The Battle of Tobruk began on 10 April 1941
Dr Karl James, Senior Historian, Military History Section of the Australian War Memorial & former curator for “Rats of Tobruk, 1941”, a special anniversary exhibition on display during 2011, joins Michael regarding the Battle of Tubruk which began on 10 April eighty years ago.
The siege of Tobruk lasted for 241 days after Axis forces advanced through Cyrenaica from El Agheila in Operation Sonnenblume against Allied forces in Libya, during the Western Desert Campaign (1940–1943) of the Second World War.
During early 1941, much of the Western Desert Force was sent to the Greek and Syrian campaigns. As German troops and Italian reinforcements reached Libya, only a skeleton Allied force remained, short of equipment and supplies.
Between April and August 1941 around 14,000 Australian soldiers were besieged by a German–Italian army commanded by General Erwin Rommel.
The garrison, commanded by Lieutenant General Leslie Morshead, consisted of the 9th Division (20th, 24th, and 26th Brigades), the 18th Brigade of the 7th Division, along with four regiments of British artillery and some Indian troops.
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