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The Battle of Tobruk
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The Battle of Tobruk
The Battle of Tobruk
Australia has been involved in many wars. Some have been great victories and some have been great defeats. Some of Australian battlefields are Gallipoli, El Alamein, Singapore and the Coral Sea. All of these are special but the most important Australian battlefield was The Battle of Tobruk. The Battle of Tobruk displayed many things that have made this battle different to any other. The battle was quite a short battle and it began on the 10th of April 1941 and it ended on the 27th of November. This battle consisted of two of the best commanders from both Germany and Australia. The Australians had Leslie Morshead who is considered to be one of Australia's greatest soldiers and Erwin Rommel who was a military genius who had never been beaten.Luckily for Australia. the battle was actually won so it wasn't a failure such as Gallipoli and Singapore. The Battle of Tobruk displayed many things for the Australians and the Germans. The Germans displayed mind tricks and propaganda by telling their soldiers that the Australians were like rats while the Australians reacted to this by acting as if this was some kind of honour and told people that they were the "Rats of Tobruk" as if they were King of England. This showed that they Australians weren't one to take offense to the Germans and showed the Australian spirit which in time won the battle. The common questions asked in the battle of Tobruk were ones such as, what made Tobruk so significant to the other battles? Who were the significant powers and their generals in their battles? What tactics and strategies were used that were first on this battlefield?
What made Tobruk so significant to the other battles?
Australians At Tobruk
The Battle of Tobruk was significant because it was the first German resistance that Germany had to face. The Battle of Tobruk saw the failure of the Panzerwaffe in battle The Battle of Tobruk also saw the defeat of Rommel's Afrika Corps which was undefeated during the war. Tobruk was also significant in a way because it can show how being to proud of yourself could lead to your downfall. The Germans and Italians were very confident about the battle in Africa that they thought that the Allies that were fighting in the war were trapped like rats and hid in tunnels to be safe from an aerial attack.That gave way to the nickname the Rats of Tobruk, which is still now used today. The Germans also faced a different type of soldiers in Tobruk. The Germans met Australians which were very different to the German type of Soldiers. For instance, they gave no respect to their superiors and their authorities, had no dreams or hopes but just believed that things were worth fighting for and would be outraged if a superior would think that a soldier was inferior or disposable. Tobruk was also significant because it was a battle that the Australians actually gained morale when the Germans used propaganda to try and boost their soldiers up but in doing so boosted the Australians morale. Although the Australians were outnumbered the Australians never gave up and the English told the Australians that they were supposed to hold Tobruk for eight weeks, but instead held Tobruk for 5 months. Tobruk has also been significant due to the fact that when the Germans used Blitzkrieg it was seen as unstoppable as all the forces fell in front of him. As soon as it reached Tobruk it was a different story and it was Blitzkrieg was stopped. This was big because the Axis had a significant amount of soldiers more than the Allies.The Axis had 35,000 troops while the Allies only had 27,000. The losses of both sides was that the Allies had around more than 3000 dead or wounded and 941 taken captive(which were all Australian), while on the Axis they lost more than 8000 units. This is amazing since the Germans were such a powerful force and they were the ones that looked like they were going to take Tobruk but that never happened.The casualties for The Battle of Tobruk was also quite small as of the 14,000 soldiers that were at Tobruk only 559 were actually killed, 2240 were injured. From a timeline that was examined in the World War II Database it has information that says that the whole Battle of Tobruk started on the 10th of April 1941 and it was by the Germans making a siege for Tobruk, where the Australians, British and Indian forces were defending it. Then 20 days later on the 30th of April 1941, the Germans take a sixth of Tobruk due to the Battle of Salient. 4 days later on the 3rd of May the Australians try to make a counter-attack against the Germans but it failed. 7 days later on the 10th of May 1941, the British destroyers bombarded Benghazi at five o'clock and it,the Germans counter attacked but did no damage. On the 17th of May 1941, the HMAS Vampire arrived and it brings fresh Australian troops to the battlefield. A couple months later, after a lot of attacking from both sides on the 2nd of August 1941, Australia made its last assault before going back to Australia next month by attacking the Italians that were close to Libya. The attack was unsuccessful and they were driven back due to the high number of casualties. This sequence is significant because no matter how bad we are beaten down it never brings our morale down and it displays the courage of our losses that the Australians are so used to but are proud of it such as the A.N.Z.A.C.'s when they fought in Gallipoli and the only real success from this battle was the retreat.
were the significant powers and their generals?
The significant powers that was in this war were the Axis and the Allies. The Allies consisted of five nations which was Australia, England, Czechoslovakia, Poland and Indiaon the Axis consisted of two powers which was Italy and Germany. The leader of the Allies was an Australian who was known as Leslie Morshead up until the Australians were called back in September by Prime Minister John Curtin due to health and mental concerns that the Australian troops had suffered. After the troops left only one Australian battalion was left at Tobruk and it was the 2/13th and it made it fought its way to the British 8th Army where they made their second advance westward. Leslie Morshead is arguably known as the greatest Australian soldier after Thomas Blamey. Moorshead was known by his soldiers to be strict and demanding and gave him the surname "Ming the Merciless" who was a villain in the Flash Gordan Comics. After the Australians withdrew the British, Polish and Czechoslovakian troops replaced them and Ronald Scobie became leader. The Axis was lead by a military genius Erwin Rommel who had never been beaten in a battle until The Battle of Tobruk. Erwin Rommel lead the Afrika Corps and was respected among the Allies and thAxis. He was a civil man whose battalion was not committed of war crimes and he opposed the killing of captured soldiers, Jewish soldiers and civilians. Rommel died at the age of 52 due to a conspiracy that he was linked to the attempted assassination of Hitler, but because of his popularity Hitler gave him a choice to commit suicide in exchange for the safety of his family. The leader of the Italian army that fought in the Battle of Tobruk was Italo Gariboldi. Italo was the general of the fifth army which was stationed in Africa after the Battle of France. He then took over the tenth army after it was nearly decimated and took it after Berti's replacement Giuseppe Tellera was killed during battle. Italo was also made Governor General of Libya but was relieved after the lack of co-operation with Erwin Rommel.
What sort of tactics and strategies were used in the battle?
The Siege of Tobruk was a confrontation that lasted 240 days between Axis and Allied forces in North.
Australian Rats of Tobruk in their Kangaroo Tanks
The German forces made two serious attempts to capture Tobruk using "blitzkrieg" tactics of a deep armoured thrust through defences followed up by infantry. Up until this point in the war these "blitzkrieg" tactics had never failed.Numerous attempts to relieve Tobruk by land failed and the garrison was supplied by ships of the British and Australian Navies, across seaways dominated by a hostile air force. Because of the almost daily enemy air attacks, arrivals and departures of the ships were conducted under cover of darkness.The Germans had suffered a serious reverse and the Tobruk garrison had demonstrated that the hitherto successful "blitzkrieg" tactics could be defeated by resolute infantry who held their ground, by defence in depth and by individual courage. From the television program on Sunday Night which told a story about the Rats of Tobruk mentioned some tactics that the Australians used to outmaneuver the Germans. One of the tactics mentioned was that instead of attacking the tanks, the Aussies waited until the tanks moved in to their fortress, closed the tanks and the tanks lacked ground support and were wide open for an attack. The Australians in combat also took the ground troops at the back of the tanks to leave the tanks wide open for an attack. To destroy the tanks the Australians used the lighting of the alcohol trick, where they insert a tissue into an alcoholic beverage, light the tissue and quickly throw it on the tank. The tank would then catch on fire and would be unusable afterwards. The Australians also didn't bother attacking the luftwaffe arrived and started bombing the enemies the Aussies just went underground in tunnels to ensure that they would survive to fight. The Australians also didn't wait for the Germans to attack when they retreated. Instead they went into attack position and when the Germans retreated and made camp,in the night the Australians would go and raid their artillery. Funny enough, the Australians would use this artillery to go against their own makers.
As it can be seen, the Battle of Tobruk is one of the greatest achievements for Australia. Not only did it create a club for the Australians, it also bonded soldiers in the form of mateship. The battle created many memorable moments such as the stealing of the German artillery and the lighting of the German tanks. The Australians were a brave bunch of soldiers and the only thing stopping them from witnessing the success of the battle and defeating Erwin Rommel for the first time was Prime Minister John Curtain who wanted their soldiers back.This battlefield is meant to be the most important Australian battlefield because we Australians could learn a lot from this event and the lessons that we could take from this battle and the stories that are told.
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