Why were Australian soldiers called the Rats of Tobruk?

Nevertheless, morale remained high – the Australians adopting the ironic nickname ‘The Rats of Tobruk’, in response to reports that Nazi radio propagandist ‘Lord Haw Haw’ had described them as being caught ‘like rats in a trap’ in one of his broadcasts.

Who gave the Rats of Tobruk their name?

Australian soldiers during World War II standing with a Bren gun on which are painted a cigarette-smoking rat and the words “Rats to you!”—a reference to “Tobruk Rats,” the derisive term used by Nazi propagandist broadcaster William Joyce (“Lord Haw-Haw”) to refer to the forces who withstood German Field Marshal Erwin …

Are there any Rats of Tobruk 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.

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.

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Why was the Battle of Tobruk important to Australia?

The deserts of north Africa were an important battleground in World War II. Controlling north Africa would give the Allied forces a base from which to attack occupied Europe, across the Mediterranean. A number of British and Commonwealth troops remained in Libya, in the fortified port of Tobruk. …

Who did the Rats of Tobruk fight?

Rats of Tobruk – Rats of Tobruk. By 10 April 1941, the German and Italian forces under the command of Lieutenant General Erwin Rommel had surrounded the Tobruk garrison which was being defended by British Commonwealth forces including more than 14,000 Australians, under the command of Major General Leslie Morshead.

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.

What did Rommel say about Australian soldiers?

“If I had to take hell, I would use the Australians to take it and the New Zealanders to hold it.” -Erwin Rommel. By one of the most famous military generals in history.

Was the rat patrol real?

Widely remembered for being the first WWII show to air in color, The Rat Patrol premiered in 1966 featuring a ragtag group of soldiers fighting in Northern Africa. … While the show starred three Americans and one Brit, the real “Desert Rats” squad that the show was based on was entirely British.

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How are the Rats of Tobruk commemorated?

The Rats of Tobruk Memorial is on Anzac Parade, the principal ceremonial and memorial avenue of Canberra, Australia. This memorial commemorated the endurance of those who were besieged, who were given the honorific title, “Rats of Tobruk”. …

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.

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.

How did Australia win Kokoda?

The Australian pursuit encountered strong opposition from well-prepared positions around Templeton’s Crossing and Eora Village from 11 to 28 October. Following the unopposed recapture of Kokoda, a major battle was fought around Oivi and Gorari from 4 to 11 November, resulting in a victory for the Australians.

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.

When did the siege of Tobruk end?

April 10, 1941 – November 27, 1941

What country is Tobruk?


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