Operation Agreement: The Successful Allied Operation Against Nazi Germany in WWII
In the midst of WWII, the Allies carried out a number of covert operations to weaken Nazi Germany`s military capabilities. Among them was Operation Agreement, which was conducted in September 1942. The operation was launched to disrupt the Axis` shipping lines in the Mediterranean Sea, specifically to sabotage and destroy enemy ships in the ports of Tobruk and Benghazi in Libya. This article will delve into the details of the operation, its objectives, and the outcome.
Objective of Operation Agreement
The primary objective of Operation Agreement was to launch a commando raid on the enemy ports of Tobruk and Benghazi. Tobruk was the main port on the Cyrenaican coast, which was heavily defended by the Germans. The port was used as a supply base for the German Afrika Korps and was considered extremely important for the Axis powers. Benghazi, on the other hand, was a vital port for the supply of Axis forces in Africa.
Operation Agreement was initiated on the night of September 13th, 1942, when a group of 28 Australian and British commandos were dropped by the Royal Air Force (RAF) behind enemy lines. The team was led by Major Geoffrey Keyes, a highly decorated British officer who had previously served with the Special Operations Executive (SOE). The team arrived in an area south of Tobruk, close to the port of Bardia.
The commandos were tasked with sabotaging and destroying enemy ships in the ports of Tobruk and Benghazi. They were also assigned to gather intelligence on the enemy`s defenses, strength, and shipping movements.
The team split into two groups. One group was led by Major Keyes and was tasked with attacking the Italian naval base in Tobruk. The second group, led by Captain Guy D’Artois, was tasked with attacking the port of Benghazi.
The attack on Tobruk
Major Keyes` team successfully infiltrated the Tobruk naval base using rubber dinghies. They planted limpet mines on the ships and set them off using timed fuses. The team also targeted a dockside crane and ammunition stores. However, during the raid, Major Keyes was killed in action. His deputy, Captain Gerard Bucknall, took charge and ensured the mission`s completion despite the tragic loss of his leader.
The attack on Benghazi
Captain D’Artois` team had a tougher time in Benghazi. They were discovered by Italian soldiers and were forced to engage in a firefight. The team managed to plant limpet mines on one ship and sink another. However, they were unable to destroy the third ship as enemy counterattacks forced them to withdraw.
Despite the loss of Major Keyes, Operation Agreement achieved its objectives. The team destroyed several enemy ships, including two destroyers, an oil tanker, and a cargo ship. The operation also severely disrupted enemy shipping in the Mediterranean.
In conclusion, Operation Agreement is considered one of the most successful Allied operations in WWII. The operation`s success was mainly due to the bravery and skill of the commandos involved, who carried out their mission despite the odds. The operation proved that small teams of highly trained soldiers could achieve significant results against a much larger and better-equipped enemy force.