On their way…

In preparation for war, Italian conscripts and career soldiers were transferred from Italy to Italian colonies in Africa.

From Perugia, Tullio Brutti was sent from Italy to a staging camp at Matuba [Martuba] Libya.  Matuba had the largest airfields in Libya so was strategically important. While there is no date on Tullio’s photo below and the Italian port from where he departed is unknown, the photo is a reminder of pre WW2 and Mussolini’s efforts to send Italian troops to Libya  in preparation for hostilities.

A rare photo; the men look apprehensive, deep in thought, eager, hopeful, anxious. Some wave to the camera man while others enjoy a cigarette.  Heads filled with Mussolini’s words: “Believe, obey, fight.”

Going to the ship

On the way to Libya

(photo courtesy of Sonia Brutti)

Tullio was in Martuba in 1939. By 3rd January 1941, Tullio was in Bardia;  269 km to the east of Martuba. The war ended for Tullio in Bardia where he was captured 3.1.41.

Bardia fell to the Allies on 5th January 1941 and by 14th January 1941 aerodromes at Derna, Martuba, Tmini and Gazala had been cleared of Italian planes.

Arriving in Australia 22.2.44, Tullio’s journey took him to a farm in Western Australia in the Wagin district (W6 Wagin).

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