Tobruk - Some More Links

A good overview description of the Siege can be obtained from the Wikipedia page.  As yet, it has not been updated to reflect the new understandings of the Easter Battle that involved the 2/15th Battalion's critical involvement. 

Wikipedia - Siege of Tobruk


A chat with Adam Hills of Gordon St - Episode 11 from April 2011

Description says:

To mark ANZAC day, Adam chats with a group of the Rats of Tobruk. In 1941, a small force of Australian soldiers was called upon to help defend a port town called Tobruk on the coast of Libya.
When German forces surrounded Tobruk, subjecting it to ground assaults, shelling and air raids, Australian soldiers took shelter underground.
The Nazis labelled the Diggers as 'rats', but the Australian soldiers embraced the term as badge of honour.


Here is an SBS documentary from 2011

The accompanying YouTube description of the production is as follows:

Uploaded by  on Apr 22, 2011

A special ANZAC Day ceremony was to have been held this year in the Libyan town of Tobruk, marking the 70th anniversary of the start of what was to become a key event in Australian military history.

In April 1941, along with British and Indian troops, about 14,000 Australian soldiers became besieged in Tobruk, surrounded by Italian and German forces desperate to win control of its harbour.

Despite almost constant bombardment by artillery and from the air, the so-called "Rats of Tobruk" managed to hold on to the town until the siege was lifted in December.

It was a significant military victory as the Second World War allies struggled to defend Egypt and the Suez Canal - forcing the enemy forces to bring supplies overland from the port of Tripoli, across 1500 kilometres of desert.

But it came at a high cost - with more than 500 of the Australians killed, and hundreds more wounded.

The special ANZAC Day ceremony was cancelled because of the fighting in Libya, with Tobruk currently under the control of rebel forces.

Instead, the Rats of Tobruk who remain buried in Libya must be remembered from a distance ... by the dwindling number of their comrades who managed to come home - usually after further fighting, this time against Japanese forces in the Pacific.

One of the survivors, 91-year-old Harry Sutherland, shares some memories in this report compiled by Santilla Chingaipe and Sacha Payne, followed by a poem by one of the Rats, Gunner J. M. Teather, read by Murray Silby.

(Photos courtesy of Australian War Memorial and the Teather family).


A school project video on Tobruk


This is a short film from the AWM featuring Memorial historian Dr Karl James discussing the exhibition "Rats of Tobruk 1941".


Here is a recent video/song about Tobruk.  It is from YouTube.



Part 1 of a German propaganda film from the period.

Part 2 of a German propaganda film from the period.


Propaganda film of the capture of Tobruk by 6th Division in January 1941.


An interesting overview/background documentary of the various back and forward battles across the Middle East - including some commentary on Tobruk and early El Alamein battles.  I can't see the second part on YouTube yet.