Australian casualties from the 9th Division from 8th April to 25th October numbered 749 killed, 1,996 wounded and 604 prisoners. The total losses in the 9th Division and attached troops from 1st March to 15th December amounded to 832 killed, 2,177 wounded and 941 prisoners.
How many Rats of Tobruk are still alive?
Today, out of 14,000 Aussie Rats that held Tobruk against Rommel’s forces 78 years ago, only around 30 are still alive to tell the story.
Who won Battle of Tobruk?
On June 21, 1942, General Erwin Rommel turns his assault on the British-Allied garrison at Tobruk, Libya, into victory, as his panzer division occupies the North African port. Britain had established control of Tobruk after routing the Italians in 1940.
Why was Tobruk so important?
Tobruk is the most important port in northern Africa, because its deep water allows large ships to dock there. It is also surrounded by steep escarpments, which make it easy to fortify against attack from the land. There were some 14,000 Australian troops and 12,000 British and Indian troops in Tobruk during the siege.
How did the siege of Tobruk end?
Outcome: The Australian, British and Polish divisions under siege in Tobruk were twice attacked by Rommel’s forces, and both times retained control of the Libyan port. The siege was lifted after nearly eight months.
Why were the soldiers called the Rats of Tobruk?
Those who served there became known as the ‘Rats of Tobruk’, so-called because the German radio propaganda broadcaster ‘Lord Haw Haw’ described them as rats living in the ground.
Why are they called Desert Rats?
The name was coined by the first divisional commander, Major-General Percy Hobart on a visit to Maaten Bagush. There he met Rea Leakey, then GSO 3 Intelligence, who had a pet jerboa, or “desert rat”. Hobart took to the animal and decided to adopt “The Desert Rats” as a nickname for the division.
Is Tobruk a true story?
Tobruk is a 1967 American drama war film directed by Arthur Hiller and starring Rock Hudson and George Peppard. … The film is loosely based on the British attacks on German and Italian forces at Tobruk codenamed “Operation Agreement”.
What did Rommel say about Australian soldiers?
German commander Erwin Rommel was even quoted as saying: “If I had to take hell, I would use the Australians to take it and the New Zealanders to hold it.
How many Australians died in ww2?
When war came again, however, the nation’s response was firm—some 30,000 Australians died in World War II (1938–45), and 65,000 were injured. From early in the war, the Royal Australian Air Force was active in the defense of Britain.
Who controlled Tobruk before the Australians arrived?
Men of the 2/13th Australian Infantry Battalion ‘digging in’. Between April and August 1941 around 14,000 Australian soldiers were besieged in Tobruk by a German–Italian army commanded by General Erwin Rommel.
How experienced were the Australian troops in Tobruk?
For eight long months, surrounded by German and Italian forces, the men of the Tobruk garrison, mostly Australians, withstood tank attacks, artillery barrages, and daily bombings. They endured the desert’s searing heat, the bitterly cold nights, and hellish dust storms. They lived in dug-outs, caves, and crevasses.
Where did Australia fight in ww2?
One million Australians, both men and women, served in the Second World War – 500,000 overseas. They fought in campaigns against Germany and Italy in Europe, the Mediterranean and North Africa, as well as against Japan in south-east Asia and the Pacific.
What is a desert rat in World War 2?
Desert Rats, byname of the 7th Armoured Division, group of British soldiers who helped defeat the Germans in North Africa during World War II. …
When did the siege of Tobruk end?
April 10, 1941 – November 27, 1941
Where is El Alamein located?