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Mechili (Arabic:المخيلي) is a small village in Cyrenaica, Libyamarker. It’s nearly 255 km east of Benghazimarker, and 75 km west of Timimimarker.

Geography

Because of it’s location in the desert, Mechili suffered in the past from isolation. However, its isolation ended after paving the Charruba-Mechili-Timimi desert road between the years 1975-1985, and this road became preferred to those who want to travel from Tobrukmarker to Benghazimarker and vice versa.

History

  • On January 1941, during World War II, the British force named “Western Desert Force” under command of General Richard O’Connor (after taking Tobruk on 22 January) executed a dare outflanking movement and took Mechili from Italian forces on 27 January.
  • On 7 April the same year, German general Erwin Rommel’s forces occupied Mechili as a part of his first offensive through Cyrenaica on the goal of encircling the British forces, and this helped in capturing O’Connor near Dernamarker the same month.
  • On 18 December 1941, the British forces re-took Mechili as a part of Operation Crusader.
  • On early February 1942, Rommel’s forces also re-took Mechili as a part of his second offensive through Cyrenaica.
  • On November 1942, the British forces occupied Mechili for the last time.


References

  • Kenneth Macksey, "Beda Fomm : The Classic Victory",Ballantine Books, New York, 1971.
  • Peter Young(ed.), "The History of World War II", vols. no.4 & 8, Orbis Publication,1984.
  • Derek Jewell (ed.), “Alamein and the Desert War”, Times Newspapers, Sphere Books, 1967.


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