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Front page of a Libyan newspaper from 1943

Angular Chap

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I found this photo of the front page of a Libyan newspaper from 1943 in an old photo album with pictures from my grandfather when he served in North Africa during WWII.

I'm not sure of the exact history, but my grandfather always had it on display in a frame in his living room. The photo itself is only a few inches but readable with good eyes. I have scanned it at 2400 dpi, the highest my scanner goes and resized and compressed it to to keep the file size respectful of the forum's file storage, but hopefully still readable.

Some fairly dark subject matter given the time and events. More importantly, no disrespect whatsoever to the people of the countries involved, past or present. But an interesting small piece of history.

That's a great piece of history, a turning point in the war. And unlike electronic media, it can't be edited for the sake of censorship or propaganda. Too much of our real history gets either corrupted or hidden from us these days.

My grandfather did Egypt and then Tunisia, bogged down in Tobruk he didn't make it back to Australia in time to join in the Pacific campaigns, but the soldiers were all well aware of what was going on back home. He said a lot of Italian soldiers would surrender immediately on seeing an Aussie uniform, not out of fear but because they knew they wouldn't be mistreated.
My family also has a connection to Libya. I have a few relatives that worked in the oil industry. Anything from mining to accounting.

I don't remember the finer details of the story. Just the main parts.

My great uncle worked many years for BP as a comptroller. He and my great aunt had their home base in the UK, where their children were in boarding school, but they lived full time in Libya.

After the coup which placed Qaddafi in power, he met with foreign oil employees and assured them that they could continue to operate in the country. My grandmother was even sent a photograph from that day, of my great uncle standing next to Qaddafi in front of an airplane. We kept it in a special cabinet along with heirlooms brought over from Scotland when my family emigrated.

A couple years later, Qaddafi surprised the world by announcing he was nationalizing Libya's oil fields. Foreign oil employees were public enemy number one.

My great uncle was part of the greatest generation, so he didn't linger on this part of the story. Just that "people were being shot", and that they had seconds to run. They had nothing but whatever they were wearing at the time, and I'll assume, their passports, but I don't know if they even had that.

They were literally fleeing from military and police. Shot at. Somehow they got onto the tarmac. The only plane out of there was heading to Spain.

And they lived to tell the tale.

My uncle worked out of Spain for a few years, becoming fluent in Castilian before moving on to Sri Lanka. He was a quiet, calm genius. Started from absolutely nothing. He was an orphan as a child, abused by the family that adopted him. And as a young man, married my aunt, and worked his way up through a company, and travelling the world.

What a story. What a life.
Some weeks after the day when Mussolini had been removed from Italian government by the grand council of fascism, the new prime minister, Badoglio, according with the king Vittorio Emanuele III, decided to withdraw the alliance with German and Japan to liberate Italy thanks to USA and UK (but USA and UK had liberated Sicily, the southern Italian region, before Badoglio's government). So Italian soldiers in Libia returned in Italy.

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