Tobruk's WWII history

A quick glance of Tobruk tells you why this was such a prized site in World War II. A jutting peninsula with ragged, rugged cliffs to the south and a deep natural harbour: a relatively easy supply-line with natural protection. The town is most famous now as providing as stirring an example of wartime bravery as can be found anywhere – Australia’s famous Rats of Tobruk. In 1941, the garrison held the town for over five months against Rommel’s Africa Corps, withstanding near-relentless bombardment and executing a series of extraordinarily daring raids. Over 3,000 Australians were killed or wounded, and nearly 1,000 taken prisoner. With its simple headstones standing proud amidst red earth, palms and desert flowers, the cemetery is a moving, humbling experience.

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