FACTOID # 4: Just 1% of the houses in Nevada were built before 1939.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Siege of Tobruk
Siege of Tobruk
Part of World War II, North African Campaign

Polish Independent Carpathian Brigade's offensive on Derna, November 12, 1941
Date March 31, 1941November 27, 1941
Location Tobruk, Libya
Result Allied victory
Combatants
Australia
United Kingdom
South Africa
Poland
Czechoslovakia
Germany
Italy
Commanders
Leslie Morshead Erwin Rommel
Strength
14,000 35,000?
Casualties
Britain:
9009 killed
941 captured
estimated 12,000 total
8,000
Western Desert Campaign
CompassSonnenblumeTobrukBrevityBattleaxeCrusaderGazalaBir Hakeim1st AlameinAlam HalfaAgreement2nd Alamein

The Siege of Tobruk was a lengthy confrontation between Axis and Allied forces, mostly Australian, in the North African Campaign of World War II. It started on 10 April 1941 as Generalleutnant Erwin Rommel invested the fort, besieging it for months. Combatants Allied Powers Axis Powers Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000,000 Total dead: 50,000,000 Military dead: 8,000,000 Civilian dead: 4,000,000 Total dead 12,000,000 World War II (abbreviated WWII), or the Second World War, was a worldwide conflict... During World War II, the North African Campaign, also known as the Desert War, took place in the North African desert from September 13, 1940 to May 13, 1943. ... Image File history File linksMetadata SBSK3. ... Polish Independent Carpathian Brigade (Polish Samodzielna Brygada Strzelców Karpackich) was a Polish military unit formed in 1940 in French Syria of the Polish soldiers exiled after the Polish Defence War of 1939. ... November 12 is the 316th day of the year (317th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 49 days remaining. ... For the movie, see 1941 (film). ... March 31 is the 90th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (91st in Leap years), with 275 days remaining. ... For the movie, see 1941 (film). ... November 27 is the 331st day (332nd on leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... For the movie, see 1941 (film). ... Tobruk or Tubruq (Arabic: طبرق; also transliterated as Tóbruch, Tobruch, Å¢ubruq, Tobruck ) is a town, seaport, municipality, and peninsula in eastern Libya in Northern Africa. ... Sir Leslie James Morshead (September 18, 1889 - September 26, 1959) was an Australian soldier with a distinguished career in both world wars. ... Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel ( ) (15 November 1891 – 14 October 1944) was one of the most distinguished German field marshals of World War II. He was the commander of the Deutsches Afrika Korps and also became known by the nickname The Desert Fox (Wüstenfuchs,  ) for the skillful military campaigns he... The Western Desert Campaign was the primary early theatre of the North African Campaign of World War II. It is sometimes referred to as the Egypt-Libya Campaign. ... Combatants Western Desert Force Italian Tenth Army Commanders Richard OConnor Rodolfo Graziani Pietro Maletti † Strength 50,000 soldiers 120 guns 275 tanks 100,000 soldiers 1,600 guns 600 light tanks Casualties 494 dead 1,225 wounded 3,000 dead 115,000 captured 400 tanks 1,292 guns Operation... During World War II. Operation Sonnenblume (German for sunflower) was the deployment of German troops (the “Afrika Korps”) to the North African Campaign in February, 1941. ... Combatants Germany, Italy United Kingdom, India Commanders Erwin Rommel Archibald Wavell Noel Beresford-Peirse Strength Afrika Korps (5th Light Division, 15th Panzer Division) and three Italian divisions (Ariete, Brescia, Trento). ... Combatants Germany, Italy United Kingdom, India Commanders Erwin Rommel Archibald Wavell Noel Beresford-Peirse Strength Afrika Korps including 5th Light Division and 15th Panzer Division, about 13,000 XIII Corp consisting of 7th Armoured Division and 4th Indian Division 20,000+ troops with 200 tanks Casualties 12 tanks destroyed 700... Combatants United Kingdom Australia New Zealand Poland Germany Italy Commanders Claude Auchinleck Alan Gordon Cunningham Neil Ritchie Erwin Rommel Ludwig Crüwell Strength 8th Army comprising XIII Corps, XXX Corps and 70th Division. ... The Battle of Gazala was an important battle of the World War II Western Desert Campaign, fought around the port of Tobruk in Libya from May 26 to June 21, 1942. ... Combatants Free French Forces Afrika Korps Commanders Marie Pierre Koenig Erwin Rommel Strength 3703 ? Casualties deads 140, wounded 229, prisonners 814 3300 The Battle of Bir Hakeim (May 26, 1942 - June 11, 1942) was fought, during World War II, between the German/Italian Afrika Korps and the 1st Free French... The First Battle of El Alamein 1–July 27, 1942 was a battle of the Western Desert Campaign of World War II, fought between the German–Italian Afrika Korps commanded by Erwin Rommel and the British Eighth Army, commanded by Claude Auchinleck. ... Battle of Alam Halfa Conflict World War II Date August 30–September 6, 1942 Place El Alamein, Egypt Result Allied strategic victory Axis tactical victory The Battle of Alam el Halfa took place between August 30 and September 6, 1942 during the Western Desert Campaign of World War II... During World War II, Operation Agreement consisted of ground and amphibious attacks by British, Rhodesian and New Zealand forces on German- and Italian-held Tobruk (Operation Daffodil), Benghazi (Operation Snowdrop), Jalo oasis (Operation Tulip) and Barce (Operation Hyacinth) launched on 13 September 1942. ... Combatants British 8th Army German Panzer Army Africa Commanders Bernard Montgomery Erwin Rommel Strength 250,000 men 1,030 tanks 900 guns 530 aircraft 90,000 men 500 tanks 500 guns 350 aircraft Casualties 13,500 dead and wounded 13,000 dead 46,000 wounded or captured The Second Battle... Tobruk or Tubruq (Arabic: طبرق; also transliterated as Tóbruch, Tobruch, Å¢ubruq, Tobruck ) is a town, seaport, municipality, and peninsula in eastern Libya in Northern Africa. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The Allies of World War II were the countries officially opposed to the Axis Powers during the Second World War. ... During World War II, the North African Campaign, also known as the Desert War, took place in the North African desert from September 13, 1940 to May 13, 1943. ... Combatants Allied Powers Axis Powers Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000,000 Total dead: 50,000,000 Military dead: 8,000,000 Civilian dead: 4,000,000 Total dead 12,000,000 World War II (abbreviated WWII), or the Second World War, was a worldwide conflict... April 10 is the 100th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (101st in leap years). ... For the movie, see 1941 (film). ... Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel ( ) (15 November 1891 – 14 October 1944) was one of the most distinguished German field marshals of World War II. He was the commander of the Deutsches Afrika Korps and also became known by the nickname The Desert Fox (Wüstenfuchs,  ) for the skillful military campaigns he...

Contents

Prelude

On the 21st of January, 1941 engineers and sappers of the 2/1st Australian Field Company crawled into no-man's land to locate and disarm mines and booby traps. This was to clear it for an assault on the fort. At 5:40 PM the town was bombarded with fire from artillery and the RAF. The men of the 2/3rd and the 2/1st Australian battalions stormed through the weakened Italian defences.


Many posts fell easily while others defended solidly. In 12 hours, the Italian General Petassi Manella surrendered himself but refused to order the surrender of the town. This made little difference and soon all the Italian soldiers were dead, wounded or captured.


At the end of the day, the casualties were 49 Australian dead and 306 wounded, to Italy's 27,000 POWs. To ensure a safer trip across no-man's land, the Italians were told that, for every Australian killed by mines, two Italians would be killed. A lack of soldiers caused the allied command to send POWs to camps accompanied by only one or two guards. [1]


Siege Begins

At 4:00 AM on the tenth of April, during one of the most fierce khamsin in a generation of Italian settlers, the men of the 2/48th Australian battalion of 9th division discovered they were being trailed by a German Panzer. The Australians made it to Tobruk in time to lose the tank. This alerted the Australian forces to the threat of the coming assault. Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... The 9th Division of the Australian Army was formed to serve in World War II, as part of the Second Australian Imperial Force (AIF). ... PzKpfw V-D, a Panther tank   Panzer? is German for armour. ... Tobruk or Tubruq (Arabic: طبرق; also transliterated as Tóbruch, Tobruch, Å¢ubruq, Tobruck ) is a town, seaport, municipality, and peninsula in eastern Libya in Northern Africa. ...


Lieutenant General Leslie Morshead resolved to stand and fight, and issued his pre-battle orders. Along with Colonel "Gaffer" Lloyd, Morshead divided the 30 mile perimeter into three rough sectors. It would be the job of the three Australian brigades to ensure these were not breached. The 26th would hold the western sector, the 20th would hold the south and the 24th would hold the east. These men would be assisted by British artillery, crucial to holding the port. Sir Leslie James Morshead (September 18, 1889 - September 26, 1959) was an Australian soldier with a distinguished career in both world wars. ... Historically, artillery (from French artillerie) refers to any engine used for the discharge of projectiles during war. ... Seaport, a painting by Claude Lorrain, 1638 The Port of Wellington at night. ...


The men of the 2/28th observed three German armoured cars closing in on their position. The only available equipment was two Italian guns, so these were set up hurriedly. As the cars reached 500 yards, the first shot was fired in the defence of Tobruk, by infantrymen with a week's training in the use of artillery, using these Italian weapons. Alternative meanings: vehicle armour, Armor (novel) A hoplite wearing a helmet, a breastplate and greaves (and nothing else). ... Historically, artillery (from French artillerie) refers to any engine used for the discharge of projectiles during war. ...


General von Prittwitz ordered troops of the 8th Machine-gun Battalion to keep charging down a slope that led to a destroyed bridge. He made a good target for the Australian gunners. The General and his driver were among the first casualties and both were killed. The skirmish lasted for three hours until the Germans finally fell back. The Australian sappers and engineers then hastily laid minefields. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with combat engineering. ... Engineering is the application of scientific and technical knowledge to solve human problems. ...


General Morshead ordered all Italian signal cables to be re-laid. He wanted to know what was happening, and where, so he could adjust his forces accordingly. He also kept a reserve of runners in case the telephone lines were disrupted by the German attack.


The Afrika Korps swept past Tobruk, cutting the main Bardia Road to Cairo. The port city was surrounded. However, because of British naval superiority, the allied troops were nevershort of supplies, and wounded troops could be ferried out of the city. The seal of Afrikakorps The German Afrika Korps (German: Deutsches Afrikakorps, DAK  ) was the corps-level headquarters controlling the German Panzer divisions in Libya and Egypt during the North African Campaign of World War II. Since there was little turnover in the units attached to the corps, the term is... Nickname: Al Qahirah (The Triumphant City) Cairos location in Egypt Coordinates: Governor Dr. Abdul Azim Wazir Area    - City 210 km²  - Metro 1,492 km² Population (2005)  - City 7,438,376  - Density 35,420/km²  - Urban 10,834,495  - Metro 15,200,000 Time zone EET (UTC+2)  - Summer (DST...


Easter Attack

Just after noon, the Germans positioned themselves for a concentrated attack on the city. To exaggerate the size of their force, they were ordered to make more dust than normal.


The 5th Panzer Regiment drew fire first to try to assess the defence. Within an hour, five of the German tanks were destroyed and the others pulled back. At 3:00 PM the men of the 2/13th saw about 400 German soldiers approach. The Australians mowed down the Germans and sent them retreating, carrying their dead and wounded with them.


At 4:00 PM the men of the 2/17th saw 700 Germans launching an attack on their position. The artillery opened fire but they kept advancing. The Australians were outnumbered and outgunned with only two Bren guns, a few dozen rifles and a couple of Boyes anti-tank rifles. The Germans kept falling around each other but then came the tanks. Wave after wave of Panzers and Italian M13s set on the 2/17th. Just as they were set to fire on the Australians 4 British tanks arrived, firing over the head of the Australians. The Germans could not yet hurdle the obstacles set for them and they fell back to regroup. This attack yielded only one dead on the allied side, Private Arthur Beezley, struck by machine-gun fire.


Morshead's defence plan was aggressive. He ordered rigorous patrolling of the anti-tank ditches and more mines laid. The aggressive patrolling appeared to work. The 2/13th encountered a German raiding party with a large amount of explosives. The party had clearly intended to blow the sides of the ditch allowing easier passage for tanks to cross.


Siege

Three attempts were made before the siege was successfully lifted by allied troops:

For most of the siege, Tobruk was defended by the Australian 9th Division under General Sir Leslie Morshead. General Archibald Wavell instructed Morshead to hold the fortress for eight weeks, but they held it for over 8 months, before being gradually withdrawn and replaced by the British 70th Infantry Division, the Polish Carpathian Brigade and 11th Czechoslovak infantry battalion (East) just prior to the start of Operation Crusader. The Royal Navy also played an important role in Tobruk's defense, providing gunfire support, supplies, fresh troops and ferrying out the wounded. Combatants Germany, Italy United Kingdom, India Commanders Erwin Rommel Archibald Wavell Noel Beresford-Peirse Strength Afrika Korps (5th Light Division, 15th Panzer Division) and three Italian divisions (Ariete, Brescia, Trento). ... May 15 is the 135th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (136th in leap years). ... May 27 is the 147th day (148th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, with 218 days remaining. ... For the movie, see 1941 (film). ... Combatants Germany, Italy United Kingdom, India Commanders Erwin Rommel Archibald Wavell Noel Beresford-Peirse Strength Afrika Korps including 5th Light Division and 15th Panzer Division, about 13,000 XIII Corp consisting of 7th Armoured Division and 4th Indian Division 20,000+ troops with 200 tanks Casualties 12 tanks destroyed 700... June 15 is the 166th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (167th in leap years), with 199 days remaining. ... June 17 is the 168th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (169th in leap years), with 197 days remaining. ... For the movie, see 1941 (film). ... Combatants United Kingdom Australia New Zealand Poland Germany Italy Commanders Claude Auchinleck Alan Gordon Cunningham Neil Ritchie Erwin Rommel Ludwig Crüwell Strength 8th Army comprising XIII Corps, XXX Corps and 70th Division. ... November 18 is the 322nd day of the year (323rd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... December 10 is the 344th day (345th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, 21 days before the next year. ... For the movie, see 1941 (film). ... The 9th Division of the Australian Army was formed to serve in World War II, as part of the Second Australian Imperial Force (AIF). ... Sir Leslie James Morshead (September 18, 1889 - September 26, 1959) was an Australian soldier with a distinguished career in both world wars. ... Archibald Percival Wavell, 1st Earl Wavell (May 5, 1883 - May 24, 1950) was a British Field Marshal and the commander of British Army forces in the Middle East during World War II. He led British forces to victory over the Italians, only to be defeated by the German army. ... // History This formation had a brief history during the Second World War. ... Polish Independent Carpathian Brigade (Polish Samodzielna Brygada Strzelców Karpackich) was a Polish military unit formed in 1940 in French Syria of the Polish soldiers exiled after the Polish Defence War of 1939. ... Combatants United Kingdom Australia New Zealand Poland Germany Italy Commanders Claude Auchinleck Alan Gordon Cunningham Neil Ritchie Erwin Rommel Ludwig Crüwell Strength 8th Army comprising XIII Corps, XXX Corps and 70th Division. ... The Royal Navy of the United Kingdom is the oldest of the British armed services (and is therefore the Senior Service). ...


Tobruk was the longest siege in British Imperial military history, and was the first notable defeat for a German army in World War II. Rommel nonetheless captured Tobruk in a new offensive in 1942 in the Battle of Gazala. The Battle of Gazala was an important battle of the World War II Western Desert Campaign, fought around the port of Tobruk in Libya from May 26 to June 21, 1942. ...


Further reading

Tobruk, Peter Fitzsimons, Harper Collins, 2006


See also

The seal of Afrikakorps The German Afrika Korps (German: Deutsches Afrikakorps, DAK  ) was the corps-level headquarters controlling the German Panzer divisions in Libya and Egypt during the North African Campaign of World War II. Since there was little turnover in the units attached to the corps, the term is... The 7th Armoured Division (The Desert Rats) of the British Army was the most famous unit of its type in British service during World War II. It was a regular division in the Middle East, designated the Mobile Division at first, renamed the Armoured Division (Egypt) in September 1939, and... The 9th Division of the Australian Army was formed to serve in World War II, as part of the Second Australian Imperial Force (AIF). ... The Rats of Tobruk was the name given to the soldiers who held Tobruk, Libya against the Afrika Corps, during a period known as the Siege of Tobruk in World War II. The conflict started on 10 April 1941. ... Sir Leslie James Morshead (September 18, 1889 - September 26, 1959) was an Australian soldier with a distinguished career in both world wars. ... Polish Independent Carpathian Brigade (Polish Samodzielna Brygada Strzelców Karpackich) was a Polish military unit formed in 1940 in French Syria of the Polish soldiers exiled after the Polish Defence War of 1939. ...

External links

  • The Characteristic of Tobruk defence in 1941
  • BBC - WW2 People's War - Siege of Tobruk
  • Australian War Memorial - Siege of Tobruk
  • Siege of Tobruk

  Results from FactBites:
 
Tobruk: Information from Answers.com (1316 words)
Tobruk was strategically important to the conquest of Eastern Libya, then the province of Cyrenecia, for several reasons.
Tobruk had a deep, natural, and protected harbor, which meant that even if the port was bombed, ships would still be able to anchor there and be safe from squalls, so the port could never be rendered wholly useless regardless of military bombardment.
Tobruk was also on a peninsula, allowing it to be defended by a minimal number of troops, which the British used to their advantage when the port was under siege.
tobruk (2780 words)
It was situated along the rocky mountains arround Tobruk from east to west.
The west part which the most difficult especially after losing the hill of Medauar (after it this part od defence line was called "the gap"), was defeated by 26-th Infantry Brigade, the south one by 20-th Infantry Brigade and the south by 24-th Infantry Brigade.
The German guns were situated as far as 8 km east of Tobruk which made them able to attack either the fortress or the harbour.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m