Ridotta Capuzzo (Fort Capuzzo, Libya)

Within a few days of Italy declaring war on Britain in 1940, British forces attacked a number of forts along the Egyptian/Libyan border. RAF Gladiators and Blenheims provided support as the 7th Hussars and elements of the 1st RTR captured Fort Capuzzo near the town of Sullum, just inside the Libyan border. Over the next two years, the fort would change hands several times, gradually becoming more and more damaged with each attack until the walls were breached in several places.


As a wargaming opportunity, this is a very distinctive piece of architecture and would look excellent as a centrepiece for a major demonstration game. Because it is so large though (and because all my mates use 20mm figures), I have decided to do a version in 1/72 scale. The plan is to build it as as series of modules that can be assembled on the day or used individually in other games. The four walls will be separate pieces, the inner buildings too. Photographs of the interior are rare and of low resolution, so I’m exercising a fair bit of licence in the layout, but it should be recognisable as Capuzzo.

The base material for the outer walls is 4mm balsa sheet. Where the walls are damaged and the underlying masonry is exposed, I am using cork sheets cut into tiny blocks to represent the ashlar (dressed stone) and more cork cut into random stone shapes to represent the coarse fill that builds up the bulk of the wall. The rest of the wall will be clad in polyfilla to represent the stucco finish, liberally chipped to look like shrapnel scars.