Tobruk 1941: Rommel’s Opening Move (Praeger Illustrated Military History)


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Tobruk 1941: Rommel's Opening Move (Praeger Illustrated Military History)

In March 1941, with Wavell's British troops having routed the Italians from Cyrenaica, General Erwin Rommel arrived in Tripoli to command the Deutsches Afrikakorps. Over the next two years the Afrikakorps and its commander would become legendary. In his first offensive, Rommel swept across the desert, driving the British back to the Egyptian frontier and capturing much of the 2nd Armored Division in the process. One thorn remained in his side--the vital port of Tobruk continued to resist. If it could hold out Rommel's offensive might be halted. Wavell instructed General Morshead and his garrison of 30,000 determined Australians to hold at all cost. The scene was set for one of the epic struggles of the desert war.

In March 1941, with Wavell's British troops having routed the Italians from Cyrenaica, General Erwin Rommel arrived in Tripoli to command the Deutsches Afrikakorps. Over the next two years the Afrikakorps and its commander would become legendary. In his first offensive, Rommel swept across the desert, driving the British back to the Egyptian frontier and capturing much of the 2nd Armored Division in the process. One thorn remained in his side--the vital port of Tobruk continued to resist. If it could hold out Rommel's offensive might be halted. Wavell instructed General Morshead and his garrison of 30,000 determined Australians to hold at all cost. The scene was set for one of the epic struggles of the desert war.

After the disastrous Italian collapse in Libya during Wavell's Operation Compass Hitler realized he would have to bolster his ally or risk losing the whole of North Africa. In March 1941 General Erwin Rommel arrived in Tripoli to command the Deutsches Afrikakorps. Over the next two years the name of the Afrikakorps, and in particular that of its commander, would become legendary. In his first offensive which, began on March 24, Rommel's 21st Panzer Division swept across the desert capturing much of the British 2nd Armored Division and the epic eight-month siege of Tobruk began. Under political pressure from London, two ill-conceived and premature attempts were made to drive Rommel back and relieve Tobruk. Operations Brevity and Battleaxe both failed, with the British back at their start lines. In the meantime the largely Australian and New Zealand garrison of Tobruk were resisting all attempts to capture the vital port. General Auchinleck had taken command of the British forces and was preparing a more formidable attempt to relieve Tobruk and throw Rommel's Afrikakorps back. The scene was set for one of the epic struggles of the desert war.

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Mediterranean Theater Missions & Campaigns Tobruk 1941: Rommel's Opening Move (Praeger Illustrated Military History)

In March 1941, with Wavell's British troops having routed the Italians from Cyrenaica, General Erwin Rommel arrived in Tripoli to command the Deutsches Afrikakorps. Over the next two years the Afrikakorps and its commander would become legendary. In his first offensive, Rommel swept across the desert, driving the British back to the Egyptian frontier and capturing much of the 2nd Armored Division in the process. One thorn remained in his side--the vital port of Tobruk continued to resist. If it could hold out Rommel's offensive might be halted. Wavell instructed General Morshead and his garrison of 30,000 determined Australians to hold at all cost. The scene was set for one of the epic struggles of the desert war.

In March 1941, with Wavell's British troops having routed the Italians from Cyrenaica, General Erwin Rommel arrived in Tripoli to command the Deutsches Afrikakorps. Over the next two years the Afrikakorps and its commander would become legendary. In his first offensive, Rommel swept across the desert, driving the British back to the Egyptian frontier and capturing much of the 2nd Armored Division in the process. One thorn remained in his side--the vital port of Tobruk continued to resist. If it could hold out Rommel's offensive might be halted. Wavell instructed General Morshead and his garrison of 30,000 determined Australians to hold at all cost. The scene was set for one of the epic struggles of the desert war.

After the disastrous Italian collapse in Libya during Wavell's Operation Compass Hitler realized he would have to bolster his ally or risk losing the whole of North Africa. In March 1941 General Erwin Rommel arrived in Tripoli to command the Deutsches Afrikakorps. Over the next two years the name of the Afrikakorps, and in particular that of its commander, would become legendary. In his first offensive which, began on March 24, Rommel's 21st Panzer Division swept across the desert capturing much of the British 2nd Armored Division and the epic eight-month siege of Tobruk began. Under political pressure from London, two ill-conceived and premature attempts were made to drive Rommel back and relieve Tobruk. Operations Brevity and Battleaxe both failed, with the British back at their start lines. In the meantime the largely Australian and New Zealand garrison of Tobruk were resisting all attempts to capture the vital port. General Auchinleck had taken command of the British forces and was preparing a more formidable attempt to relieve Tobruk and throw Rommel's Afrikakorps back. The scene was set for one of the epic struggles of the desert war.

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