Lieutenant Colonel Combe, commanding officer of the 11th Hussars, was put in charge of Combe Force.
Combe played a major part in the defeat of the Italian Tenth Army during Operation Compass. He was appointed to command an ad hoc mobile flying column known as Combe Force, comprising a squadron of 11th Hussars and 1st King’s Dragoon Guards, C Battery Royal Horse Artillery, and the 2nd Battalion the Rifle Brigade. From 6th to 7th February 1941, Combe Force cut off the retreating Italians at the Battle of Beda Fomm. The Italians were forced to halt and in spite of very determined attempts over two days, were unable to break through Combe Force’s defensive lines. Unable to move forward and picked off by attacks from their flank by 4th Armoured Brigade, the bulk of the 10th Army surrendered. The British took 25,000 prisoners, and captured 107 tanks and 93 guns.