beyond the first ridge to the east.
The 7th Support Group, which was left with only the 1st King's Royal Rifle Corps (1st KRRC) and some artillery, was held up at Sceleidima by minefields covered by artillery and the Bignami Group. At dawn on 6 February, the Australians continued their attacks on Benghazi from the north and the British continued to attack at Sceleidima, where Bignami was ordered to retire at 10:00 a.m., keep the British off the rear of the column and send the Babini Group detachment south to reinforce the breakout attempt. On the Via Balbia, the first wave of ten M13s from the Babini Group, advanced slowly at 8:30 a.m. and were surprised when turrets of the British cruisers appeared over a ridge 600 yards (550 m) away. Eight M13s were knocked out and then the British tanks disappeared below the ridge. The British tanks re-appeared over the ridge near the white mosque and the Pimple to knock out another seven M13s. Italian artillery opened fire on the mosque and every operational tank the Babini Group had left advanced towards the Pimple and the mosque.
At 10:30 a.m. another big Italian convoy arrived from the north, escorted by M13s which forced back the British. The escorting tanks of the Babini Group kept the light tanks at a distance but they were still able to inflict damage and sow confusion. The weather turned to rain as more Italian columns arrived near the Pimple and were engaged by the British tanks, wherever there were no Italian tanks to stop them. By noon, forty Italian M13s had been knocked out and only about fifty were left. At 1:00 p.m., the V Medium Tank Battalion engaged British tanks and then the III Medium Tank Battalion arrived and joined in. Three British tanks were knocked out and the British retired, leaving behind several prisners. The III Battalion then repulsed another attack by twelve British tanks on the 10th Army column between Beda Fomm and the sea. After being ambushed by twenty British Cruiser tanks, all but four of the M13/40s of the VI Medium Tank Battalion were knocked out, only 24 days after arriving in Libya.
The Italian rearguard arrived in the afternoon and the concentration of tanks and artillery enabled the Italians to recapture the Pimple, open the road south and continue the outflanking move to the east. The XXI Medium Tank Battalion arrived late, found itself obstructed by a mine field and was unable attack as more British tanks arrived as night fell and intercepted the column as several Italian vehicles and thirty tanks got past the Pimple. Bergonzoli abandoned attempts to hook round the eastern flank and sent the last of the Babini Group west through the dunes, just as the British tanks had to rearm. Several British tanks pursued the Italians, firing into the convoy, setting vehicles alight, forcing drivers to abandon their vehicles or leave the road for the dunes to the west, where they dodged British artillery-fire and attacks by light tanks, which took 350 prisoners.
The Babini Group had only about thirty tanks left and Bergonzoli planned to us them to force a passage through Combeforce at dawn, before the British could attack the flanks and rear of the column. The Babini Group was supported by artillery-fire, as soon as it became light enough to see movement by the British anti-tank guns portée. British infantry stayed under cover as they were overrun by the M13s, which concentrated their fire on the British anti-tank guns and British artillery fired on the infantry positions as the Babini Group passed through. After the tanks had moved on, the British infantry resumed fire on Italian infantry following the tanks, to pin them down. The M13s knocked out all but one anti-tank gun and kept going but the last anti-gun was driven to a flank and commenced firing as the last M13s drove onwards and knocked out the last surviving tank. On the road, the Italians could hear British tank engines on the flanks, to the rear and in the north, the British surrounded another Italian group, just before the 10th Army surrendered. The Beda Fomm area had become a 15-mile (24 km) line of destroyed and abandoned lorries, about 100 × guns, 100 × knocked out or captured tanks and 25,000 prisoners, including Tellera (found mortally wounded in one of the M13s), Bergonzoli and the 10th Army staff. The Babini Group lost more than 101 × M13s of which 39, mainly from the XXI Medium Tank Battalion, were undamaged.
On 15 February, a British analysis found that the Italians had been unable to mass their tanks sufficiently and they had attacked the British piecemeal, which was believed to be because the tanks had been spread through the Italian columns. Prisoners had said that the lack of wireless prevented a tactical reorganisation in the confusion. The VI and XXI Medium battalions in M13s were considered to have shown inferior gunnery while on the move, unlike the III and V Medium Tank battalions at Mechili in January, perhaps because the newer battalions had only recently received M13s and were inadequately trained. Tests on captured M13s found that armour-piercing shells fired by a 25-pounder field gun at 800 yards (730 m) went straight through the tank, when fired with an instantaneous fuze the shell made a large hole in the armour of one side and with a short-delay fuze shells exploded inside the tank. At 500 yards (460 m) a Boys anti-tank rifle dented the armour. Examination of wrecked tanks showed that a hit on the crew compartment almost always killed all the occupants, although the reason for this was not apparent.
Only a few thousand men of the 10th Army and about nine medium tanks had escaped the disaster in Cyrenaica but the 5th Army had four divisions in Tripolitania and the Italians reinforced the Sirte, Tmed Hassan and Buerat strongholds from Italy, which brought the total of Italian soldiers in Tripolitania to about 150,000 men. The Italian forces in Libya experienced a "renaissance" during 1941, when the 101st Motorised Division Trieste, 102nd Motorised Division Trento, the 132nd Armoured Division Ariete arrived along with better equipment. Italian anti-tank units performed well during Operation Brevity, Operation Battleaxe and the Ariete Division defeated the 2nd Armoured Brigade at Bir el Gubi on 19 November, during Operation Crusader.
Order of battle
|Babini Group | 18 November 1940|
(Intended structure of the brigade when the division was formed)
- The Italian-made fuel pumps were replaced with German Bosch pumps in later production batches. The 1st Tank Company was destroyed during the capture of the port in the Battle of Bardia (3–5 January 1941).
- Parri nd.
- Christie 1999, pp. 32, 48.
- Walker 2003, p. 61.
- Christie 1999, pp. 91, 103.
- Christie 1999, p. 57.
- Playfair et al. 1954, p. 266.
- Playfair et al. 1954, pp. 266–268.
- Moorehead 1944, pp. 61–64.
- Walker 2003, p. 63.
- Walker 2003, pp. 63, 65.
- Macksey 1972, pp. 121–123.
- Playfair et al. 1954, p. 353.
- Long 1952, p. 242.
- Macksey 1972, p. 123.
- Macksey 1972, p. 124.
- Long 1952, pp. 242–245.
- Macksey 1972, pp. 124–127.
- Long 1952, pp. 245–247, 250.
- Long 1952, pp. 250–253, 255–256.
- Macksey 1972, pp. 137, 139.
- Playfair et al. 1954, p. 358.
- Macksey 1972, pp. 139–140.
- Macksey 1972, pp. 142–143.
- Playfair et al. 1954, p. 359.
- Macksey 1972, pp. 143–144.
- Macksey 1972, p. 148.
- Macksey 1972, pp. 145–148.
- Playfair et al. 1954, pp. 359–360.
- Playfair et al. 1954, pp. 359–361.
- Macksey 1972, p. 149.
- Macksey 1972, pp. 147–148.
- Macksey 1972, pp. 150–151.
- Playfair et al. 1954, p. 361.
- Harding 1941.
- Sadkovich 1991, p. 293.
- French 2001, p. 219.
- French, David (2001) . Raising Churchill's Army: The British Army and the War against Germany 1919–1945. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-924630-0.
- Long, Gavin (1952). To Benghazi (PDF). Australia in the War of 1939–1945. Canberra: Australian War Memorial. OCLC 314648263. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
- Macksey, Major Kenneth (1972) . Beda Fomm: The Classic Victory. Ballantine's Illustrated History of the Violent Century (Battle Book 22). SBN 345-09748-3. New York: Ballantine Books. OCLC 473687868.
- Moorehead, A (2009) . The Desert War: The Classic Trilogy on the North African campaign 1940–43 (Aurum Press ed.). London: Hamish Hamilton. ISBN 978-1-84513-391-7.
- Playfair, Major-General I. S. O.; with Stitt R.N., Commander G. M. S.; Molony, Brigadier C. J. C. & Toomer, Air Vice-Marshal S. E. (1954). Butler, J. R. M., ed. The Mediterranean and Middle East: The Early Successes Against Italy (to May 1941). History of the Second World War, United Kingdom Military Series I. HMSO. ISBN 1-84574-065-3.
- Walker, Ian W. (2003). Iron Hulls, Iron Hearts: Mussolini's Elite Armoured Divisions in North Africa. Marlborough: Crowood. ISBN 1-86126-646-4.
- Sadkovich, James. J. (1991). "Of Myths and Men: Rommel and the Italians in North Africa". The International History Review XIII (2): 284–313. doi:10.1080/07075332.1991.9640582. ISSN 0707-5332. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
- Christie, H. R. (1999). Fallen Eagles: The Italian 10th Army in the Opening Campaign in the Western Desert, June 1940 – December 1940 (MA). Fort Leavenworth, KS: U. S. Army Command and General Staff College. OCLC 465212715. A116763. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- Harding, J. (BGS) (23 February 1941). "Cyrenaica Command Intelligence Summary No. 5 and XIII Corps Intelligence Summary No. 18 and Appendix E, H.Q. Cyrenaica Command Intelligence Summary No. 6 (23 Feb 41) WO 169/1258". The National Archives. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
- Parri, M. "Storia del 32° Rgt. Carri dalla Costituzione del Reggimento fino al termine del Secondo Conflitto Mondiale" [History of the 32nd Armoured Regiment from its Establishment until the end of the Second World War]. http://www.assocarri.it/griglia_Unita.htm (in Italian). no date. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
- Guglielmi, D. (December 2005). "Autocannoni e portees in Africa Settentrionale". Storia Militare (in Italian) (Parma, Italy: Albertelli Edizioni Speciali): 32–33. ISSN 1122-5289.
- Wavell, A. (26 June 1946). "Archibald Wavell's Despatch on Operations in the Western Desert From 7th December, 1940 to 7th February 1941" (PDF). Supplement to the London Gazette, Number 37628. Retrieved 31 October 2009.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Babini Group.|
- Babini Group Order of Battle (in Italian)
- Diary of Colonel Emilio Iezzi, Commander, V Medium Tank Battalion
- The Mediterranean and Middle East, vol I, The Early Successes against Italy (to May 1941) Ch 19: Graziani is swept out of Cyrenaica, January–February 1941 (1954)