Cyrenaica

Littorio Palace in Benghazi

Littorio Palace in Benghazi

Summary: Cyrenaica is an Italian colony in North Africa. Its eastern region is bordered by Egypt, through which the Italian army conducted offensive against British-controlled Egypt. And British army also carried out counterattacks westward through the region. Throughout the campaign in North Africa, the Allies and the Axis forces see-saw back and forth several times in this area with front changing frequently. That is because the area is mainly desert, sparsely populated with supply difficulties. After one side advances forward, because supply line was stretched longer, it was easy for the side to be counterattacked by the other side with a shorter supply line. After the decisive second Battle of El Alamein, the Allies eventually occupied this region.

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Cyrenaicais a historical and geographical region of Libya East. Strictly speaking corresponds to the peninsula that juts into the Mediterranean Sea between the Gulf of Sidra and the Gulf of Bomba (also called historical Cyrenaica), while the area east of the Gulf of Bomba is historically known as Marmarica.

In modern times, the term has indicated one of the three regions of Libya, Tripolitania and Fezzan along with. In this sense, it is an area of approximately 820,000 km², which occupies the eastern part of Libya, Cyrenaica, including the historical, the Marmara and a portion of the Libyan desert, bounded on the north by the Mediterranean Sea, east from Egypt, South east by Sudan, south by Chad to the west by the regions of Fezzan and Tripolitania. After 1963, the region has lost all value administrative, and has been replaced by smaller entities.

From the perspective of cultural history the region has some differences compared to the rest of the country, being more tied to Egypt and the world near-east.

The region was the main theater of war in the African continent during the Second World War. In 1942, British forces occupied the area and administered it until 1951. From 1951 to 1970, Cyrenaica became part of Libya governed by former leaders Senusi Idris I and, following the coup led by then Captain Mu’ammar Gaddafi, the Libyan Arab Republic.

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